Weekly Update: 9/24-9/30

This week has been a crazy chaotic non-stop type week! They always go faster and I am ready for October!

Monday Luke got his Flu shot. We panicked when we thought Josh had the flu last week and we are all unprotected. Although I know this is a controversial topic, we are full believers in the flu shot here. The one year I didn't take it, I got it (24 weeks pregnant with Luke) and although Luke got the flu on his first birthday, it was an easy recovery since he had taken the shot. He was sick for barely a day but tested positive for it, and his symptoms were greatly reduced!
Hopefully Josh's immune system is almost recovered for him to get it sometime this coming week!

I mentioned last week that we got Luke a new Thomas DVD that came with a new train. Also the DVD has a few new engines in it and one of the trains is named Luke! Well, now Luke is going around saying him name (first and last) perfectly! Well Luke is perfect (he used to say Duke). He is pronouncing our last name more like Bo-bef :) Before all this, when I would ask him his name he would be really shy about it. It's so cute to hear him say his first and last name!

At school, Luke didn't have a great week. Picture day was Tuesday and according to his teachers, he threw himself down in a tantrum. He got sad faces Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at school too. We have really been focusing on behavior at home too and although his teachers say he's not "bad" he just doesn't like to listen. We see that as being just as disrespectful as being "bad" so we are working on those skills. He got a smiley face Thursday and Friday so we're hoping it continues!

Friday Josh was "arrested" by Luke's school and held with "bail or jail" (a $50 donation). They were raising money for the March of Dimes and the Sheriff in town was literally coming around town and arresting people. It was cute, and for a good cause. Josh absconded most of the day, but went to get Luke around 3:30 and was caught. Fortunately I came and bailed him out.

Ebenezer sponsored dinner for the Middle School football team, cheerleaders, auxiliary, and band on Saturday so that's what we did pretty much the whole day. It was so great to have so many wonderful people come together to make that a success! And the kids loved it!

Closing off September!

As we near the end of the month, I love looking back at everything that was accomplished. Does anyone else love flipping the page of their calendar as much as I do?? I hate how messy and crammed my calendar gets toward the end of the month and when I flip the page it's like clean, untouched boxes! Beautiful!

Here were my goals:
1. Read "The Last Lecture"
2. Save all our coin change this month and see what it ='s*
3. Photo storage-continue- buy boxes* 
4. Organize Luke's artwork*
5. Clean my makeup brushes
6. Paint laundry room
7. Finish painting front doors (yup there's 2 of them) and hardware*
8. Re-arrange office*
9. 101's updated*
10. Work through to-do list in Luke's room*

The * stood for things I got a head start on at the end of August. How'd I do?


#6- here and here
And for the smaller tasks not blogworthy enough, but still important:
#1. Read "The Last Lecture"- DONE. What a great book! Some things that really stuck out at me were to follow your dreams. Even if they seem big. And teach your kids to ask more than 1 word questions. LOVE that advice!
#2. Save all our coin change this month and see what it ='s
I saved every penny, nickle, dime, and quarter that came through my wallet and it equaled $5.95! Although it wasn't as much as I thought, that is still a pretty big amount when you think most are pennies and dimes! I collected it all in a March of Dimes container and we will donate it to Luke's school Monday!
#5. Clean my makeup brushes
I used a mixture of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water mixture. After wetting the tips of the brushes I cleaned them with baby shampoo and sat them on a towel to dry. LOVE that they are clean now!

#8. Re-arrange office
We did this and I don't feel like we did enough to even show pictures. As soon as we decide color, curtains, pillows, etc. then I'll do a before and after post. But it is rearranged and the new futon arrived and has ben slept on for 3 nights already!!
#9. 101's updated
I mentioned here that I updated/deleted some items on the list. My 101s are now completely up to date!

Finishing the outside: Shutters!

This past weekend we were able to get alot accomplished. Josh was beginning to feel better by Saturday afternoon, so we headed out to put the shutters up. This was the easiest most impacting change we've made so far to the house!

Here is the before:
This picture was taken right after we got a new roof. Notice the siding is the old stuff. And the shutters are blue (the shadow makes it hard to see, but you can trust me).

After the siding was installed and the shutters came down here was the view. We seriously contemplated leaving the house shutterless. But there is just something about the finishing touch of shutters!

The most complicated part of this whole process was finding shutter fasteners to replace the old ones. Because these shutters are plastic, they are put on with fasteners. Once the fasteners are taken down you can't use them again. Home Depot had black fasteners, and since we were leaning toward black shutters, it made that decision easy. It just took us a while to finally agree to put the shutters back up, choose black, and then start the process of looking for clips. Looking back it was flawless, but we weren't sure how painting the shutters would go or if the paint would match the clips. Lots of decisions!

I bought a 3 $6 cans of spray paint- Rustoleum's paint/primer in one in Black Satin and painted those babies!! The paint went on SO well that you really only needed 1 coat. I put 2 on for good luck :) One can painted 1 set (2 shutters). I did have to paint the back of them since at some angles you could see through the slats.
Here were the fasteners we got to match. It took 3 packs (with 12 screws included) for $6 a pack. We only put up 6 shutters (on 3 windows) even though we took down 8. The shutters in the carport didn't make it back up.
They even had what size drill bit to use on the package making this process 100xs faster!

Here are 2 waiting and ready to go:
I held the shutters while Josh marked where the hole would go. Each shutter had 6 holes. This was definitely a 2 person job. He then predrilled all the holes, matched the shutter holes up to the pilot holes, and hammered in the shutter fasteners. Easy peasy.
The whole process only took 20 minutes. It was really quick and really effective!
Whole house after:
I still love the front door color with the shutters too! I have always wanted a gray house with black shutters!! There is just something so classic about that combination! Oh yeah and we only spent $36 on this whole project. 1 pack (with 2 shutters) of brand new shutters for 1 window would end up costing between $50-$60. We were glad to save almost $150 doing it this way. We anticipate the paint fading. But honestly- the plastic had faded in all the years they were up. So $36 every 5 year or so it totally worth it in my book!

Luke's room

I have more things marked off the "to-do" list in Luke's room. Before I share what I've done can I just say how badly I wanted to splurge on these things??? How cute is this red lamp at Hobby Lobby??
And this cute canvas from Target?? Both would fit in his room so well. But I know that they are not a "need" so I passed- with a big fat frowney face. 
I think this is the room in the house that will never be finished. I just love tweaking it as he grows and fitting it to him as his needs change!

Here was the list I had created after I did a few change ups here:
1. paint bookshelf
2. finish white stripe
3. arrange his side table
4. touch up navy paint
5. label bins on toy shelf
6. baby toys packed- rotate some old ones
7. arrange the top of his closet
8. find an area rug

Here is what I've been up to:
2. The white stripe is finished around the top of his room!
3. His side table is arranged. I chose to go with a simple set of wood stacking blocks. At this stage nothing else is going to stay "neat" so I like how simple and clean it looks. And he LOVES this toy.

4. Navy paint is touched up. I did that right after I finished the white stripe.

5. Label bins on toy shelf. Once again I left that up to my Silhouette. A couple minutes typing/choosing font and it cut it out perfectly! I love that as he grows and learns to read he'll know what bins the toys are suppose to go into. He already says A, O, B. :)

6. I packed up baby toys. There were several that we just oversights and got left behind after we tried to purge all the baby toys a while ago.

7. Thanks to some amazing IKEA bins, the top of his closet is now organized. The under the bed bins went to my mom. Thankfully she has some beds that would fit them. I took everything out and arranged it into 3 piles: toys, big clothes, and linens. Ikea had a 3 pack of these bins for $12. They were the perfect size for this space and they have a nice handle going vertically up them (so shorties like me can pull them down!). I labeled them with vinyl. {I took this before finishing the white stripe...it is finished now!}
I still would love to paint his bookshelf and find an area rug. I've been looking without any luck. Hopefully that'll just be something that I randomly come across and it'll be the perfect fit.

1. paint bookshelf
2. finish white stripe
3. arrange his side table
4. touch up navy paint
5. label bins on toy shelf
6. baby toys packed- rotate some old ones
7. arrange the top of his closet
8. find an area rug

EDIT: I've decided to for-go painting his shelf and finding an area run. I'm not sure that his shelf is going to stay, so I'm leaving my plans open.

Oh how I love seeing things marked off a list!! And this is seriously my favorite room in the house. I love that I feel like it is never done- but it's because he's growing and learning so much everyday!

Laundry Room: an update

We've been working our tails off since this post (which was only 4 days ago) to get some details in the laundry room put together.

We have a curtain! Can I get an AMEN?
I absolutely LOVE this view when I'm doing laundry:
Deck, white rocking chair, bliss. I am planning a tutorial post. It was really easy (and although I started off doing a different type of treatment- this is what I ended up liking better).

How beautiful is this site as you walk in the door and see the door paint, room paint, and curtains all in one view?? (our poor little scarecrows need some hot glue love- lol!)

The coat rack is up and painted! I used Krylon "Bright Idea". And I remember why I HATE Krylon paint! In my opinion it doesn't go on well. Maybe if I had used primer? I much prefer the Rustoleum brand. But Krylon does have so pretty amazing colors so I'll give them that. This rack took about 9 light coats. And I still wasn't happy with the tip of the hooks. They just didn't cover as well as I wanted.
The gold brassy doorknob and hinges got a coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze. By the way I have 5 doors down, and only 4 more to go in the whole house! Wahoo!
I am planning on putting a mirror here:
And a canvas here:
After those 2 last things, this room will be FINISHED! Yay!!

Weekly Update: 9/17-9/22

This has been quite the week!

Josh caught some nasty virus and spiked a 102 fever on Thursday. I thought sure he had the flu, but the test results were negative. Fortunately we have an amazing doctor who goes the extra mile and did a bunch of blood work. He concluded that his kidney/liver levels were fine (no dehydration) but his white blood cell count was lower than normal (signaling a virus). So although we got a no "name" diagnosis, the good news is we ruled alot of things out. He did put him on a strong antibiotic so that the congestion in his head would clear up. It's scary when you don't know what's wrong!!

Luke had a great week at school and got smiley faces all week for behavior. He also didn't have any accidents! 

His favorite show right now is "Super Why" he pronounces it "boo-yai". Oh my he LOVES it. He'll say the letters with the super readers and it really is an educational show!

Josh got him a new Thomas DVD with a new train named Norman. The new DVD has a bunch of new trains on it, including one named Luke. He was pretty excited to see that. Now we need to find him a Luke train :)

Looking forward to some cooler weather. I'm seriously ready for October!

Laundry Room

After the domino effect our laundry room was in desperate need of a big ole' hug. Here is the before.
This room is literally a "catch-all". This is the way we walk in our house every day. It's where we keep bags (diaper bags, work bags, etc). We hang jackets here (how sad is it that there are still jackets hanging from last winter??). The laundry basket on the floor is for plastic and cardboard recycling. The cubbies are leftover from college but they are super necessary. Sadie has a basket for her treats, medicine, etc. There is a basket for our outdoor stuff (sunblock, bug spray, etc). Josh has a bin where he can empty the contents of his pockets. Everything on that shelf must stay.

I was over the baby blue. I'm tired of picking paint colors because they are "safe". This room is teeny tiny (5 feet wide by 12 feet long), but it gets the most natural light in the whole house because of the windows on the door and the window above the washer/dryer. The door (which would be where I'm standing taking the picture) leads to the dining room and a floor to ceiling sliding glass door (which allows more natural light). I was just feeling like this room was washed out and safe.

Not to mention some other problems...
We had a dog that chewed our moulding- excuse the nasty dog hair in this picture. I really don't clean up for before pictures. It makes the after ones even sweeter!
And the tan electric box. Talk about it sticking out like a sore thumb. I really don't mind the color of it. That tan is kinda pretty. But it was just an eye sore.

The first thing I wanted to tackle was the moulding. Whoever painted before we moved in painted the top of the trim throughout the whole house. When I painted the baby blue I wasn't interested in painting trim, so I just followed suit. But it really annoyed me that the top of the trim was the wall color- it's suppose to be white!! So tackle I did:
This was time consuming. And it took 2-3 coats to cover the blue. But the end result was totally worth it. It's amazing how touching up the trim makes the whole room feel brighter. By the way- my trim color is "moon rise" by Behr. It's gorge. I went back and forth a hundred times trying to decide if I should paint the walls first or the trim. I went with the trim because I would rather be messy with the white and cover it up with the wall color than do the wall first and be careful on the trim. I actually enjoy cutting in, (with a small handled angled brush).
{here is old faithful as we gave the siding a coat of paint}
After getting a coat of white on all the trim, I began painting. We chose "Plumage" by Martha Stewart. Home Depot doesn't sell MS paint, but they still have the color samples up and they will mix the color with whatever brand of paint you choose. This color is basically the color of a peacock. It's beautiful! Since they had a $5 rebate sale off a gallon of paint the weekend I bought it (Labor Day), I went with Behr. This color is not "safe". It's bold. And dark. And I'm in love.
We painted over the electric box. It blends in so much better.

I found this canvas inspirational as I was walking through Hobby Lobby. I think I'll take the idea (mixing a bunch of my favorite patterns) and paint it with yellow, teal, and green to contrast the wall color. It'll go centered on the wall where the electric box is. (yes, it'll cover part of it. I'll spill the deets later).
The cubbies didn't change much. Josh has requested labels on the outsides of the bins. So I am brainstorming that. We do plan to paint the cubbies white for blending purposes.
Here is the wall where we keep the bags (my work bag, and Luke's diaper bag). I plan on adding either a mirror over the hook, or a photo canvas (or both). I'm still debating.
The coat rack is up only temporary while I wait for a sunny day to paint the raw wood. It'll eventually be a sun shine yellow. 

And how could I forget?? How cute are these vinyl antique keys I cut on the Silhouette??? We added a cup hook to the bottom- voila! An instant key holder. I do plan on painting the cup hooks white to blend a little better. (by the way- those drip marks were there when we moved in. I should have sanded them, and repainted before hanging the vinyl- it's only something that's noticeable at certain angles and with the flash).
Our cleaning supplies hang out behind the door to the dining room. It always annoyed us that the door wouldn't open all the way. So Josh raised the caddy hooks about a foot and the problem was miraculously solved. (I think it was interfering with the ironing board that hangs out on the back of the door).
And while I had the trim paint out I went ahead and gave the ceiling a fresh coat. It looks so fresh now!

So what's left? (cause' you know I always have a to-do list going!)
1. Make canvas art (big and cheap)
2. Paint cup hooks
3. Find a rug (yellow or green maybe?) and trash the bachelor black and tan one
4. Add a mirror or art over the bag hook. There is also some space to the left of the window to add something too (maybe?).
5. Paint the cubbies white to blend a little more into the washer.
6. Spray paint the coat rack yellow
7. Spray the door knobs leading to the dining room ORB

Wanna know what's incredible about all of this?? THIS ROOM FEELS BIGGER!! How is that possible to paint a room a darker color and it feel bigger?! I think because the trim and ceiling are so crisp white it draws your eyes up and make the space feel taller- which in turn makes it feel wider. It's amazing what fresh trim and natural light will do!

For the canvas and curtain I found some great deals at Hobby Lobby! Here is the canvas' I found (a double pack for $7.99 and the fabric was $8.99 a yard plus an additional 40% off!! wahoo!! For $14 I got a great jumpstart on the accessories for this room! I can't wait to get it all together!!
UPDATE: To see this room completely done head over here and here

Memory box & Luke's work

I shared yesterday about re-organizing our book closet. My major goal was to be able to fit Luke's work box and our memory box in there. I had to move our memory box over from a huge rubber maid box to this smaller filing box. One way I was able to make our memory box so much smaller was by pulling all the loose pictures out and organizing them by year. I have no idea where those will be stored yet, but I'll worry about that when the photo organizing project is dunzo.

First I cut the vinyl to label the boxes. I love my Silhouette!
The memory box is pretty basic. I have organized pieces of our life by year. They are stored in ziploc bags labeled by year. Some of the bags close, other don't. Some years have 2 bags (2007-the year we were married), and some years we hardly fill. It just depends. I did go through the bags as I did this project to make sure the stuff still meant alot to us. I also have a totally separate box of things from Luke's birth that are stored in his room (his ultrasound pictures, the newspaper and TIME magazine from the day he was born, hospital bands, etc). But pretty much everything else goes in the memory box. I would LOVE to not out grow this box. Even if it means taking pictures of things and storing the pictures by year to save space. I want to hold on ONLY to the most sentimental things.

Luke's work box is my favorite out of this whole sha-bang.

He started 2 year old "pre-school" last year. With preschool came ALOT of papers and work that he does each day. I treasure every piece he brings home.

Clearly I don't have the heart to purge any of it yet-
His work from just 1 year takes up the over half the box.
I have broken down the years by manilla folders. On the outside of each "new year" I have put this paper with info from that year (teacher, year, photo). This printable was free here. She has the MOST INCREDIBLE organizing ideas. I read her blog everyday just for inspiration!
I keep an "original" of this form in my printables folder- just incase iheartorganizing ever decides to take it off her "freebie"tab.

I have already created this coming year's file. But we don't have a school picture yet, and his artwork is still hanging on his masterpiece wall.

I would LOVE for this file box to house ALL his papers for all the years he's in school. I'm well aware that I am going to have to purge some alot, but like I said I'm just not ready yet. I have "pinned" something on pinterest that says you can take pictures of a child's work and it will turn it into a book. Also I could take a photo of some that I don't want to keep, but want to remember and put it in the photo box organized by year. Lots of ideas.
Both of these boxes get housed in the newly organized book closet. I love them both and they will be used VERY frequently!