Sunday, December 05, 2010

Best Friends

My best friend took this picture of me:

But then I got her back by taking this picture of her:

(You know, maybe these things wouldn't happen if we weren't such hams in front of the camera....)

But because I love her, I suppose I'll put this photo up of her beautiful family.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Home Tour: Guest Bedroom

The final room of the house is perhaps my favorite...but how many rooms have I said that about?

I love our guest bedroom. My grandmother made the quilt, and it so bright and cheery that it makes me smile every time I look in the room. The art on the wall is my own: the tree painting seems to finally have its rightful place on a green wall!

The side table is from my mom (as is the "vintage" lamp). The silver bowls are my other grandmother's. The books are classics from my childhood, and the glass bottles are gathered from different places--some valuable and most not. The bowls of fruit and stacks of books had been put together just right, but Caleb ransacks it every day, and I more often find grapes in his pile of toys than I do in a silver bowl.

On the other side of the room is my sewing area. It is so great to always have my sewing machine out, and to have shelves full of scraps and bobbins.

This area is meant for the guest. Don't be deceived by the snack's been repurposed as a luggage rack.

And here's a happy guest!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Give Yourself a French Pedicure

The state of my toenails is a good indicator about the state of my life.

A beautifully pedicured pair of feet means that I've had time to stop and take care of myself. Most times my feet sport the slapped-on, make-do bit of polish that covers the flaking polish from the last real, sit-down-and-enjoy pedicure. And sometimes my toes are just hideous. My life is a shambles.

I've had several pedicures in my life and have come to realize that I generally like doing them myself. It's really no fun to go to the nail place alone, the lady will inevitably cut my nails too short or cause some other trouble, and I walk away with a plain ol' paint job I could have done at home. All in all, my hands-on personality likes to have more involvement in the pedicure process. It's more fun, and it saves money!

So, back to the state of my life, here are my toenails:

That's one photo you don't want to "click to enlarge."

It's time for a drastic makeover. Let's pull out the drawer o' goodies and see what we can do!

1. Soak your feet. I like to use Arbonne's Sea Salt Scrub to really soften them up. I also use a pumice stone for callouses.

2. Moisturize!

Now that my feet are nice and soft, let's work on the toenails!

4. Take the old polish off. This is one of my favorite steps, because it immediately gives me a clean slate. I often do this step very first, just to see an immediate difference. However, if you're inclined to do that, you need to still swipe your nails with polish remover  at this step to get any moisturizer off of them (which might keep the polish from sticking).

5. Clip your nails. For a French pedicure, I like to keep them a little longer than if I were just doing a solid color.

6. File your nails. I know this sounds crazy, but treat your toes just like you treat your fingers! They deserve it!

7. Gather your nail-painting supplies: White nail polish (a bright opaque white), a transparent sparkly polish (optional), clear polish, nail polish remover, and a Qtip.

8. Oh, and don't forget to put those toe foam thingies on.

9. Now, start by painting a white strip at the top of each nail. Don't worry if it ain't pretty. Take time with each toe.

10. Pour out a little polish remover into the cap. Dip your Qtip into the remover and start swirling it on the unpolished area of your toe in little circular motions, only touching the edge of the polish just enough to clean it up.

See? Much better.

11. Now paint the sparkly polish all over your toenails. This is optional, and I don't do it for fingernails, but I like the little bit of extra on my toes.

12. Top with a clear topcoat and you're done!

13. could get bored and draw stuff on your feet to call attention to your beautiful pedicure.

As a side note, I got a new purple polish that Caleb thought was hilarious. The first time he saw my toes, his question was, "What happened??" And I replied with "Mama painted her toes purple!" Every time he saw my toes, he asked the same question and I gave the same answer.

One day, we were at a restaurant and Caleb was peering under the table. He pointed and said, "Tuss...pahpo" with a little grin on his face. I had no clue what he was telling me, and after the third attempt, he looked a little dejected that his joke was not coming across as he would have liked. I kept trying to find something under the table that could give me a hint, but all that was under there were our feet. And finally I figured it out: Toes...Purple! My little man was sharing his first inside joke with me. We had a good laugh over it, and I've decided that I'll be painting my toes purple next time, just to see what Caleb says.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Paint Nuts and Bolts

When I was repainting Caleb's big boy bed, I really wanted to paint the nuts and bolts that held the bed together. I had in mind that I would hold them out at arm's length and give them a good spraying, but came up with a better idea. Maybe it will help you out on your next repainting project!

1. Poke the bolts through a piece of cardboard.

2. Attach the nuts to the back of the bolts.

3. Set the cardboard piece into a box (I stole my cardboard piece from this box) and spray bolt tops with paint.

4. Turn the cardboard piece over and push the bolts through the holes so the nuts touch the cardboard (I didn't want to paint the threading of the bolts in case it might make it harder to screw the nuts on).

5. Spray paint the bolts.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home Tour: Master Bedroom

The master bedroom: the haven of the homeowner and yet often the most-neglected spot in the house. That is true for us, and though I enjoy our bedroom, the color scheme doesn't match the rest of the house. It was also the last room to have the packing boxes taken out and things finally put together in some sort of organization--and that happened the day before the Open House! So I really am enjoying it now.

One thing I requested when we moved here was that I have a "mama chair" here in the bedroom to rock James and feed him. At the time, I thought the glider would remain in the boys' room. It has since moved to the family room, but I'm still enjoying the rocker in our room. It matches the "daddy chair" rocker in the living room, which means things will match in case we ever feel like moving furniture around. So now I have 3 places to rock my babies!

This bedspread should look familiar; we've had it for the entirety of our marriage! It may be the reason I think our room needs updated, but on the other hand, I really love it and haven't found a spread I like better.

And then the view from the closet back to the bathroom....

On into the master bath.... The tilework, cabinet top, and tub all used to be green--that green that was so popular in the 60s. It was all re-enameled to this pristine white before we moved in, and I have to tell you how happy that makes me. I feel that a retro green bathroom would not help me wake up in a good mood!

Oh, and did you want to see what I looked like at 34 weeks pregnant?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Home Tour: Hall and Guest Bath

The hallway was one of my mom's inspirations. She has a wall of family photos (and I mean FULL of photos) at her house, and I wanted something like it. So, she put together this wall. It has lots of photos of Jon and I together (one from the day we started dating), many of Caleb, and many of our extended families.

Jon really loves this wall, and I do, too. I like that it tells the viewer a little about who we are, especially since people here have only known us 6 months.

Here's the look down the hallway.

On the left-hand side, from closest to farthest away:
Linen closet (hooray, hooray!!)
Boys' room
Guest bedroom

On the right-hand side, from closest to farthest away:
Guest bath (in the inset area)
Hall closet (holds games, wrapping paper, etc.)
Master bedroom

I really like the guest bathroom. I think it's cheery and light, with a little bit of whimsy to it.
This cat is a doodle from a San Antonio artist, given to me by my brother and fam.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Home Tour: Family Room

The Family Room is where we spend most of our time at home. Our computers are here, some of Caleb's toys are here (tucked under the breakfast can't see them in these pics), the laundry gets folded here, the mail gets read here. Everything happens here! Which means it usually looks like a hurricane just blew through! But we still really enjoy it.

 When we moved into this house, we decided to leave our TV behind and instead use my computer for all our media needs. We signed up for Netflix for movies, and watch TV shows on It helps us be a little pickier about what we watch and caters TV to our schedule, instead of the other way around. It's worked out really well for us! And it explains why the couch is facing the computers.

And I want everyone to notice the beautiful desk that Jon made for us when we moved here. It suits our needs perfectly and I love it!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Home Tour: Boys' Room

You've seen a little peek at the boys room from my recent post about Caleb's big boy bed. This room might be my favorite, for several reasons.

I love the colors. It's colorful, but because it's mostly greens and almost no reds, it's not your typical primary-colored kids room. The use of orange instead of red really makes a difference, I think. And the colors are sort of muted, so it doesn't hit you in the face when you come in.

I love the decor! I know, maybe it's vain to say that, but it really was a mod-podge of things we already had or could rig up, and it's vintage-y feel makes it very happy, without feeling so "antique" that it's not fun to play in.

It's very functional. Lots of dresser drawers, shelving for books and closet shelving for storage and linens, under-crib baskets for blankets, and--my favorite--toy bins that make picking up at the end of the day a snap. Everything has its place, and nothing is too fussy or organized that it takes time to put things away. Crayons and paper back on the shelf, cars in the bins, books on the shelves, blocks back in their spot, and the inevitable clean laundry hung back in the closet, and voila! The room goes from messy to clean within the time that Jon's giving Caleb his bath.

It has a play area! When my mom first pulled this play area out of thin air, I was delighted! (That's an old word, isn't it? Well, it's still true. I was delighted.) I had thought for sure the room would be too small for something like that. And when we rearranged to accommodate a second bed, I was so happy to realize that removing the glider had allowed even more room for playtime. Caleb LOVES this area and spends lots of time here.

I love the reminders. Most everything in this room has been touched by some loved one's hands. The songs were put together by my mom. My dad painted the orange door for me, and Caleb loves pointing out each family member in the photos. My best friend's mother-in-law painted the bunny. My grandmother embroidered and sewed the quilt, sheets, and pillows for both beds. I painted the bed frame. Caleb's Aunt Karen painted the letters over his bed. There are memories and faces that go with almost everything!