Sisters with Flair

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just let me sleep, people!!

So, our Valentine's photo shoot didn't go too well. Apparently stuffing m&ms in a certain 2 year old's mouth every other shot didn't work too well. I think I'll be able to use a picture where he's crying, but it actually looks like he's laughing. Maybe I can edit out the tear coming out of his eye? Maybe??
Anyway, let me get on with my semi-boring post, but it has been such a lifesaver for me. First of all, let me make a confession: I LOVE NAPS! No seriously, since my first son was born, I have taken a nap almost every. single. day. No joke. It is awesome. So when baby #2 was born (2 months ago today!) I knew that giving up a nap would be a humungo sacrifice for me, and not a sacrifice I'm willing to make. It seems like about the same time Max came into the picture, Zeke decided that he'd rather play in his room for 2 hours than take a nap. Thank goodness the kid absolutely will not leave his room when I put him down, but call me crazy, I'd rather have a rested kid at the end of the naptime. Enter: black out curtains. In the new bedroom (that I'm still working on) I kept thinking I would create some great curtains that would look sleek and modern and that I could make myself, but that dream died when I hit Target. I got this set of curtains for $15. I just hemmed them myself so they'd just brush the bookshelf, then I sewed blackout fabric to the back of the curtain panels, and presto-chango, it makes the bedroom super-dark for naptime. BTW, you can find blackout fabric at most fabric stores, I got mine at Hancock. First naptime came and he fell asleep within half an hour. Which means that I can put the baby down for his nap and then quietly retreat to my bed for my sacred naptime. Ahhh. Know the feeling? No more hearing him get up on top of his bookshelf and yelling at the dog he can see outside- "Hon-eh, Hon-eh!" That's the dog's name. Honey. That's a whole other story...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Staircase to Heaven

Seriously, I woke up this morning with Angels singing as I walked down my new staircase. Can you hear them? (High pitched perfect A note drawn for 10 seconds) Yes it is amazing that this staircase is done and so quickly. We made this staircase one of our New Years Resolutions and it came together fast. First we needed to stain the railing to match our wood floors that we installed. (This should've been done 3 years ago when we installed them, but we were so OVER home improvement projects by the end of that baby) It was alot of work to stain them but I was reading a magazine the whole time so I wouldn't know exactly how much time it took. I would guess the project was approximately 12 People Magazine's worthy. I was nice enough to read them at the bottom of the staircase and hand him some diet cokes now and then through the project though. I'm super thoughtful that way. He used a good cleaner first on the railing and lightly sanded the poly off. Then came the Minwax gel stain, color Mahogany. We used this on our Fireplace mantel as well so we knew we liked it and it would match the floors. This stuff is sticky for 3 days so avoid touching it! After it's completely dry, use a wipe-on poly by Minwax to make it kid-proof.

Witness the incredibly boring oak railing and bare wall. Why did it take us over 3 years to do this project? (Oh yeah, cuz I hadn't accumulated enough People magazines before then to read during this project.) Next came another project doozy. Doozy, that's just fun to type! My collage wall. I'm not a collag-y type of girl. I like the simplicity of linear artwork. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull this off. Over the last few months I've had a few friends/clients email me some of their collages that they put on their walls and staircases of family photoshoots that I took of them. I loved them! I was totally inspired to make one of my own after seeing collages at their best. I've also seen collages at their worst, circa 1985 and didn't want a wall of "frames gone bad" at my house. So I got some advice from a friend who had executed this project perfectly. I bought the frames FIRST! Then layed them out on my rug in a order that I thought I'd like and then sat down with a piece of paper and sketched out which photo I'd want in each frame and if it was a horizontal or vertical picture. Then I ordered the photos and canvas' and waited. And waited. And waited. And then, it was Christmas! I opened everything and put all the pictures in frames and laid them out again. Once I finally got it the way I wanted, I took a picture of it so I could remember which frame went where. Then the real work began. Did you know that only 2 of my 14 pictures came with hooks? Seriously, none of these pictures which are all meant to be hung had ANY hardware on them! Outrageous! So we headed to Home Depot and spent a whopping $30 on hanging picture stuff, cuz my hubby wanted to make sure that if our house blew to pieces in a tornado that all the frames would still be securely attached. There was math used in hanging these photos and honestly I would've just eyeballed it, but it's a good thing my husband is the perfectionist and the patient one. He is the epitome of patience. Not a single swear-word or grumbling while taking on this (every night for a week) stiarcase-project. So you've waited long enough, get ready to hear the Hallelujah Choir.......

The best part of the project was when I woke up this morning my husband told me how happy it made him to walk down the stairs and see the photos. I feel the same way about photos in general. I know they're not decorating diva-ish. I know that you're supposed to tone down the personal if you're ever to sell your home. But I don't care. Photos of my family or anyone's family make me happy. Especially when displayed in a BIG STATEMENT. Yes, I will never be an understated girl. Go BIG or go HOME. Or in my case...... do both!

Linked to:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love is all you need

Can I just tell you how I heart Valentine's day? No, seriously, I think a holiday dedicated to forcing people to show their love for eachother stinkin' rocks. Otherwise how else would we get through the torture called winter? Maybe I just feel that way because I live in one of THE coldest places in the continental united states. Just sayin'. One thing that I love almost as much as V-day is free crafts. Well, practically free. Ok, I guess it's just free for me since I have awesome parents. Mom and Dad brought me this old window with some vinyl saying on it for Christmas. Love it. (Apparently I love a lot of things) So I just scraped off the old vinyl and with my vinyl cutter (that mom also gave me- love her!) I cut this sign. Really it was just the first love quote that came off the top of my head. Didn't it turn out cute though? And also, I guess I really love those cinnamon hearts that were in the jar that I told my husband were for decoration only and then proceeded to consume 3 at a time everyday while he was at work this week. Oops. I love him too. Alrighty, now I'm making you sick with all my love... chao.
PS Happy big 4-0 to Annie's hubby today! Oh yeah, he definitely robbed the cradle:)

Linking up to this fabulous blog:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vacation Hangover

You know most people would come home from a week long Disney World Vacation and write a book on what to do and places to eat and tricks if you're going to the park. I would like to write a book on what NOT to do. Do NOT for any reason bring a 2 yr old boy. Sounds cruel I'm sure to some, "But he would have so much fun!" you say. "Oh, he'd love this Toy Story ride!" you'd think. Well let me be very clear. He will not love it. He will not even get what's going on. He will run under EVERY roped off area, he will dive under strangers legs and run to the front of the line and you'll be stuck behind a mass of people terrified and completely embarrassed. Wondering if you really want to chase after to him, because then people will think he belongs to you even though you adamantly deny knowing the child and say as loud as you can "Let's take you back to your mom, she will be so worried about you!" While Disney fools you with cartoon characters that it's a child friendly place. It is not designed for my two year old escape artist. My favorite was fishing my son from underneath a strangers table during breakfast. Yes, he ran UNDER their table and laid down across their feet and did the limp fish because Piglet held his hand. Lovely. I also loved him getting "fresh" with the girl on the bus because she had a drink and I forgot a sippy cup at the hotel. He started rubbing his hands up and down her thighs and batting his eyes. Awkward! And don't even get me started on all the carts of toys everywhere. I knew it would be awful if we went in to the stores even with my 6 & 9 year old. But you can't avoid them when they're outside too. My son doesn't quite get the concept of payment and we may have a future clepto on our hands. I'm surprised we only spent $100 on toys while we were there. And that was without setting foot in the stores! Don't even get me started with trying to get him to sleep at night. He literally bounced off walls. I'm not exaggerating. I have witnesses and a few upset hotel neighbors to vouch. The kid did not sleep. Energizer bunny became his new nickname. Ever pulled an all nighter? Well, we just pulled an all weeker! We got an average of 4 hours of quiet in a 24 hour period. I'm looking blood shot in every photo!
I know I sound like the trip was awful. And it would have been, had our parents not been there to witness and laugh about this crazy kid.

My mom took him for the whole day while we battled the rain at Epcot. The kid is great at home, as long as you don't strap him to any chairs or strollers! He just has to be free! We also got to have a midnight date just the hubs and me at Magic Kingdom. The park is open for extended hours if you stay at their hotels and we took advantage. Pineapple floats at midnight while people watching in the light rain. Sigh, we finally had a magical moment. Thank you mom & dad!
The flight home I think will scar the most in our minds. It took 3 hours longer to get home and we were on a plane for a total of 6 hours. It was a 14hour day of travel with the flight delay & it felt every bit of 14 hours! The thing I noticed when going through the airports is how little people smile. The people behind us look annoyed by our crazy amount of bags, coats, strollers and children. The people at cinnabon were annoyed I wanted 4 cinnamon rolls. "4! You want 4?! Luelle- this girl wants 4? Can we even do 4?" I thought to myself, it was a good thing I was feeling like sharing mine and didn't order 5! Secuurrrty, Se-cure-a-ty! (in my best Bon Qui Qui voice) was beyond rude. Honestly, they act more like Prison Wards than airport security.
So after this trip I decided to do a little test. I'm going to challenge each reader (and my husband) to smile at EVERY person they see for the next two days. And it has to be genuine!

Less of this picture above and more of this picture below.

Guy cuts you off in traffic, that's ok, smile! Rudy pants at the grocery store, SMILE! Checker who is on his phone the whole time he's ringing you up, Smile! I'm curious if it will actually make me happier, given it's natural to be depressed in January and post-partum vacation. Remember the rules, smile genuinely at everyone for the next two days and then tell me what happens. I'm curious. I could either make people happy or get flipped off. Might go either way, but it will be a story to tell!

Monday, January 10, 2011

More of the Quilt

So, I had a few people ask me about the quilt that my (our) mom made for Max and the sisters in Texas haven't even seen it yet either. Isn't our mom the best?! She is so talented and is always in the middle of making a quilt. She's made quilts for all the grandkids, but I'm leaning toward this being my favorite quilt yet. She has taught all three of us sisters how to quilt and let's just say that some of us are better than others:) I totally love the colors and fabrics that she used and I ESPECIALLY love that it has his name on the front. I had to submit the kid's name to my mom before he was even born. We really liked the name, but it was really hard to commit to a name before he was born. So I told my mom we were leaning towards Max and if we didn't name him that, it would always be a funny story of how his name was almost Max.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Boy's Room

Mandy here. I know, I know. It's been a while. I've been working on creating this little miracle here. I guess that was about 5 weeks ago. Man, babies are a LOT of work. You kinda forget about that. So, excuses, excuses. I might as well keep going. I haven't ever posted my older son's room, which is now the baby's room. I did make a few changes, so there are some before and after pictures.

I made these curtains. Easiest thing ever. I found all the fabric for the room online.

This is the room before, when it was Zeke's room. I made the bumper pads using those bumper pad fillers you can buy at the fabric store. Instead of piping along the top, I used jumbo rick rack. (My mom made that adorable quilt hanging over the bed, isn't she the best?)

Here's a lovely blurry picture of the new crib. Gotta love when the old crib is recalled at the same time you're pregnant with the second. It worked out pretty nice since the two year old really made a mess of that first crib.:)Oh, and yes, my mom made the new quilt hanging over the bed for Max. Seriously, our mom is FABULOUS!!

Here's a little vinyl magic and I added some pictures(these are actually pictures of Zeke, but these boys really look a lot alike!) Don't worry, I ordered more pictures today!

And one more pic of the bed. Ok, now time to feed, change, rock, repeat. The story of my life. Love it. Seriously.:)

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011- Crafty dreams

So I know I was going to be completely blissful this 2011 and not want anything more but just enjoy what I have. Um, that totally lasted like a day and I've moved on to my more greedy self. Is it really that bad to want something if you intend to create it yourself? I say no and I win! I'm happiest when I am able to create. My husband is happiest when he gets to use his arsenol of tools. Win, Win! Here are some projects I'm dreaming of.

Homemade light fixtures. I know my mason jar chandelier wasn't the best experience to install but I still believe that lighting is WAY over priced and I need to figure out a way to replace every lighting fixture in my house. This reclaimed wood fixture is a beauty!
This old mirror with writing on it is to DIE FOR! I love quotes and any artwork that incorporates quotes is a winner winner!

I totally need to make one or 10 of these. They are perfect for a side table for couches or kids bedrooms. I've even seen some with shorter legs for pet beds. Seriously, the person who thought of these should receive an Oscar or crown or something!

These clipboards will be perfect for my daughters growing artwork gallery in her new bedroom. Plus I'm pretty sure they'd hold her giant collection of accessories as well! Got to find super cute hot pink paper. (Image by Martha Stewart)

Something about a grouping of nine makes me happy. I love symmetry. I also love a little chaos too- go figure. I keep thinking about this set of numbers and I'm pretty sure I will have a grouping of 9 of something in my home by the end of the year. I also love this color combo. It reminds me of fall, which also happens to be my favorite season.

This is what's on my mind for the near future. No more yucky carpet. I will have to be more careful on the stairs though, since I'm the most accident prone in the house!

I've convinced the hubs on the staircase, but haven't yet dropped the bomb on the rest of my projects. I know he's gonna love my vision, he always gets this cute glazed eye, deer in the headlight, eye twitching, head spasm, completely lost look in his eyes when I describe my crafty dreams. I know that look means he totally wants to help because he's completely enamored by my excitement. :) Did I tell you that 2011 is going to be a year of blissful denial too.
What's on your crafty agenda?

Top 10 Fav Posts of 2010

Another year has gone by and you know what? I'm not too sad about it! I used to wallow in my own self pity of my children growing up too fast or time moving too quickly. But I'm learning to not rush life and really enjoy each phase I'm in. So when it passes, I'm not aching that I didn't enjoy it enough. It's a process though, I have to remind myself on a daily basis to hug the kids tighter, acknowledge their concerns (more like dramatic reinactments) and not wish for them to be independent or less needy. I'm telling myself to just enjoy this life and not wish for anything more. I will NOT be making a New Years Life filled with wants and must haves this year. (Probably a total lie, but aren't all New Years resolutions?) Instead, I'm looking around me and being grateful for everything I have. With that mushy stuff behind me, I will now tell you my top 10 fav posts of last year- In no particular order, drum roll please.........

Number UNO: Turquoise & metallic striped bathroom. Forgot to take a picture before I painted the boring white walls and added the turquoise frame. It still needs new light fixture and faucet and counter top and floor. But PAINT made a BIG difference!

Numero 2. Mandy's ABC quilt. The fact that she made a darling quilt for a friend is impressive. I would start one with good intentions, never finish it, and then mom would come in and take pity on my half done project and finish it for me. Then I would decide that it was WAY TOO MUCH work and keep if for myself! But that's just me...... Mandy is the nice one.

Number Tres: Mason Jar Chandy- This project still haunts me in my sleep because of the legistics of shoving 21 wires into a small metal ceiling canister (whatever it's called). I didn't do it, my hubs did and I really felt for him!

Number Quadre: Peg board love- Isn't this perfect for a little boys room? I think it's difficult to find hip things for younger boys. Decor for boys tends to be cheesy or infantile for say a cool 8yr old boy. My sisters peg board hipped-out(I heart blog vocabulary) the room and mad a perfect spot for your child's newest artwork.

CINCO: Master bedroom makeover- Umm..... lame, uninspiring, blah, snooze. Ahhhh, peaceful, calm, a bit more personal and a lot more me!

SIX: Modern Quilt- So I don't know what happened. My mom makes amazing quilts. My older sis makes amazing quilts like this one below. And my lil sis makes cool quilts. What happened to me? I've got to figure this out, because I'm itching to do something like this one for my little boy when he transfers to a twin bed. Isn't this SA-WEET!

Lucky Number 7: Dresser makeover. The picture says it all. Bliss, happiness, punch ya in the face with color, squeal!!!!! Why does this dresser makeover make me so happy? Because it's over!!!! Painting & sanding projects are my least favorite to do but most favoritest to look at!

OCHO: Woodwork artwork- This is a masterpiece in scroll saw magic and sheer patience! You win the award Mandy & hubs! It is gorg!
Nine: These buckets look so cute on shelves to catch knick knacks. I could definitely use some to hold the 100 matchbox cars I find throughout the house. I love that Renee made these and used them as her gift bag for baby gifts. Super cute!

Number TEN: My favorite wreath of all time. The Ruffley wreath! Mandy cut out 300 felt circles by hand! and sent them to me as a birthday gift so I could make my own beloved wreath. Sigh, I just love ruffles. Another sigh, I really love turquoise. Join together now for a super blissful sigh of sheer happiness, and you just made the purtiest reef you ever did seed! Mandy also made one for my parents front door for my lil brother's wedding. Deep plum. It was just as fantastic! So there you have my top 10 fav posts. Now I'm moving on to 2011 and the possibilites of makeovers and re-do's and upgrades and crafty bliss. Watch out hubs, you got a major TO-DO list coming up!