Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY Laundry Room Makeover

One project I wanted to take on in 2012 was re-doing our laundry room. Nothing major, nothing pinterest-worthy. No stone backsplashes, flat screen TVs and farmhouse still is the laundry room, right? I don't want to live in there. On the other hand, just because it's the laundry room doesn't mean it has to be ugly. We go through our laundry room each time we enter and leave our 1960s home. It's pretty much how they were all built in those days. Also, Madeleine's existence prompts way more laundry than I ever thought possible, so I'm in there quite frequently. This was our laundry room before. Cluttered, no real color scheme...just...there, and I had no motivation to keep it super sharp and clean. Ha.
Sigh. Yeah I just didn't want to be in there much. I decided I wanted gray walls - it's such a crisp color, and I knew it would look good with the white appliances and cabinets. I picked out cathedral stone from Valspar at Lowes. It was perfect. I was so tempted to go with "tornado warning" or "approaching storm" or some of the other severe weather-related names, but I refrained. :) It just happened to look like this outside on the February afternoon during which I painted. Inspiration!
I found a pedestal on pinterest I really liked, and I emailed my dad to see if he had all the tools. I thought it would be really nice to have the washer and dryer propped up, but we weren't going to buy the standard issue ones from whirlpool. He replied that he would be happy to just build it for us! Hooray! We modified it a bit to fit under the cabinet on the wall, and Dad added an extra support in the middle, but otherwise it was as-is on the website. It came to our house ready to be painted. I love the molding detail, and the materials were only about $75.
I also wanted to hide the kitty clutter, so I pulled in some black metal shelves we already had in the garage. I got two tension rods and sewed valances to go across the front of the shelves. That way, kitty clutter (litter, food and litter scoop on one shelf, litter box and food bowls on the other) was contained, and I could custom-make the valance for the height of the bottom shelf (height of the litter box.) Madeleine helped.
This is how it all ended up! The colors ended up being gray, black and a pop of lime green. And the freshly bleached grout is white of course. ;) Yesssss. All the "new" decor items (except for the round mirror from Homegoods, $30) were things I already had. The black hook hanger under the mirror was a housewarming gift. It had cute wine labels at the top of each hook, but I went ahead and spray painted it black to go with the new colors. I also lowered it for Madeleine. I got the black wall-mounted shelf, green rug and white metal baskets at IKEA (all for under $40.) I think our total spent on this room was around $150! Not bad. I was holding out for a privacy screen I could re-do to cover our water heater...I'll just be on the look out.
MUCH better.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Desperate Times

Oh goodness, well if it's not one thing it's another, right Mamas? Last weekend when I was on my girls' trip, Cason woke up on Sunday morning to a naked baby chunk in her crib. No jammies (even though they were HARD to get out of,) no diaper, ceiling fan going and wet. My solo husband had some work on his hands. That Sunday night, I was back. We hoped it had been a quirky, toddler fluke. Madeleine seemed to go to bed fine, but then woke up crying at 11 or 11:30 p.m. We went in there, and you guessed it, the Nude-ini child had stripped herself of her top, pants and diaper. I got her out, cleaned her up, re-dressed her in other clothes, and she was asleep in no time, but we had a problem on our hands. I found these, but I really didn't want to pay that much for jammies, and I didn't have the option to wait on shipping. After a nap where I caught her without her top and her pants and working on her diaper, pre-falling asleep, we decided to cut off the feet of some of her old jammies and flip them around so the zipper was in the back. Since it was the same concept as the Escapeejays, it worked like a charm.
It is good to wake up to a clothed toddler. ;)
Well a girl can't wear the same jammies forever, so I tried it with her new, thin green footies, but didn't even bother to cut the feet off. I think she was a little uncomfortable (first pic below taken during today's nap) so she gave me a one-hour nap to show her Mama what was up. (Yesterday I got a three-hour nap in the cut-off pink LOVE footies.)
The one-hour nap made me nervous, so tonight I decided to let her wear her jammies as they were intended, zipped up the front, but I secured the zipper with a safety pin, attaching the zipper pull to both the left and right sides of the zipper. SUCCESS!
Mama wins this battle! Onward!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No two people are not on fire - a spring story

So, SIX years ago, some girlfriends and I took a little weekend trip to San Antonio for our last spring break at Baylor. I remember that spring like it was yesterday. I was finishing college, I was falling in love with Cason, I had an offer to go be a consultant for Accenture (that would've been a different road, had I accepted!) We had our last few BRH concerts around Central Texas, I was enjoying my last, beautiful spring on Baylor's campus...literally like yesterday. We were all journalism majors. Well now Amanda is married, living in Waco, finishing up her UT MBA and working as a writer, editor and marketing guru for Texas Farm Bureau. Anne is the Director of Foundation and Government Relations for the Dallas Museum of Art and engaged to Patrick (woot woot!) Paige is married, teaches at Waco High and is expecting her first baby in September!
We decided a reunion of sorts was in order, but we wanted to invite many of our other girlfriends to really maximize our time together. We invited six more girls, and four were able to make it, so we added Julie, Summers, Andi and Rachel to our group!  These eight girls have been in some of the others' weddings, pledged, worked, traveled and studied together, here and there.  Some of the friendships are closer than others but we definitely all ran around together at Baylor and are interested in being a part of each others' lives.  I found a spot in New Braunfels that was super reasonable (Yay Lilypad!), and the fun began! It was gorgeous weather - I arrived around twilight on Friday after a relaxing drive through the bluebonnets on I-10 (and the new 75mph speed limit signs! Yesssss) and waited for the first carpool from DFW and Waco to arrive. There were even some little bears perched on the dock. Perfect!
Our first group of five enjoyed some Mexican food in town and then spent the rest of the evening at the Lilypad catching up over wine and watching copious amounts of basketball on the tiny tube TV. We slept in in the morning (WHAT?!) and gradually, one by one, woke up/made our way to the breakfast table. It was quite relaxing to just sit and chat with no timeline. The only stressful part of our morning was a coffee pot malfunction, which was completely my fault. :)
The other three girls arrived from mid morning to the afternoon, and a lot of this happened, then we got ready to head to Gruene.
me, Paige, Anne, Andi, Rachel, Summers, Julie and Amanda

We wandered through some of the shops in Gruene. The weather was just perfect. It was a little crowded due to spring break and St. Patrick's Day (I guess?) but still so fun. I love Julie's face in the second picture. "They want how much for that antique, wagon-looking sled thing?" Andi was taking a picture to text to Anne's mom. We thought Kade and Madeleine should ride down the aisle in it for Anne's wedding.
Around 5:00 we made our way to the Grist Mill to put our name on the list. The early meal time was a must if we were to make it back to the Lilypad to watch our beloved Bears play the Colorado Buffaloes in the second round of the tournament. :) I so enjoyed my sangria, chips and queso and delicious tenderloin salad. YUM. I think the springtime, hill country breezes make everything a bit more yummy.
We bid adieu to the Grist Mill with a beautiful sunset over Gruene. I asked Summers if our car (coincidentally full of the three mamas in the group) could stop and put our feet in that cool, Guadalupe River water, so we did. Could've stayed there for hours, but we had a game to watch (as well as a car-full of other girls that needed to get into the lakehouse to use the bathroom and I had the key in my purse. Oops!)
We got in our comfy clothes, turned on the Bears and enjoyed cheering them on to victory. The rest of the night was spent talking (yes, more of that!) on the dock.
Sunday morning we had breakfast, tidied up and said our goodbyes, but not before Andi fed her pancakes to the ducks.
So what's up with the title of this blog entry? Well in some of our slumber party silliness, we ventured onto youtube, and of course to an old college favorite, HomestarRunner. If you aren't familiar with that mecca of cartoon wit, allow me to introduce you to Strongbad's children's book. Transcendentally, thanks Julie :),  it reminded us that we are all in different places in the lives of 20-something women, ranging from single to married with a kid and everywhere in between, with the Lord, with jobs, with relationships...but it's always worth it to reconnect and try to understand where everyone is.

 "So there's book." And here's to spring 2013!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Signs of Spring

I am such a bad blogger. :) How are you, friend? We have been enjoying spring around our house - amazing how quick Texas moves from "winter" (we didn't really have one worth mentioning this year) to spring! I think the main thing we can say is that we spend a LOT of time outside, or "side! side!" as Madeleine frequently requests! Around our house, signs of spring include...

Lots of Baylor Basketball! We have so enjoyed the team this year, and we took Madeleine to her second game in Waco. This spring was quite different than last spring's game when she literally napped in my arms.
Cason has been playing softball with our Sunday School class Inside Out. Madeleine enjoyed playing with Jade - our friends the Ramseys' dog. She loved watching her daddy play and loved time in the wagon with her friends Everett and Jake!  She is starting to "get" her sunglasses this year.
Madeleine's art projects from Sunday morning and Thursday morning have taken on a Rodeo theme, and her clothes bear resemblance to an Easter egg (featured outfit picked by Madeleine)
The house and garage have gone through a deep clean/reorganization. No drawer or cabinet was safe from our compulsion! We've also accomplished quite a bit of yardwork. I was able to weed, till and do some replanting and mulch our front and side beds. I have some new yellow knockout roses in the front that I just LOVE, I hope the shade doesn't do them in. I am also attempting a modest herb garden this year. Last spring, Gran and Granpa gave me a small blackberry plant offspring from their plant in their backyard. It almost didn't survive the drought last summer, but I am pleased to report, it is growing and blooming this spring! (Fingers crossed for summer blackberries.)
A new spring wreath...while I was tempted to do a very Eastery one, I decided upon a more seasonal wreath that could be hung March-May regardless of when Easter falls.
Spring birthday parties! Christian Richards' 1st, Micah and Laurel Saxes' 4th and 2nd, respectively, and Kuy Houser's surprise 30th in College Station!
As previously mentioned, so much time outside. So much so that we (Madeleine) can mix things up sometimes. See many days I'll leave our laundry room door open and she wanders in and out of the house as she plays. Lately, she has been bringing me things like handfuls of dirt or sticks (and dropping them on the kitchen floor) "duuurrr-ty" she says, as well as drawing on our tile and wood with sidewalk chalk (at least it's harmless.)
And of course, much time at parks. Our new favorite is so close to our house - Bellaire Nature Center and Russ Pittman Park! Two great playgrounds, nature trails, a fish pond and a bunny in a cage! Toddler heaven. Miss Ally even showed the kiddos a roly poly. Madeleine and I found one in the backyard today and she said "bye-bye" to it as it curled up in the dirt. Madeleine isn't very "good" at the park. She attempts to jump off of the big kid equipment, she tries to get in other kids' strollers and bags, she doesn't want to stay within the playground fence, and she plays in the mud. She even tried to eat some forgotten cheez-its off the pavement, to which two Chinese women shrieked and shouted in their own language. I rescued the cracker from her mouth, but I know in my heart that isn't the worst she's ever mom commented "she sure is determined!" (you don't know the half of it, lady!)
Last but not least, my spring has included lots of running in preparation for the Bearathon in Waco!  I completed my last long run this week at 11 miles.  My parents got me these running shoes and insoles for Christmas. While not the priciest of running shoes (I picked them out) they have been amazing! Spring is a lovely time to long-distance run in the neighborhood - the grass and trees are a brilliant shade of green, the flowers are blooming, and I love to watch the old houses in our neighborhood continue to get remodeled and landscaped, and there is one new construction home on our street.
Happy spring to you!