Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kitchen Upgrade - Wall Shelves

Finally an upgrade to this wall in our kitchen that I've been trying to avoid direct eye contact with for years now. :)

Blessed shelves have entered the building. These shelves and brackets are from my second home, Ikea. But let me go back to the before. In this space we used to have a random wire rack that Rob and I acquired at some point. Maybe it came from my first apartment with my friend? I'm not sure. But overall it's been around for a while, sticking out like a sore thumb.

As you can see, we used it to put our microwave and toaster oven on. Also recycle would kind of build up down there as well. The plan is to purchase a new microwave that hangs over our stove, and then to put the toaster on the countertop where those metal tin cans from the above used to be. The true motivation for this project (besides just making the space look better) is in the name of baby proofing. And stretching our space in this little galley kitchen doesn't hurt either.

So I started by taping everything out. Just to get the measurements and the placement.

This is why it takes me forever to get moving on hanging stuff...it's one of my least favorite things to do. All the measuring and leveling, bleh! And hanging stuff like art and shelves feels like a commitment similar to getting a tattoo. No take-backsies...or at least that's how it feels in the moment. So all that to say again, it can take me a while to hang stuff.

But once all the tape was up there and the holes were marked, things started moving. Still some griping, but thankfully we got the things up there and looking pretty shiny.

SUCH a welcomed difference...

I'm sure that the items on these shelves will continue to evolve. I kinda just threw this together using various stuff around the kitchen. That piece of wood is actually from when I had to trim down these shelves and I'm thinking of painting a silhouette on there. Not sure exactly what, still mulling that over, but I'll be tackling that soon.

So the plan is to have our trashcan tucked under these shelves, but the exciting part is that we're looking to get a new trashcan. (never thought I'd say the words "exciting" and "trashcan" in the same sentence) I found a rectangular, stainless steel (fingerprint-proof) trashcan with clean lines that don't quit that we might get.

But for now I'm just basking in the newness and beauty of the view.

Oh and here's our big boy walking around Lowes shaking little packages of screws while daddy was looking for anchors for the shelves...

Love our sweet boy and so excited to experience the holidays with him. And I'm SO ready to splash some Christmas decor up in this house.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Have a Holly Jolly DIY Christmas (Simple Decor & Gifts)

I know, I know, it's not Christmas yet. But I thought I'd gather all my current favorite Christmas DIY projects and compile them into one place.

This first one is from Under the Sycamore...these absolutely adorable boxwood wreaths. Super easy, simple, yet so charming. All that's needed are some embroidery hoops, boxwood and hot glue...I wanna make a few of these. Why can't Christmas decorations stay up year round?

I've also wanted to DIY an advent calendar for some years now. And I stumbled upon this awesome gem of one by The Painted Hive. I've wanted one that can have a combination of various scriptures written, activities or even a surprise note of a hidden gift. Especially for our little guy and as he gets older.

I also had the idea to create a glittery snowflake garland similar to this project found on KatieCupcake. She used actual snowflake ornaments from Target (super cute!) but I'm thinking of getting some glittery paper (probably in white or silver) and actually cutting out various snowflakes and then stringing them up.

On to some DIY gifts...oh the cuteness you can create with an etching tool. On Design Mom, she uses the tool to create cute designs on wooden spoons and cutting boards.

Unfortunately I can't find the source for this next image, but this is the pin that I found here. Purchase white plates or mugs and use an oil-based sharpie to decorate. Then you just bake it for 30 min or so in the oven at 350 and it permanently stays on. Reeeeally like this idea. Some people use stencils, or just write words all over it, tons of options.

So that's just a few things that I've stumbled upon that I'm really liking. I don't like to over commit to too many DIY projects for the season, because one year it felt like craziness trying to get everything done in time. So I'll just tackle some or whatever I get to, but won't stress about it. It's not what the season's about, right? But it is fun to get my creativity on like Donkey Kong. Mm hm, I said that. And I actually used to play Donkey Kong like no-body's business. ;)

Do you have some favorite projects lined up? Will you be DIYing some gifts? Yeah, I think I'm officially done looking on Pinterest for a while, we need some healthy separation. :))

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall-ifying My Wardrobe & A Sweet Kid

I'm pretty sure I could wear flannel pattern every day and be perfectly content. If there were a zombie apocalypse, I think I know my outfit. A flannel. My new cords. And some boots. (don't wanna run around in some silly flippy floppies...hello zombie bait!)

Yep, I finally used my birthday gift cards (from the summer, thanks again family!!) and what did I end up buying? Some flannels and some cords. From good ol' Old Navy.

And they're not that fleecey flannel material, very light and still appropriate for Florida. (and currently on sale for $15!) And these cords are pretty comfy too...

As far as boots? Haven't bought any of those yet. I have one pair that fall just below the knee that I've had for a few years now but they only get to be worn maybe 2, 3 times most a year! Boo, Florida, boo. But I'm thinking of maybe getting some shortie boots. Like these...(insert Lisa's dream sequence)

Mmm hm. Yep, I'd take that. 

So I'm mentally gearing up for Thanksgiving and that long weekend. Unfortunately Rob has to work a lot of it, but I'll at least be home with him during the day so we can all be together. Always having to look for a bright side with this crazy schedule of his...I just miss my man.

But back to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving weekend is probably my most favorite weekend in the year. I know I'm not alone on that one. But a weekend with family, friends, Christmas decorations, and PTO is all highly favored. And with this being Finn's first holiday season, I'm just a lil excited about that.  

Our sweet boy...and such a wiggle worm...

Especially since he's now WALKING...it still blows my mind...he's just so tiny. I'll try to share a video on here soon.

I had been trying to get a picture of this thing he'll do with this basket in his room. There's two holes on either end of the basket and he'll play peek-a-boo through it. It's pretty stinkin cute.

He also has this thing with mirrors. In one of his books, there's a mirror on the last page and he likes to get real close to it (like lay on it) and all you'll see is his eyeball in the mirror looking at you. It's kinda hilarious. Rob was joining him here...and let it be known, this mirror is tiny, like 1"x3"...

I hope you're all doing well. We've got some projects in the house that have been just a little delayed coughcoughmasterbathroom. The hold up has been with the light fixture, but we'll get to it hopefully soon.

Happy almost Friday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

I wanted to share this awesome project that my church is participating in along with many MANY others, and that is Operation Christmas Child.

I am very new to this project and truly don't claim to have supported it for years and years, I'm a newbie, but I really think it's something special. It's pretty simple too. You pack a shoebox with new toys/school supplies/hygiene items/accessories, include a $7 donation for shipping (as these are shipped all around the world) and drop it off at a collection site. (VISIT HERE FOR MORE DETAILS)

Lately, I find myself thinking of what to get Finn for Christmas. I've been looking at getting him a tent or a little piano, and it's easy to forget the fact of how privileged we are in this country to give our kids gifts at Christmas. (obviously not saying that there aren't children and families here that are in need) Some of my favorite childhood memories are surrounded with my family unwrapping gifts around the Christmas tree and then ultimately going outside to break in all of our new stuff.

A friend of mine who is an advocate at our church for OCC encouraged us with some words that really pierced my mind and heart. She shared that it's often said we should help the people here and in turn neglect the people "over there" (in the other parts of the world). But as bad as things can be here we are still the 20% that are privileged. 80% of the world lives on less than $10 a day...these people living in developing nations. (Source) And children in these nations are the most vulnerable. She said for the children in these nations, they cannot conceive being given a box, let alone a box filled with gifts from someone from the other side of the world. She said it's a powerful tool to right the injustices we think are impossible to overcome.

If you are interested in participating, I gotta say this big and loud because THIS week is National Collection Week, November 18-25th!!! 

So the time is now. Literally. Again you can visit HERE for packing instructions, gift ideas, and drop off locations. There's even the option to build a shoebox online, click here! I'm thankful to be able to be a part of this beautiful project alongside SO many others. Oh the joy that fills my heart to bless these little ones from "over here". What an amazing opportunity.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Saturday Mornings

Although I cherish our Sundays together (it's our one whole day we're all three together)...I also love Saturday mornings. 

Finn wakes up usually around 9-9:30am...going into his room to see that happy little boy standing in his crib is one of my favorite things to do. I nurse him then give him his breakfast all while Rob catches up on sleep. And now with our weather becoming more and more beautiful, we go outside to watch Jack run around. 

He'll bring us his frisbee and run laps throughout the yard. Finn's eyes are always glued on him out there.

Now this is something that may look like animal cruelty, but I promise it's one of Jack's favorite things right now. And that's attacking the water hose...or water stream I should say.

It's a sight that makes Finn giggle every time. Heck, all of us can't help but laugh watching him chase the water stream. We seriously need to get it on video one day, it's quite hilarious.

Trying to cherish the simple moments over here amidst the hectic weeks.

Happy Friday! Hello weekend, nice to see you again.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

10 Months!

Double digits, can't believe it...

It's been a great month for the boy, about two weeks ago he decided to start walking. And each day he chooses to do that over crawling more and more. It's crazy to see this little person walking around, but he's so adorable to watch...major baby proofing is on the to-do list for this mama. 

He's seriously the sweetest kid. I am in love with his little personality. A studious boy for sure, and he will stare. a. person. down. just taking them in. At our last shot appointment, the nurse (who is seriously the sweetest as they come) gave Finn his shot. As soon as the band-aid was on, I pick him up and he stops crying but then he started staring down the nurse with a sad scowl...she jokingly but seriously at the same time said she didn't want to make eye contact with him so he didn't relate her face to the pain he just endured. It truly looked like that's what he was doing. Hoping he appreciates her and his doctor in the years to come, there's something about kind and gentle nurses and doctors. Definitely the best.

He's also a fairly quiet boy. He can get loud for sure, but he just has a way that makes me feel like he's more of a timid thoughtful personality than loud and crazy. 

He started clapping his hands here and there and he's almost got waving down. You know what's surprised me the most? And Rob probably too for that matter. But the relationship that you form with such a little one. And by relationship, I mean like just the bond that you have together. Like I feel like when Finn and I hang out, I'm hanging out with a friend and we're having fun together. Lol, hard to explain, but I'm just surprised how much I already get from this boy. He makes me laugh and he plays with me...yeah, it's pretty awesome. It's not all give, there's a lot of take there too.

I know these posts are more for me to look back on, but there's just things I don't wanna forget.


  • Walking...it makes him so happy
  • Playing the piano
  • His pop-up toy...it's one of those toys where you push a button or turn a dial and an animal pops up, he's currently fascinated by this toy
  • Feeding his food to Jack...aka, dropping it on the floor from his high chair (I'm learning Jack doesn't eat everything...plenty of green beans that were left down there)
  • Remote controls
  • Bath time...and now he gets to stand outside the bathtub while I get his bath ready...lots of squealing happens during that time
  • Chopped up green beans, bananas, pasta
  • Car rides


  • Diaper/clothing changes...still this boy just wiggles around like a mad-man...we do give him little objects that he'll hold and love for a little bit but he almost always drops it on purpose after 15 seconds
  • Sleeping through the night...haha...well maybe it's a stretch to say that he dislikes it, but for some reason (I have my theories) ever since 9 months he wakes up at least once...and he used to sleep through the night like a pro. Ah the seasons of sleeping and how they change...

And now for my favorite pic...Finn saying, "Wassup! I'm 10 months old!!"

We love you baby boy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Seven Years

Tomorrow will be seven years married to this man...

We went out and had a great dinner at Cheesecake Factory...honestly just the freedom to sit down, talk about randomness, drink your drink and eat yummy bread while you wait for your food is a treat. A much appreciated treat. Then afterward Rob had the idea to go to the airport to watch the planes from the roof of the parking garage. I have quite an affinity for planes. When I was little I remember riding in my mom's car and then I'd gasp and point scaring her half to death...and it was just a plane. I've always loved em.

Apparently the roof of the parking garage is quite a hopping place. There were a few other couples up there too. But it was nice, windy and mighty high up, but really nice.

We discovered that apparently I have a fear of heights or something...cause I was totally wigging out if I tried to look down from where we stood, or even when I was trying to take pics with my phone...I wasn't even able to hold my phone over the ledge. Seriously, lol.

That bright light is a plane getting ready to land...

A fuzzy couple shot...

Then on our way back home we finally stopped at this store I've been meaning to visit since it opened...

We went there thinking it was a Lisa place, but we realized that it's Rob who loves little boxes to put stuff in and desk organizers and little handy knick knacks, so this place was right up his alley too.

All their Christmas stuff was out too...didn't look long there, but it looks like there was some cute stuff and plenty of wrapping paper. I thought these trees and little animals were cute...

And what did we leave with? A laundry basket for Finn, hah.

Seven years and thankful for every day with this man. <3

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My, How Things Have Changed

I think with this year flying by so quickly it got me thinking how much things have changed in our lives. I'm sure many parents can relate, but I find myself asking what the heck Rob and I spent all of our time doing before Finn? 

For one thing, I know this. We ate out a llllllllot. Ah, glorious eating out. We did cook here and there, but we loved going out. Chipotle, Tijuana Flats, Cappy's pizza, our favorite Mexican place. Mm. Oh and my beloved TooJay's!

Besides eating out, we would also see lots of movies. We have a favorite theater local to us that literally barely has any people there. We have no idea how it's open, but we love it. Nowadays we, and more me than him, feel completely out of the loop when it comes to movies. We only have Netflix (no cable or even regular TV) so there's nowhere that I'd typically see a preview or anything. 

With our anniversary approaching (seven years!! whaaaaaaat?!) this will be the first time we're not taking the week off to celebrate. But let me clarify that it's not because of Finn being around but more so because Rob's newish job and not having the available leave. We'll be celebrating this weekend instead. But I started thinking back to all our anniversary vacations. We went to the Smokies the first year and stayed in a cabin called Naughty Bear, lol. We loved that trip, November is such a perfect month to get up in the mountains. 

Then after the first year we started a thing where we'd rotate from going to the mountains and going to Orlando. One of the anniversaries we visited the Harry Potter Park...ah, the excitement of that trip. We also had a cold front that week and I remember having to wear coats (one of our favorite things since we don't get to do that much in FL)...ah and we saw the Facebook movie. That movie always gives me the lovely nostalgia of cold weather and vacation. :)

Then at our five year anniversary we saved our pennies for a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean (why can't I ever remember if it's got two r's or two b's...don't worry, spell check saved me). That was a great trip. Well, I say that now, but Rob would read this and remember me clearly saying how I wanted to jump off the boat around day 4. But it was a good trip, it's just that a shorter cruise would be more fitting for me, with no strict dining. :)

With our sweet little Finn here, we do have to make a more conscious effort to get out on dates. For one, they gotta be more planned. Can't really wing it since we'll need a sitter. And with me still nursing/pumping it's been hard to get a real long date for us lately...like we can't do dinner and movie, usually one or the other. But we're figuring things out and we appreciate our time we do have together when we're not working. That's really the biggest adjustment, our work schedules.

Anyway, so that's me just reminiscing. I wouldn't change the way things are, but I'm so thankful for those years Rob and I really did get to enjoy with just the two of us. 

And we're obviously happy with this new phase of our life too, that goes without saying. This boy has changed our world dramatically...all the sacrifices (oh there's plenty) and life changes are completely worth it. I'm just happy to be doing this alongside my main man. We talked a lot in the years before having Finn about maintaining that balance and the importance for us to keep focus on our relationship and not get lost in our kids or life. Because ultimately the kids will move out and it'll just be the two of you again. So here we are living it out...it's not always easy, but we're moving forward. Living out this adventure. 

What's that saying? ...it's about the journey, not the destination. So true.


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