Sunday, October 9, 2011


I happened to look at my poor little blog the other day and I was feeling like I needed to update. This little girl has been so busy lately! Going back to work has been a joy, but a busy one! Kevin us leaving for a week for a business trip {neither of us ever thought Kevin would be the "business trip" type} so I have been busting out little projects yesterday and today in order to get the house prepared for a week of madness! Luckily, it's a pretty slow week for me, as far as work goes, so everything should run smoothly {fingers crossed}!

Here are the lastest little updates around this big empty {furniture and decor, I mean} house! This is the family room. I put out a few fall things but vowed to not purchase anything new so this is what I had to work with. Keep in mind, our previous house was less than 1/2 of what we have now, so my furniture and "things" are just enough to fill up about ONE room! But that's okay because we have room to GROW! I am in love with this pillow. It was on my bed but I couldn't resist moving into the family room.
This little gallery wall is a work in progress. So many of my frames are empty. If you look closely, that little gold frame is even turned the wrong way! Well, the right way for this space but opposite of what it was so the pitcure is on its side :) One day, one day!
Kevin has been working on trimming the olive trees. This poor guy is so dead on one side {the tree, I mean} Hopefully we can figure out something! Oh, and Kev is so proud of how sharp he made those clipper things. This time of year, the lawn is full of olives from the trees so it's a great job for the girls to help out with!
This was my project for the day! I made two cute little Halloween wreaths for the front doors. They are pretty adorable :)

I made this sign last weekend. Love it! {Please ignore my dusty table} The best thing about Fall in Bakersfield is that it is still in the high 70s-80s and so nice out! We will probably have another week or two of warm weather before the cold winter sets in {and by cold I mean 60s}
Here's to hoping I will not go another 2 months without blogging! Have a fabulous week!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Well, no matter how sad I was about my alarm this morning, I still got up, took a bath (long story), and got to work! Am I the only one who think that the summer FLEW by? And am I the only person who had big plans for summer projects but made only little progress? Please say no to both of these things. After a TON of work in my classroom over the last few days, it was worth it to walk in, smell my Scentsy, see my beautiful boards, and wait for my anxious freshmen to arrive!

In bigger news, Reese started Kindergarten today! She was so excited and looked super cute, like always! Kevin dropped her off because our schools start at the same time, but he emailed me pictures right away and said that she did wonderfully. She had her sparkly little backpack and lunchbox and all the cute stuff that Reese requires :) She told Kevin when she got in the car, after school, that she ate hot lunch because she couldn't unsnap her lunchbox...I'll have to email her teacher and make sure we don't owe the school any money because Reese didn't take any!

Here are some cute pictures we took this morning before we all went our separate ways! Enjoy!
Zoë stayed home with Kevin and Charly today. She was super excited about that!
Mrs. Watson, all ready for the first day of teaching!
My cute cute cute girl! I can't even believe she is already in school! It seriously seems like yesterday we were sitting in the NICU waiting for her to digest milk so we could take home our little 5 pound baby! NOW look at this crazy lady!
Reese and me all ready to go! I was trying so hard not to cry...I think we look alike here, too.
Here's Sissy at her desk. I wasn't there, but I can just imagine her saying, "Daddy, I am ready to write! No more pictures!!"
It was a fun day for everyone! I hope you all had a great first day of school, too!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh, Idaho...

We finally make it to Idaho! After not knowing for sure if we would be able to get away for a vacation, everything fell into place and we hit the road. 15.5 hours later, we arrived. It is crazy to think that when I lived here, all I could ever think about was moving back home to California. Now, every time we are here, it's like torture to leave. So conflicting! Even though I have no control of our situation right now, I still think about the reasons we live in California and I dwell on weighing one place against the other.

What I love about California:
My family and friends
Our jobs
Our house and pool (not in a material sense, but because they entertain us with projects and hold much excitement for the girls).

What I love about Idaho:
The air
The parks (and that we play ultimate frisbee for fun)
Kevin's family
That everything is SO dead on Sundays

What I don't love about California:
The air
The heat
The filthiness
The lack of healthy people and activities
***This entire category is what kills me. These are the things I hate most in life and I struggle with them every single day.

What I don't love about Idaho:
Snow (and having to wear suitable shoes)
There is only one drive-thru Starbucks (not in the entire state, duh!)
The speed limits
We don't have jobs here
Houses cost about the same as in Bakersfield, but we would make 1/2 the money...I think...I totally have not looked into it (weird, I know).

Pretty unimpressive lists. Our goal was to move before the girls started school. Guess what? Reese starts school in like 2 weeks :/ The thing that frustrates me is that we love our "stuff" so much because we have worked really hard for it. I know that sounds bad, but it's totally true. Our house brings us so much joy! The ability to make it our home, entertain family and friends, and have a fabulous place for our girls to grow up is so important to me. Also, we are not in a position, in either of our jobs, to simply pack up and start fresh. In fact, it would probably be close to impossible for me to even find a teaching job (not that I wouldn't be perfectly happy staying home, if I could...I think). Unfortunately, Kevin is in a really great place at his current hospital and he is gaining so much experience there...I could go on for days with these shenanigans. I'll be even worse after spending time with my friends and their kids this week, just you wait!

Ultimately, what it comes down to is the fact that we want to be as happy as possible for ourselves and our girls. Life is crazy. Sometimes I wish we would have never left. Then again, maybe I just love it here because we are on vacation, which I highly doubt. Who knows. Perhaps something will just pop up, out of the blue, and we will head down a different path. A year ago, we never thought we would be able to buy the house we live in and love now. It just makes me so anxious to think of all the possibilities for our future. I guess I just don't want to "waste time" doing things that aren't 100% satisfying. Until I change my tune again...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sweet Piper Pea

I took some pictures of my friend Kristen's baby, Piper, this evening. She is so cute...and chubby! Here's a little preview of her 1st Birthday pictures.
This was Kristen's chair when she was a baby...I think...
Piper sat with her little ankles crossed like this the entire time! What a little lady she is!
My fave.
Lovin' some sweets, just like her mama!
Check back for more. As for me, Insanity day 13 is dreadfully calling my name from the backyard! Oh, and I am leaving for cheer camp in the morning. Perhaps I should prepare! See ya in a few...

Painted Wallpaper...

This painted wallpaper seemed like a great idea until I actually started it. I mean, it is still a great idea, and I think it's going to be wonderful, but it is just taking forever. Okay, I am lying again. It's really not taking any time at all because I am not working on it. Here is where it is going (in that little "area").
Here's a little update anyway. I got the idea here at Jones Design Company. She even provided a template!
I printed the template, cut it out, traced it onto cardstock, and then cut that out. Kevin then looked at me and said, "Wouldn't it be nice if that was on a piece of wood with a handle?" I mean, of course that would be nice!!! Guess what he came back with about 5 minutes later? Yep, you guess it!
Even a cute little knobby! I got to tracing. And tracing. And tracing. It's crazy to think that I wanted to do like two entire walls like this! I am glad I started out small. Kind of small, anyway. Here is my progress so far. Still annoyed that I can't find a table for this entryway. Oh well!

Maybe Kevin will have it finished when I get back from cheer camp...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Again with the keepin''d think I would listen...

I found this cute pillow at Home Goods the other day for $24.99 BUT I had a $25.00 gift card, so it was free, technically. Ha! Anyway, I was not in love with the color but I really like the message, so I had to get it. It really should go in my living room so I can share the positive vibes with others but I really like it on my bed...for now! Oh, and I am working really hard to bring in other colors to my bedroom and shy away from the apple green-ness that was taking over even though I really love it! I thought maybe the flowers would add a little pop of color. They're pretty darn cute. And I love the color now.
That's all for my bedroom for a while. It's livable, kind of getting to be cute, and I'm so over it for today! Until Kevin builds my mantle like this one...
She even has the apple green-ness happening. LOVE! Hopefully nothing will fall off on us in the middle of the night. I'm so willing to take the risk.

Weddings Make Me Smile :)

We took pictures for my friend Sarah's wedding in June and I FINALLY finished all of the photos. We had about 700 (many repeats) but still! Sheesh! I absolutely love taking and editing pictures but I am always ultra stressed until everything is completely finished. Now, it is! Here are some of my favorites from Sarah and Luke's special day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

All I Want for My Birthday Is an Entryway!

I have been such a procrastinator about decorating my entryway. The biggest reason is probably because I don't have a table and I REALLY want one! Also, I hate my tile but I need to get over myself and accept the fact that it's going to be a long time before those creamy tiles get ripped out and replaced with my dreamy hardwood floors. For the time being, I would like to make my entryway as cute as possible and cover the granite infused (leopard print-looking) stones! I came across this fabulous website a few weeks ago and I have been absolutely drooling over this painted wallpaper ever since!
How cute is this? OMG, I want to do it in my entire formal livingroom but I think I am going to start on a smaller scale and do this little pop-out (pop-in?). There is a fab template that Jones Design Company provides, here. It's going to take some serious time, but I think it will be super cute with some grey paint and white "wallpaper".
This table, or at least one like it, is on my birthday wishlist :)
I think I have enough other goodies to fill the space nicely, I just need a jumpstart! Long story short, I would like to have my entryway looking presentable for my birthday party. Am I having a birthday party? We'll see, ha!
OHHH! I almost forgot, I really want to paint the inside of my doors black, too! Shelley, over at The House of Smiths, recently did a post on her obsession with painted doors and I fell in love, too. Here is her painted door:
Looks amazing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keep Calm and...

via These cutes are all over blogland and I, too, think that they're adorable. I don't eat cupcakes, but sometimes I feel like I would be better off if I just took a deep breath and shoved a paper cup of chocolate and icing into my mouth instead of freaking out about something far less important! This would be lovely above my pantry. Perhaps I'll try creating something similar.
via How wonderful is this? Oh, and the yellow, and the floors, etc. I am completely aware that this is overly popular and somewhat overdone, but I don't care! I need this reminder every day. What better a way to display a great suggestion than incorporating it colorfully into your home? I think yes!!

Table/Desk/Nightstand Proj!

On Saturday, my friend, Jordan, needed to use Kevin's truck to go pick up a headboard that she bought for her son, Cruz. I, nosy Nelly, volunteered to go along and drive her. I am SO glad that I did because on the way home, we saw a lady selling furniture on the side of the road. Of course, I whipped the giant truck around to see what she was all about! Interestingly enough, she was just lounging on a mattress in her front yard, smoking a cig...haha! It was funny :) Anyway, I saw this cute little desk and she only wanted $25 for it so we drove to Vons and got some cash for her.
Cute, huh? We loaded it up (the lounger even complimented my arms) and brought it straight home. Obviously, I knew right where I wanted to put it and started working on it immediately! Here's me, sanding away (excuse my crazy hair). It really only took me about 20 minutes to sand completely down because it was pretty stripped to begin with.
Kevin helped me tighten it up with some wood glue and clamps. He also used wood putty to fill the holes where the pulls used to be.
What a guy! Here's the little pretty with one coat of paint. PS, when I bought this paint, I didn't know what I would use it for but I REALLY loved it and knew it would be useful for something. Little did I know, I would find this cute thing just hours later! As you can see, it was dark by the time I finished painting the body so the drawers had to wait until the next day to be finished!
I've been wanting to do stripes on something for a while and I thought this would be a perfect piece to experiment with. These have been painted the first color (Behr's Caribe), measured, taped, striped (Caribe with some white mixed in), glazed with Minwax Dark Walnut, and waxed with Minwax clear finishing wax. That was a mouthful! But aren't they spectac?!
Here is the pretty in my room as a little night stand/desk (excuse my iPhone charger). The cute knobbies I found at World Market for $2.99. I don't know if I love them, yet. They might have to be replaced and used for something else. We shall see!
Thanks for checking in on my projects! I really hope to have my bedroom finished (is anything ever finished?) by the time I go back to work in 28 days!

The Best Paint Colors Ever!

The Silver Sage Collection from Restoration Hardware is ahhhhhhmazing! I've never actually tried their paint because I am cheap and it's very pricey, but I took the plunge and ordered their fan deck for $10 plus shipping and I have no regrets! All of the colors are carefully selected by their designers and they all work well with one another, for the most part. My family room/kitchen/dining area (which are all kind of combined), Charly's nursery, and our bedroom are all silver sage. I'm a little bit obsessed. How could you not be?! It is neutral like a tan, but it's a dreamy, cool, blue-green-grey bundle of lovliness! OH, ps, an almost perfect match is Benjamin Moore's Grey Wisp. :)

The Great Master Bedroom Project!

Our bedroom has always been the last room to ever get completed in any house that we've lived in. In fact, we have never even had a "set" of bedroom furniture. Don't get too excited, we still don't, but we have made some HUGE leaps forward! I've been eyeing this Pottery Barn beauty for a few years, now. Somehow, I just couldn't bring myself to spend $1,400 on a bed...because then I would have to have the entire ensemble, which is really not my style anyway. Isn't it so lovely?
As I do about every other day, I was searching Craigslist for a treasure. Most of the time, I am so annoyed with CL because so many people think that their garbage is worth a great deal of money and won't part with it. However, when I saw this bed, listed for $75, I had to call!
I just knew that this bed had potential; I mean, look at those finials! Long story short, we went to a sketchy part of town and picked the bed up from some guy's storage unit for $50 (bargainer, here) and brought her home. The biggest issue with the bed, is that it was a California King and our mattresses are for an Eastern King (ironic, I know). Well, a California King is roughly 6 inches longer and narrower than our mattresses, so we had to brainstorm a bit. In a perfect world, I wanted to be able to see a bit more of the headboard. I mentioned that to Kevin, so of course, he started rebuilding! Here's what he came up with:

Kevin remade the wide pieces that make up the headboard and footboard and raised the headboard's finials a bit.
Here, we've added the center section of the headboard. Now, after a few hours of sanding, we were ready to bring the bed inside and give her a few coats of paint! We used Behr's Cottage White (one of my favorites).
Starting to look a little bit more like my PB love, eh? We've done the whole distressing bit to a few pieces of furniture in the last few years and I really love the look, but I have never really had anything come out exactly like I want. This, too, was a bit of a challenge. We used a satin paint where I think we should have used a high gloss or something a little more liquid resistant because the wood was really porous in several places. Perhaps more paint was needed? I don't know. Anyway, we decided that we definitely wanted more of a distressed, hand-painted finish, so we made our first attempt at a wax finish. We used this one:
It worked really well after some getting used to. Finally after two coats of paint, sanding, staining, cleaning stain off, more painting because the stain stained (imagine that) our paint, and a few coats of finishing wax, we were happy to say that we ended up with this fabulous piece of furniture for our bedroom!
I'm so happy with our results! It took a lot of work, but what great thing doesn't?! Overall, the bed cost me about $100! My room is nowhere near complete, but we've got paint and a bed! AND one more little surprise...

Friday, July 15, 2011

This post has been a long time coming!

Well, it took Kevin telling me that his mom wanted to see our projects for me to actually sit down and write about them, post pictures, and be an effective blogger...I really don't think anyone even follows my blog, but whatevs! One day I will be a greatly admired blogster! Ha! For some reason, I find it so much easier to simply post pictures, updates, etc. on Facebook...probably because it is so much easier and people actually see my stuff! Perhaps I will become of the mindset that I should be blogging this junk for myself and my family and NOT for the Facebook, probably not going to happen :)

ANYWAY, I haven't blogged since Christmas, thus failing my New Year's resolution yet again. That's what they're for, right? So a lot has happened since Christmas. We bought a new house! Well, new to us, anyway. It is quite the jump from our little 1,200 square foot baby house. We now occupy 2,800 square feet of fabulousness and projects GALORE! One of our favorite things about the house is the neighborhood. We have such wonderful neighbors and we feel really safe and welcome here. Another of our faves is definitely the pool which is a complete necessity in the hellish heat that comes with living in Bakersfield. We all know that Kevin and I cannot ever leave well enough alone, so we have been so excited to do all kinds of projects in the new house even though they don't really have to be done right now. Which leads me to my next point, we are pretty much broke most of the time so we have to be very creative with our projects. With a house twice the size, comes a mortgage twice the size...or triple...whatever makes you happy. Haha! However frugal we find that we need to be at this point, we are totally okay with it because we are so young and will only move forward in our careers so we feel really fortunate to be in this position and to have such a fun and project-filled house for our girls to grow up in :)

Remember what I said about moving forward in our careers? Well, unfortunately that doesn't mean making more money at this point which is another reason that our financial situation isn't completely ideal. Don't get me wrong, I am not snobby or anything, I just REALLY like to shop--A LOT! And this time last year, I was in a position to be a little more frivilous with my spending habits. But like I said before, with new purchases come new responsibilities and I am totally okay with that. Back on track now--Kevin got a HUGE promotion at work! Just to recap, he started as an RN in the ICU at SJCH in August of 2006, just two months after earning his AS in nursing. After two years in the ICU, deciding not to pursue a career as a CRNA, deciding against trying to get into med school and training to be a firefighter, he transferred to the ER where he was given the opportunity to become a shift leader, and later, a charge nurse. AND in the midst of all of this, he earned his BSN. Yes, I am married to Superman. Kevin was also a house supervisor one day every two weeks or whenever the hospital needed extra coverage. Well, one day, his friend and mentor approached him and asked if he would be interested in applying for a different (yes, again) job as the manager of the staffing office. I can't really tell you what exactly this means, but my only concern, selfishly, was the fact that he would no longer be able to work overtime, which is a really nice benefit to have! Speaking of benefits, Kevin decided to drop his benefits when I started working to boost his pay. Sheesh, this is making us sound like money-grubbing people! After much deliberation, sleepless nights, and conversation after conversation, Kevin decided that it was an opportunity he could not pass up.

He took the job in March and has quadrupled the number of grey hairs on his head since then (which I love, by the way). The job has been wonderful in so many aspects because Kevin is pretty much in charge of his own schedule. Instead of working 5-6 12-hour shifts each week, he works Monday-Friday 8-5 (or 7 or 8). BUT when the girls or I have a doctors appointment or something of that nature, he's always available to come home to help me out. His paycheck has been cut in half, but his time with the girls and me has doubled. You can't beat that! I am willing to curb my spending in order to have my hubby around more :) Not to mention, that he is in an unreal position for someone so young in the profession. But, what can I say, he's a "go-getter" and the hospital is ready for someone with his determination, or so I've heard--ha!

My job is wonderful especially at this time because I am on summer break! Really, is there anything better than having 3 months off in the Summer? I think NOT! I am going to be at the same school next year (my alma mater) and I got to move to a new classroom which I am totally excited about! ALSO, I am teaching ALL freshman!! Yay! I love freshies! They're so young and cute and impressionable...and scared. PLUS, no term papers to grade! YESSSSS!!!

I am going to end this post now and hope that someone reads it. Either way, I'll enjoy looking back on it one day. The soothing sound of the power drill is coming from my bedroom so I better go see what kind of trouble Kevin is getting into! I WILL blog more and share our home and our new projects and I will NOT wait 6 months so that I have to spend all of my time giving updates on our craziness :) Perhaps I should share a bit about the children and be a good, proud mother. Reese is a handful, Zoë is getting to be a handful and Charly is so sweet...but learning to be just as salty as her big sisters! Blogging tomorrow for sure. Okay then. Goodnight.