September 30, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Dining Room

This week the home tours at Kelly's Korner are continuing with the dining room. Y'all, if I thought my pictures last week were bad...I clearly hadn't tried to photograph my dining room yet. It is SO hard to get a good picture of it, no matter the time of day! But here's my best attempt. And these pictures make me realize how dusty my house really is. Ugh.

I LOVE the paint color of our dining room. It is done in Ralph Lauren Regent Metallics paint. All of the walls are a lighter green color, Torch, and one wall is striped with Torch and Candelabra, the darker green...thanks to my amazingly talented mother. :)

This is the view when you walk in our front door and look to the left.


Our table really doesn't go with the style of our house. It looked great in our place in Waco but our house now is a different style. Maybe one day we'll sell it and get something else, but honestly I bet we've used it a total of 5 times since living here, so I'm in no rush. I am still trying to find the perfect thing for the wall - I think this piece is too small. So I either need something with it, or something completely different. I also have been looking for a rug, and finally found one I like that I just ordered. Hoping it will warm the space up a bit.
This is on the right wall. The walkway leads to the butler's pantry, and then into the kitchen.
A shot of my lovely fall arrangement from Michael's, put together with help from my mother. :)
This is the view looking back into the dining room from the living room. There are french doors on that wall to the left, thus the insane glare.
And finally, I tried to take a picture looking in from the butler's pantry, but as you can see...it didn't quite turn out.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday Tidbits

1. I.am.SO.busy. How is it Thursday?! Yet another week has flown by and I feel so behind on everything. My Google Reader is all sorts of clogged up and I don't know when I'm going to get the chance to catch up.

2. It appears I have a kidney stone. Fortunately I haven't had any pain really, but some other symptoms that prompted me to get checked out.  I go for a CT Scan tomorrow. I'm not gonna lie; I'm a little scared. My dad has had like over 50 of them, so I know they're no walk in the park. I'm just praying it will pass easily and quickly. It never hurts to have a little faith, right? :)

3. Ants have taken up residence in our house. And not just any ants, but fire ants. I have the bites to prove it. So does Patrick. Fortunately Manny doesn't have any yet, but I'm so worried about him getting some. The bug guy came today so hopefully that will take care of the problem. In the meantime, I am pretty much holding Manny 24/7, which has contributed to me being so far behind as referenced in #1.

4. Has anybody watched Sister Wives? It is all sorts of cray-cray, but totally fascinating. I heard the family is being investigated for polygamy since it's illegal. Really? Being investigated? Um, what's to investigate - there's no denying it given what's on the show, right? Maybe I'm missing something - I only skimmed the article.

5. Thanks for all the sweet compliments on my bedroom last week! I'm still making my way around to check out everyone else's rooms, so I'm sorry if I haven't visited you back yet - I will! For those of you that asked, we got our furniture at Mathis Brothers Furniture in Tulsa. But if I recall correctly, it's the Ashley brand, so you should be able to get it pretty much anywhere (that sells Ashley, obviously).

6. Glad you guys liked the pictures of my little man from yesterday. The shorts are from here, and thanks to Andrea for telling me about that etsy shop! Blogging has turned out to be really bad for my online shopping addiction. :) Good news for you though is I'll be holding a giveaway for a pair of the shorts, so check back Monday to enter to win!

7. I had 3 more things to mention, but I must go now as my husband is patiently waiting for me to watch The Office & The Big Bang Theory. I'll catch y'all up later. Yeah for fall TV! :)

8. But of course I'll take the time to add a picture of Manny with his cousins this weekend.


Now I'm done.

September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


September 24, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Master Bedroom

Because I was a little behind on my blog reading, I didn't know that Show Us Your Life at Kelly's Korner was starting back up last week. So I missed out then, but thought I'd jump in this week with the Master Bedroom tours. I love the home tours and enjoy getting a glimpse into everyone's lives.

I'm glad that this week is the master bedroom, because I've actually been meaning to post pictures of it and ask for advice. I love our bedroom but I really haven't done much decorating in it. We have a faux finish paint job on the walls, and our furniture makes somewhat of a bold statement, so I've had a hard time deciding exactly what I want to put up, if anything, in certain places. The other thing is the windows. We have blinds on all of them, but no window treatments/curtains. We have 4 windows and a door in our room, so it's kind of a lot and I'm afraid anything I do will overwhelm the space. But enough with the rambling, let's take a look at the pictures, shall we? (I had a really hard time getting decent pictures...with the blinds open the glare was bad, so these are a little dark.)

Here's the view from outside the bedroom door (one pic with the blinds open & one with them closed):
This is the view if you go to the right corner when you walk in the door. The armoire holds our TV, though we rarely have it on except for E to watch Praise Baby while I get ready. :) The door leads out to our back veranda.
This is the glider where I sit to nurse him. It's so comfy and has treated me well through many (middle of the night) feedings. :) My jewelry armoire is also in this corner.
Here is "E's room!" :) Yes, our 4 month old still sleeps in our room. Can I blame it on the fact that I don't want to walk upstairs to the nursery for his middle of the night feeding? :)
This is the view looking back into the room from this corner. The door leads to our bathroom, but she's having those tours in a few weeks so I'll wait until then to share those pictures.
So there you have it! Any input on window treatments or wall decorations? Is it okay as is or could it use something? Thanks for stopping by...I can't wait to check out all of your rooms! Have a great weekend! :)



September 23, 2010

Cookies 'N Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies

Alternatively titled, hoooold meeee.

When I saw this recipe on Kevin & Amanda's blog, I immediately did 2 things.
1.) emailed my sister the link demanding requesting she make these for me pronto.
2.) drooled all over the keyboard.

When I realized my sister wasn't going to deliver as I requested, I decided to take matters into my own hands and picked up the ingredients to whip up a batch. And friends, I swear I could hear a chorus of "Hallelujah" as I took my first bite. Sure, maybe I was the one singing it, but still. They were that good.

So in the event you haven't already seen this recipe on her blog, here it is. You're welcome.


Cookies ‘N Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies
What you'll need:
1 box Brownie Mix
eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
1/2 cup Cookies & Cream ice cream
1/4 cup hot fudge topping
Oreos
a cute cooking assistant (optional)
*Note: Use caution should you decide to sample the ice cream before you add it to the mix.
To see the full recipe, please visit her blog here.

And of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished product! See, this is why I'm not a food blogger. Well that, and the fact that I can't cook.

I will mention that these are extremely rich. Like chocolate overload. I think next time I would exchange the hot fudge for caramel or leave it out altogether. But I'm not a huge chocolate person to begin with, so it could just be me. Nonetheless, they are yummy and easy to make, so I'll definitely make them again.

Has anyone else made these? What did you think? If you make them, let me know your thoughts!

September 22, 2010

MOPS & Swaddle "Weaning"

I can't remember if I talked about it here or on Twitter, but we joined a MOPS group recently. It is so great to have a place to go to connect with other moms, and this group of ladies is wonderful! Last week a girl by the name of Missy spoke. She shared the story of unexpectedly losing her precious 5 year old daughter Leightyn just last month. You can read all about it on her blog, and I encourage you to go visit it. She is such a strong woman and truly an inspiration. I feel fortunate to be able to join a group of such neat & caring ladies. If you're in the Fort Smith area and are interested in  possibly joining, email me and I'd be glad to give you details! Here is my handsome little Bubs before heading out to MOPS this morning.
And thanks to our swaddling issues, I won a prize at MOPS for least amount of sleep last night - ha!

So here's the swaddling situation. Manny has always loved to be swaddled. Like totally addicted to it. As in, it can be 110 degrees outside and he won't fall asleep unless he's swaddled. Well, now that he's rolling so much we decided it's time to stop swaddling him. So we got a sleep sack and tried that, but he will NOT fall asleep in that, so we decided we'd "wean" him by just leaving one arm out at first, and still swaddling his lower body. We have done that the past 3 nights and it's hysterical to watch him fall asleep...it looks like he's doing the tomahawk chop (Florida State anyone?) because he just keeps moving that arm up and down until he finally falls asleep! Nonetheless, he is doing better and not waking himself up as often, so I planned on removing the other arm tonight...that is, until this morning when I found him sleeping on his stomach! I nearly fainted. Yes, I know there are lots of babies that sleep on their stomach and are fine, but it just makes me a bit nervous. So I've rambled on this long to say this: should I still swaddle him and leave his arms out, or go ahead and transition him to a sleep sack? If so, any advice on the best way to do that? I'm assuming it's going to be one of those situations where it will take a few days to adjust, but I'd love to know what worked (or didn't!) for you, and also any tips on keeping him from sleeping on his stomach. I know there's only so much I can do if he prefers that, but just thought I'd ask. Thanks my dears! :)


(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

E was on his playmat yesterday, I went to the bathroom, came back, and he had weaseled his way under the ottoman! He was SO pleased with himself. Already playing hide & seek with mama. Man I love that little stinker!! :)

September 21, 2010

DIY: Simple Blog Photo Header Tutorial

I've had several people ask me about my current header on my blog. Yes, I made it myself, and while I normally use Photoshop for things like this, I actually did this one in Picnik because of computer problems at the time. This is really simple to do, so I thought I'd share for those of you who were wanting to know.

1. Go to www.picnik.com and create an account. It's free, and is a great site! I also use it to make a lot of my photo collages. There is a paid version that gives you more features, but I just use the free version and it meets my needs fine.
2. Click on the "collage" button.
3. There are several styles of collages to choose from. For a blog header, obviously you want a rectangular shaped one. I chose the 4 frame option.
4. Upload the photos you want to use in your header, and drag and drop them in the frames where you want them. You can also change the color of the frame by clicking on the color square on the left side of the page. Once you have it laid out the way you want, click "Done" at the top right.
5. Next, I wanted to add some text to my header to include my blog name. So click on the "text" button at the top of the page. Type what you want in the box, and choose from a variety of fonts to have it displayed in. You can also change the color by clicking on the right side of the page. I used 2 different fonts, and in order to do this you need to add 2 separate text boxes. Then just drag & drop where you want your text to appear.
6. When you have everything the way you want it, click on "save & share" at the top of the page.
 
 7. On the next page, name your file. Then adjust the size to fit your blog template. Generally speaking, if you adjust it to 94%, it should fit most standard blogger templates. If you know the dimensions of your blog you can type that instead. Then hit "save photo", and save it to your computer.  
8. After that, log in to your blogger account, click on "design", then click on "edit" in the header box.
9. Select "from your computer", then click "browse" and locate the file you previously saved to your computer. Also make sure to select the button that says "instead of title and description." Then click save, and then save again on your main blog design page, and you're good to go.

I hope this tutorial was useful to you; please let me know if you have any questions!



September 20, 2010

{Month 4} Must-Haves

It's time to share our favorite things for the month! In case you missed them, here are our months 1 & 2 and month 3 lists.
Two words: LIQUID GOLD. Seriously, why hadn't I heard of this before? A friend told me about it awhile back, and I'll admit; I was skeptical. But I finally decided to pick some up a few weeks ago when I was at BRU. E has always had problems with hiccups; he even had them often when I was pregnant. But I kid you not - he'll get the hiccups, I give him some of this, and it is instant magic...just like that; they're gone. Fortunately we don't have colic problems currently, so I don't know if it helps with that or not, but it sure is nice to give him this at 3 am when he can't sleep because of the hiccups!
At first I wasn't so sure about the Moby Wrap, but now that I've learned to use it correctly I love it. There are so many positions you can carry the baby in, and E really likes it too. This buys me a lot more time when we go shopping since he gets bored in his car seat pretty quickly. A major plus is it's the only carrier I've used that doesn't hurt my back. I'm actually working on a post about my baby wearing experiences that I hope to have up later this week, so check back for that.

This is by far Manny's favorite toy. He can easily hang on to her neck, and just goes to town chewing on her. It's a little pricey as far as teethers go, but definitely worth it in the long run.
Last month I talked about how much I loved the Bumbo, and this month the tray is the perfect addition to it. Manny loves to sit in this, but gets bored quicker than he used to. But with the tray on it, I can put some toys on there and he keeps himself entertained for a bit.
 I tried 6 types of bottles. He took this one. Enough said.
It is so great to have a place to put him where he can occupy himself for a bit and have some fun. He looks like such a big kid hanging out in there too! I debated on if I wanted a jumperoo or exersaucer, and we actually ended up with both. Fortunately my sister-in-law gave me their jumperoo, and my sister gave me their exersaucer, so that gives us some variety to work with. He really likes both of them, but I'm not sure I'd get both if I had to buy them. My advice on this would be to see if someone will let you borrow theirs before you buy as I've had some friends say their kids hated them so it was a waste of money. Craigslist also usually has a lot listed.
This was the first rattle he used. It's great because of the skinny bars, he can easily wrap his little fingers onto it and grip it well.

Well that's it for this month...I'm curious to see what month 5 will bring! :)

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