Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Life Lately

Happy Tuesday, friends!  Can I just start by saying thanks for all of your amazing comments regarding my "blogging confessions" blog post from last Thursday.  You guys made me feel so normal and not so lonely in this little blogging journey of mine. 

Tooootal change of subject, guess what?!  I'm drinking coffee again!

"But Marie, when were you NOT drinking coffee?"

Soooo...I never shared here on the bloggity blog that I'd given up coffee for about three weeks due to a few weird chest pains.  Looooong story short, I had some never-ending and annoying aches and pains in my chest.  I ended up scheduling an appointment with my Doctor, had an EKG and then waited two weeks to have a stress test.  I was diagnosed with two very common chest issues and I passed my stress test...so, all good things, all good things (knock on wood).  :0

As a result, I've slowly introduced coffee back into my life (Raise the roof!  <---Does anyone even say that anymore?)!  I'm trying to drink a very limited amount and ONLY in the morning...and with a little bit of milk to dilute it a bit.  Anyway, after about three weeks I enjoyed my first, yet very small, cup of extremely weak coffee.

It was a dream.

Hello caffeine!  Mama's back...well...kinda!


The weather.

This picture below was taken two Sundays ago.  We went outside...and ate lunch on the deck!  Spring had officially begun and was trying its best to break through.


We went for bike rides...


...and hit up the park.


On Monday, our first day off of school for spring break, we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few household essentials and some fun crafts for the kiddos.

We crafted out little hearts away...





It was a fun day, but it was a loooong first day of break.

By the end of the day I was all...

#facemask
#CadburyCaramelCremeEgg

Mommy already needed a glass of wine...but it was only Monday. ;)


On Tuesday...or maybe this is from Wednesday(???)...you know I really don't know what day this was...the days sort of ending up blending together...  LOL!

Anywho, on THIS day, we made popcorn together and settled in for an afternoon movie...


Somewhere in there Mother Nature decided to rain and rain and rain and rain and rain and rain and rain...

It.Wouldn't.Stop.Raining.

Then, on Thursday, Mother Nature said, "You know what?  Let's add in a wintry mix of snow and wind along with those pretty little raindrops!"

Oh and she did.

You guys, it was a wet, soggy, and crazy mess here in the mitten.

It also just so happened that we were planning to leave on Thursday to visit family up north.  Jon and I were all packed and ready to go on Thursday morning.  I was especially ready to get out of the house as I hadn't really left the house since Monday (with the exception of driving my car to the drive-thru library drop-off box - I'm not even entirely sure I was wearing pants)!

Kidding, not kidding.  :0

Anyhoo, my mom called and told me there had been eleven car accidents on the exact expressway we'd be traveling on to get to where we needed to be.  Jon and I checked the radar and the local forecast and decided against driving back.  We then went to a local coffee shop/restaurant here in our town and discussed whether we should still head north or not.  After checking the radar about a bazillion more times we decided to go.  We headed back home, picked up our bags and I grabbed bathing suits just in case we would have to get off the expressway and stay at a hotel, preferably with a pool.  ;)

Henry and I still weren't too sure about the decision.  I was a hot mess of a passenger the entire ride.  I can't tell you how many times I refreshed the radar on my phone...


But............we made it!  We could finally relax!  We were so excited to have arrived at our destination...well, almost.  First we had to eat at our favorite restaurant in Flint-town!

Three things here:

1.  These Flintastic shirts are awesome (thanks awesome neighbors).
2.  We Spring Breaked it in Flint, Michigan...because we're awesome.
3.  I need to bleach my mustache...like yesterday.  :0


After dinner we headed over to my in-laws house and they treated us to some yummy chocolate mousse pie, my FIL and I drank merlot, we had a dance party with the kiddos, and then we chatted all night.  It was really nice.

The next morning we slowly woke up and enjoyed a yummy breakfast that Jon's Mom had made for us.

After breakfast, we visited for a little while longer and then Jon's Mom headed off to work.  We then packed up our things and headed over to one of my favorite stores in Jon's hometown.

Jon and I both spotted this piece and we both instantly fell in love with it!  Before I could even tell Jon how much I loved it, he said, "I think we should get this."

Say whhhhhaaaaaattt?!  Um, yes.  Okay!  Let's get it!!!

Eliza's been needing something like this for her bedroom and the both of us instantly knew that it was exactly what Eliza's room had been lacking!

We called Jon's Dad and asked if he could come to the store so that we could load it in his van and have him bring it down to us the next time he comes to visit.  He, of course, said, "Yes!"

EEEK!!!  I'm so, sooooo excited about this, you guys...like, crazy excited!!


After our surprise furniture purchase we headed over to my parents' house, but not without driving by the local alpaca farm!  #springbreak #alpacafarm


Later in the day, we met up with my Mom, Dad, my niece Aurora, and my sister and her gorgeous family at the movie theater to finally see, "Beauty and the Beast!"  I was just as excited as the kids!


Here's my Dad with the kiddos!  Henry and Eliza were adamant that he sit next to them...


After the movie we went back to Mom and Dad's house for pizza.  My sister surprised me with these adorable birthday gifts.

She knows I worry too much...




Later that night, Jon caught this sweet moment of the kiddos cuddling in their sleep...


The next morning was my nephew, Christian's 6th Birthday Party!

It was being held up in Frankenmuth, Michigan at a Family Fun Center in one of the hotels.

If you follow my blog, then you know we like to go to the water park in this town and that we usually pass through this area when we're back visiting family.  So we were sure to arrive in town early to walk around for a few minutes and visit our favorite coffee shop.  I, of course, got a tea instead of coffee...but it was still awesome!




While inside the coffee shop, the kids started slow dancing to Ed Sheeran's song, Thinking Out Loud

I love their love for each other.


Then it was time to par-tay.  But first we had to venture over and through this really cool bridge!


Upon arriving at the hotel, we weren't sure where to go, so I went inside the hotel and politely asked where the "Family Fun Center" was and the concierge gave me wonderful directions and happily told me, "Once you get to the elevator, press 'F' for Fun!"  Ummm, "F" for fun?  Yes!  I don't know why, but I thought that was hilarious!  I was already loving this place!

Once we walked into the Family Fun Center everything seemed so familiar and I couldn't figure out why I felt like I'd been there before.  My sister mentioned something about the karaoke machine and then it clicked.  I had been at the "Family Fun Center" years ago, way back in high school, and I had gone to sing karaoke with a bunch of my theater friends!  Oh my word, it brought back lots of fun memories.

Now, here I was, years later creating new memories with my little family...



Oh my gosh, and I've just got to share this - this cracks me up.  My mom bought new clothes for my nephew from Gap, but she only had a Macy's box so she wrote over the Macy's logo and wrote, "GAP."  It's totally a thing only my Mom would do...

I love that woman.


AND finally...

This.

This is a little game Henry created about two weeks ago.

Go to your stopwatch and press "start" twice to see how low of a number you can get.  The lowest I could get was .06.  Jon was curious and Googled the lowest number others have achieved, because apparently we're not the only crazies who waste their lives trying this, and he seemed to find that most had only gotten .05.  I'm sure lower numbers are out there.  All I wanted for two weeks was to get a .05, but then this happened...

Too bad this doesn't come with some sort of prize.  All it tells me is that Doc Holliday and I have a lot in common...  LOL!


Okay, so...............................on that note, I hope you all have a great Monday.  I hope it's filled with lots of happy and memorable moments...and not dull and under-appreciated moments like this ^^^.

LOL!  

Marie :)


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Confessional Thursday - Blog Edition

My Top Ten Blogging Confessions


{one}

Hi.  My name is Marie, and I'm a terrible blogger.

{two}

I have all these ideas and ambitions for my blog, but I don't seem to have the time.

Okay, okay...maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit.

I guess I could find the time to actually sit down and blog.  But unfortunately, instead of blogging, Facebook can sometimes get the best of me.  :/

Do you also scroll through Facebook for an embarrassing amount of time and read about how people are dealing with traffic while on their morning or evening commute?  Or how about all those inspirational quotes?  Gotta "like" those ones!  Oh my gosh, and all those tragic stories that bring us all to tears?  I read waaaaay too many of those ones and I can't seem to stop following all of these sad pages.  Okay and then what about those amazing few individuals who are checking everything off their bucket lists at the ripe old age of 28?  I mean, I've got to sit here and stalk ALL their previous adventures.  That's what they're there for, right...for people like me to Facebook stalk their lives...?!

Meanwhile, I continue to sit on my end of the couch, not blogging, with something quietly playing on TLC or HGTV, all while eating an entire package of Cadbury Carmel Creme Eggs.  So, I suppose I do have the time, I just need to spend it more wisely.

But I'm not giving up the Cadbury Carmel Creme Eggs, darnit!  Those things are life!

{three}

I don't really have a "niche."

My clothes don't exactly scream "trendy lifestyle blogger," Although I'm currently trying to dress a tad better these days.  Well, except for at this very moment because it's spring break and we (the kids and myself) have only left the house twice since Monday.  Nor have I showered or bothered putting in my contacts today...and makeup?  Bahaha!  Forget about it!  No IG selfies over here.

I love, love, love home decor.  That could be my niche, but having to take pictures for my blog also means having to clean up the mess surrounding whatever room, piece of furniture or DIY project I'm attempting to photograph.  I'm getting the sense I'm just a lazy person...??

Okay, so what about blogging about motherhood?  Well, as much as I try to keep the kids occupied with arts and crafts, I'd be lying if I said I never put them in front of the computer screen and turned on one of those YouTube videos of people opening and playing with toys.  Please tell me you know what I'm talking about!  Sometimes that's just an easier option for keeping those adorable tornadoes at bay, as well as keeping my sanity in tact.  Besides, do you ever see Mamas posting pics of their kids just staring at a computer screen on any social media feed?  LOL!  I guess I could be the first!?  Haha!

So a niche is something I struggle with.

Who the heck am I?  What should I blog about?  What is my niche?

<insert a Kevin McCallister hands on face scream here>

{four}

I'm terrible at getting back with people/commenters.

Sometimes I read a comment somebody has so generously left for me in my comment section of this ole bloggity blog, but I don't always comment back.  I'm not trying to be rude.  Believe me, those comments make my day!!  It's just that I read them and then start doing something else...like probably head over to Facebook or something.  I know I need to fix this.  I'm not trying to be rude, but I can see how it can seem rude.

I'm the same way on a hourly/daily basis with emails and texts from my friends and family.  It takes me foooorever to get back with people.  The family I get...they don't have a choice, your family is your family, you know!  They've just got to put up with me and wait for my response.  ;)  However, I don't know why my friends keep me around..........hmm..........................

*nervous laughter*

Seriously, I need to work on this.

{five}

This one goes with that ^^^ one.

I read so many of your blogs on a daily basis, but I don't always comment on YOUR posts.  I just want you guys to know that I'm reading your blogs and they encourage me and inspire me to be a better Mama, wife, friend, cook, organizer, and blogger (even if I suck at it).

{six}

I don't do anything extra for my blog and I'm scared to even try.  In fact, I fear that I've forgotten all basic coding at this point.

Did I ever tell you about the time that I attempted to transfer my entire blog over to Wordpress?

Yeah, about that - I totally screwed it all up.

Believe me, Wordpress Customer Service was great and they were as helpful as they could've been for an incompetent blogger like me.  But I was still confused, so I just sat there...waving my little white flag...I may have even cried a little...okay more like A LOT...and I just gave up.  Yup, and you know what else?  I spent $100 on the whole thing!

I could've, instead, taken a one-hundred dollar bill and thrown it out the window all while shouting, "Fly high, Benjamin!  Fly High!"  Ugh.

HOWEVER, I learned that if I were to ever attempt have everything transferred over to Wordpress again then there is absolutely NO WAY I'd do it myself.  No Way!!  I'm sure there are those of you who have easily transferred it all over and it was easy peasy.  I bow down to you, really...I do.  You're amazing!  I'm sure Wordpress is amazing, but I stand strong by saying I'll just pay them (again) and tell 'em to get back with me when it's all said and done.

{seven}

How?  Seriously, how do you bloggers do it all?

This isn't the first time I've raised this question.

I realize you've shared your "day in the life" blog posts, but I still don't know how you do it all.  I'm baffled at how so many of you go to work or stay home with the kiddos, make dinner, clean the house, work on projects, edit photos, take gorgeous pictures of your beautiful, well-dressed children, and take selfies of yourself in your pristine vehicles without a crumb in sight?!  Teach me your ways!

Well, I guess I could begin with not blogging at this very moment and instead go out to the car and vacuum up all the nasty crumbs...which in turn would only make it so I wasn't blogging right now!  So see?  I can't do both.  Do you people have extra arms or body doubles or robots living in your home with you?

Perhaps I should do a "day in the life" blog post and then you guys can tell me everything I'm doing wrong!  Oh my gosh, that's actually a reeeeeaaaaally good idea...Hmmm.....???

{eight}

I love reading income reports and I love imagining that that could be me (which it won't, but it could...but totally not...oh heck, maybe it could...but probably not...but maybe...)!

Recently, an amazing blogger decided to discontinue her monthly income reports and I was so saddened by hew decision to no longer post their monthly progress.  This particular blogger was rocking it, and I mean r-o-c-k-i-n-g it!  She and her husband were bringing in around $40,000/month.  I never thought of her income reports as bragging, instead I thought of it as inspirational.

I'm quite sure I'll never make THAT much moola, but just to know that it's possible to maybe bring in $100 bucks here and there is encouraging!  This blogging community is so supportive.  We share our triumphs, as well as our failures - it's what makes us real...our transparency.  Being open and honest and real is what makes it so easy to have these amazing virtual friendships!  Those income reports were no different.  This particular blogger shared her income reports from the very beginning and it was exciting to watch it grow - it was part of blogging story...her journey.  In this bloggity-blog-world we're each other's cheerleaders and on this side of the computer I was doing just that - cheering her on!

{nine}

I haven't used my "fancy" camera for a blog post in a long, loooooong, loooooooooooong time.  Not even for that nursery reveal post I blogged about recently.  I tooootally regret not using the "good" camera for the reveal.  You live and you learn, eh?

{ten}

I'm unmotivated and uninspired lately, blog-wise speaking...well...okay, and kind of on a day-to-day, too.  Can I blame the weather like I normally do?  No?

Okay, soooo I need to get my act together.  I currently don't have any deadlines for any blog posts or any home tours or DIY projects that I'm working on...  Methinks I need to get back on the creative train.  Choo Choo!

It took me a long time - many, many years in fact, to realize that I'm actually a creative person, that I'm sort of an artist.  I never really thought of myself like that.  But I've since realized that creativeness is in my blood, it's who I am.  In my little world, blogging is good for my soul.  So I need to get out of this funk and start making things happen.

Thanks for the therapy session, friends.  I would pay you, but my blog has only made forty-eight bucks in two years...  LOL!

;) ;) ;)

Marie :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Glider Chair DIY Makeover

Okay guys, I've got to share one more little project from my friend, Ashley's Rustic Woodland Nursery!  This one is all about the glider makeover.

Think of this post as the before and after glamour shots of a chair!  Seriously, prepare yourself for a lot of pictures of a chair...and I mean a lot of pictures.  The end result is like one of the TLC makeover shows, except this chair will be dressed up in paint...and slipcovers...sans jewelry.  HA!

Anyway, when my friend Katy (my partner in crime for this nursery makeover) mentioned having me paint this glider, I'm not going to lie...I was actually pretty terrified.  I mean, look at all those spindles and moving parts!  But Ashley (the Mama) gave us the green light to do whatever we wanted to this chair as she was certain this third baby would be her last.

So off I went to purchase a couple cans of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I ended up purchasing one can of Pure White and one can of Old White.  I wasn't sure if I was going to combine the colors or not.  Ultimately I decided to use only the Pure White.

Glider Chair DIY Makeover



The first day I began to paint I ended up having a minor freak out (just as I figured I would) as I found all the spindles and moving parts to, indeed, be a tad overwhelming.  I wasn't sure if the glider was going to look right by using a brush as opposed to spray painting the entire chair (but the weather wasn't cooperating, so brushing on the paint was my only option).

I sent a text to my friend Katy concerning my thoughts on the chair, and I kid you not, within minutes Katy and her hubby were at my front door.  It was as if they were parked around the corner and awaiting my call!  LOL!

Have mentioned how amazing these people are?!  

Anyhoo, so they showed up to take a look at the chair and they both reassured me that it would turn out fine.  I took their word for it and continued on painting.

I'm learning, people...I'm learning.

Also, you may be asking yourself, "Marie, did you paint that chair in your house and on your hardwood floors?"

Why...yes, yes I did.

It was too cold to go outside and I needed great lighting, which just so happens to be in my dining room/kitchen area.  Knowing that I was painting in this spot also forced me to be extra careful not to get paint on my floors, which in turn helped make me not be sloppy while painting the piece itself.


Okay, so...here's the chair with only one coat...




Here's the chair after a second coat...and a lawn mower toy in the background...because kids...


I tried to be sooooo careful with the arms of the glider!



And finally a lightly brushed on third coat...



On the day of the reveal, Katy and I sprayed our painted furniture with a clear sealer.  Being the newbie that I am to painting and sealing furniture, I accidentally made a little pool of spray paint sealer on one of the meticulously painted arms.  We didn't have any rags on hand, so we found some toilet paper and then I attempted to carefully remove the little pool of sealer off the arm, but little pieces of toilet paper started to attach themselves to the arm.

*facepalm*

Okay, so then I had another minor freak out, but we eventually fixed it.  Thank goodness!

Oh my word.  I tell ya'- the mini heart attacks I have while doing projects...geesh.

We then let the furniture seal and dry outside for the recommended ten minutes and then moved them inside the house before the family pulled in the driveway!


Once inside, we finished decorating the room, reassembled the chair and Katy attached all the slipcovered cushions.

The glider looked great!

Glider Chair DIY Makeover

We loved how the glider turned out!

A little bit of paint and a bit of material sure can change the look of a piece of furniture, eh!?

What do you think?!  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Glider Chair DIY Makeover

Thanks so much for joining me on this little DIY journey.

Thanks for reading.  :)

Good luck, friends!!

Marie :)



Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekend Recap - Birthday Edition

Welp, we're officially on spring break over here and I couldn't be more excited to be home all week with both kiddos.  We don't have anywhere to be and if-and-when we do go out, I plan on taking..........our...........time. ;)

I'm sure by the end of the week I'll need a large glass of vino.  But hey, at least it'll be well-deserved, right?!

Speaking of my silly and sweet kiddos - first thing Saturday morning they remembered it was my birthday and brought me this "birthday cookie" at 7:30 a.m.  Jon and I heard Eliza go into Henry's bedroom and wake him up.  With each other's help (and the help of a kitchen stool), they managed to grab a cookie from high atop the countertop.

The two then quietly walked into our bedroom and screamed, "Happy Birthday, Mama!"  Oh man, kids are the best.  So caring.  So innocent.  So full of love.  It was just a cookie, but they somehow made this little cookie the most special chocolate chip cookie ever!


The night before my birthday I was cleaning up the house and Eliza asked if I was having a birthday party with my friends.  I told her my friends weren't coming over.  I was just cleaning to, well...clean.  At one point, she said to me, "But Mama, then why are you cleaning?  Your friends aren't coming over for you birthday party."

LOL!  Geez, thanks for rubbing it in, kid.  Ha!  ;)

Little does she know that she and Henry are party enough for me these days and that cookie they brought to me in bed was better than any party I could have ever had anyway!


The kids and Jon also surprised me with this!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you see it?  Do you see it?

I've been talking about wanting a laptop for quite some time now.  We used to have a laptop, a few actually, but one died and two have weird mechanical issues.

Also, we do, in fact, have a desktop for all my computer/blogging needs, but at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is sit out in the other room, alone and in an uncomfortable chair.  Hence my lack of blogging these days.

I know, I know...first world problems, right?

But it was a dream of mine to, once again, be lazy in the evenings and sit on the couch with my very own laptop.

When discussing potential laptop options all I wanted/needed was the cheapest/most affordable laptop option, but I still wasn't even sure I'd get one.  So, you can imagine my excitement when Henry accidentally spilled the beans the night before my birthday and told me they got me a computer!

The morning of my birthday, Jon handed over an unwrapped and already opened Amazon box (as to be expected).  I opened the package and ERMAHGERD!  Jon had bought me a MacBook Air!!!! 

 You guys.  YOU GUYS!!!  I was immediately transformed into Kristen Wiig as the the ecstatic and eccentric Target lady from SNL and her other character who can't contain her excitement!

Now, let me tell you, I don't take things for granted and all gifts are toooootally special.  They're are just material things anyway, right?!  But I must admit, this sure did beat those roller blades Jon bought for me way back in the early 2000's.  LOL!



Later in the morning my very sweet and amazing neighbor Amy and I headed out to a memorial service for a neighbor of ours.  It was very sad, but in a weird way it kind of set the tone for the rest of my day...in a good way...in a positive way.

After the service I came home and hugged my family so hard and then I happily got back to "mommy-ing."  Here I am cheerfully eating the kids' leftover lunch, sweeping the floors and about to load more dishes into the dishwasher.


After cleaning up the house and going for a drive with the family (I love going for drives), we headed over to an antique mall and perused the aisles.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but it was still fun to see what was out there.

This dollhouse was so stinkin' cute!  We have a much smaller one that we use for Shopkins and we love it!

(P.S. Don't mind the kids' hair and wrinkled outfits.  Since it was my birthday I wasn't about to put up a fight!  Haha!)


Oh and this table!



Oh my gosh and this store counter!

Wouldn't this look awesome in a kitchen as an island?!


These tables...those chairs...those stools...


This bar!


That bench!


That bride!  Oh wait!  She's mine.  Hehe.  Love her.  Messy hair and all.


After visiting the antique mall we decided to head to an early dinner.

Buffalo Wild Wings it was!


Anyone else love these tablets?!

My friend, Sara and her kiddos, introduced us to them and WOW!  They're awesome.  The kids were thoroughly entertained!


While the kids were doing that ^^^, Mommy was drinking this...

Because Birthday.


This drink was amazing.  I drank half of it and holy cannoli - my toes were-a-tinglin'!  This drink, Buffalo Zoo, was very strong, but sooooooo good.  I had to take a picture of the drink's ingredients because at the moment I was certain that I was going to try to make it at home, which I didn't and probably never will, but I tell ya', at the moment I was positive I should have one of these every single night!  Ha!

Wowzer - so good.

Well done, BW3's, well done.

<insert slow golf claps here>


We came home and Jon and the kids had surprised me with brownies they had made for me earlier in the day.

Side note:  Last weekend, my in-laws had given us trick candles after my nephew's birthday party and I had been telling the kids not to use the trick candles (which obviously I knew they would) if they were to make me a cake.  They thought it was the funniest thing that I kept telling them to definitely not use the trick candles!

Jon lit those bad boys with our handy-dandy butane lighter and then they sang, "Happy Birthday."  I honestly can't remember the last time "Happy Birthday" was sang to me alongside a dessert of any kind with candles to boot!  Maybe when I turned sixteen?!

It was so sweet and so perfect and wouldn't you know it, they used those silly trick candles!  Surprise, surprise.  ;) ;) ;)




After enjoying some brownies and chocolate ice cream (I'm a chocolate kind of girl) we all settled in on the couch to watch some basketball playoff action.  I had no idea who was who, so I snuggled up with the kiddos and fell asleep on the couch for approximately 4 1/2 minutes...at 6:30 in the evening...which felt like an hour...it was a small victory...I could have slept all night...because I'm getting old...or it was that drink...let's blame the drink...because it was sssssssstttttrrrrooooonnnngggg!

#notcomplaining

Oh and I also forgot to mention that Henry had decorated the house for me with his very own homemade decorations!  I collected some that I had found from around the house and I just had to share the cuteness.

As you can see, we still sometimes write our numbers backwards, but I secretly love it...

And oh my gosh - the picture of me blowing out my candles with my hands up in the air...priceless.


It was the sweetest, low-key day and I'm so very grateful for my little family.

They are my people.

They are my world.

My heart is so, so full.

:)

Marie

I'm linking up over with blovedboston!
 
01 09 10