Little Bro’s favorite read

I’m slightly addicted to children’s books, okay, maybe I’m more like completely obsessed  with them, and I love getting  recommendations from friends on what their children read and love (and by their children I mean them, because I’m pretty sure that the majority of them are also obsessed with children’s literature). ;)

So I thought I would share my three-year old’s latest, and what he believes, to be the greatest read:

The Power of Cute by Charise Harper

It is set up like a graphic novel, with a tiny superhero, who ‘defeats’ (befriends) his foe with his amazing power of cuteness.

It’s sweet, funny, clever, and has won over my three-year old.

My son is currently obsessed with superheroes (Batman ranking number one), and loves this little hero and I love the hands on nature of this book.  It has little flaps and pulls, and he now insists on ‘reading’ the book to me before every nap. It has definitely found a cherished place in his bookshelf, and consequently, in my heart.

Does your child have a favorite ‘go to’ book at home?

May 9, 2012. Education, Family. Leave a comment.

Sometimes we all just need a little break

With Mother’s day approaching, my daughter has been scheming about all the wonderful ways that the family is going to ‘spoil’ me.  And the idea she has been most persistent and excited about is serving me breakfast in bed. In her five-year old world that is apparently the coolest. thing. ever.

Which gave me an idea.

Routine is good, necessary (for my sanity) and something that I strive daily to master. But as helpful and calming as a routine can be, a break from routine can be equally satisfying and just that, a break.

So one morning last week I set the kids up with ‘breakfast in bed’ while watching their favorite cartoons.  And they are still talking about it, relentlessly.

It never hurts to add in a little fun in your day either.  We seem to thrive on fun, and the unexpected.  So here’s to more mornings with mismatched pajamas, bed head and slightly sticky sheets. ;)

May 8, 2012. Family. Leave a comment.

Second chances and only 2 more coats

I thought I should probably include an after photo of what the buffet looks like after I painted it the not so pretty yellow.

Ahhhh, so much better.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m slightly impulsive, and so I took on painting the dresser and the two walls that surround our kitchen on a whim.

I saw that pretty gray/blue/green color on Pinterest and decided I had to use it somewhere. It’s Sherwin William’s Sea Salt, in case you were wondering, and I LOVE it.

I wasn’t sure how painting a portion of the room would look, since our kitchen/dining/living is all connected and the ceiling is vaulted, but I thought I would risk it. (It was all that warm wheat color you can see higher on the wall, which is Pratt and Lambert’s Toasted Wheat).

So I guess I took two risks.

And I think they both paid off.

Now my kitchen is even lighter and brighter, and maybe even a little quirky with the blue walls peeking at you from the sea of neutral wheat.

I like a little bit of quirk and the unexpected  in my life; it keeps things interesting.

And it didn’t hurt, that my sweet friend Jenae stopped by with these gorgeous Peonies.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Peonies, hence the blog title.

Flowers make every space alive and beautiful.

I stop to smell them and admire their delicate frilliness at least 50 times a day.

Do you have a project that was heading south but recovered nicely?

May 4, 2012. Home, Inspiration. 1 comment.

Kids and Money

I stumbled upon this on Pinterest and thought I would share.  This site has some great insights into helping our children understand how money works at each stage of their development, plus additional activities to help build and strengthen their understanding.

As of now we are helping our oldest navigate how to work and save up for something she really wants (in this case a new bike).

Every child needs to grow up money-smart. This site help guide parents and educators on what age groups should know at their age.

(click on pic to take you to link)

I would love to hear about any resources you have found helpful when it comes to teaching your children about money!

May 3, 2012. Education, Family. Leave a comment.


I made something ugly. In fact, I made it hideous.  Like, really really bad. I don’t even want to even share pictures of it.  But I am.  And you can leave feeling better about your projects.

See?  Not at all what I had envisioned.  Not even close.  I painted it yellow, then I painted it a second coat of yellow, hoping that would help.  Then it looked like a giant pastel Easter egg.  So then I put antiquing glaze over it.  And then it looked like an Easter egg that had been dropped in the mud and rolled around a bit.

And then I wanted to cry.

But I didn’t.

I tried, I failed, I moved on…..

and painted it white-as soon as I physically could.

And all was right with the world.

Lessons learned:

-Taking a risk is just that, sometimes I will fail.

-Failure is not the end of the world.

-I learned a lot from my failure-I will never again put a glaze over yellow, at least that particular shade.

-White paint,like love, covers a multitude (like 4 coats) of sins. ;)



May 3, 2012. House Love, Inspiration. Leave a comment.


After almost 6 months I decided it was time for another go at the blogging.  I love blogging.  I love the challenge; I love the feel of instant gratification as  something I write gets shared with the world by a simple click of the mouse,  and I love learning new things and connecting with other people who share the same interests and goals. But the things I love also drive me completely crazy.  I love the challenge of figuring out how the whole thing works, but I don’t enjoy feeling stonewalled and helpless to fix or figure something out when I’m stuck, which is often(I am super un-technical, as you can tell by that last statement).  I love the instant gratification but dislike the fact that I always want to do more. I love connecting with others but will simultaneously feel like I’m underperforming or not good enough to follow through when I see what other amazing women are doing.

And then there is the whole issue of the kids.  One is napping at this moment, but the other is indulging in candy…which needs some intervention…..

So my question is, to all the amazing women who run equally amazing blogs…how do you balance it all?


Wants to do it all, or at least the fun and  truly important things ;)



May 1, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Butterfly Project

L and brother share a bedroom upstairs and we have been trying to figure out a way to personalize each one’s space.  Well, thanks to the insane and never ending amount of ideas on Pinterest, we found this inspiration.

And here is our version, (in progress).  (I apologize for the bed, it stays made for about 1.2 seconds-but that’s okay, that’s what beds are for anyway, right?  That and sleeping.) :)
L and I went paper shopping, and picked out some of her favorite colors to make the butterflies.

I used patterned paper underneath, and solid colors for the top-I was worried about how busy it would look if there were too many patterns going on, so I tried to keep it subtle (as subtle as butterflies fluttering on the walls can be). :)
This combination is L’s favorite.I used doubled sided tape to stick them together and then to the wall.  I haven’t had a problem with them falling off, or with the tape taking off the paint-but you can also use wall putty if that is a concern.

L loves having the butterflies “flying above her”, especially at bed time.  It’s not quite complete, but it is fun to add to as we go along.I love that L loves it, and also that it was a relatively inexpensive way (I think we spent a total of $15 on the paper) to add personalized art to that bare corner of the room (which I refer to as ‘the nursery’-I know that the time are babies will enjoy sleeping together in a tiny space will not last forever). :)
 Next up…….brother’s side of the room

November 8, 2011. Art, Home, Inspiration. 1 comment.

Just Add a Sheet

If you need to keep your children out of hair entertained for a solid thirty minutes, throw a sheet on top of something.  Seriously.  Table, couple of chairs, sofa, whatever you can think of to toss a sheet over. Do it.  Whatever it is will magically be transformed from boring household item to fantastic play fort.

Those two haven’t been that interested in that slide since the first week we had it.  Now it is the coolest fort/castle/hideout/ever.  It kept both of my children occupied for a good 45 min.
So do yourself a favor and throw a sheet over something.  You and your kids will both come out smiling. :)

October 26, 2011. Family. Leave a comment.

DIY- ‘In This House We Do’ Sign

I found this sign while perusing through my friends Pinterest boards (it’s where all the good stuff is), good thing they’re my friends, otherwise it would be considered blog stalking, except for that it’s on Pinterest, so it’s not technically a blog, anyhoo….

I clicked it, I pinned it and I instantly fell in love with it.  You can see the original inspiration piece here.  It’s available to purchase from this sweet little Etsy shop, for a pretty penny; but after making it, I see why.  Most projects worth doing take some time and effort.  And unfortunately my time that becomes available to me is after 10, and at that point my effort is nowhere to be found.

Anyhoo, enough chit-chat, on to the nitty-gritty details of the project:

I randomly decided that I HAD to make something one Saturday afternoon or I would burst, or spend an inappropriate amount of money online.  I was perusing through the goody pile in the garage (which consists of wood scraps and miscellaneous objects from earlier projects).  And I eyed these pieces that once served as the beams to our window well covers.  A little over two years ago they had become too rotted to be considered safe (especially with two young children toddling around the yard).  So when my husband replaced them with newer, fresher, ‘won’t snap with the weight of a small child underneath’ planks I salvaged these and insisted that we hang on to them, because I was sure to find an amazing way to re-purpose them.

And two years later I did.

After I laid out the boards in the correct, ‘this looks perfectly equally distressed’ order, my hubby decided to indulge me and cut out backing using bead board we had leftover from our little hall bath redo, which you can see here.

He’s such an overachiever, pfff, engineers and their measuring.

After cutting the bead board down to the correct size, he used a staple gun to apply the bead board to the back to hold it all ‘together’.

*VERY IMPORTANT* This was completely UNSUCCESSFUL.  The staples were just not strong enough to keep it all together.  Those boards were very substantial.

So he opted to use a good ol’ fashioned hammer and nails to keep it all contained.

It worked like a charm. :)

After he made sure it was good and sturdy, he attached the screws and picture frame wire to hang it from.  It took several strands of wire (3 to be exact) to make it strong enough to hang it from the wall.  He tried one wire-and it snapped like a thin piece of wire trying to hold up a lot of wood.  Thankfully, it wasn’t on the wall yet.

I did not document painting the words on because I was in the zone and could not be moved.  But I used two different sizes of oil paper stencils I purchased from Hobby Lobby (3 and 4 in.) and used a small sponge brush and paint that was left over from painting the fireplace to paint each letter into place.

And just to keep it honest-it took me a while-like somewhere between 4-5 hours to stencil those words on.  I’m not really a perfectionist, so I was trying especially hard to keep it all straight and evenly spaced.  That A- type behavior is a step forward for me and my ‘I’ll use anything to paint with if a paintbrush isn’t within arms length’ compulsive nature.

And here it is in all it’s weathered, distressed, family love glory.

I wasn’t able to fit all the ‘rules’ from the original sign on to ours, so we altered it a little.  I love how you can make the rules specific to your home and family.  We also considered making one using the Fruit of the Spirit.  I also like the fact that they are made from wood and paint that is original to our first home.  So if and when we ever move, we’ll have a piece of our first little house to take with us.
Extreme sentimentality – it’s my speciality.
Oh, and as far as cost breakdown, this project cost us a whooping $7.00.  The only thing I had to purchase were the oil paper stencils, which I can reuse for later projects.
I feel the wheels turning already. :)

September 27, 2011. Art, Home. 2 comments.

Because I’m a nerd like that

L and I are making this fun little aquarium, jellyfish and all, this afternoon.  I love aquariums, and fish, and pretty much anything you can find in the river/lake/ocean/backyard pond (that last one may be a bit of a stretch-a little too much goo and unpleasant odors from that one). (:  I had my fair share of aquatic life as a kid, and not just your typical goldfish variety, but some serious aquarium material.  (There was a time when I could tell you what kind of plant species would be suitable in a brackish habitat, and in high school I spent my free time volunteering to help maintain the aquariums at our local zoo-you only thought I was exaggerating about the whole nerd thing, sadly I was not).

So needless to say, this is one activity I am really looking forward to!  We’ll see how it goes!  (I found this activity on Pinterest on my good friend Mercedes board, just click on the pic and it will take you to the original blog post, with detailed instructions on how to make it.  Enjoy!)

September 16, 2011. Education, Family. 1 comment.

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