hello Monday

Hello little (big) boy sleeping in his big boy bed!

Hello dirt under my fingernails… goodbye weeds that have been taking over our “flower”beds for 3 years now (thank you very much, postpartum foggy exhaustedness).

Hello rosemary and basil plants.

Hello baby boy saying “Ee-yi, Ee-yi.” First word was his brothers name. Surprise? Not really. :)

Hello windows open for days. In the middle of the summer? In the middle of Ohio? Yes, and yes. It is wonderful!

Hello picture of the real state of real life… no pretty pictures for you today, sorry!


Hello homemade dressing, homemade bread, and only all-natural goat cheese and bleu cheese.

Goodbye the bottled stuff (besides for Eli and his daddy), pre-sliced bread, and, sadly, all other cheeses for me :(

Hello not caring too much.

Hello not thinking too much.

Hello paint. I’ve missed you.



stopping the rush

I was folding some of the way-too-huge pile of laundry yesterday, scrambling to find the man-sized stuff hidden under tons and tons of baby stuff, because I realized one day not too long ago that if I wash one person’s clothes at a time that means a lot less sorting after and so less time doing my least favorite chore. But my plan to shrink my time doing laundry failed me this time because kids just keep getting sick and laundry didn’t get folded eve though it was sorted BEFORE going in the washing machine and so the room that was supposed to be our bedroom quickly became laundry-land.

So there I was… flinging shirts and underwear into the empty laundry basket (empty only because I had just dumped it’s mod-podge of contents into laundry land) and I abruptly stopped and sat back on my heels and this thought rushed at me:

Why am I rushing??

There are certain things these days that I do rush through out of necessity. Going to the bathroom. Taking a shower while two boys watch Veggie Tales. Eating lunch. Because if I don’t, my mama’s boy will realize I have left his sight for more than 3 seconds and begin to cry, and then I will be doing the cross-legged dance and I end up either snacking all day or (more likely) eating way too much at dinner because oh my gosh my stomach just realized it has been empty all day and it doesn’t know when it will eat next!

But laundry? Like I said, I hate it already. Least favorite chore. It’s never done. I am sure you feel me here. But rushing? Oh I hate rushing even more, even though I do it like my life (or bladder) depends on it! Somewhere in my laundry hating mind I at some point decided that if I rushed through it would be done faster and so I would spend less time doing something I hate. But do you know what happened instead? I began to hate laundry even more, because I had trained myself to rush through… and I did say, didn’t I that I hate rushing? It makes me anxious and stressed and overwhelmed, even though I usually am rushing to not feel those things.

So I slowed down. I slowed my movements. I sorted through the pile calmly. I told myself that it didn’t matter if all the laundry got folded today. There will still be laundry to do tomorrow. And isn’t a calm, peaceful me with a slightly smaller pile of laundry better than a frantic one with a clean bedroom floor? Isn’t a me who is content with what she felt she could do at the time better than one who is proud of herself for doing it all in one night?

I only folded 2 basketfuls of laundry last night. All of my husband’s things (minus socks… sorry honey!) and all of the baby and toddler clothes. I still haven’t put the boys things’ away. Then I dried my hair, and washed bottles, and played a game on my kid’s kindle while Chris finished taxes. I asked if I could help with that, I promise! And he said no and he didn’t make me feel a bit guilty about being lazy for a bit. There is still a pile of my stuff, blankets towels and socks and random things that got missed on the bedroom floor. But I am okay with that.

board game art

We were very lucky to find a house that had a beautifully finished basement… and now that our second baby boy is just three months away from arriving (ummm… hmmm…), we are in the process of cleaning up his room and also cleaning up the basement as another play area for big brother Eli on those Eli-wants-to-show-off-how-loud-he-can-be days. And also just because it would be nice to move some of the toys downstairs so that mommy can ignore the mess easier feel less cluttered and toy-claustrophobic upstairs.

If I am going to make the basement into another play area for Eli, I might as well make it so that I like being down there, too, right? And so the board game art…

This monstrous cribbage board was a Christmas present from Chris’ parents a few years ago, and I finally realized that it was very easy to hang, and we just so happened to have two nails in the wall downstairs that were the exact distance apart as the cribbage board was wide.

A while back I made these oversized scrabble letters … okay, I lied – I started making these oversized scrabble letters, but really, how you see them in the picture is exactly how they stayed until, oh, Monday. You see, I messed up, one of the letters got a little messy, and then I got busy with the online art class I was taking and those scrabble letters just sat there on my desk, making me feel guilty every time I passed them. But I just didn’t feel like finishing them. And so I didn’t. Until I realized that they would fit much better downstairs instead of in my nook, and then I got excited again.

Sometimes you just have to let the art sit. Slow cook. If I’m not excited about it, if it isn’t speaking to me anymore… doesn’t that take away some of the point?

Anyway… here they are now…

They’re imperfect. I went over the black paint (on the two letters I had painted) with brown, then did the other two letters in just brown, and the letter O is slightly lighter than the rest but, I don’t care! I like them that way. I just need my awesome husband to help me hang them :)

And the last, most recent piece… the one that I am totally unsure about but it’s hanging out on the basement wall for now anyway, is this one.

Yes, those are real mini playing cards. You see, Eli got ahold of these one day a long while back and bent a few and ate the box and so we just let him keep them. They’ve been hanging out in the drawer of our TV stand for months, if not a year already, which was okay because it is at Eli’s level and only Eli-safe things can go in there anyway. But, whenever Eli’s friend comes over, he goes straight to that drawer and next thing I know I am cleaning up little playing cards that have been scattered all over the living room. And my belly won’t let me bend over comfortably anymore… I have purposely changed some things recently just so I don’t have to bend over. And so one of those things was to get rid of those cards. And they were just about to go in the garbage can when I realized hey… those could be art. Why not?

So they got stuck to an extra 12 x 12 canvas I had lying around. ModPodged. And I am still playing with the idea of spreading some Gesso down in the middle and painting some words over that but for now it just is as it is…

Have you ever seen those crafty people who take board games and frame them without glass, and then attach all the game pieces to the underside of the game and hang it??? Really neat… but I don’t have the energy to go search out a frame that exactly matches the size and shape of Monopoly or Pictionary, nor do I have the funds to have them custom-made… but I’m kind of liking this home-made stuff anyway :)


wallflower {introducing a new color}

I found these trays in the dollar section at Target about a week ago…

I am in love with this color, and I think it brightens this corner but still blends.

They’re hung up with command strips … and for right now I like just the daisy there :) but who knows… maybe I’ll modpodge the back of them with pictures someday and hang them differently?


DIY shape drop box {and other unusual uses for usual things}

You know those toys that have the different shaped blocks, and holes in a container that your toddler is supposed to push the blocks through? Circle block in the circle hole, square in the square, etc.?

Eli has a couple of toys like that, but they frustrate him greatly. Why should one block fit and the other not?

I decided maybe we started too complex and so today, finally, I thought of a solution.

I took an old, sturdy cardboard box with a flip-top lid and cut some holes in it with a box cutter…

The holes are big enough that, even if Eli doesn’t feel like matching his toys’ shapes with the shapes of the holes, most of his small toys can fit wherever he feels like putting them through. We’ll work on shape-matching later. For now I’m hoping he’ll start to make the connection on his own, without getting frustrated.

I really want to take some paper or paint to the box to make it look more fun :)

(please excuse the dark phone-camera picture…)

Yesterday as I was straightening up my desk, I noticed a pattern in myself of using things in my home for uses other than what they were purposed for, and laughed. Just thought I’d share some of them :)

Small vases for storing beads I love these vases, but Eli kept finding them in our bedroom and trying to throw them. They are now safely on the hutch of my desk with a new use that I actually like better than holding flowers…

Napkin holder for holding envelopes and stamps We had registered for this napkin holder and matching paper towel holder for our wedding, but we never used the napkin holder because we never buy napkins. It was just taking up space on the counter for 3+ years… now it has a pretty use  and my envelopes aren’t taking over the junk drawer.

Desk calendar as a wall calendar Those small calendars that I used to keep on the fridge never have enough space for me to write :) This one was in the dollar section at Target. 


Miscellany Monday

An older friend was over last week, and she said “you have adjusted to motherhood well!” … and I laughed… because I didn’t expect being a mom to be as hard as it is {I helped raise my two youngest siblings, afterall}… and though I feel more confident in my instincts now than I did when he was a colicky newborn, I still do not always {ever?} feel well-adjusted. But dare I believe the voice of these people more than I believe my own internal voice? They see all of the things that I see, the things that whisper to me “you are not doing well” – my messy home, my un-showered head, my 1-year-old still in pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, the full sink, the cobwebbed cathedral ceiling, the permanent pile of laundry – and yet they still say those words that my heart longs to hear? I am okay.

Maybe being a good mom has nothing to do with any of those things.

Eli took two steps yesterday :) Chris and I looked at each other over his head and smiled and laughed. I do not think that Eli even knows what he did.

He is “talking” :)

This is Eli and one of his best friends. Poor friend fell asleep on the car-ride on the way to our house for a playdate… he had been teething and not sleeping. Eli understands. But not enough to not wake him up to play.

I want to paint all of the white-but-not-white walls in our house. They are bothering me. I love this color pallet… the dark blue is similar to the blue on two of our walls in our living room.

I just got dinner in the crockpot. Now I am hungry.

And I really, really, really want to make these… fingerprint jewelry and birdnest necklaces tutorials by Sarah Ortega

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

art on the wall

My husband and I have been working on redoing our master bedroom for a while now (it is not easy to paint with an 11-month-old who wants to do everything you do!). We painted the walls, moved the dresser to the inside of the closet (I am working on moving all clothes to the closet only. Eventually our old dresser will be moved to Eli’s room). We rearranged the furniture. I added some new storage to the bathroom. We rearranged the furniture again, after which we decided the furniture will stay as it is because we want to start loving our bedroom and not be in this in-between-ish phase any longer. And so finally I felt like I could start putting some things on the walls.

You don’t understand… this is a big deal for me. I almost never put stuff on the walls. And if I do, it stays there. Forever. And is never changed. Call it an irrational fear of making a mistake.

Emily Freeman explained it in her book Grace for the Good Girl, and as soon as I read it my heart said “that’s me! Oh my gosh that is me…” She said

“Other parts of life where there are no rules at all, I become irritated and slightly irrational… Perhaps that is why I had such trouble allowing myself to be creative in my house when I was first married: I didn’t know the rules.

Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl

It is scary how true that is of me. It was true when we had our first apartment – I cried over hanging pictures in the wrong place. It has been true recently, too – I cried over buying the wrong duvet cover for our bed. But slowly I’ve begun to realize that not having rules shouldn’t be scary – it should be freeing. Which is why I painted a tree in my son’s bedroom, and why I painted my fridge, and why I painted my kitchen backsplash, why there are a couple of funky-shaped drawers on the wall in my bathroom, why I hung a Max and Ermas bag and some old book pages in my living room…

… and now it is why I taped corkboard on the wall over our bed.

our wall color didn’t come out quite right in the picture… so the color of the corkboard and the wall color goes together a bit better than what it looks like in this picture. Click here to see the paint color.

…and apparently the cat wanted to be in on the photoshoot…

I have two corner floating shelves to hang in the corner… but I’m still trying to figure out what I think about these corkboard squares. Do you like them? Should I pin things to them, leave them blank, try to paint them? Move them to a different wall? Opinions, please! :)

Linking up with Jennifer at StudioJRU … and also with Transformation Thursday for the first time.









funky drawers, re-purposed!

Our bathroom was the next thing to get hit by my newfound crazy we-can-change-the-home-so-we-actually-love-being-here bug.

Recently I read Nester‘s post on using drawers as decoration. (I love Nester’s blog. Please go visit!) As soon as I read that post, I immediately started looking at all of the drawers in our house, trying to figure out which one I could hang on the wall, and for what. But most of our drawers are rather large… not to mention most of them are full and serving their purpose as, well, drawers.

Then I realized that there are these small (unused) drawers in a vanity we have… but they are kinda funkily shaped because the vanity is curved.

And then suddenly one day when I hadn’t realized that not only was the toilet paper roll empty but it had been the last one left in the bathroom, I had this strange urge to store all of our toilet paper in an easy-to-reach (even if you are already on the toilet) location instead of in our linen closet… like maybe on the wall?

Oooh, those funky drawers!

It fits in an awkward space above our toilet. Yup, I think I love it :)

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the empty spaces that the drawers left!

P.S. I can’t believe I actually put pictures of our bathroom on here! HA!

It’s Wednesday

It’s Wednesday.

It’s Wednesday and I’m tired.

It’s Wednesday and I’m tired and it’s raining…. which makes me more tired.

It’s Wednesday and I’m tired and it’s raining and because it would be weird and slightly uncomfortable for him to arrive to work soaking wet on a scooter, my husband took the car today.

And the stroller is in the car.

So I’m stuck.


‘Cause the ground is wet and although my 11-month-old would very much like to go outside (as he does everyday), I don’t want to sit on wet ground.

So I’ve been doing lots of laundry. As in, so far I’ve dried 3 but only folded 2 out of the 5 loads that I need to do.

Have I ever mentioned that laundry is what I procrastinate in most? I’ve tried tidying up my laundry space and making it look pretty, with that basket up there (because before the top of our dryer was a huge lint-y mess with more-than-laundry stuff up there… which I guess it still is because the toolbox is there now, too…. *deep breath*) …. and I “tidied up” our closet and changed how I organize things in there, too and it’s helped a little. Like maybe I hate doing laundry 3% less now…

I should make a sign like this. There’s even some empty wall space in my “laundry room” (which is really just the space between the kitchen, garage door, and basement door which could really be better used as a pantry area, but I’d never do laundry if the washer and dryer were in the basement anyway…).

So today is officially laundry day. And today is take-it-slow day. I am consciously trying not to multitask… because although sometimes multitasking can be a blessing, I am finding lately that it is actually my weakness. Mutitasking was a necessity at times during those first few months of being a mama (you know, hold the baby while you eat lunch, hold the baby while you read, hold/bounce the inconsolable baby while you make coffee) (I am not complaining… I am thankful, in a way, that my son was only happy being held over my left shoulder, even though in a lot of ways those first few months were so hard, because I look back now and am so thankful for all of those uninterrupted hours of holding him)… but the necessity became a habit, and now I am more distracted, less focused, and less aware… less living. 

I don’t like it.

So today I am allowing myself to only do one thing at a time.

Have you ever noticed multitasking being a weakness rather than a strength?

(P.S. I am so sorry for the rambling and riddled-with-long-parentheses post… but I am tired… so today I am just not going to go back and fix it. You get the “raw” me. Ha.)

chalkboard paint obsession strikes again

My husband is so good to me, letting me use our home as my canvas :)

Now, along with my chalkboard fridge and chalkboard/whiteboard boards, I now have a chalkboard backsplash! I got the idea from this lovely blogger, here and was simply awestruck by a simple and genius alternative to tile (which I had spent a LOT of time thinking about since before baby boy was born, but never got the guts to start the process).

I love it :)

I used 3 coats of Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint.

please excuse my unclean stove-top

…and cluttered shelf…