Getting ready for baby!

I lasted posted on November 14, 2014. Shortly after, I found out I was expecting! At 41 years old! Needless to say, the past six months have been a whirlwind of emotion. I’m not sure how often I will post, but I thought writing about getting ready for baby might motivate me to get a little more done than I would otherwise. The first order of business was to carve out a space for the new addition. We only used our “schoolroom” bonus room as a storage space. Most school happened in the dining room, the living room, or on people’s beds. We decided to move all four boys upstairs to the bonus room which gave us not only a baby’s room but an office as well!

Here’s how the little boys’ room looked last time you saw it:

Little boys' room Little boys' room 2

We got the big boys’ room completely moved upstairs, but so far, only the little boys’ beds are up there. In fact, only ds4’s mattress is upstairs because the master plan is to get two sets of bunk beds for up there.

Since we moved the beds out, the room has been largely untouched by me. The two littles have taken it over as a play room(!). Here is how it looked a few days ago:

Messy room! no wm (1 of 1)

Yikes! Keepin’ it real, folks! This is what happens if mama doesn’t look in a room for a few days! It actually looks a lot better right now as ds10 and I cleaned up the toys and put away the clean laundry that was lying around. Here is my plan of action:

  • Move all kids’ books and two small bookshelves from upstairs to the music room to make room for the little boys’ dressers.
  • Get rid of the old crib. (Ds4 was very hard on it and it isn’t safe for the new baby.)
  • Buy two small dressers (possibly three) for the boys.
  • Move little boys’ clothes upstairs.
  • Move stuffed animal net upstairs.
  • Move white wall shelf and other pictures upstairs.
  • Move ds10’s bookshelf upstairs.
  • Remove anything else from the room that doesn’t belong.

That’s just to get the room cleared! Once that is done, I plan to:

  • Shampoo the carpet
  • Deodorize the carpet with a mixture of baking soda and lavender essential oil (found this idea from The Bold Abode. Can’t wait to try it! I already have my deodorizer mixed and ready to go!)
  • Put together the crib.
  • Arrange furniture. Currently I have a bassinet/changing table and a dresser. The crib should arrive soon. I want to re-do the changing table and the dresser but that will probably have to wait until after baby.
  • Hang white sheers over the window. I want to let in plenty of light because I plan to do a good bit of photography in that room.
  • Hang artwork.
  • Possibly a bookshelf for a few baby toys and books?

That’s what is in my mind right now. I have slightly less than 11 weeks to go! I’ll keep you posted!

All about the accent chairs

I was so excited to be contacted again by One Kings Lane to do a special blog post. This time they asked me to talk about accent chairs. My mind raced with possibilities. I love accent chairs and have many of them. But then I got stuck. Even though I have quite a few, none of them are what I would call “done.” In fact, I didn’t even know what I want to do with most of them.

That’s when I was struck with inspiration. One Kings Lane has an enormous selection of accent chairs of every shape, size and style. Just what I needed to get the creative juices flowing!

The chairs in my home in the worst shape are probably my favorites. These beauties have arms and legs to die for. The upholstery… not so much.

new master arrangement 2 lighter

I thought I might have a hard time finding chairs similar to mine for inspiration, but I had no need to worry. There was page after page after page (14 pages total!) of accent chairs and several were similar to mine!

There were some upholstered in a clean simple style like these Hickory Chair Co. armchairs:

hickory chairs

(stock photo from One Kings Lane)

Then there were some a little fancier like the Daniel Bergere:

daniel bergere

(stock photo from One Kings Lane)

One of the most intriguing, though, was the Melun Leather Bergere. Leather never occurred to me and it is definitely classy and sleek.

melun leather bergere

(stock photo from One Kings Lane)

For my own chairs, I’ll probably go with something similar to the first option with maybe a solid color fabric since it will be one of my first major upholstery projects. I’ve wondered a few times (and I’m pretty sure my husband has wondered, too!) if I was crazy for dragging these poor scraggly looking chairs all the way from New York to Florida. Now that I’ve seen some of the price points on tall back armchairs, I think it was well worth the effort!

One Kings Lane has gone even further to help you choose the right accent chairs by setting up a whole Pinterest board, and highlighting some of their favorites in their own blog post. Browse through all the wonderful options and find out your chair crush!

(*I received no compensation for this post. I agreed to talk about accent chairs because I love them and I love One Kings Lane. All opinions are 100% mine.)

This week’s plan of action

November 10th! How is that possible?? We’ve reached that busy time of year. I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish this week in my home versus what I need to accomplish. I always have a million little projects (and lots of big projects, too!) that I’d like to be working on if time and money were not objects. But this week I have a sick little one, we’re starting term 2 of our school year, and our last day of homeschool co-op is on Friday. This week I need to make sure my focus is on my family. I’m also thinking ahead to the coming holidays and ways to make them less stressful. Here are my plans for the week:

For the blog —

  • Post about side chairs for One Kings Lane.
  • Practice photography. I may post some of my pictures even though most are not decor pics. I’ve been practicing portrait photography and getting my settings and lighting right on my camera.
  • Pack away all remnants of Halloween and let the house “breathe” until Christmas decor comes out.

Other things —

  • School. We took last week off for term exams and to prepare for Term 2. We have only 2 weeks until Thanksgiving break! I’m hoping we can get a lot done before then. (especially math!)
  • Home. Things got a little messy around here last week. You’d think if I didn’t have to focus on school, the house would be much cleaner. But the house stays cleaner within the structure of the school day. It all falls apart a little bit when we take a break!
  • Kids. I’ve focused a lot lately on projects for the home. Now that the holidays are near, I’d like to do more messy crafts with the kids. I’m not sure exactly what, but I’d like to spend some time this week making a plan for it.

Those are my plans! How about you? Are you thinking about the upcoming holidays yet?

Last minute Halloween project

I know. It’s a little late to be posting a Halloween project. Maybe you can tuck the idea away for next year? Or vary it slightly for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

I had a few frames sitting around that I picked up at the church yard sale. One of them was perfect for what I had in mind. It is black and slightly distressed at the edges. Using the glass in the frame as a template, I cut out a piece of Halloween themed scrapbook paper.      witch's dust scrapbook paper

I found this big pack of scrapbook paper 70% off at Michaels a few days before Halloween.

The next thing I did was print a silhouette of a crow from No Biggie.

crow print out

I carefully cut it out, placed the original paper on a piece of two sided construction paper…

two color paper

trace the crow

traced around it and cut it out. Regular black construction paper would work, too. I used the two sided because I had it on hand and the black was a truer black than the construction paper I had.

Finally, I taped the crow to the scrapbook paper and put it in the frame.

framed crow

Quick and easy and not too scary. I wish I had made it sooner so I could enjoy it longer.

crow in book shelf

You could make any number of variations for different holidays using themed scrapbook paper and googling any image you want.


This week’s plan of action

I didn’t get much posted last week. It was the last week of our school term plus Halloween, so blogging wasn’t top priority. It may not be much different this week as we’re on break from school and hope to be running around doing lots of fun things. But as I’ve learned, if you fail to plan you plan to fail! So here’s this week’s list:

For the blog —

  • Post about a Halloween art project I did last week. I meant to post this before Halloween, but maybe you can tuck the idea away for next year.
  • Write a post for One Kings Lane about side chairs
  • Start working on a piece of furniture. I’m not sure which piece of furniture yet. The most logical choice is the outside bench because I have all the materials. Also, I’m so anxious for it to match the table. It’s just going to be a lot of work!

Lanai table with bench

  •  I wanted to make a scrappy pumpkin picture last week and never got to it. Maybe with the break from school, I can squeeze that in.
  • Frame and hang the fall family photo I took last week. I picked up a remote for my camera and had so much fun taking family photos at sunrise!

Projects to complete for the home —

  • School planning and material ordering for next term.
  • File paperwork for this term.
  • Visit the Ringling Bros. art museum.
  • Get a family photo for the Christmas card.
  • Practice, practice, practice photography!

I think that’s all that is on my mind at the moment. What about you? Big plans for this week? Are you starting to plan for the holidays yet? I’d love to have all my Christmas preparations complete by the end of this month. Maybe I’ll make a plan…

Fall front porch 2014

It took forever to pull this porch together for fall. Southern Florida doesn’t seem to be the best place to locate hay stacks and pumpkin patches are all but non-existent. We did find a small hydroponic farm where we bought all our small pie pumpkins. The big one we bought at Walmart!

The other challenge is, of course, the double doors. I had a pumpkin wreath from last year that I love, so I did my best to create another one for the other door. Happily, Hobby Lobby still had all the same kinds of materials and everything was 40% off.

Front porch for fall

I’m happy with how it all turned out. The mums were only $2.77 a piece which is nice because I don’t generally have great luck with them. I’m hoping I can keep them alive through Thanksgiving! The rug I went searching for on purpose. I thought I’d find something at IKEA and I did. But I didn’t want to pay $30 right now. I found the small tan rug at Old Time Pottery for $11.97. Old Time Pottery was fun, but I miss the Christmas Tree Shops in Albany!

Fall porch left

Fall porch left 2

Scarecrow close up

I found the cute little scarecrow at a church yard sale years ago for $1.50. I always smile when I pull him out.

The little yellow mum looks a bit — sparse. To be honest, it looked a little sparse when I got it but I hoped the blossoms would all bloom and it would be nice and full. Then one of the kids accidentally stepped on it in the car on the way home and broke off FIVE blooms! Oh well. It still gives the little pop of bright color I wanted. And let’s be honest. In my home, plants don’t have a long lifespan anyway.

Do you decorate your porch for fall? Before I started blogging, I never did anything except throw an old wreath on the front door. I made a wreath about 18 years ago by wrapping a string of fake leaves around a wreath frame and sticking on maybe five little pumpkins with hot glue. I used it for the next 15 years! I’ll admit. That was cheaper than what I do now. But I love coming home to a nicely decorated porch. It’s worth a few bucks to me.

This week’s plan of action

This week is about little projects. I don’t want to spend too much time or money on things this week with Friday being Halloween. Here’s the plan:

  • Post photos of the front porch (yes, I actually finished it!)
  • Make a scrappy pumpkin like the one posted on The Turquoise Home
  • Make some inexpensive fall artwork with acrylic paint and scrapbook paper
  • Re-do a craft for the master bedroom that went awry
  • Take lots of pictures of the kids on Halloween!

Short and sweet but that’s how some weeks go! What’s your plan for this week?

A little more fall decorating plus something fun for the kids

I think I’m finally finished with the decorating! I’ve got a couple of things I want to make to add to the decor, but I’m essentially done. Yay!

I got a little too detailed about the kitchen and got in “super clean mode” before decorating. Which, in retrospect, is a little silly because I don’t do much decorating in the kitchen. I like to keep the counters pretty sparse. But hey, at least I have a really clean kitchen. And I’ve kept it really clean for four whole days!!

kitchen fall 1

kitchen fall 2

cookie jars

top of supply closet

The other bigger was the bookshelf in the living room. I’ve been eyeballing that shelf for months in it’s cluttered, disorganized state. One day last week I decided I had had it and I took everything off. I told the kids they could choose five movies each to keep out and the rest were going in storage. I was sick of looking at a whole entire bookshelf full of movies when the only time we turn on the TV, we watch Netflix!

bookcase mess

Then I got busy and couldn’t get the bookshelf the way I wanted it. I boxed up the extra movies and put the keepers back on the shelf. Dd6 put a bunch of fall decor on the shelves but none of us had time to really “style” it until a couple of days ago. It sat like this for too many days:

bookcase not styled

We invited a new church member to our home for lunch on Sunday afternoon. Just the incentive I needed to make that bookcase look a little nicer.

living room bookcase

The front porch I’ll share next week. I’ve had a lot of trouble pulling it together. Hay stacks were nearly impossible to find! Then there was an accident with one of the mums. It’s still hanging out in the sunshine trying to recover before I take pictures.

While I was puttering around with the fall decor, the kids were pouring over a rainy day activities book and begged me to make a stuffed cat. I had picked up a Halloween fabric remnant at Hobby Lobby last week for $1.40 and decided it was perfect. We actually made three cats.

three cats

The kids were thrilled.

three kids three cats

It’s been a great week. I loved that we weren’t overloaded with activities. And I tried not to squeeze in too much DIY. Although I love it, I took time to play with my camera in my free time this week. The little kids were perfect models. The teen boys — not so much. They have promised to be sweet this weekend and let me get a family shot with the hay stack and pumpkins I finally found! If I get a decent shot, I’ll share it. In fact, I’ll probably share even if I don’t get a decent shot. ha ha

Have a great weekend everyone!

This week’s plan of action

How was your weekend? We had a very busy one following a busy week with my husband out of town for three days. This week, believe it or not, looks kinda normal! The only “extra” in the schedule is a spaghetti supper at the church one night. I even signed up to bring store bought rolls to the supper knowing I needed an easier week this week. Here’s the plan:

  • Photograph the remainder of the fall decorating inside the house. There isn’t much, but there are a couple of areas I finished over the weekend.
  • Finish the front porch
  • Do something with those frames I bought at the yard sale!
  • Paint one of my plain bar stools with milk paint

On the home front I mainly just want to keep the house maintained, catch up on laundry and do some massive grocery shopping. We had a guest for lunch yesterday so the house is looking pretty nice. Hoping to keep it that way!

I’d also like to get our Christmas card picture taken. I can’t believe it’s already October 20th! How did that happen?!?! I’m not sure what I want to do for the picture this year. Last year was our first Christmas in Florida and we did a beach picture. I’m toying with the idea of getting a remote for my camera so Mom and Dad can get in the picture, too. We might do the beach again, or maybe somewhere with lots of Spanish moss.

Any big plans at your house this week?

Mini fall home tour

I’ve been promising a fall home tour for a couple of weeks now. I almost made an excuse again and posted about something else, but why don’t I just give a mini tour instead? My husband has been out of town this week. In my naive little mind, I thought I could do all the school, all the school activities, all the cooking, all the grocery shopping, shopping for extra things we need, take a field trip to a pumpkin patch, AND get the house ready for a photo tour on the blog. You now what really happened, right? I pulled off most everything but the house went to pot. Thankfully, I’ve been photographing little areas as I decorated over the past few weeks, so I can show you some things!

We’ll skip over the front porch for now and call it a work in progress. I moved the white bench into the foyer and set up the pillow vignette similar to what I did last year in New York:

Fall pillow vignette 2014

Pillow vingette 2

My ceramic jack-o-lantern from my oldest sister found a home on the antique desk in the foyer:

antique desk close up

It sits on a Halloween doily I made decades ago and is flanked by two witches pot tea-candle holders.

antique desk close up

Walking into the music room, I used my piano as a mantle since I have no fireplace in this house.

piano mantel

There was no real method to arranging things. I put a bunch of stuff on the piano and added or deleted until it looked right.

piano mantel left

piano mantel right

I’ve only managed one little area so far in the living room. I made the burlap pumpkins last year using this tutorial.

burlap pumpkins vignette

Finally, I’ve set up one area in the kitchen with the new to me scale I found over the weekend. (I told you you’d see it again!)

Cookbook corner

Cookbook corner2

There are no fall leaves to speak of in Florida right now, so I clipped some lantana out of the front flower bed. At least it’s fall colors! Unfortunately, I forgot to add water to my pitcher and it was dead the next morning.

Cookbook corner3

I probably won’t do too much more fall decorating. I hope to add a few more real pumpkins around the house, do a little more in the kitchen, and work on the front flower beds and front porch.

What about you? Do you do any decorating for fall? After blogging for over a year, I’ve realized I must like fall decorating more than any other season except Christmas. Something about the smell of pumpkin bread baking in the oven puts me in the mood to spread around some orange and yellow and brown!