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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

kids' pop art!

Father's Day is always a fun time to get creative with gifts from the kiddos. And this year, Jake and I experimented with something new!

Pop art!

This is a great, simple way to create some personalized art for anyone!
You'll need: access to a printer/scanner/copier, a personal photo

Start with a favorite picture of yours. I'd suggest trying to choose one that is a full profile or straight on so that the pop art image doesn't look crazy.
I printed my own photo and sized the portion I wanted to fit on a standard 8x10 page. To save on ink, I also printed it in black and white, and cut out everything I didn't care about. 

Next, slide your photo into a plastic page protector.

Grab a sharpie and trace around the important outlines of the photo. While you want to capture the photo, don't get too complicated with this. Just trace the most basic lines.

Once you're satisfied with the image on the sheet protector, take out the photo and replace it with a blank white sheet of paper. Now you can place it onto your scanner and make a copy of the image. I made several copies, in fact!

Now color the page! Jake tried a few with crayons and we eventually landed on watercolors! 
The finish product turned out great!! Jake did such a great painting!

I can't wait to try this again. Maybe with a picture of the whole family? A photo of your house? Limitless possibilities!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

the weekend list

The weeks are busy. I'm at home with two rascals and I'm always attempting to keep them in some sort of routine. School, therapies, play dates, house work, crafts - we stay busy! Just the way I like it. 

But typically on the weekends, we slow down. We catch up. True of most families, I'd think. 
So it makes sense that during the slight chaos of Monday thru Friday, my mental list begins, especially for J.B.. 

"That's the third light bulb I've seen out. I wonder if J.B. can do a sweep and change all the duds." 
"Okay seriously, when was the last time the air filters were changed?" 
"Must. Straighten. Up. Garage. Or I will soon get lost and die out here." 

And the end of each of those thoughts is "I'll totally do that this weekend". Seems good, no? Until the weekend comes (with sleep!) and my memory is suddenly wiped clean of all thoughts. It's magic. 

I guess magic is great until you find yourself in a dark house because you never actually changed all those light bulbs that burned out. Or lost in your own garage. 
I jest. A little. 

So here to save the day is my oh-so-official weekend list. Yes, lists save the day. At least, for those of us with mommy brain. Buy this. Do that. Don't forget. It's a lifeline, y'all.

When I made this daily organizational sheet, it helped me tremendously on getting my day together. Why not apply the same logic to the weekend?

Now with my weekend sidekick, I'm virtually unstoppable. No filter is safe. No light bulb dares to flicker. 

I'm a list addict. And a notepad hoarder. A DIY only adds to the obsession. Seriously, find your weakness and make your own notepads! It's cheap, easy and fun! Just grab a 5x7 pack of card stock and head over to the tutorial.
So for those that want to unite with me against messy garages everywhere, here's the printable!

For the full tutorial on how to create one of these divine wonders, see my post about the daily organization notepad

And Godspeed, weekend warrior! 

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Friday, June 10, 2016

my very own church pew

I love old church pews. 
Who doesn't right?

While I don't necessarily want to be sitting on one for very long, the elegance and charm of those long wooden pews seems so perfectly perfect. 

So when I started hashing out my plan to revamp our landing at the top of the stairs, I lingered on the idea of a pew. I even came across a local lady selling some out of an old church building. Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to grab one of the oh-so-coveted pews (and I learned just how popular they are!) so I eventually moved on to plan B. One that I know well...

Make my own.

Now in this case I use the phrase lightly because the "making" portion was really my fabulous craftsman younger brother. I found these plans and got all pointed and opinionated and waa laa! A pew was created! 
Creativity runs in the family! 

My brother delivered it to me unfinished so I could do my own thing with the stain.
Ultimately, I decided on Minwax's "Providential" and then did a very light dry brush of some grey chalk paint. Just enough to give it a look with some age and depth. 

And since I'm in a hallway with almost zip natural light, I completely feel like these pictures don't do it justice! Especially in regards to size - this sucker is over six feet long!! As you can imagine, hauling it upstairs to the landing took two people. But I'm so happy with how it fits in the space! 

Once my pew was in, I started work on a simple shelf to hang above it. Seriously simple, guys. This bulky thing was made out of just three pieces of wood! 

Finally this sucker was secure, and I got to style the space!

(Print available for download in the print shop!)

My newly added W wall is opposite this space at the top of the stairs.
Now this area feels so refreshed! I'd love to add a sliding barn door over to super blah entrance to the master suite, but that will be a project done much farther down the road.

So happy with how things turned out! And the best part? This was all practically free! I sold the small console table and large mirror that were once sitting here to pay for the pew materials. We made the shelf with supplies we had on hand and I was able to style the space with items from my [ridiculously overflowing] decor stash. The best kind of project!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

a free summer print!

Hi all! 

It seems like I'm in the midst of planning all. the. things. A couple of room ideas, some small projects, and even a birthday party. Lots of lists, not a lot of actual doing at the moment. 

That makes for a dull blog, guys.

So to reward you for your patience, I'm popping in today to offer a free summertime print!
It's making its way into the print shop, but my sweet blog followers get it as a freebie!
Want to snag this pretty little thing?
Go here to download!

I hope your summer has proved to be an adventure already!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

coffee chat!

Have you ever had one of those catch-up coffee dates with a friend where you dash in [late]
and collapse in the chair [without much grace]?
You take the biggest of big breaths [shew!]
And finally... "Hey! Hi! I'm here! What's new with you?"
That's me, y'all. Complete with messy hair, comfy shorts and a tshirt, and the largest iced mocha ever made.
 So grab your cup of choice and we'll catch up.

We've been going 90 to nothing lately. It seems like appointments for Eliza come in big bunches, so when we hit those few days, we just hang on for dear life. She's also really getting into the swing of a lot of therapy appointments. We have an Early Intervention physical therapist that comes to our home, a physical therapist that we visit in office, and a newly added aquatic therapist. It sounds like [and is!] a lot, but its also paying off! Little Bit is doing so well!


Jake is also officially out of school and home for the summer. I'm pretty pumped about it, to be honest. Hopefully this makes a bit more time for trips to the museums, botanical gardens, library and more! He's crazy into space at the moment [understatement of the summer} and we spent Memorial Day at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.


For a hot minute, I started myself a bit of a bow making business! I had nabbed some bias tape and nylon for Eliza and asked around if anyone else wanted some. Approximately 300 bows later, I was happily drowning in bias. Who knew??



I've been pretend house hunting. 
Pretend because we're really not ready to move or purchase a new home [Husband is in the middle of a transition with work]. But we know that it's coming. Our current home is a two story with close knit hallways and rooms. I love it, but its the complete opposite of what a special needs kiddo with accessibility issues needs. 

But the idea of finding a new place is still sort of exciting!

Currently loving this one!!


Time to start planning for Eliza's first birthday! Can you believe it?! I can't deal. 
But I'm consoling myself with decorations and pretty things.
Our theme? Ice cream sundae party!


Okay, I’ve talked your ear off. I’ll let you get back to business.
[Is there anything else you want to chat about? Let me know in the comments!]

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Friday, May 20, 2016

summer to do {2016}

Oh yes!! It's that time of year again! 
Jake is out of school and we're readying our summer list!

I love the freeing schedule of summer and the free time to do whatever we like!

Jake and I had the great idea to keep a picture journal of all the fun things on our list. On some pages (like the ones below), he'll practice his letters by writing a sentence and then he can draw a picture. At the end of the summer we can bind them all together and have a great book of memories!

{go HERE to snag some of these blank sheets}

Do you all make a fun to do list with your kiddos?
I hope your summer plans are looking as fun as ours!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

eight and nine months {eliza}

9 months, guys. She's growing so so fast!!

This lady has had a busy couple of weeks. She still goes to spina bifida clinic every three months to see a slew of specialties that evaluate her progress and discuss her future care.
Our latest clinic was just last week at Vanderbilt. She aced thru all of the testing and imaging and every single specialist gave her a rave review! We're always especially excited to hear that her kidneys and bladder are performing just as they should, which means she can skip a cathing regime be in regular diapers for now!

At home, Eliza has regular physical therapy through the Alabama Early Intervention program, through a private in-office therapist, and beginning this week, aquatic therapy!
PT keeps us working hard and doing a lot of strength training, which has really shown to pay off. Eliza now rolls well in all directions, crawls backwards, and even pivots herself around in circles. The next step is forward crawling! 

She's improving on her sitting and doing better and better over time.  She's playing some on her knees, which is great for her hips. And recently she's even held a bit of weight on her legs! So exciting!

Over the next couple of months, several of her therapists are discussing how we will be getting her moving and standing. Eliza will be getting some leg bracing and even some cool stand equipment to help with this!

And here are all the fun details... 

Height: 27" - She's a petite little thing like her momma.
Weight: Almost 17 lbs. Based on all her squishy goodness, you'd never guess that she's around the 25% in weight. But because she's also so short, it balances out perfectly! She's just right!
Sleeps: Like a boss! Girlfriend sleeps about 10-11 hours at night and then take two big naps during the day. I'm thrilled with what a great sleeper she is. We have yet to really do any sort of sleep training because there's never been a need. Simply keeping her on a schedule and adhering to the basics of good sleep has been enough. Woohoo!!
Eats: Everything in sight. Ever since we starting introducing some solid foods, Eliza has immediately taken to eating all. the. things. Purees, regular food, finger food, she doesn't care! Just feeeeeed her. 
Loves: Dancing, snuggling, playing in the water, any second that anyone is paying her a lick of attention. 
Hates: Missing meals and naps. Me too, sister, me too.  

We've got a fun summer planned for both kiddos and I'm so excited to be hanging with them full time. 

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