Operation Wear My Closet: Easter Eggs


Happy Easter, everyone!  I hope you all had a terrific time yesterday.  Dennis, Jack, and I celebrated with Den's family on Saturday and had a wonderful time.  I'm still on my mission to shop my closet instead of buying new things, although I must admit that this is the first time I've ever worn this dress.  Have I mentioned that I have an obscene amount of clothes in my closet(s) and chest(s) of drawers?  And I rarely have the chance to wear anything other than work clothes or gym clothes?  Easter seemed like the perfect time to break out this gem from closet purgatory.  I knew I'd be chasing Jack around the yard all afternoon, so I made sure to pick out a pair of flats (not that I would've worn heels anyway - although I do love heels).

Dennis had to leave for work before the party was over, so I decided to have him snap a few quick pictures without getting all model-y around everyone.  If I thought posing in front of a tripod and hamming it up in front of Dennis was awkward, trying to pose, but not pose, and be discrete in front of my in-laws was all kinds of weird.

I still haven't found my box of jewelry; this outfit definitely needed a necklace and some earrings.  I've bought one pair of new earrings (but they didn't go with this outfit), and I find that larger, statement earrings look really good with my new short hair.  Which I cut even more off, by the way.  My hair grows crazy fast and I couldn't wait to get an appointment with my stylist, so I went to a barber shop and told the barber to just do his thing.  I'm happy with the results!

And this is what happens when you try to take detail shots with cats and kids:



My Outfit:
Dress:  thrifted
Shoes:  Payless



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Happy Easter


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Kitchen Month - Progress Report



April is a little more than halfway over, so I thought it'd be a good time to check in with a Kitchen Month progress report.  Dennis and I have been pretty busy trying to check things off my massive to-do list, and I'm really pleased with our progress.  Sometimes when I put together a to-do list that extensive, it seems so overwhelming that we don't end up doing any of it.  But not this time!  I think we've both just decided to ignore the length of the list and to get done what we can.

So, what's been keeping us busy the last two weeks, you ask?  Lots of stuff  Let me break it down for you.
  • paint the kitchen cabinets  in progress
  • finish unpacking the few kitchen boxes that are left (i.e. find an appropriate home for everything)
  • finally bring over the remaining kitchen stuff from the old house (I know, I know, we still have stuff at the old house)
  • only put functional/pretty things on the new open shelves
  • write a post about the new open shelves
  • clear counters
  • post about our solution to our Ikea pantry that didn't fit (and yes, that happened almost a year ago SPOILER ALERT:  we didn't have to tear out the ceiling)
  • post about the new cabinets behind the stove
  • (maybe) sew curtains (or at least pick fabric?)
  • finish installing the quarter round
  • paint all trim
  • purchase and install crown molding on new cabinets to match slightly less new cabinets
  • purchase and install toe kick under new pantry cabinet
  • purchase and install plinth between pantry and wall
  • install new kitchen lights
  • purchase and install above fridge cabinet (I know we can't afford this right now, but I can dream)
  • build catwalks (again, we aren't going to have the money/time for this, but it's part of the long term plan)
  • install tile backsplash (again, no money, but part of the long term plan)
  • make/purchase spice rack* (again, money)
  • post about our "mudroom" solution at the back door
  • hang clock and wall art
  • get wall art from old house (I know, I know)
  • make snack station and spot for Jack's kitchen toys
Painting the kitchen cabinets:  This project is in progress.  It's the biggest and most time consuming thing on our list (that is actually attainable because of finances), and it's taking a little longer than I hoped.  And if you follow me on Instagram, you'd know it's taking way longer than I want.  I made sure to schedule time for painting and listed it on our family calendar, but then that weekend, we were presented with too many fun options and I only ended up painting for part of the time.  Yes, I'm an adult, and no, I don't know how to say no to fun.  I know I'm about 75% done with this project and have been doing a little work here and there between Jack's naps and when Dennis can take on baby duty (ha ha, I said baby "doodie").  I'm going to make myself finish before next weekend because my mom is coming for a visit, and I really don't want our entire house to be Crazy Town when she's here.


Finish unpacking the few kitchen boxes that are left:  Yes!!!  Done and done!  And I found out that I actually have room for everything in the new kitchen and in the overflow storage in the dining room, plus enough room to bring over everything that's left at the old house.  I am beyond excited about this!  Unpacking and painting are two of the biggest things I wanted to accomplish this month; it'll be really great when I actually finish painting and get to put the kitchen back together.


Install new kitchen lights:  We bought the lights for the kitchen over a year ago.  I have no idea why it took so long to get them installed, but Dennis did the job last night, and they look amazing!  Our old kitchen light was an industrial fluorescent light.  It was nice and bright, but also ugly, an energy drain, and the quality of light was, well, industrial.  When we picked out our lights, we agreed we'd rather trade a little brightness in the kitchen for some aesthetics and style.  And while our kitchen is no longer as bright, it's much more pleasant.


Make snack station and spot for Jack's kitchen toys:  This is one of my favorite things in the kitchen.  We're trying to follow Montessori principles with Jack, and having easy access to his snacks is important.  Now that he's walking, he would walk up to the fridge or pantry and knock on the doors when he was hungry.  Now he has a dedicated place where his snacks are that he has access to.  I decided to put them on the shelf of the rolling butcher block next to the stove.  The shelves are open and at Jack's eye level.  I still need to get some spill proof bowls so I won't have to open packages of snacks; he'll just be able to eat when he's hungry, but for now he's able to bring me whatever snack he wants when he wants it.  I also put all his kitchen toys on the other shelf of the butcher block.  Jack is definitely very interested in the butcher block now.



Now that we're making progress on some of the big things, the rest of the list isn't quite as daunting.  Once I finish the painting, I can put the kitchen back together, and that includes arranging the new open shelves with only pretty things, clearing the counters, and finally getting the rest of the kitchen stuff from the old house.  All of which will have a pretty big impact on the overall look and feel of the kitchen.  Dennis is about to start his 7 nights of night shift, and once he comes off that, we can finish up the quarter round, paint the trim, install the plinth, and maybe do the crown molding.  We're going to come in just under the wire by the end of the month, but either way, I think we're making terrific progress!  And if some of the projects bleed into May, that's okay, too.  I think the important thing is that our motivation is finally back!

*we thought we were going to have to buy and/or build spice racks.  As it turns out, we are going to be able to repurpose some shelves Dennis made me for my extensive coffee cup collection at our old house.  I managed to drastically reduce the number of coffee cups I own and ended up having plenty of space for them in one of our cabinets, so the coffee shelves will turn into our spice rack.  I just need to figure out a pretty way of displaying the spices.  I want to find old tin McCormack spice tins, but I think they might end up being too expensive on eBay.  I'm open to any suggestions!


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Fashionable Baby - Jack's Spring Wardrobe



Spring has finally sprung which means Jack's wardrobe needed to be updated.  I'm not going to lie; I love shopping for that boy!  It's amazing just how many cute baby boy clothes are out there.  It's a good thing I had a boy, though, because if I was buying for a girl, I'm sure we'd have to mortgage the house by now.  Dennis made the mistake of saying while I was pregnant, "I want our kid to be fashionable.  I want them to look good and have nice clothes."  Challenge accepted!!  He denies that that was ever said, but I remember!

This spring everything seems to be pastel and/or nautical.  I'm not usually a pastel kind of girl, but we actually had somewhat of a winter here in Houston, and the weather is so nice and spring like right now, and I basically just got caught up in the spring-ness of everything.  I tried to buy outfits that I could mix and match as much as possible to get as much bang for my buck as I could possibly squeeze out.  And I made sure to shop during a huge sale at Carter's.  There are still a few more items I want to add to Jack's spring wardrobe, but this is a good start for now.

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Kitchen Month



It's been a while since I've posted anything regarding our ongoing DIY home projects.  That's because we've hit a lull both financially and motivationally.  We still aren't 100% done with our bathroom after the ceiling leaked, we can't afford to do any of the huge projects around here right now, and all the little projects are just hard to start because we have so many of them it's overwhelming.  So I decided to proclaim this month to be Kitchen Month.

By and large, the kitchen has had the most work done to it, and would prove to be the most rewarding to actually get close to finishing (aside for some projects that cost $$$ that just isn't in our coffers at the moment).  I've decided to focus on all those little projects left to do in the kitchen, like finishing unpacking those last few boxes, painting the cabinets, decluttering, and actually doing a little decorating.  Expect to see several kitchen themed posts around here including what I'm currently working on and bringing you up to speed on the projects we've completed but I haven't written about.

Here's a list of what I'd like to accomplish this month.  I'm sure I'm leaving out some stuff and I'm also probably listing things I just won't be able to do because of both time and money constraints, but Jack is napping and I want to get this out of my head before he wakes up.  Hopefully, I'll be able to:


  • paint the kitchen cabinets
  • finish unpacking the few kitchen boxes that are left (i.e. find an appropriate home for everything)
  • finally bring over the remaining kitchen stuff from the old house (I know, I know, we still have stuff at the old house)
  • only put functional/pretty things on the new open shelves
  • write a post about the new open shelves
  • clear counters
  • post about our solution to our Ikea pantry that didn't fit (and yes, that happened almost a year ago SPOILER ALERT:  we didn't have to tear out the ceiling)
  • post about the new cabinets behind the stove
  • (maybe) sew curtains (or at least pick fabric?)
  • finish installing the quarter round
  • paint all trim
  • purchase and install crown molding on new cabinets to match slightly less new cabinets
  • purchase and install toe kick under new pantry cabinet
  • purchase and install plinth between pantry and wall
  • install new kitchen lights
  • purchase and install above fridge cabinet (I know we can't afford this right now, but I can dream)
  • build catwalks (again, we aren't going to have the money/time for this, but it's part of the long term plan)
  • install tile backsplash (again, no money, but part of the long term plan)
  • make/purchase spice rack (again, money)
  • post about our "mudroom" solution at the back door
  • hang clock and wall art
  • get wall art from old house (I know, I know)
  • make snack station and spot for Jack's kitchen toys
Okay, that's a pretty extensive list.  It should be interesting to see how much we're actually able to get done.  I did actually put "Paint Kitchen" on our family calendar, but fun stuff always seems to come up and we push our serious stuff to the side to have fun.  Not that that's always bad, but it's a quick way to not get anything done!  And I want to see some results!!!  After all, all the best parties happen in the kitchen.

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Day in the Life, April 1, 2014

April first snuck up on me, like every other first of the month.  I just can't believe how fast time passes sometimes.  Jack is walking, Spring is here, and next thing you know, it's going to be Christmas and Jack will be going off to college.  SLOW DOWN, TIME!!!  I'm still going strong with my photo an hour project and really love going back and looking at previous day in the life posts.  I really find this to be such a wonderful way to document our lives.  As usual, I use Instagram, only this time I decided to make my profile public.  We'll see how I like it for now.  Go follow me, yo!

This month, the first fell on a work day for me, which is cool because I haven't had a chance to document a day at our new location.  The only bad thing was that business was super slow that week (no work = no money) and if my day isn't fully booked at the start of my day, I'm kind of left in a holding pattern waiting to see if I get any appointments.  I can't really start any projects because I might get called in, but I don't just want to sit around twiddling my thumbs, either.  I usually do some chores around the house with Jack until I have to go in, but instead I dropped him off at my MIL's so I could get some blog work done.  It was a good day.

8am
good morning
9am
breakfast
10am
laundry
11am
Houston Zoo while jogging
12pm
multitasking
nursing Jack and playing Big Farm
1pm
time to go to Grandma's
2pm
on the road
3pm
cliche
4pm
posting
5pm
break room
my client canceled, so I had more time to write
6pm
pretend there's a client on my table
7pm
still working; also pretend there's a client on my table
8pm
heading home
9pm
in the way in the kitchen

10pm
laser gun

11pm
Star Trek
12am
West Wing

Then it was finally time for bed.  Jack still sometimes wakes to nurse in the night, but he falls asleep so quickly nowadays there's not really anything to document until the morning.  Yay for sleep!!!

8am
nursing


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March Wrap-Up and Photo Dump

Good-bye, March; Hello, April!  Time is flying by as usual, and it's already time for another monthly wrap-up and photo dump, as well as my photo an hour project, which if you follow me on Instagram (and really, you should), you would know is currently underway.

March was better to me (as far as blogging is concerned anyway) than February, but not as good as January.  I'm not sure how far behind I am on my 101 in 1,001 goal of 150 blog posts for the year, but I'd better get cracking and keep cracking if I'm going to make it to that goal.  I have so many things I want to write about, but I find myself so short on time sometimes.  I'm not sure if I'd rather have writer's block or no time to write.  So what did I manage to write about in March, you ask?  I celebrated Mardi Gras with my Mom, ran in my first 5K, participated in the Literary Junkies Link-Up (and forgot to link-up, duh), and went to the Houston Children's Festival.

So what didn't make it onto the blog?  As usual, lots of stuff, and just because it's part of the photo dump, doesn't mean it won't make it into a post.  Okay, who are we kidding, these things probably won't become posts of their own, even though they should.  Only time will tell.  There's still stuff I want to write about from February.  My entire chalkboard is covered with post ideas.  I guess I'll just have to quit sleeping and just write.

It was snowing when I left my mom's house on March 3rd.  Let me repeat that:  It was snowing when I left my mom's house on March 3rd....in Louisiana.  I guess Puxatony Phil was right.

Jack and I both got sick with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.  Thankfully, Jack only got the mouth part (which was bad enough), but I was lucky enough to suffer through all the symptoms of this heinous disease.  It's just as bad as it sounds, and there are only a few people who I would wish this hell on.

Jack is now officially walking.  One morning, he just stood up and started doing loops through the house.  I guess I now officially have a toddler.


Jack has also been helping in the kitchen.  Poor Dennis can't cook a meal without finding a way for Jack to help.  The upside is that Jack will be able to cook when he's older and Dennis won't have to!



We finally got new dressers from Ikea and Jack helped us assemble them.  I can finally get all my clothes out of boxes!!!  I am so excited.


Dennis put down some gravel in our side yard so he won't tear up the ground when he parks there.  Jack helped him and was very excited about it.


The weather also finally got nice enough to open some windows.  The cats were working together to figure out a jail break so we had to close the windows again.  Damn cats.


I was also lucky enough to score a free jogging/bike stroller thanks to a listing on Next Door.  Jack approves.


And we all celebrated Den's birthday with breakfast at Natachee's a day at the Bayou City Arts Festival (where I somehow managed to not take a single picture, but I did find this great slideshow), then dinner at the Kemah Boardwalk.  Jack really liked playing in the sandbox at Natachee's and pretending to be a ship's captain at the Boardwalk.


So that's about it for March.  I'd better get busy with April!



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