around the house…

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you may have been wondering what the hell happened at the house of mayhem and chaos because i’ve been quiet for so long.

well, a lot, to put it simply.

i took a very last-minute trip to phoenix to see my family after some “family stuff” was happening (everyone is ok, so not to worry), the boys got glasses, finished preschool and we got them all registered for homeschool kindergarten. and, well, it’s just summer and that means our calendar is super full.

i’m trying to not overdo our schedule, but there are so many people to see and things to do!  i’m also trying to not spend as much time online (it’s a working goal, anyway) and focus on just “being” with the boys.  we have lots of fun things planned for the summer: t-ball, swimming, playdates, tending our garden, working on reading and math, camping trips and some museum visits.  ok, i’m already tired just writing out this list!

but, things are going really well.  the boys are getting so big and will be five next month (FIVE!!!!) and they have requested an epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles party, so i have that to work on look forward to.  so, that’s what we’ve been up to.  please stick with me, i’m trying to get better at creating writing goals for myself with this blog and i have a lot of fun posts i want to share with you.  like i said, working goals.

cheers!

e

around the house…

i know i said i’d be back with some new posts, and i am, but it just took longer than i thought.  we’ve been really busy around the house and i just haven’t made the time to blog as much as i thought i would.  i’m also trying to stay off my computer a little more because i am actively trying to be more “in the moment” with the boys.

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a few weeks ago i was able to take a never-before whirlwind trip with my three best girls to portland to go to ikea.  harry had broken his bed and i wanted to get the boys new twin beds.  i made sure they were in stock before we made the four hour trip.  we made a day of it and stopped at pFriem Family Brewers in hood river on the way.  once we got to ikea, of course they didn’t have the beds i needed!  i am not gonna lie: i was pissed!  but, i changed my outlook and just enjoyed the day with my girls.  even though i didn’t get a bed, i did get the much-needed light fixtures for my kitchen, and for the first time ever, i didn’t spend a ton of money at ikea!  we had lunch at Miss Delta in the mississippi district (which is just the coolest neighborhood, aside from my own) and, as always, it was incredible.

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christopher and i have been doing some spring cleaning and improvements around the house lately too.  we found a great leather couch at goodwill–my karmic reward for not getting the bed i wanted at ikea–and our good friend found us the perfect bed at the Habitat for Humanity store in town!  now i just need another similar twin bed and the boys’ room is almost done.  i built a console for the living room to store our vinyl records (see picture at the top); we had our first-ever garage sale, and got rid of a lot of stuff that was cluttering up the garage; and i also totally refinished our front porch, which badly needed a new coat of paint and/or a complete new surface replacement.  i chose to go the refinishing route and used the Olympic Rescue It paint/resurfacer from Lowes (this is not a sponsored post–i wish–but i just liked the way this product worked and wanted to give a shout-out.)  now my porch looks awesome!

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you can see how it filled in the cracks in the wood!

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we still have a lot to do as the weather continues to warm up: planting the vegetable garden, re-seeding the lawn, adding a small patio extension in the backyard and getting our compost bins going.  whew, that seems like a lot!  oh, and we decided that we will homeschool the boys for kindergarten, so i have curriculum to research, classes to choose for them and all the planning that goes into this new endeavor.

i have some fun things in store for the blog too: a tutorial on re-covering a midcentury chair, some home decor styling tips, a peek at the boys’ room decor (when i get it done) and i’m going to start doing some room tours through the house!

hope you have a happy monday!

cheers,

e

around the house…

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things have been crazy around the house over the last six weeks and i have not been posting like i have wanted.  the holidays tend to stress me out as it is, but with everything going on, it’s been a bit more stressful than usual.  holiday decorating is not my favorite, but the boys love it and i do it anyway.  right now, it looks like christmas threw up in my house and i can not wait until january, when i can put it all back away in the garage and have a fresh, clean house!

from the top:

pFriem beers on our way to the fleetwood mac concert in portland before thanksgiving

red cross turkey trot on thanksgiving morning

first snow of the season

hand lettering my chalkboard door is about as into christmas as i like to get

realized this is the first time we’ve taken the boys to see santa!

making soft things for loved ones for christmas

contrary to common belief, elves are grown ups and enjoy a beer now and then (santa would never use child-elf labor!)

gingerbread a-frame

ballast point bloody mary and my favorite hopworks hoodie on tree decorating day (they don’t carry the one i’m wearing but this one is similar.)

jack jack the pirate king

i hope you are weathering the holidays.

cheers,

e

that maddening season…

do you ever think “if i can just make it though these next few weeks, things will slow down and get back to normal?”  i do, but now i am starting to think that there is no such thing as slowing down and going back to “normal.”  fall is here and that means that halloween, thanksgiving and christmas/new year are just around the corner.  this is the maddening season:  obligations, parties, gifts, crafts, buying, cooking, going, doing…

i am trying to prioritize some “me time” in my days, which just really means that i struggle with feeling lazy when i decide to get a cup of coffee (the most incredibly large cup of coffee-cue mike myers voice, hello!) at my local coffeehouse in between dropping off and picking up the boys from school, because i should be at home cleaning and cooking instead of visiting with my lovely neighborhood barista and reading the newspaper.

but, i’m trying not to be too hard on myself and remember that i can only do what i can do and that i need to make time to enjoy the boys and my home.  i’m learning to say “no” to some obligations and to say “yes” to things that i want to do and to things that will make life easier and more enjoyable for me and my family.

here are some things i’m doing to make this maddening season a little less hectic (starting with that coffee on school days):

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i accomplished one project, in that i think our halloween decorating is done.  bats, tombstones, pumpkins and skulls are all placed strategically around our house and they boys are delighting in the season, which, really, is what it’s all about.  bring on the spooky, i say.  i’ll be leaving all the skulls out after halloween and incorporating them into the regular home decor.  something else i don’t have to put up next year.  i also especially love halloween because all the spiderwebs in my home the rest of the year look like very delicate, handmade-from-etsy, decorations.  yay spiders and yay me for being too lazy short to clean them!

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jack and harry are happy we can still spend some time outside and that it’s not too cold yet.  the little cat loves jack jack and lets him snuggle her and pack her around.  she is so patient.  i’m loving watching this special bond they have and i’m really having a hard time with the fact that we need to find a home for some of the stray cats that have come to live on our porch lately.  maybe some cats will be a part of my holiday “giving.”  watch out, peeps.

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also got my hair cut again.  i’ve come to the realization that i am not good at doing my hair, especially now that it’s gotten much thicker and unwieldy after having the boys.  i went back to my pixie cut and i’m way happier.  i can just run my hands through it on the mornings i have to get the boys to school and i don’t look like the mom who just fell out of bed.  even though, i am the mom who just fell out of bed.  chalk up one for making a good hair decision and doing something for myself that i know would make life a little easier.  it’s not the best picture, but hey, that’s what you get when i take a quick selfie just before i walk in to work.

oh, and a good friend of mine has started selling nail wraps, so i’m jumping on that bandwagon too, because a) no drying time, b) two week wear time, c) i like having my nails done and these are cheaper than going for a manicure and easier than me doing it myself and d) no nail polish smells, which drive my husband batty.  it’s a win-win and i’ll talk about them more when i have given them a good trial run.

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finally, here is a sneak peek of the boys’ halloween costumes.  something i love is crafting, and i was thrilled when they asked for costumes i could make.  harry’s is completely different and i’ll put them both up on the blog when i make some time to take pictures.

how do you deal with the “maddening season?”  i’d love to hear your tips and tricks for making life easier and more enjoyable.

cheers,

e

in the garden…

after a really lame garden experience last year (except for the zucchini!  god, there was so much zucchini!) we have a bumper crop of veg this summer.

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i love spending time in the garden with the boys.  they love eating all the veggies they are growing.  harry is especially proud of the sunflowers.  he planted some last year and the ones we have this year are volunteers.  i love seeing life sustain itself.

how does your garden grow?

cheers,

e

my love affair with chalkboard paint

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when we bought the house i started painting.  if you read one of my recent posts, you know that i love painting.  it’s soothing to me and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

one of the first things the boys did was color on the back door in chalk.  it was so cute that i wanted to give them a few places in the house where they could use chalk and unleash their creativity.  i got a little crazy with chalkboard paint.  my favorite is the black valspar because it is so thick and goes on beautifully.   IMG_4343

i painted the interior of our back door (which is in the kitchen), the ends of the base cabinets in the kitchen and the coffee table in the living room.  if my husband hadn’t vetoed the idea, all my cabinets would be painted in chalkboard paint! even the adults get into the action.  my friend did the “menu” art at the top of the door and i’ve never erased it because it is so pretty!IMG_4257

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the boys’ things have always been a part of our everyday life and are integrated into the decor of the house because i think it’s important that they have their toys and art supplies readily available.  i try not to hide their stuff away (well, maybe a basket or two on the shelves in the living room.)

they have so much fun with the chalk surfaces.  i find little drawings all the time and they are starting to practice writing their letters and numbers.  plus, when they get chipped or grimy, i can roll on a new coat and freshen up the surfaces.

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do you integrate your kids’ stuff into your decorating style?  or,do you decorate around your kids or to your own style and give them their own space somewhere in the house?

hope you have a great easter weekend.

cheers,

e

around the house this week…

 

 

 

it was a busy/lazy/crazy week last week.  we were on spring break so we spent as much time in the yard as we could and i got a bug to paint the living room and dining room, so i painted and they boys played.  we’ve been getting some glorious spring weather – finally – and we all love being in the dirt.  chris and i also took the boys to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend too.  it was really great and i love that we can go to movies as a family (even if the price kills us!)

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this is “cornelius” our newest house plant

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the boys tore up the heart window jellies, so i made a mock stained glass

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on my best friend’s suggestion, i painted the window trim in the dining room black – and i love it with the white walls, and unfinished wood table and shelves!

IMG_5356i love my hair in this picture (and i am not loving my long hair right now, so it was nice to actually like it one day.)

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i got some air plants and these cool terrarium bubbles to put them in.

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the boys in a sweet little moment of brotherly love and silliness.  they also dressed themselves.

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being in the dirt is their very favorite thing right now.  they are filthy every day when they come in from playing!

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iron butterfly? this makes me so happy.

how was your weekend?  did you do anything fun?

cheers,

e