Monday, December 30, 2013

Nursery preview

Well it should be no surprise that having a little one in my life has occupied a lot of my blogging time. However, that's not really my explination for a lack of updates. Honestly, it's a combination of baby and toddler attention, laziness, and mainly stress. As much as I'd love to vent about my life problems via blog, I'm a bit apprehensive about sharing our personal problems with the world. But I figured that maybe blogging might be a bit of therapy for me.  It got me through a couple deployments, after all. Anyhow, I have a ton of catching up to do. Basically, we had a baby...10 months ago in fact. She is a beautiful blessing, perfect in every way. She is a milk addict and loves to be held, constantly. My husband and I went through some serious marital issues about 7 months ago that nearly resulted in a divorce. We managed to pick up a lot of the pieces and put ourselves together. We took a cruise for our anniversary and really rekindled our love for one another. Our love is stronger than ever, but sadly various other problems linger as a result of that dark time, finances being the least of the major issues. The cruise was a wonderful experience, though. We went to the Bahamas and it was such an awesome time. I think about it a lot when I'm feeling down.  All in all, the things we have gone through, while painful have been for the best. They have made us a stronger, more appreciative family. But even as a faithful, Christian person I can't help but to fear that things will never improve. I know, what kinda faith is that? Well, I've rambled enough. The purpose of this post was to show off the baby nursery. I am. Very proud to say. The entire room cost about $250.  It was very much a DIY project. We got the crib on sale for $100 (identical crib and brand at babiesRus was $500). We got the glider for $40 on craigslist. It was brand new. And the dresser was on Craigslist for $40. It is a Broyhill, very solid, very heavy, very ugly. We completely refinished it for about $80 (sander, paint, finishing wax, drawer pulls, etc). I took a lot of photos of the process, maybe I'll do a post on it someday.'s a few pics of my princess's nursery. Enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

We're having a baby!

Yeah, it's a blunt title...I can't think of anything creative at the moment.  Considering I haven't blogged since May, just be grateful I'm finally making a new post.  So I have a lot of catching up to do.  I've been photographing things like a crazy person with every intention of adding these things to my blog...but I'm a bit of a procrastinator.  So I'm 6 months preggo with our princess-to-be and there's a lot going on around here.  I won't overwhelm this post with 6 months worth of thoughts and activities, I'll play catch up later.  For now, I'll post what I've been up to today.  I came across a pin on Pinterest that I found interesting.  It was a cute little board on what to pack for the hospital when it's delivery time.  I have experience in this field, however, and I felt a few things were missing.  Not to mention, being an Army family 12 hours from home, our toddler has no one to stay with. He will be joining us, so he needs a board too.

The hospital will provide many of the items listed above like blankets, pillows, shampoo, a delivery gown, diapers and wipes.  But in my experience, you'll want to bring your own from home if you care about comfort.  Let me know what you think.  Anything I forgot?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A little Door Decor

In honor of Earth Day, I turned 2 used boxes into some awesome door wreaths.  Here what less than $2 (and a good part of your day) can buy you.
Since the attempt at exercising my body hasn't worked out too well (severe back pain in the days following), I decided to exercise my brain.  With my hubby's return from 6 weeks away at training coming up, I thought a little home decor was in order.  I keep a pile of boxes in the laundry room for crafting purposes and I found the perfect use for a few of them a couple days ago.  I made 2 wreaths out of a pizza box, a mailing box, a bag of fabric scraps, leftover ribbon, hot glue and twine.  Total cost, less than $2.  No kidding. 

Here's a pictorial of the process with some vague details...

Step 1: Using a flat mailing box (mine was appx 11x14 and a half in thick, but you can use whatever you'd like) trace a sheet of printing paper (or whatever size paper you prefer) out of the center on both sides.  Next cut out the center using an exacto knife, razor, scissors, knife, or again whatever you prefer this isn't an exact science.  Don't discard the center, you'll need that later.  (It's not that I'm into recycling...I'm just frugal, saving mother earth is a bonus.)

Step 2: Cut out about a billion strips of fabric appx one inch wide and 6 inches long.  I may be exaggerating the amount of strips here.  Truthfully, the amount you need will depend on the size of the box you used and how thick you cut the strips.  I just cut about 10 at a time until I no longer needed them.  (You'll need about a half yard of fabric).  I was using scrap fabric, so I have no idea how much I had.

Step 3:  Wrap those pieces of fabric around the box and hotglue them on. Wrap and glue, wrap and glue, wrap and glue...

Step 4: Print off your template for your decor (I used a monogram of our last name and for the other wreath a Cincinnati reds logo) but again, you can do whatever you'd like here.  Next cut out the template and place onto the cardboard we set aside from step 1.

Step 5:  Trace onto BOTH pieces of cardboard and cut them out.  (If you have extra cardboard, a third layer wouldn't hurt).  Next hotglue the 2 layers together so you have one thick monogram or shape or whatever you chose to cut out.

Step 6: Get some twine (I got mine for a $1 from the dollar store, and have purchased it before from Sears for about a buck, don't go to craft stores and spend 3 times this price!!) Next wrap and hot glue the twine around your letter or shape.  Just wrap and glue (THIS PART TAKES FOREVER!). 

Finally: Hot glue your letter to some ribbon and attach ribbon to wreath.  ( I also used thumb tacks for additional strength) Leave some ribbon at the top to hang from the door.

After I finished my front door wreath, I was feeling pretty proud and a bit regretful I hadn't made my Cincinnati reds wreath in honor of baseball season.  So, I decided to hit up the cardboard stash and get to working on a wreath for the downstairs door.  Considering it opens to the man-cave, it's pretty fitting anyhow.  Here's my tutorial on wreath #2.

Step 1: Using the top off a pizza box (Papa Johns is my preference, but not necessary HEHE), trace some circles, one larger than the other.  I used a large bowl and a dinner plate. 

Step 2: Cut out the circles. The middle piece is your wreath form. :)  Following my trend from not discard the center circle.  The outside I would say is safe to toss in the recycling bin...unless you have some future ideas.

Step 3: Using the same process from step 4 and 5 in the previous pictorial, I cut out my cinci logo.  I had to use some other cardboard from the stash because my circle wasn't large enough.  I covered this logo in ribbon instead of twine and hot glued on some dots from a hole punch for cuteness.

Step 4: Using the rag wreath process, I cut out strips of leftover fabric and tied them in knots around the wreath form.  I covered about 3/4ths of the from, leaving a small amount of space to cover with black fabric (using the same process as step 2 and 3 from above). I then hot glued on my logo in the blank space. 

Step 5: (Not shown) I felt it was still needed something.  So using the circle from the center, I traced the base of a cup and cut out the small circle.  Since the inside of a Papa Johns pizza box is already white (see why that was important) all I had to do was draw on the laces using a red permanent marker and *BOOM* I had a baseball. I glued the cardboard baseball onto the rag part of the wreath and hotglued on some ribbon for hanging.

I used these same basic steps for the wreath I made for Haileigh's birthday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Starting over...again

So as you know, last November we were in a car accident.  1 year exactly from the date I started my Insanity workout, I was left in a terrible condition with my back.  No longer capable of exercising, I put on 15 pounds, QUICKLY! All that hard work down the drain.  For the past month I've been determined to get myself back on track.  Without the ability to do cardio workouts, it's nearly impossible to lose weight.  Let's be honest, diets DON'T work.  I'll give you some reasons why...
1) You can't diet forever, rarely even long enough to see results (see #2)
2)  Diets are slow.  Diets don't burn calories like exercising does. It takes 3-4 times longer to lose pounds with dieting alone...thus, we don't see results quickly enough, get weak and give up.
3) I love food.  I have a deep appreciation for food & snacks.  I also love to bake. Sorry, but I just don't think eating Brussels sprouts is quite worth a size 4 waist line.
4) Diets don't build muscles.  They don't make you stronger, they make you tired, hungry, and weak.  When you exercise, you can feel those sore muscles.  Even if you don't see the results right away, you can feel them.  You know you've made a difference in your body.  It's motivation to keep going.  Diets are just a constant struggle. You might lose weight, but you won't tone up.

So what is a girl to do? I can't exercise, but I have no desire to diet.  I'm thinking some low impact workouts like swimming or the elliptical as well as some brisk speed walking.  I have set a goal of 15 lbs to lose by my birthday (June 14th).  That's about 2 lbs per week.  I know it's a big goal, but that's what I lost on average doing Insanity at about 45 mins per day.  I figure if I do a lower impact workout at about an hour and a half per day, that should make up the difference.  On July 7th, I have another 5k planned for the family...this time, I'd like to look good in those photos. 

For the past 6 months, I've been purely resentful of the car accident.  I've pitied myself, been angry, upset, and made a thousand excuses.  Last night (2 am this morning actually), I put my foot down and said, "ENOUGH".  I'm going to lose this weight again.  It's not fair to myself.  I should just be grateful that I walked away from that wreck.  Yes my back hurts, but at least I can feel my back.  So no more excuses, I'll jog slowly, I'll swim, I'll walk, I'll hit the elliptical...but I will NO LONGER MAKE EXCUSES. 

So let the fun begin...time to burn this fat off...again.

Pray for me, unless your not religious, then you can just wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Summer Days Driftin' Away

Yes, I know, summer isn't even here yet.  But as you well know, we are stationed at "Fort Snow" and we don't often see a plethora of warm days during the year.  We have to make the most of those few short weeks that we see the thermometer peep above 60.  While it's still in the low 40's here today, I'm well into preparing for the summer.  In fact, I think I spend most blistering winter days indoors, dreaming about my summer plans.  If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not much of a winter person.  But summer is around the corner and while it is short lived here in NY, it is beautiful up here.  The summers never get too hot, often peaking around the mid 80's.  There's always a nice breeze and plenty of seasonal activities.  The drive-ins, putt-putt, go-karts, and golf courses finally open for the season.  Best of all, baseball season begins!  We love going to see the minor league team play here.  The team isn't huge (unlike our team back home), so the stadium is rarely packed, my son can usually talk to and get an autograph from the players, and the food isn't overpriced.  There's also a free program my son signs up for every year that gives him a free drink, hot dog, and ice cream at every game.  And best of all, because we are military, we get seats for next to nothing, sometimes free! 

Every summer, we pretty much plan out the same 4 or 5 activities and find ourselves doing those repeatedly without any other ideas.  Well, I was pretty happy to find all these "100 things to do this summer" lists on Pinterest.  I immediately made plans to print and check off everything on the list this summer.  After posting the first list I found on the fridge, I took a closer examination and discovered a few problems.  1) There's a 100 things on this list!  There's certainly not 100 days in the summer, I don't see how we could get to 100 of them.  2) Some of these activities will never happen. For example, one thing mentioned a planetarium.  I have no clue where the nearest planetarium is...but if I did, I assure you we'd already be there.  There's not many places like that any where near this small town.  3) Some of them where not age appropriate for my 4 year old.  One activity on the list was origami.  Well, I don't know about your child's coordination, but I assure you, this wouldn't be happening in my would end in a paper wad and frustration.  4) Some of the things I just didn't understand or care to a lizard shop or a peculiar p party? 

I found a few other lists, but ya know if you want something done right, you just gotta do it yourself.  My list was compiled of activities we could- a. do as a family, b. were age appropriate for my son, and c. were available to us.  My list only consists of 50 activities, rather than 100 so we can be sure to knock off all of them this summer.  I also included several indoor activities for those cold and/or rainy days/nights. 

First thing I did was edit my list in photoshop and made it all pretty of course.  Next I printed it and put it on the fridge for a common reference spot.  (Btw, I have future plans of framing it behind glass and using a dry erase marker to mark through completed tasks.) Finally, I emailed it to myself for a quick iphone reference when we find ourselves out and about on the weekends seeking an activity.  *Side Note* I also do this with my grocery lists...I keep a general list saved in my computer and make changes as needed, then email the saved file to my phone before I head to the commissary.

But back to the subject.  (Sorry, I'm the queen of tangents and side notes) <--See what I just did there!  Okay, well, without further ado, I present my official Family Summer Bucket list. Feel free to use it for your own summer-to-do list.  Just don't claim it as your own creation, that would hurt my feelings. :/ 

Monday, April 9, 2012

My son's first 5k!

Yes, you read that right.  My 4-year-old ran a 5k.  Yes, he ran it...the entire way! He finished in under 30 mins and if you consider the steps of a toddler, that's pretty stinking impressive if you ask me.  We ran the 5k as a family, it was through a park with some fierce hills.  By the end, my son was motivating me to finish.  I have never felt sooo much pride in my child than I did when he crossed that finish line.  I nearly cried.  The 5k we chose was the Miracle Miles for Madeline.  Maddie was the daughter of a photography client turned friend of mine.  She became ill a few months ago and after a brief battle, moved on to be with the other angels in heaven.  Being so young, it was a terrible tragedy.  But the family has managed to be so strong and kept so positive through it all.  They had a fund raiser several months back to support a foundation in their daughter's name.  The place was standing room only, people were literally lined out the door trying to get in.  When I heard of a 5k they were planning to host, I didn't hesitate to sign up the whole family.  I assumed we would walk it as a family.  My husband had other plans.  He began taking the boy out for a run every day for 2 weeks, taking him further and further to prep him for the marathon he was going to run!  And run it he did!  I was so proud of him, but tried not to lose focus on the meaning of that day.  I know little Maddie was there, watching over everyone, pushing them a little further and a little faster, cheering us all on.  She was certainly there with our family...bringing us a little closer and putting a huge smile on all our faces.  I am so glad we got to be a part of that experience and can't wait to do it again next year.  I also can't wait to run another 5k as a family...I'm thinking a color run next!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


To my fellow Kentuckians, you are well aware of our love of college basketball.  For you non-residents, you probably won't understand the rest of this blog, but I'll try to explain.  Like I said, KY loves basketball, probably because Kentucky is stinking awesome at it.  Consider this: UK, UL, Western KY, Eastern KY, Moorehead State, Murry State, all KY NCAA colleges and all have great basketball teams...and that's just the division 1 schools.  But no two teams have a larger rival fan base than UK and UL.

Most of us Kentuckians were raised to support either the wildcat or cardinal.  I believe there are certain unspoken rules of the UK/UL fanbase.  1) You are born into your team, you cannot support a different team than your parents.  2) You must not date/marry a fan of the other team.  3) You must not attend the college of the team you do not support.  4) If you break rule #3, you must wear your supporting team apparel on your college's game days.  5) You may choose to quietly support the other team, but never verbally, or by wearing their apparel, and never when they play one-another.  6) You must never EVER cheer for Duke.  This rule even applies to UL fans, out of respect for your neighboring KY fans.

My brother and I are a bit of rebels.  Later in life, he made the poor decision to trade his soul and become a UL fan.  While I would never destroy my father like that, I did in fact marry a UL fan, which is still pretty bad.  Sorry daddy.

Well, like I said, our teams are awesome! So it's no surprise that UK and UL both made it to the Final Four during March Madness last week.  This was HUGE! Never have these two teams met in the final four.  They met one other time in the conference many years ago, but only in the elite 8.  So this was a major event.  I wanted to throw a party, but being stationed in NY, no one around me really seems to care about college basketball.  I'm pretty sure they expended all their sports passion on hockey (yuck). Unfortunately, with my other half away at training, my son and I were left to celebrate alone.  As a hardcore UK fan, I had to support my team, but as a loving wife, I was so kind to dust off some of the hubs' UL memorabilia.  I could at least pretend he was there rooting against me.  I purchased some Big Red and some Big Blue soda (UK refers to themselves as BIG BLUE, so it's very fitting).  I got some Doritos in matching colors and baked about a billion mini cupcakes (in blue of course).  I think I baked too many. I got a bit carried away with my new mini cupcake maker, oops. 

Anyways,  I got the honor of calling my hubs and rubbing in the score at the end of the game.  Yes, UK won! Later, we went on to destroy Kansas and win the entire championship game!  Sadly, being stationed in NY, it wasn't as exciting for me as it was for my friend's back home.  I didn't get a free Papa Johns pizza, 8 cent McDonald's burgers, no NCAA championship shirts being sold at every street corner, no rioting in my neighborhood (not that that's a bad thing), heck we barely got news coverage on the game thereafter.  I think they mentioned the win somewhere between the weather and the new high school Lacrosse team.  But all well, they're probably just jealous that their state isn't as awesome as mine at basketball :)