Ice Storm

 

A little bit of a different post today since Mother Nature has halted some of my projects. We were hit with an ice storm Sunday and Monday. Our power was out for about 14 hours, which was a pain, but could have been much, much worse considering there are still thousands around us who still have no power yet.

I was hoping for snow. Like a real snow, not the light dusting stuff we keep getting.  Hollis has yet to be able to really play in the snow and she DYING to do so. She talks about snow angles and building a snowman on the regular around here. But no such luck this time around, just a bunch of ice and falling limbs.

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I took about a hundred pics, because what else do you do when your power is out so long?! Today the sky is clear and blue, and the sun is shining bright. All the ice has melted into nice muddy puddles. Can’t wait for everything to dry out so I can get back to my projects!…and also pick up about a million tree limbs.

 

 

 

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He’s Here! He’s Here!

Sorry for my absence, but I’ve been buried in tiny diapers, toddler tantrums, and baby snuggles for the last week. Our little guy arrived last Tuesday morning at 9:31am and life has been whizzing by ever since!

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This is Bowen James and he is 7lbs 1oz, and 20 1/2 inches long. I don’t want to say he is the perfect baby, because I know it will bite me in the butt later, but he kind of is. He’s the sleepiest, hungriest, cuddliest little babe and he is the perfect addition to our little family.

 

His big sister, who is two, is having a serious case of ‘terrible twos’ as well as having to adjust to a new baby in the house. So some days are great and she gives him hundreds of kisses and brings me his diapers and blankets. Other days, she screams and kicks when mom has to feed the baby and can’t come play with her right away. Those days I feel like I spend a lot of time explaining to her that it won’t always be like this, one day he will be big enough to play with us. Of course, she gives zero f’s about all this right now and just wants mom’s full attention.

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Luckily my parents came in town to watch Hollis while Brian and I were in the hospital. It was so awesome having them here and relieved a LOT of my stress. Hollis was able to stay in her own house and continue a somewhat normal routine. She had their full attention and was spoiled to pieces. And I was able to return home from the hospital to a spotless house, laundry done, and yummy food to eat!

I knew splitting my time between two kiddos would be hard, but I wasn’t expecting to feel like such a terrible mom some days. (That’s what wine is for though right?) I know it will get better eventually and I will probably forget how hard these first weeks are. On a higher note, this is my second c-section and the recovery time was so much quicker this time around. Probably because I have a two year old to chase after and she doesn’t care how much pain I’m in, she needs her bananas RIGHT NOW.

 

Gift Guide: Father’s Day

Father’s Day is one of those holidays that constantly sneaks up on me. Like every. single. year. I find the guys in my life are pretty hard to buy things for. Anytime I ask what they want, it’s usually followed with an, ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I don’t know…whatever.’ Not helpful, guys! My usual go-to gift is an Amazon gift card or a tool of some sort, but sometimes I like to shake things up and give them something that they’re not expecting. I have come up with a list of gifts that I have yet to hear guys complain about receiving.

Gift Guide: Father's Day // thegoldbrickroad.com

1. Fitbit. My guy loves gadgets. And what’s better than a gadget attached to his wrist that he can play with all day? These are great for tracking your activity and sleep. My favorite part is that they have a silent alarm so that my husband and I can wake up at different times without waking the other.

2. Lab Series Face Scrub and Shave Gel. My hubby  has been using these since way back when we were dating. He loves this stuff and it’s very rare for him to get excited about toiletries. I’ve even caught myself using the invigorating face scrub “accidentally” and I agree, it’s pretty awesome.

3. Slippers. I love slippers. And I just sort of assume everyone else does too. This pair is great because they are nice and sturdy and have a hard sole. Great for slipping on to run the trash out to the dumpster.

4. Yeti Thermos. I had never heard of Yeti until my husband pointed out their insanely expensive coolers to me. Yeah….$400 for a cooler isn’t happening anytime soon, but I might compromise and splurge on a 20 oz. thermos!

5. Power Bank. Another good gadget. Keep your cell phone or other compatible devices charged when you’re on the go. My husband farms so he is outdoors most of the day and usually away from a cell phone charger so this little gadget is a lifesaver.

6. Favorite Sports Team Shirt. We love our Kansas City Royals around here, and my husband wears their shirts until they fall apart.

7. Tickets. Even better than his favorite sports team shirt….tickets to a game!

Mom Jeans

So it happened.

I said I’d never let it happen…

I turned into a mom….Like a mom mom. Might as well get me some mom jeans to complete the transformation.

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I’ve let myself go. From my split ends all the way down to my unmanicured toes. I looked at a picture of myself from my Hollis’ baptism and said, “OMG, that’s what I look like?!” Let’s just say I’ve put on a few unwanted pounds. It’s funny how you can be so careful about what goes into your child’s mouth, but not pay attention to what you’re putting into your own body.

I noticed it a while ago, but I kept telling myself, “you’re a new mom, this is what you’re supposed to look like”. Hair pulled back, dark circles under my eyes, no makeup, baggy clothes, baby attached to the hip. But my daughter is about to celebrate her first birthday this month (what?! how is that possible?!), and I feel like I no longer can use the ‘new mom’ excuse anymore. It’s time to make some changes.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving the baby away or anything like that! I’m just setting aside one hour a day for myself. One hour to be totally selfish and focus on me. I’m going to get back into workout mode. Put on my headphones and blast my music, something other than radio Disney or Baby Einstein for a change. This hour will of course, be when the baby needs me the least, and when Brian can help me out. I’d like to get up an hour before she does but that all depends on how well she sleeps the night before. It will most likely be after she goes to sleep for the night, or even during nap time some days (but I’ve learned not to rely too much on nap time for anything).

My hubby was kind enough to pull our treadmill out of storage and set it up in the playroom/gym. I even hung a t.v. in there and got the weights set up. So really, no more excuses. The real reason for writing this post is so that I have to hold myself accountable. I figure if I put it out there for the world to see, then I will be more likely follow through with it.

One hour a day may not seem like a big deal. As a stay-at-home mom I literally spend 24 hours a day with my daughter, seven days a week. There are no breaks, days off, or clocking out for the day. I LOVE every second of it. I would not change it for the world. I am extremely grateful for all of it, but it is wreaking havoc on my appearance. So to help motivate myself to get back into working out, I did some online window shopping for new workout attire. Nothing motivates me more than new clothes.

 

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Clockwise from Top Left: Old Navy Burnout Tee, Onzie Low Rise CapriPatagonia Glorya Wrap, Onzie Low Rise Capri, Powerhouse Tee, Hard Tail Low Rise Capri, Nike Flex Experience Run 3Zella Studio High/Low Tee, Juno Sports Bra by Moving Parts

 

There are SO MANY cute workout clothes these days! It makes me want to throw out all of my sweats and make room for cute active wear. I love that I can wear these pieces all day. They are perfect for chasing the baby and getting down on the floor to play with her. They are also cute enough to wear out to run errands without looking like a slob. It would easy to keep them on all day, ready to workout whenever I can squeeze in the time.

 

 

Inspirado: Entry Way

What’s the one room in our house that everyone sees and is always a mess??…

The entry way.

I’m about to start on our entry way and I’ve been thinking of our wants and needs before I get started. Of course I have dreams of our entry way being grand and beautiful. So beautiful that people can’t help but ooooh and ahhhh as they enter our home. But let’s be honest, it’s just a hallway that serves as a catch-all for shoes, coats, keys, etc. How fabulous.

Living on a farm has turned me into one of those shoe nazis. You know the ones that make you take your shoes off at the door? Annoying I know, but dirty boots have a whole new meaning now that they not only include mud and dirt, but cow feces….yeah. Think about that for a minute. Do you want people walking through your house with boots that they used to walk through cow pastures with?! AND add an adorable 10 month old that crawls from point A to point B all day long who has her hands and knees all over that floor…(shudder).

Okay…I don’t really make everyone take their shoes off (I’d like to). But I do ask that my hubby and anyone else with cow poo on their boots take them off before walking in the living room or play room. I figured if I ask this of people, then I need to provide a place to sit in the entry way to take off said boots like a chair or bench. We also need some storage for shoes and coats, because I know if I don’t they will just end up cluttering the floor or kitchen table. Here’s  a few spaces that are inspiring me right now…

 

 

 

 

I just love how pretty these entry ways all look, but at the same time, they still look practical and lived-in.  I also really like all of the clever, non-fussy storage solutions! Any other shoe police out there? Any tips on entry way storage?

 

One Project Leads to Another: Part I

You know when you dream up a project and you start said project, and then the next thing you know you have a loooong list of accompanying projects and you kind of forgot what the original project was???…no? Just me?

Okay.

Well we started the bathroom an eternity go. (or a couple of months ago) The plan was to rip out the vanity while we had the carpet ripped out and tile installed. We wanted the tile to sit under our new vanity and the vanity be more like a piece of furniture than a built-in. Easy enough, right? Well, right away we realized an awkward outlet because our new vanity is a little taller than the old one. Then we realized we would have to rip out the mirror that was attached with the original vanity (which didn’t break my heart). But to get the mirror down we had to lose some drywall where it was glued. Throw in a toilet issue and replacing the light and this little bathroom update is growing by the second.

I thought getting the tile down would be the hardest/longest part. I was planning on plopping (that’s a technical term) in the new vanity, and slapping some paint on the walls and calling it done. I should have  known that nothing is that simple when it comes to diy.

Here was the bathroom when we first moved in:

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Then we ripped out the carpet and vanity and had tile put in.

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Here is a close-up of the new vanity and the problem with the outlet clearance. Luckily the vanity doesn’t have to go all the way to the wall. In fact, I wanted it centered under the wall light above the vanity. There is about 6 inches from the vanity to the wall. The outlet can still be used by most everything we would use it for. (ie. hairdryer, flat-iron, electric razor, etc.)  So other than looking somewhat awkward, the outlet is still super functional. One day we will have it raised up, but it’s not high on our to-do list right now.

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Then there is the mirror. I planned on living with this mirror, by adding some trim around it to make it more up-to-date looking. But we bought our vanity on a whim while in Lowe’s one day so we didn’t really take the necessary measurements beforehand. After we brought the new vanity home and centered it under the light we quickly realized that the mirror wasn’t going to work. It was just too big. It also kept the vanity top from sitting flush against the wall. So bye-bye mirror.

Of course the mirror was well glued to the wall for many, many years and when we took it off we were left with this:

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Here is a good picture of the original light fixture. I wanted the vanity centered under the light, and I knew I would want to replace this eventually if not now. Since we had no idea if the box for the light was actually centered, we figured we would just go ahead and get a new light (more on that later) now and then we would know for sure if it was centered or if we would have to fix that too. We didn’t want to be surprised later when we went to replace it and already had the vanity set in place.

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Back to the wall. I knew the only real solution  was to skim coat it. I tried to think of any other solution, but there really wasn’t one that would work for us. I was terrified to skim coat. I don’t know why. I watched several youtube videos and was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I bit the bullet and decided to give it a shot. I was comforted by the fact that I could hang a giant mirror and cover most of it if I totally botched it.

I grabbed some compound at Lowe’s…or maybe Home Depot…I honestly don’t remember. I do remember that it was cheap, I think it was about $6 for this huge tub. I also grabbed a large putty knife.

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I’m embarrassed at how scared I was to try it. Once I got in a groove, it was really simple. Like icing a cake, or smearing cream cheese on a bagel…but on the wall…If that makes sense. It only took a few minutes and it was already looking a million times better. (Sorry there is no pics of the process, but once I started, I didn’t want to stop!)

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I started out with a really thin coat and then let it dry thoroughly before sanding it all down. I repeated the process in some areas about three times, some areas only need the one application. Waiting for it to dry was literally the hardest part of this project. I even found myself looking around the house for other places I could skim coat.

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More on these bath projects later. I know, you’re on pins and needles but I feel like this post is already long enough and I better save some of this fascinating content for later!