Friday, January 25, 2013

For the Love of Baby..

I have this amazing girlfriend who is a total fashionista. She manages a very posh hair salon in town, always looks amazing and is one of those people who can create a smashing ensemble out of a t-shirt and jeans.  She knows the key to accessorizing and she's a hair and make up genius!  That being said she will be the first to tell you "crafting" isn't her thing.   She can make a mean greeting card but that is where it ends.  No scrapbooking...sewing...or furniture repurposing!  

This friend....let's call her "Diamond Girl" found out she was going to be a Mom for the second almost 40...after 10 years of trying...after mentally getting herself in a good place thinking she was to be the parent of just one child (but a truly amazing one child!)  Needless to say, I was just over the moon for her!   A BABY! top it off it was a girl-child!  If ANYONE on the planet needed a girl-child to dress up it was Diamond Girl!  Oh joy!

I wanted to do something wonderful for my friend and her new Miracle Girl Baby but I wasn't sure what...then she called.  I think the conversation went a little something like...

Diamond Girl:  "Can I come over and show you the bedding?  Will you help me pick the paint?"
Me:  "Absolutely!  I can't wait!
Diamond Girl:  "I don't know what to do about baby furniture.  I don't want to buy a changing table or anything brand's too expensive. I've been looking at painted pieces online but they are way too expensive!"
Me:  "So let's hit the garage sales and we'll paint it ourselves!"
Diamond Girl:  "I don't do that."
Me: "I do!"

I had an idea....(ugh!)... and usually that calls for me driving around like a crazy person looking for something that only exists in my head. 

I convinced Diamond Girl that the spring Garage Sales they have in our town was the answer.  I would drive around and look for the perfect pieces and send her photos.  She would let me know when I found the perfect pieces.

So, I did what I do every year during our town's garage sale extravaganza...I got some coffee, got in my family roadster and started hunting.  Many pictures were taken...lots of possibilities but in the end nothing.  I'd spent a few hours driving around with my sister looking for just the right pieces.  We had found 2 great night stands for ourselves but that's where it ended.  I called Diamond Girl to let her know the day was a bust when my sister insisted I turn on the culdusac down the street from my house.  WHY?  There is no way...oops...wait...what is that?  What is sitting on a driveway literally 6 houses from my own?  THE PERFECT PIECES!  I couldn't believe it!  I was on the phone with Diamond Girl at the time and I think my words went something like...
"Hold on..oh my you know the ****** family?  Well, I think they have your pieces on their driveway.  They do!  And...they're (drum roll please....) TEN DOLLARS EACH!!!"

I couldn't believe I'd driven around our town for hours scouting out potential pieces when the perfect baby furniture was sitting on a drive way literally around the corner from my house!  They were sturdy 1970's pieces that were crying for a make over.  The male owner of the pieces said that they were pieces to his bedroom furniture.  I seriously was so excited I think I was screeching!  (Insert high pitched voice here!)

Without further are the pieces I recreated for the Miracle Girl Baby!

I took off the hardware before I snapped a photo (Bad Blogger!)

Diamond Girl picked a great Arctic Blue color from Home Depot...after your typical sanding and wiping, I painted 3 coats (we got the paint with the primer already included...loved how it worked!)

Once the paint dried I distressed the edges just enough so that Miracle Girl Baby could ding it with a hair brush and the ding would blend right in!

After much discussion about the hardware I chose to spray paint the original pulls with basic white spray paint and distress them.  They turned out beautiful!  for the top pulls I found the perfect matching knobs at Hobby Lobby...white painted metal flowers that were a bit distressed.  (We had to replace the top knobs because a few were MIA)  Obviously, not a deal breaker.

I hope this is what Diamond Girl had in mind when she commissioned me to do these pieces.  It was $20 for the dressers (the shorter of the two became the changing posh!) plus the cost of a gallon of paint and the rollers.  This was a labor of love (ha...perfect word choice!) and I finished before sweet Miracle Girl Baby made her appearance.  

Have you ever tried painting furniture?  It'd love to hear about it!  Leave me a comment.  Or...send me a link to your blog post and share!  Thanks!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Back for the Summer...Really!

I haven't posted in sooooooooooooooooooo long.  I got busy.  Too busy.  I want a blog facelift.  I am working on that.  I have some fun house projects to share with you soon!  (I promise!)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Desk Refashion...From Drab to FAB!

You know you talk about your DIY dreams too often when your girlfriend calls you from a Garage Sale to tell you she found the perfect desk for your daughter's room.  It was all of $15!  Yep...I have that kind of girlfriend...and she's WONDERFUL!

Here is the beast.  I love the lines but it needed a fresh coat of paint and the laminate pulled off the top...ugh!  Super Hubby to the rescue!!!

I had a piece of glass cut for the top and some day soon I will decoupage some FAB scrapbook paper to the top!  My darling daughter chose some mix and match knobs for the top drawers.  For the lower drawers I chose to scrub the pulls clean and add some silver spray paint.  The space in the middle is very small so we chose a pink chair from IKEA for the time being. It turned out FABULOUS... if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Christmas

Here is a peek at our wonderful Christmas was spectacular!  I enjoyed every little bit.  Even some of the things about the holiday I usually dread became joyful.  I am so blessed!

The BEST was the boy's Choir Concert and all the Swing Choir performances!  It's those kind of activities that really make the season bright!

Our happy little family on Christmas Eve in front of my Mom and Dad's tree.  We always spend Christmas Eve at their house with my whole family...such a great time!

My parents with all 7 of their Grandchildren ranging from age 9-29...and their Great Granddaughter Grace.

My Mom accompanying her musical grandsons...lots of singing when our family gets together...hmmm...I wonder why?

My nephew Conner helping Emily try to find the "Pickle" on the tree.  The winner gets $1.  I don't think it's the's the prestige of being the WINNER!

Here is my nephew-in-law D ready to kick some Nerf butt...I brought a HUGE tub this year filled with all of Ben's Nerf guns and darts...I think the Dads had the most fun!

My beauties on Christmas morning...around 7:30 which is sleeping in for them on Christmas Day!

Emily receiving the most wanted gift from ipod Touch...and a good mouth cleaning from Miss Honey.

Ben opening his most wanted 360...oh the fun that will be had by all the neighborhood boys!

Chris, opening a gift from me...but he squealed like a little girl when he saw the Justice box.  Emily thought he was crazy!

Miss Honey, lounging on her Christmas stocking.  She got some treats, new tennis balls and the ever popular rope toy!  She's so proud!

Our breakfast table for Christmas morning which was filled with pancakes and fresh fruit.  Yum.

The girl...enjoying her new techie device!

Good Morning!  Merry Christmas!

Christmas night.  My sister invited a few of us over for a yummy dinner and we had to bring some of our new games...Jenga was the hit of the night.

My kids don't go back to school until Thursday.  The decorations and trees were all taken down yesterday.  I am usually one to be happy to put all the holiday behind me but this year I truly enjoyed each and every second.  Even making the dreaded Cranberries and Rice for Christmas Eve dessert.  And that is saying something!  I am feeling blessed right now.  I think I'll marinade in the Christmas glow awhile longer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great Cause...Great Event!

I got to co-chair a Vendor Fair for our school's Foundation.  I am a proud Foundation Board member and this is our first BIG event.  This is the first time I've run an event this big and I have  to say I learned a lot!  We had some amazing vendors, crafters and local businesses.  I was very proud with the final product!  I even got to do some Christmas shopping!  By the way, it was also the day of State Speech Contest for the I had to leave mid-event to go and cheer on the Speech Team.

Ben and his speech partner Grace.  They've been buds since kindergarten.  That's how I met her wonderful mother who is now my very best friend!  They do a comedic duet and they've been working together since 5th grade.  The past two years they've received a 1st place and Judge's Choice Awards. 

This year was no different!  Way to go you two!  (Look...he's taller than me now...ugh!)
Over all it was a great Saturday!  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Master Bedroom Update...(FINALLY!)

Please don't mistake my lack of posting as a sign that projects aren't getting completed around here.  They are...but S-L-O-W-L-Y!    I wanted to give a quick update on my Master Bedroom progress...

Here is the desk I was my Grandma Fern' was mine in high school...then it went to live with my nephew...I saved this desk!  My nephew and his buddies treated it like a booth in an old pizza it's fresh and new (thanks to sanding and LOTS of wood fill!)

I kept the original just fit the desk and was in great shape!

Ahhhh!  Can't wait to jazz up the inside!  

New IKEA slipcover...I need a cute throw and pillow..hmmmm...any ideas???  My sister Melissa found the lamp.  I don't know how to describe her joy.  It was on clearance for $24.00 at Marshall's and she carried it around the store...never put it was like she found a prized toy!  The table was originally black and had wooden handles.  Some spray paint and new pulls and it looks like a new night stand!  All I can say about the paint on the walls is that it's a Benjamin Moore Historical Color, Georgian Green and it looks SO MUCH BETTER in person than in these photos!  

I love the new linens!  The duvet cover and ruffled shams are from Target (Shabby Chic).  I needed something easy to make in the morning and something that could be washed easily.  The dog loves to camp out on our bed...I love, love, love, the look of Ralph Lauren, don't you think?  The quilt and matching shams are from  They were $82 and FREE shipping!  The monogrammed pillow covers went with our old quilt and were from Pottery Barn.  I got them seven years ago and they still sell them!  (I am a sucker for anything with a monogram!)

Since these photos were taken I found a great lamp for hubby's side of the bed.  His nightstand, btw, was a Kane County find many years ago...still love that wash stand!  I also made a Ballard Design monogrammed burlap memo board to hang over my will follow soon!
So, what do you think?  Any suggestions for a cute throw and pillow for the white chair??  I'd love your thoughts!

Linking up to...

The Shabby Nest

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recognizing Daily Gifts

 Have you ever read The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison?  If you haven't, you must!  A few years ago I heard her read a passage from the book on aYouTube video...I had to read this book!      She talked about how tedious and mundane motherhood rituals could be and explained the importance of recognizing that those details are the things we should be celebrating as mothers.  Savoring.  She learned to appreciate all the tiny details delivered while we are living our lives.  Katrina Kenison came to her "ah-ha moment" (to steal a phrase from Oprah) when her boys were in middle school and high school.  At the time mine were still in elementary school...I felt overjoyed that I still had savor all the little spend more time enjoying the little daily motherly actions that in the past had been overlooked by lack of sleep, overbooked schedules or just daily chores.  I vowed to stop complaining about all the details that made up my day and start recognizing the goodness in daily life as a Mom. forward to this past September and my eldest child has a broken arm in a cast...oh...and he had to have surgery to have pins put in place to hold the bone....ouch!  This happened at football practice one Tuesday evening while I was with my daughter at her school's curriculum night.  I will spare you all the details of the evening but suffice it to say Ben was home from school 2 days before he was casted.  Being the paranoid mother I am...I've been driving him to school and picking him up...daily...only to make me feel better (I'm sure he'd have managed on the bus just fine!)  He did, however, tell me just the other day that he will miss me driving him to school when his arm heals.  And I can't lie...I was beaming all day after that one!

        This was a few days after Ben got his first cast.  

 I am so glad I had this time.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all glad he broke his arm.  It was painful and there is nothing worse than seeing your child in pain and not being able to do much about it.  But throughout all of this I have learned a few things about Ben and myself that I'd like to share.

The second cast was green...after week 1 they had to remove the case and "reset" the bone...OUCH!

First of all, when in a traumatic situation I am not a panic-er or cry-er.  Throughout the entire ordeal I have rallied to be a strong, positive mother on the outside even though there were times I was quietly sobbing behind closed doors.  I am proud of how I handled the entire situation and I think my strength mixed with extra understanding made things easier on Ben.

This was the second cast...split...see that white line down it?  Two weeks after the accident he had to have surgery to have pins put in...they split his cast and sent us home so he could get on some "comfy" clothes...look at him...he's still smiling and goofing around with me!  

Before surgery and he's still smiling...I just love this kid!  

Secondly, I learned a few things about my first born.  He is a positive child.  He's a leader and not too worried about what others think.  He is innately happy and has a wonderful sense of humor that got us through lots of tough moments throughout this entire fiasco.  He is tough and can suck it up when necessary...I am so PROUD of him!

This is today's cast...PINK...(and shorter...finally!) honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Finally, I have learned to enjoy the daily shuffling of kids.  Now that mine are both school aged and in various activities I am doing lots of chauffeuring and instead of whining and complaining, I am choosing to use this time with them to bond, talk and connect.  Soon they will be driving themselves to practices or riding with friends and I will miss out on that special time.

At 40 it's important for me to acknowledge that time is fleeting and my full time mother career will come to an end at some point.  I don't want to miss it.  I certainly don't want to waste it.  I chose to pay attention to the details that make up my life.  I chose to celebrate being a mother and be proud of the job I am doing with them.  Most of all I will say yes when they need a ride or want to come with me to the store because that is precious time too!