Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Table

If you know me well, you know that I like to switch up my table centerpiece with the seasons (and sometimes more often than that!). This changing in decor sometimes even overflows to surrounding spaces - currently, our buffet or kitchen cart.  As I was yearning for fall the other day (sweatshirts, crisp mornings... football), I resisted the urge to switch out our summer decor for autumn stuff because I realized I hadn't taken pictures of our summer dining room to share with you. Plus, it's August.... I think I need to wait til mid-Sept before bringing out the pumpkins.

Two things that pop into my mind when I think of summer are 1) Sand and 2) Shells or in a single word, "Beach." This was my inspiration for our Summer Table 2011.

Ta Da! 

 I filled my hurricanes with sand, centered a blue textured candle and surrounded it with shells - the day after I did this (no joke) one of my favorite blogs did the same thing in an apothecary jar! I felt so creative and "fashion forward" (As they say on Project Runway - yes, I'm addicted). :)

 A bird's eye view of the hurricane. I'm so over my previous mind-set of: "I never burn candles because I want to use them over and over again." As you can see we have enjoyed these candles this summer - love dinner and candlelight. :) I used an old table cloth that had been badly stained to make the table "runner" - I liked the simplicity of the shorter length of cloth and I've really enjoyed the plaid tone on tone fabric.

Moving onto our kitchen cart:
 I found this cheese cloche for $3 at a thrift store. It even has a marble bottom. I KNOW!

 We haven't used it for cheese yet, but the shells are enjoying their summer home (they told me so).

Buffet time:
  I found two buffet lamps 70% off at Kirklands in Amarillo earlier this summer! I love the ambiance they provide to our dining room - perfect for our buffet. (I think I need to raise the picture between them about 3 inches, to help with the "Triangle" effect) I'm also playing with the idea of painting a large canvas (like 2.5x4ish) to place here, something a bit industrial with text on it (I'm currently thinking 1 John 3:18). We will see. 

The summer beachy theme continues to the buffet, I put some sand in a shallow bowl and filled it with some of the larger shells I have in my collection. All of my shells were given to me by "Grandma" Reed - a sweet neighbor who truly functioned as a grandmother to us kids (we lived 20 hours from biological grandparents) when we were growing up. She had a shell collection that we were not allowed to touch (I think one of us broke a sand dollar at one point - if my memory is correct) but I would spend a lot of time gazing at them. She knew how much I loved them and when she moved into a nursing home, she gave them to me. I have loved having reminders of Grandma Reed around my house this summer - such happy memories. 

So that's our Summer 2011 dining room. :) Do you have any summer decor that comes out every year? I haven't done the same thing twice (yet) with summer decor (Click here to see our Summer 2010 table) but I have loved the sand/shells so much - you may see them again next year. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fixin' Up Friday: Master Bedroom, Progress and the Plan

My Mothers-Day gift from Lucy (and her Daddy) was new bedding for our Master Bedroom (!!!!). I have the best husband (and daughter) ever. :) 

I loved our previous bedding, we got the set from JCPenny when we got married. But the $99.99 price tag was beginning to show. There were multiple rips in the comforter (that had been mended on multiple occasions) and some fading was becoming more obvious. So I was THRILLED with my gift. 

Picking out bedding has not been a successful experience for Brad and I in the past.  I received the "rights" to pick out our bedding previously by trading my desire to bike around Mackinac Island, MI (a very romantic activity) with Brad (who does not like biking. at. all.) for 100% decision-making-rights in what our bedding would look like. In addition to a husband who loves to cook (a huge blessing for this wife, who NEVER expected that trait in her price charming), my husband also has an opinion on the decor choices in our home. For the most part we agree, but bedding has NEVER been one of those areas of agreement.
  • Brad's Ideal Bedding: Monotone/Solid color, Clean lines, Hotel "Look"
  • Sarah's Ideal Bedding: Pattern/Lots of color, Texture, Layers
Is the fact that: shopping for bedding is difficult for us apparent? Okay, we can now move on. :) 

Mother's day was May 8th, and we actually found bedding while in Chicago (May 23rd-June 1st) - that's three weeks later! I'm pretty proud of our team-decision making process this time around. :)

(Yes, we have had this bedding for almost 2 months - but we JUST got the Euro pillows, completing the look. That's why I haven't shared this with you previously. :) )

Here is what our room looked like BEFORE:

And here is what it looks like NOW:
 We love it. :) And in my opinion, that is the most important thing when it comes to Master Bedroom decisions. I want us both to be comfortable in this room - it should be a comination of BOTH of us. :)

I gave up pattern, Brad embraced texture. Brad sacrificed his desire for monotone and I accepted only two colors. :)

 We I hope to bring in some (modern) pattern through curtains and a pillow.  For the curtains, I am thinking a graphic stripe or bold paisley (there are a few options at Hob Lob I like, but I haven't been there with Brad yet to have ether of them "approved") we already have brushed silver rings for the curtains, but need to buy the curtain rods. But those can wait until we find fabric. :) I would like to add one more pillow to the bed, to break up the "division" between the sides. I think the two euro pillows and two decorative shams make the bed look like it is divided in half, so I'd like to add some sort of pillow front-and-center to bring unity to the two halves. :) Maybe a round bolster? 

We are loving the texture and contrast between our new bedding. The white duvet and shams are from West Elm and the blue blanket and euro shams are from Crate and Barrel (I think they have discontinued this bedding now, I can't find it on their website. We got it when it was majorly discounted - I guess that explains why).

Okay, so I've shared the progress we have made, but here is the plan for the rest of the room:
  • Make Headboard (shaped like this), we already have the fabric we need for this project! Can't wait to get started. We will need to get a bed frame for our bed - we are eliminating the foot board (we bump into it and bruise our thighs) - but are planning on re-purposing this bed frame in our guest room (which currently houses the mattress on the floor).
  • Replace the hardware on the night stands (and maybe dresser) - possibly refinish night stands? I'd love to stain them a darker color, but I don't know how the wood would respond to the treatment (It is a soft wood - we bought the set on Crag's List for before we got married). 
  • Find fabric and make floor to (almost) ceiling curtains. 
  • Find art for above the bed to hide the electrical box and balance out the window. Possibly this or this?
  • Dreaming: Replace carpet with hardwood flooring, purchase a chair for the corner by the dresser, move one night stand to the guest room and purchase something else (I LOVE when night stands coordinate with each other but are not matching), install a french door to the back yard - buy hot tub (this is Brad's dream). :) 
Well, that is an update on the progress and plan for our Master. :) Have you been focusing on a particular room in your house lately? I'd love to have the first five things on the list above done before Michael comes but we will see what life throws at us.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time's a flyin'...

...and that is not the only thing that is going fast these days!
It is getting increasingly difficult to get a good picture of this little girl!

Lucy is 14 months old now. What?! When did that happen. And with the absence of the monthly posts on her growth and accomplishments my "Lucy's accomplishments" note on my phone is overflowing with information I need to share! 

All of the pictures in this post were taken this past Sunday after Lu woke up from an amazing 3.5 hr nap. I love lazy afternoons.

 Lucy is walking! It became official on 7-27-11 - we are so proud of our little girl. It is so strange to see her walking around a corner and out of sight! She doesn't stay in one place for very long these days and nether do her toys! Clean up at the end of the day takes twice as long now, since she carries her things with her all around the house. :)

 Her personality continues to bloom in front of our eyes. Her sweet spirit is evident to all she tries to "share" with and she is constantly cracking us up with her unexpected knowledge and adorable actions. For example, this morning after Lu finished eating her yogurt (with the combination of her fingers and a spoon) I said, "Good job Lu! You'll be a pro at this in no time!" and she clapped! lol I couldn't help but chuckle - hopefully this doesn't translate into a diva attitude... time will tell. :) But it is not all fun and games, we had our first "melting fit" at Best Buy the other day and I was so shocked I didn't respond very well - I laughed out loud (not the best mom-move). But I think I am prepared to correctly handle the situation if when it happens again.
 Lu loves to look out the french doors and see the dogs - she smiles and points, sometimes even bouncing up and down when they come up to say "hi."

Some of her other accomplishments from the past two months: 
  • Mommy Skills: Lu is so sweet to her dolls. Giving them bottles and feeding them with small forks and spoons. Her daddy taught her how to gently give kisses to her babies and not step on them (Hahaha!). She even found a stray Kix on the floor the other day and brought it to her baby to eat (afterward she enjoyed it herself, of course!). We are hopeful these traits transfer well to her new role as big sister. :)
  • Learning how to use utensils: I have been giving Lu her food in a dish (instead of putting it on her place mat) and encouraging her to use silverware for the past few weeks. We are making progress and although she is no where near pro-level yet I have high hopes that she will be an independent eater by the time Michael makes his appearance. P.S. I love Ikea dishes for kids - the ones we have are sloped higher in the back than the front to help kiddos succeed with their spearing/scooping attempts! Ingenious!
  • A love of the outdoors: Lucy LOVES being outside. We have enjoyed our pool this summer and have loved playing in buckets of water - no better way to beat the heat than getting wet! Playing in the front yard has allowed us to meet a few more of our neighbors - slowly but surely! Since she is walking now, Lu has become an explorer - walking around in the yard, finding rocks, sticks and trash (that has blown in from who-knows-where). I am pretty sure the "prickly" grass bothered her knees when she was crawling so she would stay put where I set her down - but no longer! We have taken a few toys outside and our outdoor collection is growing. Lucy can also walk out the door, get herself down the steps and crawl into the van! What a big help. She gets a bit distracted along the way, but we are working on listening and being obedient to mom and dad. :) 
  • Climbing: I sat in the church nursery with Lucy a few weeks ago and it was so fun to see her climbing up the steps of the little slide they have and sliding down - all by herself! She enjoys the park, and since she has been walking so much better it is much more enjoyable for me too! I'm a bit scared of how much of an independent adventurer Michael is going to be since Lu is so active and self-sufficient (to a fault)! 
  • Kisses: Lucy loves blowing kisses before bed-time and will sometimes give you a kiss when asked. :) 
  • Bath time: Lucy's love of water transfers to the indoors too - she LOVES bath time. Often I will paint my toe nails or clean the toilet while Lu bathes (Brad brings in his lap-top when he has bath duty) - yeah for multi-tasking! Lucy needs to be reminded to stay on her bottom sometimes, but usually splashes down once she remembers! Definitely a great evening activity - especially when there is 45 minutes til bed time but mom and dad are ready to be done for the day! Free, safe and fun entertainment! 
  • Fun noises: Grandma and Grandpa (Mom and Dad Kidder) were here last week and taught Lu how to pat her hand on her mouth to silence the sound and make a fun "Ah, ah, ah" sound. (I've heard it called an "Indian noise" but I don't know if that is offensive) Lucy enjoys making the noise and then pointing at me/Brad/whoever is around to let them have a turn! :) 
  • Chloe Love: Lucy and Chloe cat get along really well - it is amazing to me how the cat is SO patient with Lu. A night a day difference to other kids. Brad called me cracking up about a month ago and told me that Lucy had been chasing the cat around the house with her play knife (from her Melissa and Doug cutting set) trying to "get" her. I guess the chase lasted a good 15 minutes. :) I'm glad Lucy is going to have a little brother, hopefully he can handle all the "love." 
  • Traveler: Lucy and I recently flew to PA to surprise one of my best friends from college along with two other b.f.f's. :) She did so well on the flights (4 total) and even took a nap on my lap something she hasn't done since she was 2 mo old! I have a blog post floating around in my brain with some tips on how to travel with a toddler (from my immense amount experience - lol) hopefully it will be helpful if YOU travel with a little one soon. :)
  • "Thank you:" No, she isn't saying it yet, but she is nodding her head in acknowledgement! :) Very rewarding to mom and dad. Especially when she does it voluntarily without a reminder.
  • Favorites: Ellie remains the all-time favorite, but it has been fun to see Lucy's other preferences come to light. She was recently given a "Blue" (from Blue's Clues) and will walk toward her new doggie and give it hugs and kisses after naps. It is crazy to see how she prefers "new" things already - I was hoping that was a taught instinct, but alas, it is not. She still loves her necklaces and is rarely seen with a bare neck. Lucy LOVES reading and continues to occupy herself by browsing through her books. She really enjoys reading with Brad or I before her afternoon nap and evening bed-time - often asking for more ("dat" pointing to the books) - a highlight of the day for mom and dad since she sits still and cuddles. She loves her baby doll's bottles and often will bring me one and offer it to me. Lu has discovered "her" drawer in the kitchen (which houses her wash cloths, bibs, sippy cups and dishes) and will bring me an empty sippy cup if she is thirsty (super cute). If she is awake when Brad comes home, she is so excited to round the corner and see him coming in through the front door! She loves her daddy. :) 
 (I wish I could edit well enough to "cut" Lucy's stray hair! Lol)

A big "Thank You!" goes out to Miriam! She gave Lucy this dress before she was born and I have been awaiting the day she was big enough to wear it! I love how it is reminiscent of a men's dress shirt but still so very feminine. :) 

 Brad says we are his, "Brown eyed girls." :) 

It makes me so happy to call these two my "family" AND soon there will be a SON added to the mix - can. not. wait. :) 

 Well, that's the Lucy update from our house! :)

Happy Tuesday!