Friday, April 25, 2014

Boy Bathroom Organization

I don't know about you but bathrooms are the one place where it seems organization can be a daunting task. There is either not enough space or everything is in a drawer/cabinet and isn't seen and therefore forgotten about. I think everything should have a place. If it has a place, it can always be found when needed.

The vanity seems to be the place that can become the most disorganized either on top of it or the drawers become a mess. So, in an effort to better organize the vanity and to make the important items seen, this was my solution. There have been so many times at night after brushing their teeth the boys would say  "Mommy, I forgot to floss!" or "Mommy, I didn't do my mouthwash!" All because the flossers were in the drawer and the mouthwash was in the linen closet on the shelf. Now, it is seen so it is no longer forgotten about!

My search for the tray and small bowl began a while back. I originally thought that a melamine tray and cup would be best. That way if the boys accidentally knocked it off the vanity it would not shatter when it hit the tile floor. Goodness, we all know how that goes, tile aways wins! Well, I could not find the sizes I wanted in melamine and I didn't have the patience to continue looking so I went with glass. Yep, so we will see how it goes.

It is the perfect size for all the products, so cute too! I found the tray and small bowl at World Market both together were about $5. The submarine toothbrush holder is from Target, we have had it well over a year now.

The flossers are awesome and much better than traditional floss, much easier for little hands. The bowl is the perfect size for the flossers.

I picked up this hand soap at Target last week and OH MY GOSH does it smell good. It was on the end of an aisle and as I was headed to the register, I saw it and grabbed it and put in my cart. I knew if would look perfect in the boys bathroom since I still had the snowman soap dispenser and it was time for a new one with a more spring/summer look plus the colors matched the room perfectly! The great smell was a bonus! Am I the only one who sometimes buys items solely on the packaging? However, I have used products many times by this company and knew it would be a great product!

So, since I went with the glass tray, I had to come up with a way to keep it in place on the vanity. As you can see from the photo below I used those non-slip liners for drawers/shelves. You can cut them to the size you prefer. I have our pantry shelves lined with these under the can/glass goods. I cut a piece to size for under the tray and under the small bowl.
So far so good, it does make if feel more secure. No sliding at all.

And unless you get down and really eyeball it, you would never know it was there.

They are also easy to clean, just wash and let dry and put them back. So another reason the non-slip liners are a good pick for this!

Quick and easy set up, easy clean up, and easily accessible it how I like it!

Now there shouldn't be anymore excuses for not flossing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lemon Bars

Hope everyone had a great Easter! We did, it was so nice to spend time with family. Now, I just have to keep my hands out of the boys' Easter candy!

We had a big family lunch on Easter, my Mother In Law and I split up the menu which makes it alot less stressful if you ask me. Anyway, I made dessert. I made this Strawberry Pie and the Lemon Bars.

I got this recipe years ago from my Aunt. She used to always make these at Christmas and I loved them, then we I got older I asked for the recipe and I have been making them every year since. But, this year I didn't make them at Christmas just because I tend to over do it then so I limited the desserts. So, I figured now was a good time since I passed on these at Christmas. Plus, they are supper easy to make and yummy!

As you can see from the photo, I left out the nuts this time. I think they are good both ways so feel free to do as you like. I also tend to keep mine in the frig, they are good both ways, in or out of the frig and even better warmed in the microwave for a few seconds.

Lemon Bars

1st Layer:
1 box of lemon flavor cake mix with pudding in the mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 egg
Mix and spread into the bottom of 9 x 13 pan

2nd Layer:
2 cups chopped nuts ( I have used pecans)

3rd Layer:
1 box of confectionery sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter, melted
Mix and pour on top of nuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool then cut into squares.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This past weekend was 12 years.

This man has made my life what it is today. There is not a day that does by that I don't thank God for putting this man in my life.

He is funny, sexy, determined, charming, smart, caring, encouraging, loving, a great teacher, has a beautiful heart and the one that I admire. He thinks differently than I and I love it when he shows me a different perspective (sometimes), especially when it come to business or teaching me how to do something new.... I still have a lot to learn from him.

Standing at the alter 12 years ago, I would have never in my wildest dreams thought that this would be my future. I still can't image what the next 12 years will be like. He has made every minute worth it, one crazy ride! He also made me a Mom which is really awesome and seeing him with our boys just melts my heart.

I must say 12 years has gone by so fast and alot of life has happened in those 12 years just like any marriage or relationship, trips, children, new challenges, fun times, not so fun times, and lots of memories! I cannot imagine my life without him in it.

Happy Anniversary Babe!
I love you!

Photo by Tanya Furr Photography

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Coat Closet Transformation

I cannot tell you just how excited I am to FINALLY be able to show this to you! This has been one transformation that I am so glad we did and it has made a huge impact! It is now the perfect spot for coats and backpacks!

Let me start at the beginning.

You see we have 3 doors all in one area, we knew when we built that this would potentially be an issue at some point.....The door that is opened is the coat closet. See, this is NO FUN in the mornings when it is time to get your coats out and put them on while in a hurry to get the kids to school on time. Plus the kids would hang their backpacks on the door knobs so each time you walked by you would get hit in the leg by the backpacks, again NO FUN. The door directly in front leads to the garage. just doesn't work!

So I took the door off. Then propped it against the pantry door for 2 days. I took the door off to see if I could live with it being off and just to get a feel of how it would be without a door before I went in and completely got ahead of myself and transformed the closet only to realize that removing the door was a mistake. Am I the only one that over thinks my diy projects? Well, then the Mr. got in on the action. He wanted in on the fun too you see. Little did he know that I already had a plan as to what I wanted the new closet to look like. Well, he started looking online and found a few photos he liked and together we came up with a better functioning closet.

The closet looked like this:

See coats, bags, beach towels, extra towels, boxes where I stored other bags and another box for mittens/hats/gloves and a shoe shinning kit. There is a lot in here but all that space underneath was being wasted! Well, it was where the dog and cat food could be found.

I started off doing a little measuring just to make sure I got it all correctly spaced out.

Thank goodness the Mr. got involved! Together, we decided we wanted the board and batten/cottage look with a shelf on top and a bench underneath.  We purchased all of our supplies at Lowes. Came home and got busy!
First, the shelf on the top:
If you notice we changed out the shelf completely. The builder used MDF board for the shelf and it just didn't fit the look we were going for, so we took it out and replaced it with real wood. Then we added a piece of wood in front just below the shelf to hide the hanging rail. We knew we were not going to be hanging anything on it, since we were unable to remove it, we hid it.
Next we worked on the bench, we used the same measurements as our shelf to complete the bench. Just make sure your bench is sturdy, has support and that it is nailed to the studs.
Then we began on the middle area. We made sure all of our boards would be evenly spaced before we nailed them to the wall. 
Once it was all completed, we painted the closet white. The closet was big when you got in there but the green walls made it feel so dark and I knew the white would make it feel more open.
See, so much brighter!! We added hooks to finish the look.
This is the perfect spot for coats and backpacks!
Now, I had to add pretty baskets too! And pillows! You can read about my pillows here.
The baskets are for gloves, hats, etc; pet items and extra towels.
We even added a small hook on each side.
The small hooks are great for hats and dog leashes.
This project turned out great! It is so much easier to get the kids coats and backpacks and head straight out the door, no more fussing, pushing, closing the door on someone hassle!
As you can see from the close ups, we left the areas where the original door hung unfilled. I just painted over it but when we do another project soon we will fill those areas in and give that a more finished look.
How about a before and after? Yes, sure!
Thanks for stopping by!
Linking up to The Lilypad CottageLiz Marie


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wine & Dine Wednesday

Wow! Sorry for the lack of blogging....what can I say, life gets busy. Sports, helping kids with homework, family time, new puppy and everything else that goes along with living, well it just gets busy and something has to give... Let me just give you an update on the new puppy-it takes a "village" to raise a child you know but I have to say that goes with a new family pet as well. I mean holy cow! This is exhausting! Maybe I put more pressure on myself than most people to make sure the puppy is cared for, clean, smells good, learns to use the potty outside, etc. But everyone pitches in here to help with the puppy and I am so glad they do because there is no way I could do this by myself!

As I try to get back into a regular somewhat new routine I do plan on sharing on a regular basis once again. There are things I cannot wait to blog about but first I need to wrap them up in order to do just that.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a wine that was so great, I hoped I would never reach the bottom of the bottle....Well, this is another wine that I felt the same about!

Hello! Chocolate Shop in Chocolate Strawberry. It is, of course, a red wine combined with strawberry and chocolate. When you taste it, the chocolate flavor hits you first then the strawberry flavor hits you at the end. It is a sweet wine and small servings is how you want to serve this one.

This one was also a gift from my In-Laws. They are so great to bring me us wine when they travel.  I am sure you could probably find this online somewhere but the other day when I was at World Market they had small bottles in a basket at the cash register so if you are out and about and come across this, please pick it up and give it a try. You will be glad you did!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wine & Dine Wednesday

This past weekend we took a trip to Asheville for the Mr.! This time the kids went along and so did our In-Laws!

After being on the road for  a while, the youngest was a little out of sorts and we had not even reached our destination! When I say "out of sorts" I mean it was like he had drank a Mt. Dew or something! Then it hit me.....Then it hit me...that morning I was measuring out the kids medication, each are on antibiotics for sinus infections and the oldest was due his last Prednisone dose and the youngest gets Zyrtec. Well guess what? Yep, both the Prednisone and Zyrtec are both clear liquids so somehow I got them mixed up and gave the last dose of Prednisone to our youngest instead of to our oldest. So of course it had an obvious effect on him! So of course the ride up was interesting.

Once in Asheville, it was lunch time! The first stop was one of our favorite restaurants for lunch! We have been several times to Asheville and each time we go, we always eat at one particular restaurant, Early Girl Eatery! It is on Wall Street, the same street as one of our favorite little shops where we purchased a favorite wine. We have eaten breakfast and lunch here and it is a must try! The last 2 times we have been I have gotten the Vegan Bean Burger, YUM! The Mr. always gets something different and each time it is delish! This time he got the Cheeseburger and I got a little bite and it was soooo good! I always try to save room for desert but that never happens!

After walking to a local shop to pick up another bottle of our favorite wine we headed to the hotel for a little down time before dinner.

The reason we up and took a spontaneous trip a while back to Asheville and the reason we took this trip was to eat at The Lobster Trap. Last time we got busy with other stuff and just skipped it but this time it was the main reason for the trip. The Mr. wanted to eat at this restaurant. We called ahead for our name to be placed on the waiting list, which is always awesome! Waiting for an hour in a crowded restaurant with 2 hungry kids is never fun! Once we were seated, we placed our order. First off, appetizers...when the waitress comes out and hands you a platter of oysters and says "The Chef wants you to taste these and if they don't taste right, he will cook you some more." that is a sign the dinner is not going to go well...
#1 if the chef has to say that, the plate should NEVER come to the table!
The platter went back and another one was brought to our table. The men said they were good (the women & kids don't eat oysters).
Our main dishes...mediocre at best. Very disappointing. The Mr. had to return his and get a new dish because it obviously wasn't cooked correctly & was cold. My in-laws dishes were not the best either.

It really stinks when you rave about how great a restaurant is and then you take others with you to share and it turns out not so great....

Oh well.

We still had a good time just being together and who wouldn't love a few days in Asheville?!

What is your favorite restaurant in Asheville?

Monday, March 3, 2014

This Happened......

I said  "No."

I said "No." Again.

I said  "No." Again.

I made up every excuse I could think of not to get one.

I tried putting off our boys for as long as I could. Finally, I began thinking about the long term.

Would it matter in 2 weeks if I was up during the night trying to train a puppy to go outside? Would it matter in 2 months? In 6 months? The answer..No.

Would it matter in 2 weeks if I was the one taking total responsibility for this small animal? Cleaning up after him? Feeding him? Bathing him? Or in 2 months? How about 6 months? Again, No.

However, would it matter if our little family had a sweet puppy to love? To snuggle? To play with our little guys? To teach them that caring for something other than yourself can and is a blessing? To help with responsibility? To use gentleness when caring for a puppy so small? For our little guys to have that companionship that only a dog can provide? The answer...YES! Yes, in matters..Now, 2 weeks from now, 2 months from now and 6 months from now.

That is how I gave in. Changing my perspective is why I gave in.

Say Hello to Zeus!

Our sweet Boston Terrier. Who is so smart by the way!,  And of course, he loves lots of snuggles and "talks" to you and will fall asleep in your arms in no time at all! He is very well tempered, loves the boys, they carry him around and he loves it! He loves to play and run from you! Loves to carry sticks, stuffed animals, anything he can get in his mouth and play "Keep Away!" Oh and he snores, like a person, maybe even like an old man. Ok, not sure about the old man part, but he does snore like a person, while we sleep we can hear him and I think it is so cute!  

We were debating on what kind of dog to get, what breed, a mix, boy or girl. After many months researching and looking online at different options, we choose this little guy. It was not an easy choice at first but after taking everything into consideration, like our lifestyle and what we wanted/needed in an dog, it narrowed it down and then we made a choice.

So, this and just life in general is why I have been quiet around here lately. Tired of getting up every night to take him out, I'm sure that I have not had more than a 3 hour span of sleep since we got him a month ago. I am one of those girls that needs her sleep and so this has kinda thrown me for a loop and totally disrupted my routine all around. However, he is cute and yes, this will pass so for the time being I am just dealing with it and knowing he will get bigger and he will be house day.

We  I am crate training him. Overall, he is doing well. We have had a few accidents but thank goodness they have all been in this crate. So throwing towels in the washer and adding Clorox works for me. But, I do want to get him to decrease those accidents and eventually stop altogether the older he gets. After a trip to the vet last week, the Dr. informed me that I was using the wrong crate. We have the wire crate compared to the plastic carrier he suggested I use. The more enclosed the more efficient the training I suppose. And, to not give him room to walk around in the crate. (another mistake on my part). And, that he should be crate trained in about a week. WOW! I have been doing the wrong things for a month now!

So, off I go to the pet store to purchase a plastic carrier with no room to walk, just stand up and spin around. (the thought just kills me, I would hate to be shut up like that).  I got it and got it home only to realize that the wire crate we have came with a divider! So I am going to try the divider first and hopefully that will prevent him from walking around inside his crate and he will whine and let me know when he needs to go. I pray the divider works so I can return that plastic carrier!

How did you train your pet? Was it easy?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wine & Dine Wednesday

The fine wine featured today was a gift from my in-laws. They brought it back to me us from a trip they went on to Savannah, GA. Great place I hear, hope to go there one day!

Anyway, if the name of the wine includes the word "Chocolate" I'm in!

This is the best chocolate wine I have EVER tasted! It does say on the label that it is "THE CHOCOLATE LOVER'S WINE"

It is a red wine with a chocolate flavor.  The wine is sweet and it is only recommended that you drink a small amount at a time, per the guy at the wine store and my father-in-law. And they are correct. By small amount, I mean a couple ounces. One evening, I got carried away and had my usual size drink and it was a little much, my legs were all tingly and it was getting hot in here! Now I have that song in my head...."It's getting hot in here so take off all your....".....sorry I forgot the artist. I do that alot, forget names of songs and artist. You should be here when I try to describe to the Mr. what song I want him to download for me... Wow, where was I?

The back of the bottle states that:

 "it is a deep, ruby red wine blended with rich, velvety chocolate. Inviting aromas of black cherry and dark chocolate combine in the glass and continue on the palate surrounded by hints of cocoa powder"

This is one wine you are going want to try!

**As with all my Wine & Dine Wednesday posts, it is my opinion, I was not asked nor was I compensated to write this post.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Instagram Love

It's no secret that Instagram is so fun and just like most....I love it! This is where I post most frequently, it is my favorite social media site.

I haven't been on Instagram very long, but I have been on long enough to know that it is what I enjoy--after all I love taking photos so it is no surprise to me that this is my favorite.

Here are a few photos that I have shared on Instagram:

Check me out on Instagram! Click the button on the right side bar.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Furniture Placement is Key

Do you have one area of your home where you just can't figure out exactly where the furniture should go? You move the furniture around and around and around and it still doesn't look right? No?

Maybe it's just me?

Anyway, our family room is a large room, however it is longer that it is wide and it has been one room that just didn't look right to us.

Furniture has been moved around, the tv cabinet has been moved from one side of the room to the other, we changed the layout and still it just didn't look "just right".

The layout of the family room previously:

**First off, let me start by saying I am not an Interior Designer, nor do I think I am one...this is simply what I have found that worked for us and thought I would share.

There are five ways to enter this large room from other areas of our home...from the breakfast area, dining room, front door, office and the hallway. That is alot of entries in to a room! The photo above is the view from the breakfast area.

We moved the tv (1) to the current wall about a year or so ago. The main reason...our children could see what Mommy & Daddy were watching late night after their bedtime. We thought they were asleep but instead could be peeking in on our tv time. Let's just say there are many programs that little eyes should not see ;) Know what I mean? So I knew that the tv had to remain in this spot.

The fireplace (2) is huge and is a gorgeous focal point in the room.
As you can see from this photo we also have lots of light, when we built our home that was a must, we wanted lots of windows!. That is so awesome, I don't ever need light during daylight hours and I love that! The chair to the left (8) was the Mr.'s Grandmothers' and I love the vintage look, I just wish there were two of them.  To balance the fireplace I would love to have another chair to the right but because that is the entry from the breakfast area, there isn't room for a chair.

The painting (3) was the inspiration for the colors of our home when we built. The painting is from Ballard Designs. I love Ballard and could really go crazy if the Mr. would let me! Anyway, the console table under it (which you can't see in the photo) was also the Mr.'s Grandmothers' and we painted it black and I must say it is my favorite table in the whole house!

The loveseat (4) and couch (6) are just that and we have had them for a while now, the set which includes a chair, side table (9) and the coffee table (7) are a pre-children purchase, which explains the glass coffee table. I have been a nervous wreck when it comes to that glass top coffee table since the boys were born!

The red recliner (5) was a purchase after we moved into this home, it was comfy and it went with our color scheme so it came home with us.

As you can see from the photo, the furniture is really spread out. Not a very cozy and intimate area. From where the love seat was you could barely see the tv when the cabinet was open, so the only places to sit and watch tv were either the couch or the red recliner.  Also, there was no direct pass through from the hall, instead you met the side of the loveseat.

In order to remedy all this, I got our our furniture sliders that we purchased at Lowes  a long while back. Holy Cow! If you don't have these, go get some! They are awesome, I can move anything, anytime I want with these babies! (if I can lift it to put the slider underneath it). Let me be real here, sometime you can't always wait till the Mr. gets home, you want to do it now and with these sliders you can do just that!

Ok, then I just started moving furniture around piece by piece till I found the perfect arrangement. I loved it! In order to get that more intimate feeling, I wanted to be closer to the fireplace and I had to move the recliner to another spot in the room.  So now there is a conversation/tv area that is closer to the fireplace and tv.  This left the room with enough space to have a chair off to the side for reading and a more pleasant view from the front door.

The layout of the family room now:

It may be hard to tell from the photo, but the loveseat is brought in closer to the couch and coffee table which helps to add a more intimate, intentional space. 

The black table is now behind the loveseat and the yellow chair where the black table used to be. For now, this is a little reading area. Adding the black console table behind the loveseat adds a nice look into the room from the front door. Sammy likes to hang out under the table.
Another view, see more cozy!

I  have a few wall decor items picked out and now I just need to order them and get them on the wall!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Landscaping Dilemma-Part 2-Final Solution


This issue is resolved...I think?! Sure, this is the end to this madness!

If you would like to read Landscaping Dilemma-Part 1, please go here.

Since the last post, we decided to stop calling our original landscaper, I mean, I called and called and there was always an excuse. And to be honest, while I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and
do my best to be ran out! My patience that is. So I called and got 2 more estimates to complete the work, picked one and after all this rain and the holidays they finally made it over!

OK, so we all love a good before and after photo, so here goes!

Before: (from the front of the driveway)
Before: (from the rear of the driveway)

After: (from the front of the driveway)

After: (from the side of the driveway)

Sorry, I didn't get a rear view...I took these photos just after it rained and I didn't want to get my tootsies wet :)

It may be hard to tell from the photo, but the dirt underneath extends out from the curb then declines. This is great because now if you step over the curb you won't be worried you will break something!  Another plus, it is a more pleasant view from the road and from the home beside ours.

I think this is for sure an improvement!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blog Update

In case you are new to my blog, I just wanted to update you on a few items.

I have updated my Projects/DIY tab to include the last few items I completed at the end of 2013.

I have also updated my Recipes tab to include all the recipes ever posted here on the blog.

The tabs above are the best way to access my projects and recipes. Also, the sidebar on the left shows my most popular posts, just click and read more about them.

Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest & Instagram (on the left sidebar) for all the latest happenings here and in everyday life.

Looking forward to a great week!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hello 2014!


Welcome 2014!

Wonder what is going to happen this year? Who knows, but I will have it all in one album!

Once again, I will be documenting our lives by using Project Life, for the 4th year in a row.

Here is my coverpage to our 2014 album.

 These photos did not print correctly on my photo printer here at home so I will have to order the prints and put the better quality ones in when they arrive.  Plus, I will probably add a letter to kids photos (their initial) I was going to do it here but did not want to waste my letters since I will be replacing the photos with new ones. But, I just wanted to  show you the cover page today so you get the idea, simple and easy.
This year, I am using the Midnight Edition.  I love all the black in this kit! At this point I am not sure what album I will be using, I am still on the search for one that I love and I just have not found it yet, so I will keep you posted on that. Not having an album is no big deal at this point, I will just add everything in the page protectors and set them aside till I find the album.

I complete Project Life albums in addition to each child having their own personal scrapbook. Plus I also have another album for us as a couple.. adult only trips, extended family special occasions, accomplishments, etc. All the albums are 12x12 and to be honest, I am running out of room to put all these albums. Looks like I will be looking for a new way to store them or will need to add more shelving this year! I think that is a good thing! I mean, one day, these photos will mean alot to our boys.