Painted terra cotta pots

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I had some extra succulents and pots laying around so I decided to plant and then paint the potted succulents! I hadn’t done a project in over a week so it was time. As soon as I get an idea to do something, I want to execute right away because when the creative juice start flowing… I have to take advantage. 😉 That creative juice isn’t always there! I looked at a few picture on pinterest and got to work. Thankfully, I had all the supplies at home.

Here is a list of things I used:

  • 2 small terra cotta pots
  • 1 medium terra cotta pot
  • potting soil
  • rocks (for the bottom of the pots)
  •  3 different varieties of succulents
  • white acrylic paint
  • foam brush
  • black sharpie marker

I planted the succulents first and then painted, but it would probably be easier if you paint, then plant. Live and learn! To plant I simply placed and inch or two of rocks on the bottom of the pot for drainage and filled with soil around the succulent. After they were planted I quickly cleaned the pots with a dry rag and painted them. I tried using tape to make a straight line but because the pots taper in towards the bottom the tape just wasn’t working, so I did it free hand. The lines aren’t perfect, but who needs perfect?!

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I had to do 2-3 coats of paint. The acrylic dries pretty quickly though so it didn’t take too long!

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My visual little self stopped to take a picture before I was finished. I do things like this all the time and my husband always laughs at me 🙂 . I actually like the look of the all white…with another coat of course!

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I decided to use a sharpie to make a pattern on one of them…just to add a unique element. I chose a sharpie simply because it seemed a lot faster than using a little paint brush and black paint! It was easy to work with and went pretty quickly. The design options you could do are endless!

I named the looks of the different pots just for fun, haha.

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And here is the final product! I hope this inspires you to paint some pots and have some fun with it!  Let your imagination run wild 🙂 Besides being a cute feature in your home, these would be great centerpieces for a party or gifts for a friend!

What do you think of this project, are you going to try it?! I’d love to know.

Read here for another diy succulent project!

succulent final

Kitchen Remodel

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Lets talk kitchen remodel! When we moved into our home I actually said to my husband “We don’t have to change a thing!” Ha! Well, once we moved in and started using it we noticed the rusty sink, the leaky faucet, the chipped tile, the peeling cupboards, and…the dirty pebble tech. So my husband gave the green light that we could remodel! First I want to start by saying that this remodel happened during my hard season, in regards to being a mom. Read about that season here. Our oldest was 19 months old, our baby was 4 months old and I was working night shift as a nurse then. So, let’s just say I’m glad the end result turned out alright 😉 I was a little overwhelmed in knowing where to start on the process, so I want to share the order we did things, hoping it may help any of you who are planning on remodeling!

If you’ve followed along from the beginning you know that I like to look at pinterest for inspiration before decorating any space. Read here for more about that. However, looking at kitchens on pinterest can be a little…discouraging. Some people have some amazing & very large kitchens… with huge windows and islands that are as big as my kitchen alone! I couldn’t really get a vision for how my little ordinary kitchen would look compared to those big fancy ones. Then I stumbled upon the picture below and it gave me hope! This was a realistic kitchen that was remodeled on a budget!

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Here are a few of our before pictures.

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We decided to paint the cupboards, replace the countertops, replace the sink and faucet, bring in our stainless appliances from our old house, replace the flooring, paint the walls, and remove the florescent lighting and replace it with recessed lighting. Our previous home was a 850 sq ft old home in the downtown of our city. Over 3 years of hard work we completely remodeled it. Because life was busier now with 2 little ones, and we were burnt out from the recent 3 years of continuous projects, we decided to contract out some of the work. My husband (and I 😉 ) did the demo, the backsplash, wall painting, and flooring.

So, where do we start?!  Well, before the kitchen remodel even began my husband installed a utility sink in our garage. It was so helpful during that time to have a sink bigger than our little bathroom sinks! We set up a mini kitchen next to it with paper products, a dish rack, etc.

Our next step was having the cupboards painted. This process took the painters about 2 days…I am so happy we didn’t do it ourselves! It would have taken months!

Around this time we went to the granite warehouse to pick out our gray countertops. There were about four gray countertops that “met my criteria” but we were immediately sold on the Lennon Leather. The leather part means it has more of an unfinished or unpolished industrial look. I love it!

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Once we picked the granite (I took some pictures and a sample of it), we then worked on picking the paint color. The countertops are a big statement, so we wanted to work off of that. Finding the right gray took a few tries…gray can be hard! Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter was the magic color!

Granite install day was very exciting!  Our kitchen was a lot of work for them because of all the seams with the raised bar. We talked about cutting it down to make it all the same level but I decided against it. I felt like the raised bar was a way to hide the sink area (we usually have bottles out, etc). If you walk in the house and there are dishes in the sink, you can’t see them  😉 Speaking of sinks, we decided to go with the single basin verses the double. We had it in our previous house and loved the space in it! We also went with a commercial style faucet to make more of a statement.

Once we had the countertops and paint color we decided on the pendant lights, bar stools, and flooring.

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As we were trying to decide pendant light placing, my mom gave us the idea to hang balloons where we wanted the lights. It was a great visual…and I’m a very visual person! I looked at pendant lights for weeks before I finally decided! The pendants were either too big for our kitchen or too pricey for our budget! And after all that looking It was actually my husband that found the ones we have!

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When we went to pick out flooring I knew I wanted dark wood with a bit of a worn look, so it wasn’t too difficult to decide on what we have. I loved the real wood, but for price reasons we went with laminate. Its really a good alternative and we are happy with it! I kept a sample of the flooring in my purse, and when I was out and about at Marshalls one day I found bar stools that matched well with the color!

We ended our remodel with painting the walls, new lighting, backsplash and finally, the floors! I feel blessed that we were able to make all these changes and I love being in our kitchen!

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One last before and after!
One last before and after!

If you are interested in the specifics of what we used, here they are:

Granite- Lennon leather

Cabinets- Frazee Paint, Swiss Coffee

Wall paint color- Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter

Pendant light- Savoy House Polished Nickel Vintage Pendant mini light. See here for link to purchase

Faucet- Commercial style faucet from Home Depot. See here for link to purchase

Flooring- Kensington, Sandy Hill Hickory

Barstools- Marshalls

Sink- 28in x 16in x 8in deep stainless steel, single basin

Back Splash- White subway tile

Thanks for reading about our process! I’m not an expert in kitchen remodel, but if you have any questions I’d love to help in any way I can!

The “non-pinterest” birthday celebration

 

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I’m just going to do a quick recap of Levi’s 4th birthday. Read here if you missed the post about our firstborn, Levi!

We talked before hand about what he wanted and let him plan out the day! He woke up to 4 super hero’s looking at his morning spot on the couch. Thankfully he slept, because the day before he wasn’t sure if he would be able to since “he was so excited it was going to be his birthday!”  😉

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A few days before his birthday I was at the store with all the kids and that was my chance to grab a few things for his big day. I brought a re-usable shopping bag so I could hide things in the bag when he wasn’t looking. I got a pack of super hero masks, balloons, streamers, and super hero plates. I’m not really into the “character” thing, but it was fast, easy and I knew HE would love it, and thats what matters, right?!

After the rest of the crew woke up we had eggs and fruit….

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…before we headed off to the donut shop for a special treat. He wanted to eat in the car though so “he didn’t have to unbuckle, buckle, unbuckle…”. So we had a donut and milk picnic in the car.

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We then headed off to the store for him to pick out his birthday present. As most kids, he loves the times he is able to pick something out when we go to the store (usually for $1), so we knew he would love being able to pick out a bigger toy! And…he loved it. He was so excited and had a sweet attitude about it 🙂 I don’t want our kids to have a “give me” attitude and expect all these big great things for their birthdays and holidays, but it sure is fun to see their face light up when they get a new toy! There’s a balance in everything.
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This was his choice. I think it was a good one. IMG_2742IMG_2739

Then we came home and swam with some neighborhood friends. He didn’t want a lot of people over, but it was fun to have a few friends over to swim with us! IMG_2758

After swimming we had a picnic lunch in the shade of the tree. IMG_2763

The kids were worn out from playing with friends in the sun so they got a treat and watched part of a movie before nap time!

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After naps we went to Nonna & Vovo’s house (my parents) for a BBQ, per his request. His dinner choice was steak 🙂 We swam, had dinner, and enjoyed an ice cream cookie cake! I guess I was enjoying the evening too much to take more pictures!

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There was nothing fancy about this day. In fact, as his birthday approached I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t having a big party, inspired by all these pinterest ideas. I was worried the day wouldn’t be special. Instead of a pinterest perfect party I bought some cheap decorations last minute and put them up at 10pm the night before. I got a few snacks that he likes and I didn’t even have a gift prepared for him (but that was on purpose)! To my surprise, it was the best birthday we’ve had for one of our kids!!! I loved that I was able to be present with him and enjoy HIM. We had a great time as a family, he felt special, and I wasn’t stressed. It was a win-win and a very special day with our big 4 year old.

Disclaimer: I am not against big parties! I have a few friends that always throw an amazing “Pinterest Party” and I’m always in awe of how great it looks. I will probably have a <smaller> party at the end of next month for our youngest who is turning 1! What we did for Levi was perfect for what he wanted and how busy we are right now. Special doesn’t have to be big 🙂

What do you like to do for birthdays?! Would love to hear your ideas!

 

My Summer 5

 

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I’ve been reading about people setting “Summer Goals” and it seemed a little overwhelming to do that. Well honestly, I’m afraid I’ll end up feeling like a failure at the end if I don’t accomplish them! So I decided to just write out 5 things…that doesn’t seem too daunting! Its nothing crazy, but I think its good to set goals for ourselves, because time goes by so quickly. Setting goals can help us consciously make the time to do things that are important to us or things that will help better ourselves. I’ve written out goals before in how I want to be as a mother, or how to encourage my family & friends, etc., but its been a while so I think its time to set some new ones in all areas of my life!

Here are my “Summer 5”:

  1. Read Having a Martha Home the Mary Way (Which also involves a cleaning schedule to help simplifying and declutter your home)
  2. Take a family trip to the beach
  3. Invite a family over once a week for a BBQ and swimming (read about hospitality!)
  4. Overnight trip with my hubby
  5. Lots of Berry picking with the kiddos!

I’m thinking next summer I’ll have the kids give their input 🙂 At the end of August I’ll let you know how these goals went. Do you set goals for yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it! Also, any ideas or suggestions on summer goals?!

P.S. We WILL be swimming every day, if not twice a day. Thats a given 😉

Our firstborn

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This sweet boy joined our world 4 years ago, June 2, 2012. What a blessing he has been. There’s something about your firstborn, the one that makes you a mom. I can’t help but smile as I think of the memories we have trying to figure out how to be parents for the first time. The joy, the unknown, the stress, the unexplainable love…all the emotions. And this little guy, he’s a keeper. He’s all boy but has such a sweet spirit. He is thoughtful and considerate. Yes, he throws fits and is too rough on his sister a lot of times, but that is all expected.He loves his siblings and I would have to say they are the best of friends (even if he doesnt know it) 🙂

If I am sad, he picks me flowers. He watches out for his little brother and tells me if he’s getting into something he shouldn’t be. He is mindful to pick up small pieces off the ground so baby Will doesn’t choke. One of my favorite things about him is he is a lot like his daddy… and his daddy is a great man. I am so thankful he has such a strong man to follow and learn from. Levi is daddy’s little shadow, always helping him with projects and interested in learning how to fix things.

As he has anxiously been anticipating his birthday for a few months now, he always reminds me “when I’m 4, I’ll still love you mom!”…because I have told him I am so happy he is getting older, but part of me is sad my baby is growing up. Ok, and maybe I milk it a little because I love when he tells me he will still love me!

Levi’s birth story

On June 1, 2012 my mom, house cleaner, and I cleaned every inch of our little 850 sq foot house, preparing for Levi who was due June 10th.  We went to bed that night and at 3 am I woke up Charlie telling him my water broke. This eager and excited first time dad pulled out his birthing class notes and went through “TACO”… Time, Amount, Color, and Oder. What a great dad already:) We had our hospital bag mostly packed, with a list on top of last minute items to grab.

Charlie was in charge of the items while I did my hair.

Well, I went to bed with it wet, so I had to make it look half way decent! Besides, the hospital was literally 0.3 miles down the road. So, 45 minutes later we were on our short little way to the hospital and family was informed. I was just feeling a little crampy as they were checking me, and we had second thoughts if we should be there. I wanted to deliver naturally and didn’t want to be laboring at the hospital for 24 hours. As we were about to sign AMA papers (leaving Against Medical Advice), the contractions started coming hard and strong. We looked at each other and decided to stay. At 8 am I was 3cm & 10:20am I was 7cm.

My partner in life
My partner in life

Somewhere between that time my sister, who was my assistant labor coach, arrived from 4 hours south to help Charlie and I through the process. So thankful she was there because she had done this naturally before, is a nurse, and is my best friend. My husband and sister make a great team 😉

A labor of love
A labor of love

So at 10:20 things got intense….transition was upon me. By 10:40 though I was 9cm and 20 mins after that it was time to push! I was so ready for him to come. I couldn’t wait to see my son, OUR baby. I also couldn’t wait for the pain to stop. As the doctor came in when it was time to push I asked my sister, “is it going to hurt?!” (I know, silly question). She said, “Yes, it will burn like crazy”. Honesty. After 45 minutes of pushing, we were parents, holding our baby… trying to study his little face between the tears streaming down our faces.

He was precious, all 8lbs 10ounces & 21 inches of him.

And there began our journey of parenthood.

Levi a day old with mom

LEvi a fathers love

 

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