Monday, May 23, 2016

Saturday Love

I took the kids to the Library again on Saturday to return our books, and select new. It was insanely beautiful all weekend, so the Library was quiet and the kids ipads were open for them to play on, so I let them since we don't usually allow too much screen time at home. They love the Toca Monster games. 

I loved getting to flip through a design book. 

After lunch and a nap for the kids, we set up the water table on the back patio while I read my new book from the Library. 

The kids had a blast filling up their buckets and running to the playhouse to splash it on the wall and then back again. 

The back patio has been awesome so far this year. I got Tony some zero gravity chairs for our anniversary, so we have those down there for now to sit and watch the kids play. 

It was so nice out that we got the fire pit ready to go, and Avery got the hot dogs out. 

Roasting hot dogs for dinner. The kids loved this. Gavin was so happy sitting in my lap watching the hot fire and eating his hot dog. I am loving our new patio in the backyard and this weekend was just perfect for us to relax and yet, get some stuff done around the house {and yard}

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Another Weekend in Minnesota

Gavin was ready for a road trip!

We headed to Minnesota bright and early last Saturday morning. My grandma turned 80 this week, and we threw her a little party. 

She is a hilarious woman. Very family minded and has quite a few stories to tell. She grew up in North Carolina, met my Grandpa when he stopped at the gas station she worked at, went across state lines to marry him, and then moved way north to Minnestoa where he was from, and his family farmed. She learned how to be a farm wife from his family, and has stayed close to them to this day. They later divorced, around the time I was born, but they were very cordial to each other and still hosted family holidays together, that I just assumed that all divorced people were still friendly with each other. 

This is Grandma with most of her great-grandchildren. I think only 2 are missing. 

It was really windy, so my brother got out the kites for the kids to fly. 

They also brought a karaoke machine to sing to grandma. We had to have the party inside the shop because it was really, really windy, and unseasonably cold. 

We rounded up photos of Grandma and made her a Shutterfly photo album of her through the years. She was really touched by it.

Avery's card to Grandma...

Our neice Beah is obsessed with Gavin. She loves him and just wants to play with him. He could care less, he just wants to eat his cake!

He sure does love his Papa though. He asked all week to go to Papa's house. 

It was safe to say that Avery had a good time, and played hard, she fell asleep on the way home Sunday like this:

Happy 80th Grandma! We are lucky to have you.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Mom Cut

I wish I would have been home last Saturday night {I was out with my cousin who was in town from IL for a club volleyball tourney} to see this:

 or I may have avoided a drastic haircut earlier this week. 

Avery went with me to my hair appointment, and we were able to get her hair cut as well. I was feeling like my hair was too thin to be much longer, and I don't think I am cut out for extensions to thicken it up. So I saw my stylists hair, and told her to do the same on mine. 

It did not turn out the same, as it is much shorter. My hair will grow I know, but I cut A LOT off, and am still getting used to it. 




In the meantime, I have been watching this all week...
It's hilarious!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday

Avery had her preschool Mother's Day event last Friday, and they had these cute little bugs that the kids made. Her face just kills me. The program was of course adorable, especially when they sang the Beatles '8 Days a Week' and substituted the word MOM in there. 

We were able to enjoy the nice weather on the front porch and yard. Tony's parents stopped by to pick up their dog Snoopie, who had been with us for a few days. 

I woke up for Mother's Day to breakfast in bed, and the best little floral arrangement that Avery made. She told her Daddy that she wanted to give me flowers that will last and had water marbles. 

Of course, we also went and got real flowers that will last a long time too {as long as those rascally rabbits stay away!}

Sunday was turning into a busy day, as we also had a graduation party to go to for our niece, Nicole. 

Grandma and Grandpa with the kids. 

Life has been good. Busy with work, the kids' schools and their programs and activities. The kids' new school had Mother's Day breakfast for us last Friday - 

 Avery started Gymnastics again and that will keep us occupied on Thursday nights for the foreseeable future. Gavin starts in a few weeks:

We are also really enjoying being outside, and working on our yard and landscaping projects. We just need to get our garden plants going, get some furniture for our new patio, and then build a new landscaping bed. We will be busy this summer!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rediscovering the Library

After the rainy, damp, cold weekend we had a few days ago, we were starting to get a little stir crazy being cooped up in the house. And by stir crazy, I mean the kids needed to get out of the house, or I was going to go nuts.

I decided to take them to the Library Sunday afternoon. I believe most other families had the same thought all weekend, as it was packed and hard to find a parking space. However, it did not deter us, and we had a great time. We picked out some books, both new and old favorites.

I found that I had several books on my Amazon wish list that were readily available at the library, so I also checked out the Goldfinch. Tony is currently reading that while I finish up a book about the OJ Simpson trial on my kindle. Yes, I am still obsessing over that trial, and yes, I still have all of the FX series on my DVR. 

It has become a much too easy habit to just buy the books I want to read on Amazon and then it downloads directly to my kindle. Even spending only $15 per month, but still something that has become too much of a bad habit. I need to start getting to the library more to read the books on my wish list. Lord knows I have plenty of them, so they are not all new releases. 

It's Duffy Time was the first book we checked out for Avery about 3 years ago. Each time we go to the library, she asks for it. It is hilarious how each of our children are such creatures of habit. We did venture into some other books to help Avery on her reading and that Gavin was interested in. 

Any other books I should check out on our next visit? I may just re-lend the Goldfinch when Tony is done so I can read it. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Designing a Spec House for Me.

I decided to take the direction of this house my way. Meaning, I love the floor plan, so I decided to finish out the house {within my set work budget} with my own taste in finishes and style. 

I chose painted mission style trim, with a mix of stained thrown in. There is wainscotting in the den, and black hardware. The built ins offer storage and open shelving for display. 

I wish I had control over the natural light streaming in, but that did it all on it's own. 

The formal dining room has a Pottery Barn light fixture. {Carpet, rather than hardwood due to the budget...}

The great room offers a stone fireplace, large windows, and a built in nook to store your media components and other items. 

Open, but separate from the kitchen and breakfast area too. 

Ah, this kitchen. I love this kitchen. The only thing missing is a walk in pantry, but I will forgive it because of the amount of cabinet space available. 

Seeded glass pendants, white elongated subway tile, white and gray granite, stainless appliances, pro style range...Come to Mama. 

Look at all that storage!

48" pro style Kitchen Aid dual fuel double oven range. With a griddle. 

This window overlooks the covered deck, and I can just imagine my herbs growing in the window space behind the sink. 

A nice view looking toward the great room, and the secondary staircase that connects to the main one from the 2-story entry. 

Here is the mudroom with built in lockers, and connected to the laundry room. 

The laundry room with folding counter. 

A nice look at the special staircase. 

At the top of the stairs is the owners suite with large walk in closet and coffered ceiling.

John Louis closet systems with extra shelving.

Ah, this owners bath. Double vanities, walk in shower, bubble tub with window, and closed off stool room for privacy. 

Tile walk in shower with glass mosaic detail, and recessed soap shelf. This is similar to what we are planning for our own basement shower. Tile is ordered, and we are just waiting for our installer to have some free time. 

Bubble tub with a view. 

Secondary bedroom. This one has it's own private bath. 

Walk in closet off of the private bath. 

These next 2 bedrooms share a bath. 

The lower level features a bar, bedroom, bath, family room, and bonus room. You can use it for a media room, play room, craft room, etc. 

Covered deck with views. 

How do you like 'my' spec house? It's for sale if you would like to buy it!

I don't always tailor the spec home design to my personal taste, but do make every effort to make sure they are well designed, coordinated, on trend, and...pretty. Everyone wants a pretty home. 

Questions about finishes, appliances, or plumbing fixtures? Leave a comment and I will get back to you.