March 27, 2015

Craft Closet Complete!

TGIF! I'm happy to report that our much neglected and procrastinated about craft closet is in much better form than when you last saw it here.  I moved a few not-often-used things down to a large basement closet that serves as a holiday catch-all and décor storage so now it's a lot less cluttered.

I'll use this closet just for the girls' school bins, my Etsy projects, fabric/yarn and party supplies.



Have a great weekend!!

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March 24, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday - Sunny Weather Dresses, Please

It sure doesn't feel like it here - but Summer is just two months away.   A few lovely dresses that are ready for the warm weather!

The Colorblock.

The Maxi.
The Floral Sun Dress.

The T Shirt Dress.

The Vintage Beauty.


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We Need A New Kitchen Table

Hello!  We own a lot of Ikea furniture.  From the shelving in the family room to Hadley's little bed.  And I have never encountered a major issue....for the price you pay perfection isn't always expected but the things we have purchased have held up incredibly well and we've been happy with them.  Except for the kitchen table.  Oh the kitchen table, the one I ran out and bought at an Ikea that was 45 minutes from our house a month after Hadley was born to prove to myself that I could still do things with two kids in tow.  I even called Scott after I got home - soooo proud of myself.  Well that table was a good idea at the time.  We hadn't even moved in our house yet but we knew from the limited space in the kitchen that a round table that extended would make the most sense.  Enter the Ikea Liatorp table for $249.  Looks like this table has since been replaced with this one for $100 more - lets hope its been improved.

Here is what the table looked like when I bought almost 4 years ago.
Here is in the kitchen after we moved in.

Once we moved and the table was set up it was fine.  That was until someone drops a fork and suddenly there is a small "ding" in the table.  Then someone spills water.  Well the mixture of exposed Particleboard (fake wood) and liquid causes swelling which caused paint to chip off.  We sealed the spots as soon as they happened but it was no use - one would turn into five within a few days. 

And here are the bumps and swells that have taken over.

When this first started happening I tried covering them with waterproof decals - but that made it look even worse plus with two little girls the table never stayed clean which meant the decals never stayed stuck.  Then I had a better idea. Cover the whole thing! I sanded down the entire table, repainted it white and applied a food safe sealer.  Once that dried I applied an adhesive and put this gorgeous fabric over the two sections of the table and then sealed that with four coats of polyurethane.  This process was annoying since the sealer smelled and it all needed at least a week to "cure" I did everything in the garage.
The end result was really pretty and a big improvement.
This solution was great for about 3 or 4 months but then the edges of the fabric started to curl and fray and the swelling came back in the middle of the table where the split was.
Lovely right?
So after all that hard work I decided to just cover the table with tablecloths - I bought two from Target and one is always in the wash so they are nice and faded now: ) 
All of this has lead me to start looking for a new table, one that will hopefully withstand everything our family can dish out.  Below are a few that I am considering.  Until then I might need to pick up a few new tablecloths!

Crate and Barrel.
Pottery Barn.
See you tomorrow!!

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March 23, 2015

Introducing the Shore House

Hi there and happy Monday!  Today's post is one that I have been looking forward to writing for awhile but had been waiting until there was more to show and share.  You might remember me writing about going to the shore in New Jersey before.  Scott and I got married there and my brother and sister and I grew up going to the same shore house my mom spent summers in when she younger.  The house belonged to my great aunt and it was a great place spend lazy summer days, that was until our families started growing and the 1,200 sq. ft. house started to feel a little cramped - to say the least.   So when my aunt passed away in 2013 the house and adjoining lot were left to my mom and due to space limitations and other logistical issues the decision was made to sell the little shore house and build a larger one right next door.

The construction of the new house began at the end of August and is set to be completed in the next month and half.  My brother has been the liaison between the contractor and the rest of the family, no easy task, but he has made sure the house is everything we envisioned - and more.

Before this all started, I didn't realize just how many decisions would need to made, from the smallest (hinge finishes) to the largest (stain color for the hardwood floors throughout).  It has been a fairly easy process though since each decision is made on a "majority rules" basis so no one is left out.  And we all have had different jobs throughout the building process and one of mine has been creating design boards for each room/space so we can all see if the items we are considering using will work before purchasing them.  Over the next few weeks I'll share these along with sources and some interior shots.

We're all looking forward to this summer in a brand new house that we designed together!

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March 18, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday ~ Just a Little Pampering

A little DIY pampering might just be on everyone's wish list!! 

                                          a mud mask made of chocolate ~ irresistible!

                                                     a brown sugar and spice rub!

                                                                a warm heating pad!

                                                                a citrus foot soak!

                                                      and top it off with a relaxing bath!

                                                       JUST ABOUT PERFECT! ♥

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March 17, 2015

Organizing all that Art/School/Kid Stuff

Hi there and Happy St. Patick's Day! So it's no secret that I think everything Layla and Hadley draw, paint and create is wonderful too wonderful to toss. I mean, I get anxiety about throwing away a worksheet from school on the life cycle of a meal worm - and there is so much stuff like that, that comes home every single day.  Since Layla started preschool three years ago I have been keeping  a growing pile of this "stuff" in a closet upstairs.  It was an unorganized mess and I kept telling myself I'll get to it later - well later came last week when I ripped everything out of what used to be my craft closet (turned into junk closet) forcing myself to finally organize it.  The ripping out part is why I don't have a "before" photo to share but trust me it was bad!

In order to get the girls' school papers and art in order I bought three plastic bins (Lowes $3.99) two for prechool (one for each) and one for Layla's Kindergarten "stuff".  I printed out a label with their name and the years of "stuff" in the box as well as their class photos from that year(s).  I did a side by side of Layla's preschool years and will do the same once Hadley has another class photo next year.



I love having a designated place to put everything and no longer feel the need to toss something because I don't have room for it. I'm planning to buy a new bin at the beginning of each school year from now until Hadley's senior year in 2029!!

Oh and here is how the craft closet is looking at the moment - not great but much better!  I'll post more on this once I have figured out exactly how to make this space work.


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March 16, 2015

Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Pasta

I truly could eat pasta everyday of the week!  I love marinara sauce and fresh tomato sauce, but my husband's favorite is Bolognese. 

Yesterday I decided to bring out the Kitchen Aid pasta maker that Kendra had given to me and make a truly homemade Italian meal. 

I remember my Italian grandmother trying to teach me to make pasta. I wanted to write down specific measurements ~ she just laughed and said "you will know by feeling" ....

A friend gave me a great Bolognese recipe, and I used the this recipe for the pasta.  Think my husband was happy with the results!

First ingredients:  lean ground beef (I used organic), but a combination of beef and pork would be perfect too ~ chopped carrots and onions and crushed garlic.

Brown meat...

Add additional ingredients, and simmer away..

While it was cooking, I made the pasta...

Topped with cheese and served with crusty bread for a perfect Sunday dinner!


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