Instagram Gallery Wall

You guys. We put up a few pictures of our beautiful babies! FINALLY.

It’ll all started with this blank wall and, per my usual, a bad lighting Before:

blank_wall

Hubs got to doing math and measuring:

hubs

And just like that, a glare-y After:

instagram_photos

Awww. It makes my heart feel all squishy inside.

I printed the pictures through Sticky9 in the 5″x5″ size. I’m very happy with how they came out. I found the frames, after much hunting, at my local Michaels. They came in a 4-pack and you’d better believe I used a 40% off coupon for each pack because I’m so super smart.

Here is a less glare-y angle:

instagram_photos2

And closeup:

instagram_photos_closeup

Of course I printed these pictures a million years ago and now I have new Instagram favorites that I want to switch in. That’s the beauty of this gallery though; it can change and evolve.

I’m a little worried about sticky fingers messing with the bottom row but I’m hoping the littles stay far away from them.

We might add another row on top – what do you think?

Spray paint it yellow!

When Amelie was born, we got flowers at the hospital. It was such a happy lovely surprise. They made me feel like Amelie was so special and celebrated, you know?

I’ve been hanging onto one of the vases from that day with a plan to make it over. Ever since organizing the guest bath linen closet – which is still going strong, by the way – this little vase has lived in there. Can you spot it?

guestbath_linen_after

This one, holding extra toothbrushes for guests and my shower cap.

before_closet

I’m digging the texture, it reminds me of the old school milkglass. But I didn’t love the color – a really pale pink. I happened to have leftover spray paint from my diaper pail makeover (which is also still going strong) so I got to spraying:

yellow

Yellow:

pineapple

Doesn’t it kinda look like a pineapple?

And back “home” again:

after_closetThe shelf “styling” is certainly not pin worthy but hopefully one day I can put some work into this closet to pretty it up. One day! But not any day soon.

Side note: Target has these adorable summer soy candles and one of them looks exactly like this vase! I should consult for them because obviously my vision is on point.

Anyway, back to my project. I told Hubs about my big makeover and he replied with “So, it went from pink to yellow?”

“Yeah. You make it sound so insignificant that way.”

Father’s Day

My husband-turned-baby Daddy is incredible. He isn’t afraid to be interactive and goofy with Amelie and she loves that. Her heart breaks a little when she calls for him in the morning and I have to tell her that he is at work.

On Father’s Day, he spent the morning playing pretend with Mama Monkey and Baby Monkey. They talk to each other in their high voices and Amelie is thrilled by it. The sillier, the better!

daddy_amelie

Then, he spent the afternoon taking care of Cade while I napped. He loves his Daddy too!

daddy_cade

What better way to spend Father’s Day than doing the hard work of being a father? He didn’t think he’d get the day off, did he?!

We love you so much and my heart is overwhelmingly grateful that our kids have a father like you!

photo 4

Makeup Revisited

Last summer, I showed you my “makeup organization”. Although not inspiring for you probably, it was a little change with a big impact for me. But, it had been a while and needed a second look.

I wanted to revisit my makeup for two reasons:

  • I had started using the bathroom downstairs since having Cade and my makeup was split up between the two bathrooms. I wanted it all together again, it was driving me crazy. Eventually I want a little vanity area in the master bedroom but a desk makeover has to happen before then.
  • Ever since reading Skin Cleanse, I wanted to take a closer look at my products. You guessed it, most of them aren’t very skin friendly. Ok, all of them? I decided to start with small changes instead of starting over so I tossed a few things that were old, made me breakout, or I didn’t like.

Here is my “before” drawer. Hi, tube of Preparation H!

beforeMy “After” – some of these products are on probation…

after

Pretty pared dow, eh? Oh but wait.

My makeup bag:

bag_before

I had a helper when it came time to sort that mess out.

amelie

She loves putting on chapstick. Unfortunately, she nibbled the end and then smeared a good portion on her shirt. I can’t blame her, it tastes and smells like fruit snacks!

My makeup bag was gross and needed refreshing. MamaP spoiled me with a new one!

new_bag

It’s actually quite a bit smaller than my previous makeup bag.  It’s good that I was in a paring down mood.

bag_after1

Sorry for the crummy picture but here you go:

bag_after2

It’s all a little crammed but trust me, there’s a lot less. A few items are on probation as well. From here on out, I’m going to do my research so I can start phasing in better-for-you products. I’ll keep you posted?

Another exhilarating post for you has come to an end. Don’t be sad, there’s more coming your way so you can keep wondering why I spend my time this way.

Kiddie Picnic Table

I hinted in this post that I was working on a project. Well, by golly, I actually finished it. I know, I’m surprised too!

I had help which is mostly why “the finishing” part happened.

It all began like so…

stack

I stained it Dark Walnut by Minwax because that’s the color cool bloggers I read use and I’m a copycat.

stainedI’ve never stained anything before but it was easy. Hubs and I sanded down any rough areas and wiped the boards clean. Then I brushed on the stain and after 10 minutes, wiped off the excess with a rag. I let it dry (4-6 hours) and did a second coat. Then I flipped all of the boards over and repeated the process. Next, I sprayed on four coats of water-resistant UV protectant polyurethane. It was all super simple but let’s be honest, it took me almost 2 weeks!

Then came time to assemble. The directions had four steps. I got my tool kit and said to myself “I can do this! I can do hard things because I’m a Mom!”

I stared at those four steps utterly confused for 10 minutes and then Cade woke up – so I left it in pieces on the deck. Then it got hailed on. Defeated, I sweet-talked Hubs into building it while I was out running errands and when I came back over an hour later, he was still struggling with it. Turns out, it wasn’t four easy steps after all! The directions were total crap and it required two people to do it.

But together, we got it finished!

picnic

*Ugh, isn’t she is the cutest?

Thanks to Grandma for gifting us the table! It looks so sweet out on the deck. I don’t feel comfortable sitting on it for fear it’ll collapse into a zillion splinter bits, but it’s perfect for Amelie and when we have littles visit in a few weeks. I love it.

Man it feels good to actually cross a project off the To Do list. That, like, never happens.

 

Friday Tidbits

Happy Friday afternoon! It’s a hot one here to today and I’ve got a hot mess of a post for you.

Last night, MAJOR hail storm! Take a look at our deck:

hail

Everything was a bit tattered this morning:

deck

I have some sweeping to do but first, other business: Amelie’s summer clothes organization! Who’s excited?

You remember I organized the green dresser when Cade was my super tiny sleepy guy?

green_dresser_after_skitch

Well, turns out it was inconvenient to store Cade’s clothes along with Amelie’s for two reasons:

  • Amelie has too many clothes. They didn’t all fit in one drawer. Girl needs space! Cade needs space too.
  • I needed access to Cade’s clothes while Amelie napped. He was quite the puker! Hence, lots of outfit changes.

So, Amelie took over Cade’s drawer but as spring overlapped into summer, both of her drawers needed some attention.

Her pajamas and sweatshirt drawer before:

spring_clean_before

I cleaned out most of the winter items and put them away in her closet. I’m hoping they will still fit when the air gets colder but you never know with littles, they grow fast and sporadic. I did keep out a few long sleeves and pants because Colorado can get chilly in the summer when the sun goes down.

Here is the after:

spring_clean_after2

Because you probably can’t tell what anything is:

spring_clean_after2_skitch

The second drawer – it was tiring to dig through:

spring_clean_before2

After much pruning:

spring_clean_after

Oversharing:

spring_clean_after_skitch

I have her dresses in the closet and I’m hoping I remember to pull those out every so often. Most of her clothes she can mix and match, which makes it easy for when Dad is dressing her… ;D

Cleaning out the drawers helped me regain some sanity but also gauge what I need to purchase to round out Amelie’s summer wardrobe.

shopping

Mine and Cade’s summer clothes are next! I’ll probably blog about it so yaaaaay.

The Book Nook

It’s true, I really can read!

THE BOOK: Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore

Screen shot 2015-06-17 at 8.57.06 PM

My feeble thoughts: I mostly skimmed this book but it was worth the sleep I gave up to do so! It’s broken up into a few sections – the science of your skin, eating right for great skin, detoxing from beauty products and how to switch to a natural skin care regime. This book is conversational in tone – no delicious prose here – but it got me excited about trying to take better care of myself and it prompted me to take a good look at all of the things I’m putting on my body and in my body. She includes recipes for food AND homemade beauty products, as well as a list of harmful chemicals to look out. She encourages you to do what you feel comfortable with by incorporating as much natural skin care as you can. If you can’t live without mascara, ok, but how about making your own cleanser? If you can’t skip that morning coffee, ok, but maybe try juicing with kale and spinach?

Grade: B+ Only because some of the claims aren’t backed up by studies/proof.

As a side note, I have been stressed to the max the last two months because I was beyond sleep deprived and my skin was a wreck. I broke out so bad that even Amelie pointed out one incredulously large blemish and said “Owie, Mama.” Owie is right! Now that Amelie’s cough is finally gone, I’m only getting up once to feed Cade and that’s totally reasonable! I’m looking forward to trying a few recipes and playing with essential oils too.

Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? Yes! I think most of my friends would find this book worth the browse.

What I am reading now: Hubs checked out “Savage Girl” for me. I have no idea what it’s about but it’ll be good for me to read before bed each night instead falling in face first, unshowered and teary-eyed.

What’s in my diaper bag

This post is going to be terribly exciting.

When I had Amelie, a friend lent me a diaper bag and that’s what I used up until this summer when my friend needed her things back. I was hoping to use it for Cade but planning to borrow things for four years is kind of lot to ask of someone. Returning her baby gear forced me to get a new bag and actually, I’m very happy I had to. I looked into a lot of fancy diaper bags like SkipHop and on Etsy. All were pricy and I felt kinda panicky since I was “investing” in a new diaper bag so late into my “Diaper Bag Days” but finally, I settled on one:

diaper bag

A backpack from Target. For $22.99. It’s the best!

The old diaper bag was perfect initially, but we outgrew it. I knew I had to get something bigger after adding a second baby. The old bag had one big strap you could put over your shoulder or wear cross body but once I loaded it up with all of my crap, it would swing around and bonk me in the legs while I walked no matter which way I wore it. I’d have to use one hand to keep it “steady”…but I needed to be hands-free!

My new backpack is magical; hands-free, spacious, easier on my back, and cute because it’s gray with polka dots! How could I not love it? Often, I’m carrying Amelie and pushing Cade in the stroller (I think I deserve a medal!) and so this has been a big win for me. Wanna see what I cart around everywhere?

contents

These are the essentials. Meaning, I get irritated if Hubs grabs something out and doesn’t put it back. It’s disrupts the Balance of the Bag, you know? I can’t have that.

contents_skitched

Since I need to use all of my cloth diapers and can’t afford a “spare” just for the diaper bag, I usually throw one or two in just before we head out anywhere. It probably would be wise to keep a few disposables in here just in case, but I don’t.

MamaP bought these three snack bags for me at a local handmade fair. They are food safe and can be used for just about anything – food, makeup, a wet bag for swimsuits/cloth diapers, etc.

snacks

I use mine for snacks. It’s a must to be loaded with snacks! These bags save the landfills from plastic baggies and the prints are adorable! I love them so much. They are made by two+two and I bought a few as gifts as well. I’m thinking about getting a few more for Hubs since he packs a lunch for work.

I have a few more things…

contents2

In case you can’t tell what anything is because the picture is blurry (I was holding Cade while taking pictures with one hand)):

contents2_skitched

I got that little bag in the Target dollar section. Perfect for crayons, stickers, a small pad of paper (thank you, Emily). I take this out to keep Amelie busy when we are at doctor appointments. It’s been so helpful!

contents2_closeup

The Extras

  • Amelie and Cade’s nuks
  • plastic bag (for dirty diapers on the go)
  • reusable shopping bag (mine is a Envirosax from long ago)
  • one or two of my handmade burp cloths (these get switched out regularly for washing)
  • extra outfit for Cade just in case
  • sweatshirt for Amelie (if it’s chilly)

That’s it! Maybe it’s weird of me to share but I like this sorta thing. What are the must-haves in your diaper bag?

Friday Tidbits

You guys, for the first time in months (!!!) Amelie slept through the night with no coughing!

And then today? Both kids napped…AT THE SAME TIME. It was only an hour but that hour was so deliciously exciting, I almost peed myself. I was starting to worry Amelie was done with naps for good – she has taken only a handful in the last few weeks.

I weeded and worked on a project for the kids, which I’m hoping to finish soon. I’m excited to show you…

How about I show you this pretty little thing instead? My new bougainvillea

bougainvillea

A friend recommended it to me and I’m so glad she did. It’s gorgeous. I hope it survives!

Sleeping kids and pretty flowers make me so happy. I’m praying the snoozing and blooms continue.

Backyard: Dead space

Remember when I took you on a backyard tour last summer and there was this sorta wasteland on the side?

wastelandIt’s not pretty but we found a good use for it: a perfectly shady spot for Amelie’s sandbox.

sandbox2

The Colorado sun is hot and it’s nice that we can play out here, close to home, without worrying about the burning rays. We actually scored the sandbox for free (!!!) and Grandma bought the sand for Amelie’s birthday. We set it up just in time for her party and when the rain cleared, the kids dug in, so to speak.

sandbox

Also, as an aside, I once swore that I wouldn’t be that house with kiddie things like this “littered” throughout the house and yard. There are sandboxes at parks, you see, and I wanted to keep my lawn pretty and sophisticated.

But now? If it keeps a little one busy for even a moment, I’m all in. Even better that I don’t have to pack up and go anywhere because babies and toddlers don’t nap at the same time and do you know how long it takes me to go ANYWHERE? A hundred billion years and usually when we get there someone poops.

Anyway, back to the “play space”.This space has a lot of potential so at least this is a small start in the right direction. And, I can’t believe anything is growing back here but these cuties manage to survive:

wasteland_flowers

Does anyone know what they are? I’d love to plant a bunch more of them to brighten up the perimeter. They are so sweet! Update: I think they may be creeping thyme?