August 29, 2010


My laundry room is a huge mess.  The laundry is piling up, overflowing out of the hampers.  The drying rack is full.  My cabinets are packed with un-useful array of old stuff.  My cleaning supplies are stacked, shoved and thrown anywhere they fit.  My craft supplies are bursting out of bins too small to house them properly.  The kids' creative supplies are almost impossible to reach.


I've been living with it like this for so long because I can't find the uninterrupted time to do the complete overhaul (what mama can find the time???).  But I think I've reached the breaking point.  I'm sick of the mess.  I've been inspired.

My laundry room needs rehab.

I happened to find this super beautiful, super organized laundry room at Just A Girl.  I would like this laundry room, please.  Its inspiring to me because she houses everything I need to house in my laundry room, too.  She has found a place for everything and I think I can, too.  Plus, don't you just love the turquoise bins and glass jars?

Yes please, I would like a laundry room like this.

Photo from Just a Girl

Photo from Just a Girl

August 28, 2010

Family Photos

After a crazy summer of being gone all except about 3 weeks (or less!) we are home and had a chance to do family photos last week.  As I've said before, I really value photos of our family that capture special moments and expressions that we'll have forever.  I could go on and on...

My friend, Rachel, took our photos and because I'm moved by their beauty, I thought I would share what she posted on her blog.

Rachel is in Eau Claire for one could book her for your own family photos, if you want.  :)

August 27, 2010

(Un)Crafty - Felt Letter Board

After some inspiration from my friend, Sarah, I made this felt letter board for my boys.  I made the first one a long time ago, but it was too small.  The alphabet and numbers barely fit.  So, I got a big bulletin board and re-made this one.  This is such an easy project and kids will love it!

Supplies you will need:

1. bulletin board or piece of plywood/mdf (mine is 24" x 36"), I think Target has the cheapest prices
2. 1 yd felt (I used a -40% coupon for JoAnn's)
3. foam bath letters (or you could cut you own letters/numbers), available at Target and Walmart
4. roll of velcro with adhesive backing (also at JoAnn's)

How to make:
1. cut the felt to the size of your board
2. staple felt to the back of your board, creating a nice tight wrap
3. apply velcro to the back of each letter (I applied two small pieces to each letter/number).
4. hang or place in your desired spot and let the kids learn and enjoy!

I'm hoping to hang this on the wall somewhere in the playspace, but I'm not sure where yet...

August 26, 2010


I turned thirty.  It happened.  A few days ago.  Now what?

I'm not sure how I feel about thirty.

The feeling from my friends over thirty: "the thirties are the best years"
The feeling from my friends under thirty: "yikes! the big 3-0"

Regardless of my age, I have a feeling this is going to be my best year ever.  My family is growing and healthy, my marriage is stronger than ever, and I am feeling comfortable with who I am.

When I have a "yikes" moment about being thirty, I ask myself: "What age would I rather be?".

I can't think of any better age. 

I don't want to be 16 and have the stresses and worries of high school, driving, and popularity.
I don't want to be 20 and writing papers, taking tests, wondering what I will do with my life.
I don't want to be 25 and struggling through my first job, remodeling my first house, feeling like life as a "grown-up" is a let-down.

I want to be 30 and living in Eau Claire with my lovely little family, caring for my two adorable boys, doing ministry with my wonderful husband.  I want to be 30 and growing in my faith, creating new friendships, and spending time rejoicing in each new day.

Yes.  I turned thirty.  Let the fun begin.

August 24, 2010

(Un)Crafty - Cloth Napkin-Covered Canvas

Walking through Target I saw a pack of cloth napkins that I love.  The gold color is perfect for my living room, whereI can use a little more pop.  Plus, it goes great with my new-ish pillows.

Here is what I decided on (based on what what in the craft bins at my house...

I has this square canvas to I decided to iron out a napkin and staple it around the back to make a covered canvas.  Hello: easy.

Its adding a lovely pop of color to my bookshelf which really needs it.

Now...what to do with the other three napkins...

August 13, 2010

Howdy Tow-Mater

We celebrated my oldest son's third birthday tonight with my side of the family.  He doesn't turn three until next week (and believe me, I am not pushing it...I'm taking in every minute of this little man growing up too fast already).  My mom and sister (the creative ones) made the awesome Mater cakes (from Bakerella) in honor of my son's love for the movie Cars.

The cakes were so cute - almost too cute to eat.  I just hated to see them go away, since they were so adorable!  Both my mom and sis admitted the cakes were really easy to make...I didn't believe them.  But, in case you want to check it out, you can find the link to the Mater cakes here.

If you haven't perused Bakerella before, take a few minutes to see some of her other amazing creations!  Maybe you're feeling inspired for your next event???

August 11, 2010

My New Favorite Accessory

Ha!  You may have expected to see a stylish new pair of shoes, cute new handbag, or funky new necklace in this post, but NOPE!  My favorite new accessory is the potty chair!  My oldest son is about to turn three (gasp!) and will be starting a preschool program in September.  Along with preschool comes the mandatory potty training.  I thought the potty training would be my most trying experience as a parent, to-date, but (dare I say it:) its been smooth so far!

Advice: I have none.  I don't know what we did, but in less than 7 days, our son was full potty trained, without much prompting from us.  We introduced him to the potty over a year ago, letting him sit on it, play with it (yuck?), and go potty when he felt like it.  We didn't force anything because he wasn't too interested.  Then we got some cool big boy underpants and he wore them a couple times, but he wasn't too excited about that, either.  So, as you can imagine, I was pretty freaked out about the preschool potty training deadline looming overhead.

One day our boy woke up and when we asked if he wanted to wear big boy underware he said, "Sure!".  So we said, "Ok, grrrrrrreat!", and we ran with it.  That day he did all his business (#1 and #2) on the potty!  And that was that.  I'm pretty sure it was successful because we really did wait until he was ready.  Let's face it: we were ready a year ago - but he was not.

I've been super reluctant to call him "potty trained", worried about a relapse or something tragic like that.  But, over a month in, I think we're safe.  He even got his "potty present" yesterday after such a good job of doing the big boy potty.

Back to my favorite new accessory...

When we started really doing the potty thing about a month ago, I started toting the potty with us to the park, the store, playdates - you name it.  Leaving the house was like this:
Kids have shoes: check.
Car keys: check.
Wallet: check.
List: check.
oh yeah - Potty: check!
We kept it in the car, but we ran out of the store on several occasions to let him do his business where he was more comfortable.  By now, we have the public restroom thing down, so my new favorite accessory gets to stay home a little more.  I can't say I'm feeling too bad about that, it really wasn't going to go with my fall wardrobe anyway.

August 6, 2010

Playroom Inspiration

As I mentioned before, I am getting a little obsessed with Bloggerdom.  I have located and am following several fun blogs - creating these "relationships" in the blog world...its interesting, no?  I'm not really sure if I'm excited about it or embarassed by it, but for now I'm enjoying learning, finding, and creating based on the talented bloggers I've "met".

One of the most inspirational for me has been finding room "re-dos".  Our house presents many challenges for our use of space with our growing family (and - let's just admit it - our running, jumping, whacking-everything-thing-with-a-stick boys!).  We don't have a playroom, but we have a "playspace", which we consider the playroom.  I wish I had a before photo, but right now, this is the state of the playspace:

The walls used to be lined with makeshift toy bins, each housing a mess of stuff.  
This is much better.

The train table (given to us by friends-of friends) is a big deal - so much time is spend with the boys playing cars, trains, or whatever on that table!  And, of course, the basketball hoop: any excuse to throw a ball in this house is lots of fun!

A little display of art work...


Like I said above, we used to have many different bins housing many different types of toys all around the space.  Now, with our brilliant and cheap inexpensive shelf from IKEA, we house all the toys in one place on one wall.  Phew.

That brings me to playroom inspiration #1:

Emily ( has the most adorable playroom.  Its actually the dining room in their house, but they've deemed it to be a playroom for now because they have four children.  Four kids = not much need for formal dining; huge need for playspace!  Check out her playroom by clicking here.

Cute, right?!  *So, in my room, I have the yarn artwork display (which I actually thought up on my own; pre-Emily!) and I'm hoping to have the little IKEA chalkboards (two for me) and the adorable IKEA playrug!  Eventually.

Now onto playroom inspiration #2:

Kate ( has the most amazing room that is playroom/game room/lounge/guest bedroom.  Wow.  What a combo!  "How can it be done?", you ask...  Well, let me tell you that if anyone can do it, its Kate.  Check out this amazing room by clicking here.

I know!  I told you!  It's amazing!  *So, I'd really love to do the big map - only not that big (because my space doesn't allow...).  I think I'd like a bright, colorful kiddie map like the ones at Land of Nod.

That's all for now, but how about YOU, Mama??  Do you have any playroom inspirations, ideas for me, or questions???

August 3, 2010

S'mores Brownies

I just made our second batch of this s'mores recipe since Sunday.  Apparently, its a hit.  It makes a small batch, but they are sooo gooey and rich that you only need a small bite!  We love them with vanilla ice cream!  YUM!

1 box of your favorite brownie mix (I used the $0.65 Market Panty Fudge Brownie mix)
4 Hersheys bars
4 Graham crackers
16 large marshmallows

Heat over to 350.  Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with tin foil.  Mix brownies as directed on box.  Fill bottom of pan with half of brownie mix.  Then create layers of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshamallows.  Cover the marshmallows with the remaining brownie mix.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean.

Makes 12-16 brownies.