I am honored just to be Nominated…

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when my friend, Amy, selected my blog to receive the Liebster Award!  She and her blog, Baby Mama Juice, are the reason I finally got motivated enough to start my own blog.

This award is presented from one blogger to another newbie blogger as a way to acknowledge and recognize their blog.  A little “shout out”, if you will.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1.  Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2.  Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to next.
3.  Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4.  Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5.  No tag backs.

OK.  Post 11 random facts that I don’t mind people knowing about me.  Ready, set, go.

1.  I adore sugar.  I eat dessert every night without fail.

2.  I am a monster when I am hungry.  Most, if not all, of my friends and family will agree.

3.  I can spend hours in front of the computer just perusing the web.

4.  Talking on the telephone is not my thing.  So, if I have not called you in awhile, don’t worry.  I promise, you are not the only one.

5.  I prefer shopping on the internet and having the goods delivered straight to my door.

6.  I am constantly playing with the ends of my hair.  My hairdresser does not like this!

7.  The first thing I do in the mornings is grab a pod from my kitchen drawer and make me a cup of coffee.

8.  I can talk myself into just about anything if I want it bad enough.  On the flip side, I can also talk myself out of something if I don’t really want to do it.

9.  Once I put a winter hat on my head, it does not come off for the entire day.

10.  I like to purge.  I do not like clutter.

11.  I love to take pictures!

Done.  OK.  Now to answer the 11 questions from Amy:

1   When and why did you start your blog?

  • I started my blog on February 19th of this year.  Yes, I am definitely a newbie.

2.  Who are your girl crushes?

  • Whitney Cummings or at least the Whitney on her tv sitcom because of her quick wit and humor.
  • Olivia Wilde because she is gorgeous.
  • Anne Hathoway because she always seems so sophisticated and is uber talented.
  • Hoda Kotb because I would just love to sit with her and talk over a cup of coffee.
  • Katharine McPhee because if you watch the show SMASH, you don’t even have to ask.

3.  What is your biggest pet peeve?

  • Not putting things back where they belong.  What is so hard about that?

4.  If you could have a second home, where would it be?

  • I probably should list some place far away and exotic.  However, since moving farther away from my family, I would like to own a vacation home near them.  We could spend the summer there, and family members could visit as it fit into their schedule.

5.  What is your favorite movie?

  • That is tough, since I don’t see many adult movies any more.  One that comes to mind, however, is Fried Green Tomatoes.

6.  Where is your favorite place to shop?

  • For clothes, Athleta.  For home, West Elm.  For both, Anthropologie

7.  If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?  What would you ask them?

  • I very much enjoy Kelle Hampton’s blog Enjoying the Small Things.  She has a huge heart, a great positive take on life, a sense of humor and takes amazing photos.  I would probably ask her for some photography tips.

8.  Would you rather take a vacation in the mountains or the beach?

  • I am a mountain kind of a girl.

9.  How do you come up with ideas for your blog posts?

  • My brain never shuts off.  It usually is a project that I have completed or something that just entered my life or thoughts for that day.

10.  Do you have a daily beauty routine?  If so, what is it?

  • I try not to have a strict routine.  However, life is life.  I wake up around 6:30, feed N, pack his lunch, get dressed, and walk him to school.  Once I get back home, I eat, peruse the web, write my blog, etc.  Run errands, clean house, walk back to school to get N.  Play with N and his friends until time to cook dinner.  Cook, eat, do homework with N, read with N, get N ready for bed.  Then, crash on the sofa with the hubs to watch T.V.  This is on days when I do not volunteer.

11.  If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

  • Not to care so much about what other people think.  

Done.  Here are my 11 questions for the blogs I am nominating:

1.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

2.  If you could splurge on one thing, what would it be?

3.  What do you do first thing in the morning when your feet hit the floor?

4.  What is a quote that you love and try to live by?

5.  What simply just makes you smile or makes you feel all warm inside?

6.  What is your favorite television show?

7.  Do you have a hobby?  If so, what is it?

8.  What is your drink of choice with dinner?

9.  Yoga, Pilates, Running, Biking?  What is your favorite way to exercise?

10.  What is one thing that you love about yourself and you hope never changes?

11.  What is your favorite blog to read?

Lastly, here are my 11 nominees.  Well, I only have 2 nominees because all of the blogs I follow have thousands of followers.  And I do not have any friends who have started new blogs except the ones listed below and the one who nominated me.

Taking the Shot

Please keep me Safe

Thanks again Amy!  Go check her out at Baby Mama Juice.  Keep up the good work ladies.

Well, Hello…

I love doing simple things around our house to make it feel more like OUR HOME.  I often get my ideas perusing the web and reading various blogs, magazines I subscribe to, Pinterest, Houzz, etc.  While reading through the  Young House Love book, I discovered my love on page 320 where they put a vinyl decal on their front door.  They decided to put their house number.  However, I opted for something a little different.

Front Door

I purchased the vinyl decal from this Etsy shop.  Don’t pay attention to the fact that I have no wreath currently hanging on my door or the fact that I desperately need to change out that light fixture.  Here is another view from the road.

My "Hello" Door

My “Hello” Door

See how well it shows up even from a distance.  Looking up at that door when I am outdoors playing with my N and his friends, just makes me smile.  The best part…it took a little less than $7 and about 15 mins out of my day.  After all, sometimes it is just the little things…  I hope it makes my visitors smile, as well.

Have you added something to your front door that just makes you smile?  A new paint color or perhaps a new wreath?  Have you used vinyl decals anywhere in your home?  I am thinking of getting number decals for my stairs indoors.  What do you think?

To Cover or Not to Cover

Today’s post is certainly about life stuff, especially if you are a parent, but simple, it is not.  Or at least it is not simple to this mama who OVER analyzes everything.  Let me give you a little a lot of background.

N has a weather project due for his 2nd grade class on Thursday.  He has to display the information and give a presentation.  He chose hurricanes.  He could not wait to get started.  He worked on this project for several days with the guidance of his “project loving” dad.  He taught N the finer points of how to do all the prep work.  Of course, the whole time, N just wanted to get to the creative part.  The hubs taught N how to gather and write down information from his sources (books and the web).  He then proceeded to instruct him on how to write the information on its own Post- it.  N then placed the Post-its on the wall in the order in which he thought made the most sense.

So far, so good.  To make a somewhat long story short, we printed out photos to place on the display board.  I typed the information N wanted to go along with his pictures on the board based on the now infamous Post-it notes.  We organized the pictures and information, and we glued.  N is still excited at this point.

Then last night, it is time for N to use his oil pastels to put the title at the top of the display board (Hurricanes:  Wild Waves and Wicked Winds).  Great title, yes?  I leave him to his own devices because after all, it is HIS project.  OK, here is where we are now:

Of course, as a perfectionist, my brain is, “What the Hell?  The word Hurricanes should take front stage.”  “Why is Hurricanes just crammed on there and bleeding over into your typed text?”  “Why is it not capitalized?”  As a parent, I take a deep breath and I tell him that, “I really like the big, blocked letters, and the colors and that the title is perfect.”  Then, I have to be honest with him and give him the dreaded BUT, “Honey, the word hurricanes should have been first and the biggest word.”  “After all, your whole project is about hurricanes.”  He agreed with me, but got that discouraged look on his face and professed that he no longer was excited about the project because he messed it up.  My brain starts churning and my heart hurts just a bit.

This project reminds me of something I grapple with daily.  To praise no matter what or tell the truth?   Child Psychologists tell us to praise, praise, praise or kids will be discouraged, depressed, feel like a failure, scared to try new things, have low self-esteem.  But what about honesty and teaching life lessons?  We don’t always get it right the first time.  If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.  No one is perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes.  We just try very hard not to make the same mistake twice.  If we don’t teach them these lessons, life will slap them in the face one day.

Do you always praise your child to boost their egos and self-esteem and to keep them motivated and willing to take chances?  Do you give them the praise even though they haven’t earned it?  Or do you teach them important life lessons and tell them the truth?  As a parent, I would like to strike a balance.

So, do I cover part of the title, the messed up part,  with white paper and have him try again, or not cover it and leave it alone?

Color Me White

Yesterday, we got snow, and lots of it (at least for this girl from the South).  We got 10 inches to be exact!  N and I were like kids in a candy, chocolate, cupcake, cookie (ok you get it) store.  Our snow day started off with some of our cul-de-sac neighbors building a sled hill for the kiddos.

Sled hill

Fun, fun, and more fun!  We then ventured over to a bigger sled hill with some more neighbors and proceeded to sled for at least 2 hours.  The ends of my hair were frozen by the time we arrived back home.

This Monday morning, the school had a 90 minute delay, so N and I decided to have some playtime before the 10:10 bell rang.  I mostly took pictures.

Snow Angel

Sorry for the picture overload, but wanted to share with my family and friends back home in the South.  N and I both woke up this morning and could not believe that school was just on a 90 minute delay and not completely cancelled.  But, we had time to play before our walk to school, so all is good.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Sitting at my desk and looking out over the snow with the Colorado sun shining bright, coffee in my hand, and snow gear waiting by the fire just makes me smile…

Somewhere to hang your hat (or coat)…

I am somewhat addicted to the Young House Love blog.  If you don’t subscribe to this blog, you should.  Sherry and John Petersik take you on their journey as they make their house a home.  What is especially nice is that I can actually do some of the DIYs and a great majority of them fit into my budget.  On occasion, they also do a “home crash” where they visit someone else’s home and allow us to come along.  Via one of these “crashes”, I fell in love with this simple coat rack.

Mudroom coat rack from Richmond Homearama via Young House Love blog

I do not have the luxury of having a “room” for an entrance, but I do have the need for a coat rack.  You see, since moving to Colorado, our house is usually filled with at least one of my son’s friends.  They have a boot tray in which to place their shoes, but coats always end up on the floor by the front door.

So…. I took a trip to the Home Depot and purchased a piece of wood and 3 water valves.  Some may say that I am a little lazier or a little more impatient than the designers who spray painted the valves in the above mudroom.  I call myself lucky because I found some valves that were already red, and they were less than $2 a piece.   I stained my piece of board with some Oak stain to match the existing woodwork in my home.  I then (well, the hubs) screwed the valves onto the board with wood screws and washers.  It then got attached to the wall.  Not as elaborate, but simple and useful.

Kid's coat rack

Kid’s coat rack

Have you been inspired by someone else’s project but made little tweaks to make it your own.  I love projects that are simple, inexpensive, but end up being extremely functional.  Again, sometimes it is just the little things that make me smile.

Stringin’ Some Thread

So, with my love of Pinterest, comes my new love for String Art.  Who would have thought that a graphic, a few nails, and some string could make me smile?  I have seen string art projects on the web done directly onto boards:

Michelle Edgemont for HGTV

and diy’d directly onto walls:

Jen Loves Kev

I love both, but in lieu of Valentine’s Day, I decided to try my hand at doing a simple, string heart on a piece of board.

I started by visiting my local Home Depot and scoring a piece of not-so-expensive wood.  I bought nails (Wire Nails 1.75″) and used string (Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread) that I already owned from Michaels (I used 3 different colors).  On a typical Colorado sunny day, it took 1 hour outdoors to complete this “little” project.  I started by using some leftover grey paint to paint my board (one of the many sample cans I had collected when trying to choose “the perfect” grey paint for my walls).  I then traced a heart onto white paper.  I taped the heart paper to the board, and used a ruler to mark off equal spaces around the outline of the heart.  This would tell me where to place each nail.  I then began to hammer nails into the board at these markings, eyeballing to make sure each nail was hammered in approximately the same distance.  Once all nails were in, I tore the paper off, and began stringing.  No rhyme or reason, just stringin’!

Now my new art heart sits atop my kitchen cabinets, and every time I look up at it, I smile.  It is not perfect, but I am pleased.  I plan on adding more string art to my home or perhaps do smaller ones for gifts.

Heart String Art

Heart String Art

Have you done any simple string art projects?  or have plans to add one to your home?  Do you have something simple that you have made that makes you smile?  Please share because sometimes it’s the little things.