Thursday, June 30, 2011

making progress

So, I've been a little MIA this week.  I know, I have a lot of catching up to do.  But that's because every spare moment has been spent working on putting up the new fence or painting the fireplace.
 {Spare moment = Callan's naptime}

 Slow progress on both projects.  Expected.

Note to self:  Hire a professional next time you want a fence installed.  

Putting up a fence is HARD WORK.  It takes a lot of patience.  And prep work.  And time.

We tore down the old fence on Saturday.
Adios peeling, rotted, ivy ridden, falling over, tied up, eye sore of a fence.

{old fence}

Literally, tied up.

{old fence}

Once the fence was down, it already looked and felt so much better.  And to be honest, it made us wish our backyard was a little deeper...but we got what we got.  Can't do anything about that.

{fence removed}

{old fence panels}

This fence replacing process is slow going.  The bulk of the work gets done during Callan's nap time.  And in 100+ degree weather.  We are lucky if we can get two posts set in concrete before Callan wakes up.


Fence ingredients.  The major ones, at least. 

{concrete, posts, & panels}

Our neighbor generously rented us a one man auger to make the post hole digging drilling a little easier.  It wasn't the most delightful thing to maneuver {just ask my husband}, but it got the job done.  Mostly.

Once Callan wakes from a nap, we'll put him in his stroller and wheel him out to the shade while we finish what we were in the middle of before he woke up.  He doesn't last long.
I don't blame him.
It's hot out there.
Even in the shade.

We have 5 panels up.  We have 7 (?) more to go.  I'll post pictures next week once it's up in all it's glory.  It's already looking so much better.  

We're learning as we go...we've had a few bumps along the's certainly not perfect...and certainly not completely straight...but it's an improvement. 

And it's so nice to look out the kitchen window and see a brand new fence.  It makes me smile.
See?  : )

Friday, June 24, 2011

naptime painting

I've always loved an exposed brick wall.  There's just something about the texture, the strength, and the history that enamors me.  I want to live in a big city loft just so I can have one of my own.

{sources 1, 2, 3, 4}

And a brick fireplace?  So charming and cozy.

{sources 1, 2, 3}

But sometimes you get stuck with ugly brick.
Like at our house.
Inside and outside.
It reminds me of a creamsicle.
And not in a good way.

So I'm working on making it less ugly.

Over the next few naptimes I'll have paintbrush in hand, priming and painting our fireplace.


This weekend we're going to be pulling down our old, rotted fence.  We have new posts and panels being delivered tomorrow.  Hopefully by next weekend we'll have a nice new fence! 

Oh, and Callan is getting his bottom two teeth.  So, that's fun.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

clean this

Let me be honest.  I probably don't clean as often as I should.  It's hard to get in a proper cleaning between keeping a sharp eye on a very mobile little guy, working on projects around the house, making meals, doing the dishes, and drinking coffee.  I tend to cram in a little bit of everything during nap time - a little cleaning, a little project-ing, sneaking in a blog post or two, a little of this, a little of that, you know how it goes.  

And sometime I just want to sit.
And do nothing.
Ya feel me?

But I wanted to share with you a few things that make my cleaning a little easier, even more enjoyable, if you will.  These are my "go-to" products.  Products I "swear by".

I love these little scrub brushes from Ikea.  I use them on every moderately dirty dish before I put them in the dishwasher, and on every soiled pot and pan.  I only have one left in my stash.  Mom, you reading this?  ;)


Bar Keepers Friend is THE best cleaner for porcelain sinks and bathtubs.  Love this stuff.  Pair this with the scrub brush from Ikea and you have one very clean sink/tub.


These are genius.  Need I say more?


These surface wipes from Costco are my favorite.  I just picked some up when we were back in Fresno a few weeks ago.  Our closest Costco is, like, 5 hours away, or something ridiculous like that.  Boo!


My favorite sponges.  I won't buy any others.  I'm stocked up. {from Costco}


This is my absolute favorite vacuum I've EVER owned.  SO worth the money.  Both my mom and mother-in-law each have one, too.  They'd say the same thing.


Are there any products that you "swear by"?
Do you have a cleaning schedule?  Maybe I should work on putting one together...

Speaking of cleaning, I should probably go empty the dishwasher before Callan wakes up. 

slap out of it

I'm actually *thinking about* painting over my stenciled wall.


Monday, June 20, 2011

cards and cupcakes

We had a pretty low-key Father's Day around here, but that was certainly welcomed.  

We enjoyed our time together, tried a few new recipes {some better than others} and took a nice long evening walk around the neighborhood {one of our favorite weekend activities}.

Here's a look at the cards the grandpas got in the mail for Father's Day.  
I think they turned out rather cute!

what's cuter than a "naked" baby wearing only a tie?!

And here's a little peek at the card I made for Travis {from Callan}.

card front printable from here

I found this recipe for maple bacon cupcakes while cruising around blogland last week and thought it would be the perfect "something sweet" for Father's Day.  Plus, when cooking for a man, you can't really go wrong with bacon.

They didn't disappoint!  The perfect combo of sweet and salty.

We each enjoyed one.  The rest got packed up and taken to work with Travis this afternoon.

free printable from anna and blue paperie

And as for a Monday?  It's looking pretty good.

happy mail!

Friday, June 17, 2011

a bit of my friday

We were all up before 8:30 this morning.  That's unusual around here.  We went for really nice morning walk.  Great way to start the day.

Here are a few shots from my day. 

{BLT for lunch}

{fresh, local cherry tomatoes}

{Callan is a crawling MACHINE}

{patriotic dining table}

You guys remember Callan's room reveal, right?  Do you remember the plane decals I put on the wall over his crib?  Well, we picked those up at Target sometime last year - months before Callan was born.  They were too cheap not to.  $14.99 marked down to $3.74.  Gotta love those clearance prices!  So, we bought them just in case we went with a plane {theme} or he ended up liking planes sometime down the road...


The way Callan's room is oriented, with the windows and doorways, we aren't left with much wall space.  So we have left over planes.  The big planes are left {two mid sized, one large}, as well as some airborne cargo.

Do you know a little boy that likes airplanes?  For his room?  For a playroom?  Well, I'd love to give them to you {for him}!   

Be the first to leave me a comment telling me that you have the perfect little boy in mind, and I'll send them your way.  

{Mind you, each of those sheets measure 12x24 - that biggest plane is pretty darn big.}  

{you'd be getting one of the planes on the top, and then two of the ones on the bottom, plus the parachuting cargo}

My goal this weekend is to clean house.  I've been so distracted with projects lately that stuff is starting to pile up and it's really getting hard to work around, let alone look at every day.   Here's to a productive weekend!  

Hope yours is lovely!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

kitchen sink bath

 Because Callan looked like this after dinner last night,

 he got a bath - his first bath in the kitchen sink

He had so much fun.  And it was so much easier on my back.  Win-win.

During nap time yesterday I finally got my Father's Day cards put together.  I'll share them with you next week after the grandpa's get them in the mail.

I'll leave you with an outtake.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

frame worthy


Yesterday, I shared with you what I snagged at the thrift store.  One of the last frames I grabbed before checking out, was this one: 

I grabbed it for the size and the thickness of the frame.  I didn't bother to read the print inside, not important.  

At home, when I was pulling the frames apart to clean them, I did stop to read the poem in this frame.  Here's what it reads:

 If the print is too small for ya, here's what it reads:

"One Little Rose"

I would rather have one little Rose
from the garden of a friend, 

Than to have the choicest flowers
when my stay on earth must end.

I would rather have the kindest words
from those folks I love to see, 

Than flattery when my heart is still, 
and this life has ceased to be.

I would rather have a loving smile
from friends I know are true, 
than tears around my casket
when this world I bid adieu.

Then bring all the flowers today
whether white or pink or red,
for I'd rather have one blossom now
than a truck load when I'm dead.

L.S. Williams


I turned it over to find a personal note on the backside...

It reads:

"To Jean and Cliff Nickels  4/16/89
With all my love and appreciation for your tolerance and friendship, I pray it will be a long and happy association.  'Just be patient with me God isn't finished with me yet.'  Lloyd Williams"

The frame looks lovely with a fresh coat of paint.
This little bit of poetic history has said it's last good-bye.
Roll in the truck load of flowers

weird, right?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


My project list feels like it's forever and a day long.  I try to start one project and finish the same project, but I find myself starting something, setting it aside, starting something else, going back to the other something...

It's a vicious cycle, I suppose.  I guess this is just the way I "project".

Here's a simple project I finally put together.

I downloaded the print from here.  Isn't it too cute?  All I did was paint the frame with chalkboard paint and put the print behind glass so it could be easily written on and wiped off.  Easy peasy.  And it keeps me a little bit more organized in the kitchen.  When dinner is already planned, the day goes a little smoother.

Earlier today, we went over to our favorite thrift store to see if I could pick up a few small{ish} frames for my gallery wall.  I got 6 frames of various sizes and that wire magazine rack/table for $6.56.  Not too bad.

When Callan went down for a nap, I cleaned up the frames and got them primed and ready for a coat of paint.

With a fresh {2} coat of paint, the frames are ready for just the right picture.  Once I order the prints I'll be one step closer to crossing this project off the list.

And hopefully have a wall that finally looks "finished".  We'll see.

Monday, June 13, 2011

mish mash monday

We went down to the city this weekend to take our laptop to the doctor.  You know how you have to make an appointment for anything Mac to be seen by one of the guys at the "genius bar".  Let me just tell you how much I despise the Apple store.  Smart move by Apple to locate themselves in a mall - they get oodles of foot traffic.  But it's a nightmare for those of us that ONLY have to go to the Apple store.  And forget about walking from the front of the store to the back of the store with a stroller.  Good grief.  Ok, anyways, long story short, they told us it would cost us $500 to fix the computer.  No, thanks.  It's up on E-bay as a parts computer.  Hopefully we'll get something for it...  At least we still have our desktop.  

So after we left the mall, we grabbed lunch and then headed over to pay our dues to Target.  Target is like our home base.  It's where Callan gets a diaper change on the way out of the store and we sit in the parking lot while I feed him.  He got to stretch his legs in the front seat with Dad for a little bit before we strapped him back in his carseat to head home {in a severe thunderstorm; it was INSANE}.

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to take a walk as a family.  It gets us out of the house and we get to check out the other houses in the neighborhood and verbally express our lawn envy as we pass by 2801.  Callan enjoys our walks as much as we do.  

Late last week we had a RIDICULOUSLY crazy windstorm with a 10 pm to 6 am power outage.  Reports say that we had gusts of 60+ mph winds.  There were a few branches down throughout the neighborhood, and our fence suffered a little.  Mind you, the fence is in need of replacement anyways {we knew this when we moved in}, but this storm really did a number on it.  A whole section of fence was on the ground in the morning.

Travis rigged it "back together" the best he could with what we had on hand.  As soon as we have a little extra cash, we'll be replacing a good chunk of the fence. 

Last, but not least, I discovered my new weakness this weekend.  Pretzel sticks dipped in "Nutella".  I put "Nutella" in quotes because it's an off brand of it that we found at Aldi.  YUM.

Not the most exciting post, but when the weekend borders on lame, Monday's post borders, if not crosses into, lameland.

**lame = uneventful**