AdVeNtUrE Time last year…

Adventures with my family make me happy.  Memories of these adventures make me smile.  So, I decided to start a new series each month called “AdVeNtUrE Time last year…”  I will load this post with pictures/memories of my family’s adventure this time last year.  Hope you enjoy.

In March of last year, my family was fly fishing, camping, hiking, and slacklining at Stone Mountain, NC.

Dad teaching son about fly fishing gear

Dad teaching son about fly fishing gear

Happy Fly Fisherman

Happy Fly Fisherman

The hike before the fishing

The hike before the fishing

A boy and his dog

A boy and his dog

Slacklining at the campground

Slacklining at the campground

Can’t wait to share another “AdVeNtUre Time last year” post.  To reminisce just makes me smile.  Sometimes, it is the little things.

Hair and Crack Talk

Should I get my hair done or buy a weeks worth of groceries?  Women, do you ask yourself this question?  I had this very conversation with myself  last week.  Oh how I enjoy having my “hair did” and having someone else massage shampoo and conditioner through my locks.  Hope the back of the shampoo bottle reads, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat.”  And don’t get me started about having someone else more qualified dry and apply a flatiron to my hair.  When I leave, I think I always have more bounce to my step, my shoulders are held a little higher, and my smile radiates a little more.  Here is my before.

Before

Why is it that your hair decides to behave on the day you have an appointment to get it cut?  It must know that I have been unsatisfied with it lately.  Decided to get a few highlights and lowlights and a few inches taken off in prep for warmer weather.  Or did I want shorter hair because I wear a winter hat around CO a lot these days?  Either way, here is my after.

After

Does this haircut make my cheeks look fatter?  While I am speaking of hair, I have to share a new product that I was brainwashed into trying.  You see, I was subjected to advertising brainwashing when Ulta sent me a free sample of this product with my purchase.  I tried it, and by the time the sample packet was empty, I was typing Ulta into Google and buying a full size bottle.  This product is called Crack.

The air is so dry here in CO that I have to battle major fly aways and dry hair.  But no more!  Now, I am sporting shorter hair and no fly aways.  Sometimes, it is just the little things.

Do you cringe every time you lay down money on your hair?  Do you have a favorite hair product that you cannot do without?  Have you ever been subjected to advertising brainwashing?  Please share.

Keepin’ Track of Our Adventures

This day is a journey, this very moment an adventure. (Rebecca Pavlenko)  My little family enjoys adventure.  I love leaving the routine behind and letting the dust settle on the furniture without a care.  So far, we love camping, hiking, backpacking, biking, bouldering, fly fishing, etc.  Since moving to CO, we have added skiing, sledding, and snow shoeing to that list.  When we moved to CO from NC, we hooked up our Coachman camper, packed our supplies, and headed cross country, enjoying adventures along the way.

To keep track of our travels and adventures for N, we purchased a map soon after moving to NC.  Since that time, we have been pinning the places and storing away the memories.

N's Travels

N’s Travels

Here is a close up to show you the actual pins.

Pinning N's Travels

Pinning N’s Travels

N enjoys coming back from a trip, grabbing the pins and his Daddy and adding one more red dot on the map.  He gets excited that he has been to about 10 states already.  We plan to add at least 2 more this summer in our travels. Of course, we not only have the map, but we have millions of pictures.  I always tell N that his entire life is documented.  Here is one of my all time favorites!

Does your family love adventures and do alot of traveling?  Do you have a way that you document your travels for yourself or your kiddos?  Where is your all time favorite place to visit in the U.S.?  Sleeping under the stars makes me smile.  Sometimes, it is the little things.

Rewarding Myself Because…

Do you ever reward yourself just because?  Well, today I did.  My morning started off trying to drag myself  out from under my cozy comforter in a darkened room thanks to this ##### time change.  This was followed by the usual routine of showering, getting N ready for a fun filled day at school with a full belly, packed lunch and snack, warm clothes, and clean teeth.  We had an amazing walk to school with a gentle snow falling around us.   While walking home with a friend and neighbor, I learned that her birthday was Sunday.  So, my brain starts churning.  What would this person enjoy and what little gesture can I do that helps her celebrate her special day, even if I am two days late.  So, after sitting in a doctor’s office watching one pregnant woman come in after another, I had some blood work done.  Now, here is where I decide to reward myself.

I drove to our quaint little bookstore called The Tattered Covered.  I perused the magazine section looking for a gardening magazine for my friend.  She loves flowers and gardening, and I knew she would reward herself by looking at this magazine while sipping a cup of hot tea after her four kiddos are in bed.  Of course, I also flipped through several house decorating magazines, wandered over to the card section to find the perfect Bday card and checked out the kid’s section and business section (I know, a little nerdy).  Well, I had to pass by their Coffee Shop on the way out.  So, I bought this little reward.

My Reward Just Because...

My Reward Just Because…

I first tasted this gem of a drink when we were in Breckinridge this past weekend, as I wrote about here.  So, as I write this post today, I am sipping on this baby, 16oz baby to be exact with a smile on my face.

Before I end this post, I had to share a line of cards that I discovered while touring the bookstore.  They are by Positively Green.  I will let you in on a secret…I am a card hoarder.  I buy cards just because I love the picture or the saying.  This time was no different.  I will share my little craft with these cards in a later post.  Here is the card I chose.

Positively Green Card

Positively Green Card

I miss my friends in NC.  It is a blessing that I have such an amazing neighbor who makes me feel right at home.  Do you have a reward that you give yourself from time to time just because?  What is it?  Please share.

Adding to the Memory Bank

What a weekend…It all started on Friday when we picked N up from school early.  For those of you who know me, this was an unusual occurrence.  I think I believe that if N gets out of school early or misses school for anything other than being sick, I am not making good choices as his mother.  But, isn’t adventure, family time, and making memories worth the few hours missed in school?  I think so.

He buckled himself in and we headed to Chipotle to fill our empty stomachs before heading down the road in our fully loaded Tundra .  We wanted to get to the CO mountains before the white stuff interfered with our weekend plans.  You see, it was all about timing.  We wanted the white stuff, and LOTS of it, but we wanted it after we arrived at our lodge.  We stopped along the way at a discount ski ticket shack to get our lift tickets for the following day.  Discount?  Really?

A couple of hours later, we landed on Main Street in Breckinridge.  We checked into the lodge, unloaded our bags, and headed out with our snow boots on meandering down Main Street.  N enjoyed throwing snow balls and collecting huge icicles.

After walking in several shops, and making a few small purchases we ended up at the Breckinridge Brewery and Pub, where I enjoyed an Avalanche with my turkey burger and tater tots.  Back at the hotel, we decided to brave the cold, change into our swimsuits and head to the outdoor hot tub.  Oh, so nice!

Throughout the night, I could hear the roaring sound of the snow plow, so I knew fresh snow was a fallin’.  My heart and mind were racing due to my nervousness and the excitement of what the day would bring.

Fast forward to the next morning.  We woke up with tons of new powder on the ground.  After an amazing breakfast at Columbine Cafe, we grabbed our ski gear and headed to the gondola.  Our lodge was within walking distance.  Oh, how I love convenience.

Snow was pouring from the sky as we put on our skis and headed to the lift.

Breckinridge

Breckinridge

We had a full, fun-filled day of skiing.  I even perfected my ski lift dismount.  N is fearless, like his Dad, and even tried some jumps.  We were even able to ski down a slope that put us right back in front of our lodge.  Remember what I said about convenience?  After another visit to the hot tub and hot showers, we headed to dinner at The Motherloaded Tavern.

Snowshoeing was in order for the next day.  Here are a few shots.

What an amazing weekend.  Getting away with the family, skiing, snowshoeing, great food, hot tubs in the snow…just makes me smile.

What did you do this weekend?  Did you add memories to your memory bank?   Please drop me a line and let me know.

Before and After

Just thought I would share a few “before” and “after” pictures with you today.  My family and I moved to CO about 9 months ago.  In that time, we have been working to make our new house feel more like “our home.”  We repainted the walls after I went through paint paralysis.  Choosing a paint color, especially a gray that wasn’t too blue or too purple or too beige, took me some time and many cans of sample paint.  Now, I am a sample paint can advocate, for sure.  I mean, after all, the small cans usually cost less than $5 and save you a ton of money in the long run.  Plus, you have extra paint for small craft projects.

Choosing a gray

Choosing a gray

I finally chose Moonshine from Benjamin Moore, and I could not be happier.  In addition to painting, we ripped up the carpet and had hardwood installed.  We also removed the small wood colored baseboards and replaced them with wider white ones to make the floor “pop” a little more.  Are you ready for a few “before” and “after” shots?

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Obviously, the prior owners used the front entrance room as a sitting area.  However, right now it is mine and N’s office/work area.  We have plans to put a longer table in this room so we can have family and friends over for dinner.  The table we have picked out can double as a desk.  Love when things can serve multiple purposes.  We need some thing bigger in that room to help balance the scale.

Here is another area of the house “before” and “after.”

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

The prior owners had a separate ceiling fan mounted flush to the ceiling, and a light that hung down too far and obstructed the view.  We opted for a fan/light combo.  We added metal sheeting to the bar area, and handles to the cabinets.  We have plans to change out the countertops and possibly add different/more lighting in the kitchen area.

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

That brown wall screamed at me every day, but now it makes me smile.

What do you think?  We have many other exciting projects planned for our new home, but we are pleased with the transformation, thus far.  Paint can certainly make a huge difference.  I definitely enjoy relaxing in my new home and daydreaming about additional changes.   Sometimes, it is the little things, even if they take time and money.

Have you changed something in your house to make it feel more like “your home”?  Did you have the idea yourself or did you ask for design advice?  Do you have paint paralysis like me?  Please share.

Washi Love

I am in love with WASHI tape.  I use it on little gifts, like these message bottles I put together for N’s friends for Valentine’s Day.

Washi on Gifts

Washi on Gifts

I wrote a post about how I use it here on our Reading Tree.

Washi on Reading Tree

Washi on Reading Tree

I used it at Christmas time to make my N an Advent Calendar.

Washi Tape Advent Calendar

When N’s grandmother and great grandmother visited from Florida during Thanksgiving, I used Washi tape to welcome them.

Washi Welcome Sign

My latest Washi inspiration came from a pin I posted on Pinterest.  This creative person used Washi tape as an inexpensive, simple picture frame.

Washi tape frames from Design Sponge

These are so cool!  So, I decided to use this idea in my guest bedroom.  So, I grabbed a card that inspires me, a picture that my son created, and a Katie Daisy print.  I then grabbed my washi tape that I had on hand and began taping.

Washi tape frame

Washi tape frame

Washi tape frame

Washi tape frame

Washi tape frame

Washi tape frame

Here is how they all look together.

Washi tape frames

Washi tape frames

I think my guests will enjoy this artwork display.  It will show them that they are welcomed and loved.  Hopefully, it will make them smile as much as it makes me.  Sometimes, it is just the little things.

Do you love washi tape?  What uses have you found for this amazing tape?  Do you have a way that you frame cards, artwork, etc. other than using traditional frames?  Please share.

Cashmere Banner, Anyone?

I was going to share with you today a tip I use in my home to organize gloves and hats, so we are never searching for them.  Well, never is a strong word.  However, it is a sunny, warm day here in CO, so I had a little “spring fever” running through my veins.  I have been saving the J.Crew Italian Cashmere catalogue for some time now because I was absolutely drawn to the pastel colors.  So, I grabbed that catalogue along with some additional supplies:  scissors, a pencil, letter and shape stencils, thumbtacks, twine, and miniature clips.

Needed supplies

Needed supplies

I had all of these supplies on hand and readily available.  First, I opened the pages of the catalogue and chose the pages that appealed to me.

Aren’t these colors so refreshing and cool?  I then traced the letters onto the backside of the page I wanted to use.  Being careful to flip the stencil, so that when I cut them out, the letter would be correct.  I traced the letters on the backside of the page I wanted so that when I cut the letters out, I would not see my pencil marks.

Trace the letter stencils

Trace the letter stencils

I then proceeded to cut out all of my letters, along with five ovals in the shape of Easter eggs.  I cut the length of twine that I needed and tied each end around a thumbtack.  I then placed the twine above my fireplace where a mantel will eventually sit one day.  Finally, I used my miniature clips to clip the words and egg shapes to the twine.  And voila!

Easter Banner made from a J.Crew catalogue

Easter Banner made from a J.Crew catalogue

Here is a little closer view.

OK.  Not a “knock your socks off” kind of banner, but certainly an inexpensive and quick one that just makes me smile.  Sometimes, it is just the little things.

Do you repurpose catalogues or hang on to one just because of the amazing graphics or layout?  What is your favorite catalogue to get through the mail?  You know, the kind where you grab a cup or glass of your favorite drink and dare anyone to bother you.  Have you started decorating for Easter?  If so, please share some of your simple decorating ideas.

Wall of Art

My N loves to draw.  I love that he loves to draw.  So, to foster this I signed him up for art classes at The Bean and Belle when we were living in NC.  He learned so much.  It was so great how the teacher had them work on a single project for weeks, concentrating on all of the details needed to make the artwork amazing.  Here he is at his first art show with one of his masterpieces:

N's Wild Thing named Hairy

N’s Wild Thing named Hairy

Don’t let the serious look fool you, he was beyond stoked and so proud.  I have always displayed his artwork in various areas throughout the home.  I enjoy looking at them as much as he enjoys making them.  When we moved to CO, I wanted a way to display his art but also be able to change it out easily.  So, one day I saw this picture on a blog that I read, and I posted it to one of my Pinterest boards.

Displaying art

Don’t you just love how clean and simple this looks?  It looked like a great way to hang a lot of different pieces and to interchange it easily.  So, the hubs and I got to work.  Well, I gave him the idea, and he actually did most of the measuring, cutting, and staining.  I did not take pictures of each step in the process.  Sorry, that was pre-blog.  But basically, we measured the wall going up the staircase to determine the length of the boards we needed.  After taking measurements of the boards that would go horizontally and vertically, the hubs cut them.  He then laid them out and stained them with a dark stain.  We have a lot of woodwork in our home, so we wanted to contrast the boards for the art wall with the other wood. After several coats of stain and dry time, we brought the pieces indoors and mounted them to the wall.  I purchased hangers from the trusty old Target at less than $5 for four and Voila!

Here you have it as it looks ToDaY.

N's Art Wall

N’s Art Wall

You will notice his Wild Thing named Hairy is still with us, along with some newer pieces he has created.  I have also added some quotes to the art wall.  If you are not familiar with Katie Daisy (Take a Hike, as seen above), check her out.  I have several of her prints hanging in my home.  I love it, N loves it.  I plan on changing out the quotes as I find ones that “speak” to me or a member of my little family.

So, what do you think?  Do you have one area in your home where you display the kiddo’s art?  Does your kid enjoy drawing?  Does he/she draw anything in particular?

Every time I look up at this wall, I just smile because sometimes it is just the little things.