Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{ more purging progess }

I am 21 days into the 40 days, 40 bags challenge, and I am exhausted!  I really didn't think that we had that much unwanted junk in this place, but I have donated a lot of stuff.  A LOT. I finally cleaned out my entry closet and put a little order and a bit of personality into my itsy,bitsy entryway.  A reminder (cringe!) that it once looked like this.

Dude, that is B A D.  Well, it's by no means perfect, but I sure do prefer it now....

I've still got work to do here. I want to make cute labels for those shoe bins, and I've yet to make that folded fabric on top of the bench into a cushion.  But this is a pretty keen makeover for around $50, if you ask me.

Several of you have mentioned that you're taking part in the challenge as well. Yay!  How's it going?  Aren't you so excited to be getting rid of unwanted stuff?

Monday, March 28, 2011

10 things {that cheer me up}

It's Monday already.  I've been having a particularly difficult time saying goodbye to the weekends lately.  I decided to make a list of things that always cheer me up, in the hopes that it will help get me into a positive mindset for the week.
  1.  The three boys in my life. Not to get all sappy, but they really do bring me such bliss.
  2.  Adele.  I can't get enough of her soulful voice and her "this is me, take-it-or-leave-it" attitude.
  3. Nikko blue hydrangea. I adore having a couple of stems of these beauties tucked into a glass pitcher on my table.
  4. Cupcakes. I gave up all things sweet for Lent, which has been (pathetically) WAY harder than I anticipated. I am counting the days until I can eat a cupcake (26, if you're counting too).
  5. Our Boston Terrier, Georgia.  She's all at once, cuddly, feisty, sweet, and fiercely loyal.
  6.  A really fantastic cup of coffee-with oodles of cream and too much sugar.
  7.  A trip to Anthropologie. Their stores are always chock-full of eye candy. From the clothing to the strikingly creative visual displays. I always leave there so happy and refreshed.
  8.  Pretty much anything yellow, but I am REALLY loving yellow chairs lately.
  9.  Design, decor, and DIY blogs. SO much inspiration, so little time.
  10. Watching Yo Gabba Gabba! with my muchkins.  Have  you seen it?  It's utterly insane.  But so much fun!
What cheers you up on a Monday? Any tips to make Mondays less dreaded? Please do share :)
*Our most recent family photos also ALWAYS bring a smile to my face. Thank you, T.D.!

Friday, March 25, 2011

{ i love laundry }

Okay, not really. To be honest, laundry is my most detested chore. But I do love these stunning laundry rooms. Maybe if I had an inviting, functional space like one of these, I could learn to better tolerate this dreaded chore.
Are you the laundress at your house? Do you despise it as much as I do? If not what's your least favorite chore?
Hope your weekend is FULL of fun (and totally chore-free)!

*via covet living, southern living, martha stewart, decor pad, bhg

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

{ high style hoops }

This trend has been around for quite some time, but I am still head over heels for it.  Isn't this a fantastic way to add some color and pattern to your walls on the cheap?
 I LOVE them hanging from the ceiling!  This adds so much interest and dimension to the space.  Oh, how I envy the baby who gets to doze off to dreamland with this view.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

{ purging progess! }

I started my 40 bags, 40 days challenge one week ago today, and I am in disbelief about how much junk I've already discovered in my home in that time. Yesterday I tackled my medicine cabinet. In true forgetful Rachel fashion, I didn't remember to snap a "before" photo. But, in all honesty, the "before" was so hideously awful that I'm not sure I would have shown anyone had I not forgotten :P Anyway, it's much improved...I added some funky scrapbook paper (that I covered in clear Contact paper-for water resistance) to the back and bottom of the cabinet. I then added back in only the things that we use on a fairly regular basis. Because we have two curious little munchkins at our house, we keep all medicines locked away in a high cabinet in the kitchen. I tried to arrange the cabinet so that things were both accessible and eye-pleasing. I'm sure it will stay this way for a whole six minutes! ;) How about you? If you're participating in the challenge, are you making any headway getting rid of unwanted stuff and reorganizing things?

Monday, March 14, 2011

{ i am loving }

These sunny, yellow handmade pillows by etsy seller, Honey Pie Design. In fact, her whole shop is full of loveliness. These beauties really have me thinking spring!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

{ jack's pajama pizzeria party }

A few months ago, I asked Happy Jack what kind of birthday party he wanted. He said, "I want to wear pajamas to my party. Oh, and I want to eat pizza and cupcakes too!". Easy, peasy, I thought. And so the concept for Jack's Pajama Pizzeria party was born. To be honest, I was also secretly darned excited to have an excuse for everyone to stay in pajamas all day too! I worked with the talented Adria, of Anders Ruff to come up with the invitation and coordinating printables. I felt a bit of sympathy for her because she was dealing with one discerning client (me!), but she was completely wonderful. Thanks, Adria! Your work is beautiful!Welcome to the party!I wanted our dining room and living room to feel like a cheerful pizzeria. I just love those colors together! Unbelievably, we failed to get a photo of the whole party table. Argh. Oh, well. Here's the top portion. and the table itself.

And a broader view of the table well into the party. Look how much you've grown, big boy! I can't believe you're 3! Ahhh, the power of felt and pretty scrapbook paper!A silly hat for a silly boy.

Sweet little hats for our sweet friends.

There were plenty of yummy snacks. I made nifty coordinating labels for the food.I think this was my favorite treat.

Hmmm, or maybe it was these. I ate a gazillion of these tea cookies after the party.

Labeled sippy cups with stripey, happy, yellow straws for the little pizza makers.

C U P C A K E S!

The lovely Charynn of Two Sugar Babies made these adorable cupcake toppers.

And these too! Aren't these tiny fondant pizza toppers the best!?
I used little pizza boxes to hold all the goodies we gave as favors.

Inside were pizza puzzles, stickers, and a bag of treats.

Pizza making supplies :)
The little chefs fancified their hats first, and then it was time to get to work! Roll...

roll, roll your dough.

Give it a little pat, pat, pat.

Time for toppings! Spinach!? Great choice, little guy.

And plenty of CHEESE!

Time to enjoy those pies! My little guy has the CUTEST friends ever! I want to thank my mommy friends for helping with the potentially disastrous activity of pizza-making.
I heart you, ladies!

Little brother and his friends were busy with other things while the big kids munched on pizza.

These busy, itty-bitty babies are pretty flippin' adorable too.Make a W I S H!

My wish came true the day you were born.
You are such a blessing.
I hope you enjoyed your special day, Happy Jack!
Special thanks to my amazing sister, cousin (who took all these photos-well the good ones anyway), and brother-in-law-to be. You guys rock!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

{ 40 days, 40 bags }

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It's also the day I start my 40 day purge of clutter and other unused junk from my home. I'm so excited! Here's the gist: rid your house of clutter, unused items, junk, unworn clothing, and trash. Fill one bag per day for the entirety of Lent. Donate those items to a charity, if you can, or list them on Freecycle, or just place them on your curb with a sign that says "FREE". The idea is to keep these things out of the landfill and to get them into the hands of someone who needs them (and will use them). I don’t think there needs to be specific rules about how big those 40 bags are, or even what's in them. Basically, the idea is to commit to 40 days of possibly uncomfortable “letting go". I can't think of a better way to commemorate the Lenten season. Additionally, I hope to make a big impact on how my home looks, and therefore, makes me feel. I'm an immensely visual person, and I'm greatly affected by the aesthetics of my surroundings. Spending time in a cluttered and unappealing room makes me moody and sad. Experiencing those feelings can impact the kind of mother I am on any given day, which is NOT okay with me. Here are the things I'd like to accomplish during my 40 days, 40 bags purge.

*declutter, clean, and organize the forgotten corners of my home (junk drawer, medicine cabinet...I'm talking to you guys!)
* rid my home of those things that I see every day, but don't love looking at (or find a way to beautify those things)

At the end of the challenge, I hope to be left with a tidy, organized home filled with only useful, beautiful, and/or cherished items. You know, instead of just stuff.
I read about this project last year over at Clover Lane. I loved the concept, but came up with a million excuses not to join then, including being 37 weeks pregnant. Well, the awesome Sarah is doing it again this year and you'll hear no excuses from me. My talented friend, Elisabeth, is also doing the challenge. I can't wait to read about both of these ladies' progress. See, it's a revolution, people! Who wants to join us?!? I dare say you won't be sorry :)