Monday, January 27, 2014

Cyclones, Cleaning, and Cold!

We went to the Iowa State basketball game on Saturday. We had some pretty good seats for this one. I was able to purchase some seats from long-time donors who couldn't make it, so we had this view...about 12 or so rows behind the Cyclones bench.

It was a great game, and we won! We met up with some friends for some drinks and dinner afterwards, and had a great time catching up, and discussing our beloved Cyclones!

We stayed in on Sunday to clean, organize, and stay out of the cold. Man it has been a cold winter!

Avery and Gavin were hiding from me and I pulled back the curtain to see these 2 cuties playing. We absolutely love that they love each other and generally play well together.

I also decided to pull everything out of the mudroom to clean and re-organize. I had to put up the baby gate to keep little hands out of the way. 

He just wanted to help. Avery did help for a bit, but her idea of re-organizing was bringing more toys to the mudroom, instead of cleaning them out. She ended up cleaning up quite a bit for me later though. She is her momma's daughter!

We are home today to get over a stomach bug, and to take care of some house maintenance, and it is a good day to stay inside. I think it is currently -5 outside with wind chills well below that. Brrrr~!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Girls Night- mom style

Avery wanted to have "Mommy and Avery time" last night. She has been requesting it more and more lately, and I just can't say no. So I enlisted her help to put together a shoe bench for our mudroom last night. She read me the directions {pointed to pictures}, grabbed the pieces I needed, and held them in place as I assembled. She even helped me hammer the back on. 

Pay no attention to the mess you see in the background. A better storage system/desk is on the long list of items I would like to remedy. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

+39 Restaurant Review - Ames

I went to Ames on Wednesday night after work to meet some old co-workers and friends for dinner. We wanted to try this new Italian place that they had helped build/out and design with the owners. 

{I have had minimal interaction with one of the owners in the past. He and his family are Italian, and have a house in Ames. They contracted us to re-model and furnish the house. We did the work via email and they moved in after we were done. I met them exactly 1 time.} 

The restaurant is a mix of dining, bar, and market. We sat in the market side, and it was...odd. The tables were tiny, but the portions and plates were also tiny, so I guess it works?

 We decided to rate the ambiance, service, and food on a scale of 1-5. 5 being the tops.

Ambiance: 2
Service: 3
Food: 3 (saved by the chocolate raspberry cake I had for dessert}

Overall: 2.5

There are too many other great options in Ames for me to want to go back, but if someone suggested it, I would get what my friend got {Rigatonni with a cream and bacon sauce}, not the risotto I got. 
It was ris-so-so. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January = Organization

I always thought it was kind of funny how once the holidays were over...Boom! Organize. You see it in the stores, you see it online, you see it magazine articles...I never really did it, but kind of wanted to.

Fast forward to now. 2 working parents. 2 on-the-move-kids with WAY too many toys, and 1 house that we moved into 4 years ago, where some items are still in the spot we threw them into when we moved in.

I/WE can't take it any longer. A big house fills up fast when the storage space is used inefficiently.

We turned the front hall closet into a toy storage space for toys that Avery and Gavin need permission and supervision for. She knows that she needs to ask before getting any toys out of the closet. All of our crayons, coloring books, art supplies, stickers, etc are in there. Also, her hair and makeup toys, and a lot of her puzzles and games are in there too. Gavin's Lego's are in there, and Avery loves them just as much, but if you step on an errant piece.....Yikes, those hurt! So into the closet they went. It freed up a lot of space in the living room. We try to swap out toys every so often because they quickly lose interest in the ones readily available.

I also went on a purging spree in the master bath. {that sounds like I have an eating disorder..of which I can assure you I do not!} I tossed old make-up, hair styling items I don't use, and generally cleaned up and organized. There is a whole empty drawer in there!

We also did all of the laundry in the house. We had the washer and dryer humming all weekend long. Now this is not newsworthy, but we followed through with actually putting it all away. Tony is very good at this part....I am not so much.

All of this was accomplished while my mom was here to visit. So that was just a super bonus. She was able to watch Avery at gymnastics, and play trucks with Gavin. We went to get take-out for lunch, Tony and I got a bit of a date night, and we ran some errands. The weekend flew by and we had so much fun.

we had a glass of wine, and Avery had lemonade as we waited for our take-out. 

We also sampled Hy-Vee's new Sunday brunch. It was pretty awesome. You can eat anything you want, all you can eat, {exception of sushi} for $14. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Big Girl Room

When I was on my organizational spree this past weekend, I re-arranged Avery's room. It now looks like a big girls room. It's a cute little update working with what we have. I figure this will work until she asks to re-decorate her room. If she is anything like me, will be when she is 5 or so :)

Before as Avery's Nursery:

Before as Avery's Big Sister Room:

After as Avery's Big Girl Room:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Working on my Fitness

We bit the bullet and found a great deal on a very gently used treadmill via Craig and his list. I had told Tony that I wanted one for Christmas, but he refused. He didn't want to be the guy that bought his wife a treadmill on a gift giving occasion. 

Can't say I blame him. How would you react if you asked what I got for Christmas, and I told you that Tony got me a treadmill? 


Kind of how people react when I tell them my mom got a "Thigh-master" once for Christmas. Though not from my dad, even he knows better.

Remember those?!

So we made a large chart that tracks our progress. We have a goal of walking/running so many miles before we go on vacation this spring to Jamaica. 

Tony is currently ahead. Hopefully not for long. He set up a TV down there for us and it is hooked up to my DVR, so I can catch up with my Real Housewives while I work out.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014