Friday, July 29, 2011

Let There Be Art

See that totally gorge painting in the picture above? She's the newest addition to our living room thanks to Kristin over at KFD Designs.

You see, I wanted needed a very specific size painting to go over our two leather chairs. And I wanted something pretty and soothing, but not costing my first born.

Kristin had done some work for me in the past and she is super talented. I asked her to commission a piece based on a few ideas I sent her way and this is what she came up with. Perfection.

This picture wasn't taken in our house but once I get this baby in I'll be sure to share. We're picking her up Saturday.

To read more about how Kristen put this together (including the use of rain and salt—she's a genius I tell you) click here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Living Room Redo

As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided at roughly 7 months pregnant I wanted to completely redo our living room. Nevermind that our first child's big-girl room and new baby's nursery were far from complete. Cue the eye roll from the husband. Then cue his eventual surrender because let's be honest, he's learned by now that once I've made up my mind there really is no turning back.

The existing space was fine. Just fine. But I was starting to feel like I was drowning in a sea of tan. When we painted our house four years ago I painted everything tan because all I wanted was a neutral pallete, as opposed to the purple wallpapered one we encountered upon moving in. And I really didn't have any taste or sense for what my style was at the time. Now I felt I needed a bright, fresh life raft to save me from my sea of monotony. Enter Capella. You may remember her from Kristin's amazing bedroom re-do. She's an extremely talented designer who we hired to help us with the room. This was a big splurge for us, but worth every.single.penny.

Here is the before. See what I mean?

And now our plan. Unfortunately no after photo yet. These things take time, people!

Based on my inspiration photos, Capella suggested a color scheme of soft greys, ivory, and marigold. Light and airy, simple, but polished. We're painting the walls a beautiful light ivory with grey undertones and the paneling an darker grey that I'm completely in love with. We ditched the brown rug and brought in this baby (which arrived 48 hours later after purchase and shipped for free). We ordered the below couch and she's supposed to arrive mid-August. Her name is Carlisle. I think she's pretty fancy. We got rid of the dark wood (and enormous) coffee table and got a great deal on a tufted storage ottoman from the Ballard outlet.

Once the painting is complete, which should be in the coming days, we'll move to artwork and finishing touches. But for now, here is a shot of our progress!

Since this is the room we literally live in every night and day, it was important to me that it feel special and soothing, not dark and drab. And even though we have our house on the market, we can take everything with us except for the paint in the event that it does sell. Wouldn't that just be the icing on the cake ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Carbs and Cheese...and some other stuff too

I thought I'd share a few recipes I've made in the last few weeks. The first two were for a family potluck on Sunday for which the theme was Mexican. I was asked to bring a rice dish and an appetizer. You should know that these were delicious and had not ounce of nutritional value.

1. Tortilla roll ups- little bite-sized morsels of cheese/salsa/sour cream/ranch/cheese and a little more cheese.

2. Mexican sour cream rice - Again, the perfect mixture of carbs, melted cheese, sour cream, green chiles and corn. I omitted the chicken since this was just a side dish, and in my defense I did use all low fat ingredients. Not that it matters.

3. Salsa chicken soft tacos - these were super super delicious and even easier than I anticipated. In lieu of the tortilla I ate this in a bowl with a little corn and beans mixed in. I was still in a bit of a carb-induced coma from Sunday.

4. Honey dijon overnight chicken recipe- the flavor was right on here but I tried to cook them in the crock pot instead of the oven. Don't do this. I imagine if you followed the directions you'd be enjoying a delicious meal while I carved through chicken that was way too dry.

5. Bethenny's BBQ Bleu burger - Loved the flavor in these but mine completely fell apart for some reason. I hadn't broiled burgers before and I think this may have been the problem. I used feta instead of bleu cheese and ate this without the bun.

I found out yesterday that based on my last blood test at the doctor my hemoglobin is low, which explains why I've been so darn tired lately. So in the coming weeks we'll be adding more red meal to our diets. Given that we rarely eat red meat, I'm looking for good recipe suggestions. If you have any send them my way pronto.

Monday, July 18, 2011

30 Weeks

You know you're 30 weeks pregnant when...

*You feel like one of those beached whales that requires a team of 20 scientists and several large nets to flip them over everytime you roll over at night.

*You find yourself eating chocolate chips right out of the bag. At 10 a.m.

*You can feel yourself waddling and you don't even attempt to walk normally.

*You just scheduled a maid service to clean your house because everytime you squat down it feels like the baby is going to fall out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things I'm Loving This Week

The pop of pink in Bryn's powder bath. I full intend to copy this in our similarly toned powder bath off the kitchen. I also loved this guest post she did on her favorite candles and scents for the home. I'm a sucker for a good candle, even if it is expensive.
This super cute candle holder I picked up from Bath & Body Works for only $5.

My new $14 shades from Old Navy. I've been wearing the same sunglasses for four years and I thought it was high time for a new pair. Matt gave me a gorgeous Burberry pair before our honeymoon that have served me well. Now I'm moving onto the aviator trend... About 2 years behind the rest of the civilized world.

Mommy bloggers and friends who tell it like it is. These sources have provided me enormous support and help as we brace ourselves for another little bambino and potty train/sleep train/house train our current one.


Nesting. I love love love nesting. And I am in full force right now. I'm pulling together Madelyn's big girl room with art and accessories, planning how to turn our office into a functional and non-cheesy playroom, re-doing our living room, and trying to figure out how I want to decorate my sweet boy's room! Clearly I like to be busy.

And lastly, egg white and spinach wraps from Starbucks for breakfast. They are just ridiculously good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reality TV: Mommy Style

Behold the newest member of our family—the Summer deluxe handheld video monitor. Also known as the answer to every mommy's sleep training prayer.

Our transition to the big girl bed has been progressing rather slowly. Up until this week I hadn't quite realized just how strong-willed Madelyn really is. It's this particular trait in her that I hope will help her to not to be easily swayed by others as she grows up, but that also means she isn't easily swayed by me. Or her father. Which poses an interesting problem.

Matt and I quickly realized if we ever wanted to sleep through the night again we'd have to be a bit more structured in how we approached bed time. (Read: I had to stop letting her come in and sleep with me because I am a total sucker.)

So, last night we began bedtime boot camp. We read her books, said her prayers, rubbed her back for a few minutes, shut the door and left. And settled in to what became by far the most entertaining show I've seen all week (actually the only show I've seen all week). Madelyn proceeded to get out of bed, gather all of her books along with her menagerie of stuffed animals, and put them in bed with her. She even took her nightlight out of the wall and put that in bed with her too. Then she yelled at us, cried a little, got in bed, got out of bed, moved her toys around, sat in bed as though she'd run out of things to do, and about 45 minutes later finally laid down and went to sleep.

The best thing is, we could shut the door and watch her knowing she was 100% safe. Before, I'd sit at the door wondering if the large thump I'd just heard was a book she'd thrown or her head as she fell out of bed—if you can't tell I tend to assume the worst.

We still have a ways to go—last night she still woke up twice. We let her cry for 20 minutes or so then Matt went in, tucked her in, and she went right back to sleep. We're definitely still a bit sleep deprived, but we're getting there.

And on a completely unrelated note, I've sworn for a while that there is a ghost living in our house and I'm pretty sure I saw him in that monitor last night. But that's another story for another day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Big girl bed: Night 1

Last night I decided to put Madelyn in her big girl bed. Originally I was going to wait until next week but I thought "What the heck? Let's just go for it and see what happens."

Wouldn't you know, my little rambunctious monkey went right down. Completely blew me away. I sat next to her and said our prayers and about 10 minutes later she was passed out. I snuck out avoiding all of the creaks in the floor and held my breath outside her room convinced she'd run out crying any minute. But she didn't. Score 1 for my unexpectedly well adjusted child.

Then around 9:30 I went in to check on her and she'd fallen out. I'd put a large ottoman up against her bed in case this happened and low and behold she was completely asleep on it. Hadn't even stirred. I put her back in bed, sat there for a few minutes to make sure she was out, and creeped back to my room.

Just shortly after I heard two large thumps which turned out to be her head knocking up against the wall. Cue scene two of mom running in, toddler still sleeping, and mom walking out in disbelief.

Then at 1:30 I woke up and went in to check on her. She was on the ottoman again, fast asleep. I put her back in bed but a few minutes later she fell out. And not on the ottoman. On the ground where all I had placed were pillows. She was scared and upset and I was exhausted so I brought her in with me.

Tonight we'll be installing a safety rail that covers the entire length of the bed and will prevent any middle of the night child spillage.

I had been seriously dreading this transition but it could turn out to be a pleasant surprise. Last night served as a good reminder that you will always have good nights and bad nights. And even though potty training or sleep training seem like enormous hurdles that we'll never overcome, everything is just a phase. Just do your best and eventually it will all work out.

Last week when I was all freaked out because Madelyn was requiring me to rock her before she went to sleep (hello, regression), my Dad reminded me that one day she won't want to be rocked at all. So if I want to cuddle her and she's happy, just do it. She'll likely want to quit long before I will.

Score one for the wise parent who sees the big picture I'm often ignoring.
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