Monday, November 21, 2011


And the winner is: 
Comment number seven is: 

Congrats Devin! I'll be sending you the code asap.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kitchen: Before and After

I recently posted photos of my kitchen renovation project

I'm sure many of you know the story behind my house, but some of you may not. 

In 2007 we were deeded over my great grandparents house. It had been sitting vacant for years, my great grandparents things still in the closets. A few relatives had temporarily lived in the house, but never to make it a permanent home. In fact, when we moved in, my great grandpa's bank statements from 1920 were still in one of the closets. We ended up filling two huge dumpsters with moth eaten clothing, old broken furniture and unusable appliances. 

The house is really small, so to make it functional, we had to do a lot of major remodeling including tearing out one wall and building a new one. We (and by we I mean my husband, I was 7 months pregnant at this point) built new cabinets, put in a header above said cabinets and put in recessed lighting. We tiled the floor in the kitchen and bathroom. We gutted the bathroom and have yet to finish. 
Since I posted the kitchen semi-befores, I post the actual befores so you can see what we started with. (Including my grandparents things still sitting around. FYI, the computers were being stored here by another relative.)

These cabinets are on the same wall as ours, but the wall on the left has been torn out. We also built a wall on the right where our stove is now.

This wall has been removed and is now open to our living room.
This is looking into the kitchen from the living room (before the new microwave and backsplash, just haven't taken new pics) where the old wall would have been. We built the wall the stove is on.
New microwave before backsplash and island.
Finished after backsplash.

For more of the finished backsplash go here.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011


I am giving away 25 FREE cards Shutterfly Christmas/Holiday cards!! 

To win you MUST do each of the following and 
leave a comment (for each) saying you did: 

1. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite Holiday and why.

For extra entries to win you may also do the following: 

2. Follow my blog (and then leave a comment saying you do).
3. Like me on Facebook (and leave a comment saying you do).
4. Follow me on twitter {even though I'm lame} (and leave a comment saying you do).
5. Blog about my giveaway (and leave a comment saying you did).
6.  Facebook about my giveaway (and leave a comment saying you did).
7. Tweet about my giveaway (and leave a comment saying you did.)

You have a total possible seven entries each!

I will randomly draw for a winner Monday night at 7 PM CST using Winner will be contacted via email so please leave your email address or have it linked to your account!

Good luck!

**Entries closed**
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One Project Down

That title is actually kind of a lie. If you'll remember my last post, we started a new project at our house. We finally put up a backsplash in the kitchen. Before my husband could finish, we needed more glue (or something). He made a trip to walmart to get more only to find some knobs that he liked for the drawers. 

He got home and finished gluing the backsplash and then put on the drawer knobs. He then decided that he loved the look of the knobs so much that he wanted to finish the cabinets by putting handles on the doors. (Three and a half years later we can afford it.)

So, just a reminder, here's the before (and here is the before we moved in before)

And the after:

Here are the drawer knobs and door handles.

(Linked at I Heart Naptime)

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas List 2011

I don't like waiting until last minute to Christmas shop, so it's stressing me out to wait until next pay day to start shopping. I need a place to create a list and save it to reference while out shopping.

Christmas List 2011

Archer-Train Table, Bed, Toys, Stocking Stuffers
My parents-(my mom reads, so can't post here)
His parents-Tools, Hair Cut/Color
Kaysie-Bedding, Room Decor
Logan-Head Phones
Neiley-Loving Family Minivan
Work friends-BBW
Dirty Santa Girl Gift
Poppy's Stocking Stuffers

One down, too many to go!

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Reno project

We've undergone MANY construction projects since we've moved into this house a few years ago. We've been waiting and saving our money to do a mosaic tile backsplash. We couldn't decide on a tile pattern, we couldn't decide on a color even. 

A few weeks back, I came across a kitchen with a bead board backsplash. I thought this was really cool looking. It's super clean looking, brightens the kitchen, and is a temporary fix. We can still go back later and tile if we want because the cost of the bead board is minimal. 

Since our cabinet doors are bead board, we decided it would be a nice match to do the backboard. It also gives it a more cozy, cottagey feel. Here are the cabinets and the before with no backsplash. 

Hopefully the husband will have a few minutes to get this finished tomorrow!! 

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Monday, November 7, 2011


I was reading Cait.Create's blog this morning, and she took a moment to share some truths about herself. I thought that was really neat, a very insightful look at herself, and something I wanted to try.

1. If you know me in real life, you know chances are, I'm going to be late. I don't do this to the inconvenience of others, but sometimes I'm just late. It happens. If I have a strict deadline or place to be, I'm there on time. But without structure, I'm going to be late. I was told a long time ago that I had no concept of time, I guess that's true. I'm 25 and can't read an analog clock without careful study. I'm unaware of time passing, it might feel like 5 minutes to me and actually be 45. My body just doesn't seem to notice time is passing around me.

2. I love taking photographs. I always have. I've asked for many a camera for my childhood birthdays. I had a couple of really cool ones too. There are mountains on mountains of photos at my parents house full of goofy "photography" subjects and dogs or worse, self portraits. Now that I'm older and can afford a decent camera, I always have it charged and ready, just in case something photo-worthy happens. Which by the way, my photo-worthy standards are pretty low. :) I'll take a picture of just about anything. 

3. I loathe confrontation. Hate. Gives me anxiety. Even verbal confrontation, even verbal rebuttals to me. Really, even online confrontation bothers me. Although, online it's a little easier to feign confidence, thus easier to maintain calm. I'm not sure where this came from, but it's something I've always had. My poor husband though, he's the one person I don't mind calling out. But he takes it well.

4. I am in my final semester of coursework for my master's degree, and as much as I'm dying for a break, I know I will miss it.I will miss the learning, the exchange of ideas, the professors even (for the most part). I won't miss the time away from my family, the time spent away from my family while I'm locked away doing homework, or the time spent stressing about said homework; but I will miss being in school. Since before I went to school I have loved learning. My Nanny was my babysitter when I was young and she made homework packets for me to learn with, she taught me how to read with my mom's old Dick and Jane books, and she gave me these really cool stickers every day for completing my work. I still have one of the sticker pages. I still have the notebook we kept my work in. I still love to learn.

5. I thought that I would love having some time away from my husband when he started working out of town. I frequently teased him about going to work in New York with his best friend. Now that's it's happened and he's away at lot for work, it's really hard. Much harder than I ever expected. If I lived closer to friends and he had worked away before we had kids, maybe it wouldn't be so tough. But it's hard being a single mom (to all you single moms or moms who do it alone, kudos to you) and it's hard being away from my pillar of support. Because of his hours we maybe talk 10 minutes a day and that's total. No texts or facebook messages in between, he's virtually unreachable while working. Saturday I was up sort of early and didn't talk to anyone out loud until my mom brought Archer home at 11. That's a long time in my world. But I will say, the old saying is true, absence does make the heart grow fonder, or mine anyway. Our family cherishes every moment that Daddy is home now, much more than before.

So, if you don't know me, you now have a little more insight into me. 

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Christmas Card

Even though my previous post might seem a little anti-Christmas in November, the whole world knows you have to order your Christmas cards early or they won't be ready in time to mail for Christmas.

Last year I got 50 free cards by being part of Shutterfly's blogger program. This year only select bloggers were part of it, and I WON free cards!! Woohoo! Then I got an email from the blogger I won the free cards from about free prints. I had to redeem both because come end of November, early December I'm going to be slammed with school.

Here's a sneak peak at my card this year!

Bright Holly Jolly Holiday Card
Turn your family photos into holiday cards this season.
View the entire collection of cards.

(Disclaimer: I got a $10 off coupon for publishing this blurb about my cards, but I'll take it. I love shutterfly and if you've never used them you should!)

One Holiday at a Time

It's November, so that means it's time to start buying things for Christmas and putting up the tree. Um no.

So many of my Facebook friends (Canadians are allowed) are posting about Christmas music, putting up their tree, etc. 

I am not okay with this. The only thing Christmasy I'll doing this month is buying Christmas gifts. You will not come to my house and find any Christmas decorations hanging or on display before December first. 

There is another holiday in the middle of Halloween and Christmas. Anyone remember Thanksgiving? Does Christmas really need two months? Not at my house. 

Thanksgiving has always been special to me. My huge extended family always gathered at my grandparents house and those are some of my all time favorite memories. It's a holiday where money is no object. All you need is a little food and family. 

The original meaning of Thanksgiving, the pilgrims, the indians, all that. I'm not a big believer in that whole story. I'm sure some pilgrims celebrated and dined with the indians. Then they spent 200 years trying to Christian-ize them, relocating them, stealing their land, all that. But, I do think it's a great time of year to celebrate thankfulness and being with family. 

So let's build up to Thanksgiving first, Christmas starts in 26 days.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Decision Time

I made a decision today after much internal debate. 

I just couldn't juggle everything. My mom offered to babysit Archer so I could do homework, but I can't rely on her so much. That makes me feel guilty on top of everything else. I know she (probably) doesn't mind, but I don't want to burden her with that.

I've decided to drop my elective class in school. This still keeps me on target to graduate in December. It's not a big deal other than I won't be getting as much of a raise in January. 

This allows me to focus on my practicum class, which is more important and necessary for graduation without feeling like I'm drowning. It also allows me to do fun things on the weekends or enjoy down time with my family without feeling like I should be doing homework because I'm behind. 

A weight has been lifted.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011


Big Muscles
Super Fast!


My handsome guy! <3

My little guy was Superman this year. He is a super-hero fanatic! Every time I asked he named a different super-hero he wanted to be. I picked this out and we went with it. He had so much fun trick or treating.

After every house we went to he asked if his bucket was full. He ran to every house and always said thanks, even if he didn't remember to say Trick or Treat. He wasn't even scared of the people in scary costumes handing out candy. He just held his little bucket up to them. One house had a miscommunication between the dad and the son over who had given candy to who and Archer got missed. He refused to leave their porch before he got some candy in his little bucket. (He should have just left, it was lame candy anyway.)

Of course, before the trick or treating ensued, he fell down running from his cousin in my aunt's driveway and landed face (or head?) down on the concrete. Poor kid. This was his first ever, other than bruises or small scrapes, injury.

Hope every one had a wonderful Halloween! We did! 
(other than the goose egg)

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