Spring photo challenge

It’s Spring!!  Finally.. I didn’t think winter was going to give up this year.  Katie Bower issued a spring photo challenge and I thought that since we actually took some spring pictures that I would join in.  We still don’t have a pic of all the kids together.. this next one is the closest I could get Smile  Crazy kids. I checked out some of the other entries so far and it’s fun to see what other people are taking pictures of.  Lots of kids and May flowers!   I can’t say there is much about my pics that is special than the subjects… I am learning angles and lighting.  I shot these all in auto so until I learn to take some in manual mode I won’t really feel like I am advancing.  I am learning my camera though and I am having fun! DSC_2230 Brantley   DSC_2183   Hannah   Garrett   Ashton playing   Head over to Bower Power and check out the rest of the photos!

2013 and what it will bring

Well, it’s a new year. There was way too much going on for me in 2012, some good, some not so much. I took a little break here to keep the rest of my life in order during a pregnancy. 7 weeks postpartum and I have finally found my fuel to get going again! I have completed a project, started a couple more and I may just have the time to write about them in the near future. I have had my hands full with a 2 yr old and this little guy for the last 7 weeks and I returned to work full-time. It’s going to be challenging, but I enjoy the projects and sharing them so much that I would be doing an injustice to myself to not get back in the game. So be looking for some new stuff!!

And an introduction is in order… meet the newest member of our family – taking us from 5 to an even 6!

Brantley Cole

Brantley Cole

Such a random Monday post

I have to admit, I sat down last night to put together a post and realized that I don’t really have any of my projects finished to post about. Lots of stuff in-process, but nothing checked off just yet. The joys of working full-time and trying to DIY and blog and spend quality family time. So I thought I would put a post together chalk full of randomness that has intrigued me lately. Have I told you that I have a little bit of ADD when it comes to decorating and ideas? Oh yea… it’s bad. SO here you go… let’s see if I can make it through this whole post without forgetting something I meant to write about at the beginning…

1. I just heard of Manteresting last night… oh yes, you read that correctly. Men apparently need a Pinterest, too, just without out all of the furry lovable creatures and make-up tutes on “ours”hehe

2. I was all geared up for spring..even considering putting away some of the winter clothes… ohhh no, old man winter has a sick sense of humor… see our roads this morning (for the record, I tried to get out, turned around and went home).


3. I am in complete and total debt to bloggers that give blogging tips. Seriously, I am new…if someone doesn’t tell me some of the tricks of the trade, I may never figure them out. Total lack of imagination in that department. See these posts for examples:

Vintage Revivals info on Windows Live Writer
nesting place on Pinterest and blogging

4. See there? I forgot what #4 was supposed to be. Ugh.

5. Went to my sister-in-laws apartment this weekend. I am going to have to adjust the color scheme I had chosen thanks to some crazy tan-colored walls in there. OH well… on a brighter note? Her turquoise wall is A-MA-ZING!!

6. I started a project last night that I am hoping turns out…it’s SUPER cheap and simple – now lets see if the idea pans out. It included an old towel, paint and some zigzags.

7. I am purging like a crazy woman. Seriously, how did we accumulate all of this stuff??? There are 4 1/2 people who live in our home, why on earth do we have 30 towels?? And I didn’t stop at the towels – no place in the house is safe right now. So far we probably have 4 boxes of yard sale stuff. Feels good to look in the closets and see the walls behind the shelves again. ***Note to my husband…you know that means I will need to be “prettifying” them now right?** I can almost hear him groan lol

8. My son is a screamer. I never would have imagined that in a million years… I despise screaming children. And no that doesn’t mean I despise him lol, it means that we have a lot of work to kick that habit with him… progress to date? Not only is he screaming at us when we do something he doesn’t like, he hits us. UUUGGHHH!!

9. I started on the master bedroom… slowly but surely I will get it done. I am VERY excited. I have never actually been able to do a “married girl” room before complete with wall decor, paint, all of it! 🙂 Here is the color I chose..


10. I saw a double rainbow last week… one complete one (I could see both sides, and another partial). It’s gonna be a good year!!


11. I am starting Ashton early on loving some DIY …. and Garrett loves some DIY too!! Look at him working on the gun rack he is making with my dad for his room 🙂 Love it!!



So that’s all the random facts I can think of at the moment. Here is hoping I can finish a project this week. What about you guys? Any fun facts to share? Maybe you actually finished a project???

How sweet it is

Isn’t it sweet that it’s Friday? I think it is… and I completely missed sharing a sweet spot I visited a couple of weeks ago.  he weekend my sister-in-law was in, we made a pit stop from fabric shopping over to a local cupcake shop, Bubble Cake. It is the cutest place, complete with jars full of sprinkles and a comfortable “eating” area.





We each picked out a yummy treat and settled in to test it out. I picked a crème Brule cupcake, complete with that crispy sugar crust. Sorry I didn’t think to take a pic before I started in on it… oops!



Here is my sister-in-law’s… yum!



She got a Palm beach brownie… seriously… this thing was rich!!

Oh and you know the little man had to get some… whenever he sees something he wants to eat he starts in with “hum” until you give him a bite. He really is insistent. I think he had an idea what was in store.



And then right before we went to leave he decided he wanted to sit in this chair, and he wanted that table to put his drink on. He settled in and commenced to cleaning the chocolate off of that spoon. He didn’t really want to leave. Isn’t he adorable??? Ok, I am a little biased, right? J


ASM at BC1


And another reason I am so glad it’s Friday is that I have plans for the weekend… it involves this little sketch I made up the other day. I need to do some measuring and make it more to scale, but I bet you can’t guess what I am doing!!




Anyone else have big weekend plans? Had any sweet treats lately? Maybe you have had a 17 month old boss you around?

DIY Advent Calendar

It is officially December, and I can decorate and play Christmas music, and drink lots of cocoa… without feeling like I am cheating on Thanksgiving. Let’s face it, holidays are being pushed hard out in the stores, and we are already seeing the next one long before the upcoming one is even here. I do fully enjoy Christmas though. It is my very fav holiday. So in the spirit of Christmas, I decided advent calendars were in order. My husband and mother both had the idea of using the calendar to plan great activities with the kids. Of course, candy has to be involved somewhere in there, and candy there will be!

I got started by searching the web for ideas. I saw lots of really neat ideas. And several were “pinned” for use in future years. As far as this year is concerned, I didn’t want to have to purchase anything. I have plenty of tools available to make a neat advent calendar without purchasing materials for it. So I jumped onto Publisher and searched clip art for Christmas themed pictures.

I did put most of this together pre-December 1st… I just procrastinate like crazy so the kids got to do 3 days in one day.. lol lucky them!

Here are the materials that I used:

paper and printer
hole punch

I came across these neat little trees, and there were a bunch of different colors and designs.

I sized them to what I felt would be big enough, added a number in white to each as well as a rectangle around it so that I would have a line to follow when cutting these out. Here is a pic with scissors so you can get an idea how big they are.

Hannah and I sat down and cut them all Saturday afternoon. I originally was going to make 3 of them, one for each child. But after cutting about 3/4 of them, I decided that it was just too much to do all of them, and there was no reason that the kids couldn’t share one. I received a littl grumbling from Hannah on that since she had already cut a bunch out. lol Preteens and their expectations of not doing more than they need to, gosh!

Once they were all cut out, I punched one hole in the top right corner of each one. I suppose I could have cut a whole in each upper corner, or the left corner, but the right corner just felt right. Then I enlisted the help of my mother in law and Hannah again to write the activities on each tree. We flipped over the peices and wrote a little activity on each one.

Here are a few of the activities that we used. I made some up and also searched the web for any good ideas….

1. Enjoy a treat!
2. Make up your own flavor of ice cream!
3. Take a silly Christmas photo!
4. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
5. Make a Christmas milkshake.
6. Read a Christmas book.
7. Look under your pillow for a special treat!
8. Decorate the Christmas tree!
9. Have a Christmas treasure hunt!
10. Make a Christmas collage from magazine clippings.
11. Watch a Christmas movie.
12. Sing Christmas carols.
13. Watch a slideshow of 2011 pictures.
14. Track Santa online with the Norad Santa Tracker
15. Have a Christmas themed breakfast.
16. Make Christmas cookies!

I had several repeats of the “Enjoy a treat!” to make sure they still were able to get in their chocolate fix for the season 🙂 And for the 25th, when they turn it over it says “Look for your surprise!” I intend to put a picture behind this one and have them find one of their gifts by finding all of the clues in a treasure hunt like deal. And it is so great that this is our year to have the kids on Christmas morning, so it should be quite a day since Ashton is really into the spirit already!

With that complete, I put 6 nails in the wall in 3 rows of 2. I spread each set of nails out about 3 feet or so and spaced out each row 2 feet or so. I used a level to make sure that I was putting them up level. I used tiny little black nails that were in a nail kit I was given a few years ago. I have no clue what they are called, but really, any nail will work depending on how you want it to look. I was going to use thumbtacks but didn’t see any at the hosue that I liked. Next, I cut 3 equal lenghths of string. I tied one end of one peice of string on the top nail, threaded some of the trees onto the the string, then tied it on the other side. I just spread them out how I liked and the let the string have enough slack so that they would “hang” a little.

And here you go! Here is our advent calendar for 2011!

Hope everyone else had a wonderful festive weekend full of Christmas cheer! Did anyone else decorate the house? Or put together an advent calendar? Or did anyone use the weekend to get some shopping done before the big day??

Read all about it!!

A few new goings-on for my little blog…first, I am introducing “Where Love and Family Meet” as the blog to actually keep track of my family and read about family-like topics. wherelovemeetslife is officially going to stick with home decor and DIY and all those fun topics. So head over and check it out… I will get rolling with some fun family posts and the first post will be sure to get some reactions. Thanks for keeping with me on this little journey, I hope to keep it rolling gangsta style. Well, sorta, if a Honda Pilot can be considered gangsta.

Head over to Where Love and Family Meet and take a gander! I will prettify that blog as I can… it’s not all fancy schmancy just yet.

I have also now added a Facebook page and a Twitter page. So if that’s how you stay in the know… link up and stay tuned for more!

Reclaim the living room!!

    With wood that is…. I am desperately trying to talk my husband into letting me do a wall in the house with reclaimed wood. I am totally smitten with the look and I NEED to do this “little” DIY project. I have vowed to not be scared of decor.. and I need to add some texture to this room. And frankly, the current entertainment area is just not cutting the mustard. As you can see in the below photo, the wall is off-balance, the mirror isn’t being showcased for the great piece it is (awesome gift from my mom BTW :)), and it just isn’t as functional as I would like it to be. **sorry for the extra poor quality iPhone photo, it’s all I have available at the moment. (xoxoxo my wonderful husband)


    Basically when I think of how we use the living room and what our needs are I can make the following list:

    1. storage – we have dvds, satellite box, Xbox, Wii, dvd player and lots of board games that currently reside in our master closet and are just not getting used as often as I would like to see. I would also like some nice bookshelves in the house, but that may make the wall too busy and distracting.

    2. functionality – we all sit around watching movies at times. We use the laptop to watch them at times as well. We need to be able to access all of the equipment while keeping things looking orderly.

    3. We want it to be purdy. When we walk into the living room, I want us all to feel like we are in a special place. We spend a lot of time in the main living areas of the house, it needs to reflect who we are!

    So in order to get all that, we need to get that wall revamped for the family to use, while still keeping it aesthetically pleasing. And frankly, I want some wow factor in there. I want it to be a focal point and a point of conversation. Oh, and did I mention that I am just dying to see if I can pull off the look of reclaimed wood???

    I am a big fan of the modern look, but it tends to be a little “cold” and uninviting. That is where the reclaimed wood will come in. Here are some looks that I like…


    Image found here


    Image found here

    wall unit3

    Image found here

    I am looking at something like this for the wall…

    Reclaimed wood wall

    Image found at Mom and Her Drill
    This talented blogger/DIYer transformed her living room with this wall.

    And this was the inspiration that I had from one of my favorite blogs. I have been drooling over this wall for a while now.


    Image found over at Bower Power

    They both used pallets, and lucky for me… I have access to as many pallets as I need!! So free material, a little elbow grease and time and I can have that wall!! Oh, and the final approval from the other half. I keep telling him to just let me do it and he will love the outcome!!! I will probably end up just working out some kind of deal with him – meaning I will owe him big time for letting me do it. lol Gotta love him!

    This will be a big step for me, because doing a wall like this scares the begeezus out of me, but I feel like I am going to have to go big or just don’t bother!

    Anyone else having to bribe their significant other?? Or maybe someone is planning a daring change in their house soon, or even their life!

    ***Update: I am afraid that this idea may be on hold for the time being. Since we will inevitably sell the house we are in (waiting on a little return of the market I am afraid), then this project may need to be done in a more permanent home. It’s still on my list, and pretty close to the top. And who knows, I may just do it anyway 🙂

Cloth diaper update and other ramblings

Well, its been a few weeks since we started cloth diapering. We purchased 7 diapers of various brands and types in order to determine what would work for us/Ashton. So, here is my report on that….

*****Warning- the next list is a little graphic…skim past if you must!*****

1. Dirty cloth diapers are a little gross when your baby is still nursing…seriously, it’s gross.
2. Ashton’s little tush looks so freakin cute in them!!!
3. You must change cloth diapers a little more often.
4. Ashton doesn’t wet a diaper much at night, so no need for night-time diapers – and thank goodness cause those things are beasts!!
5. We definitely need at least 12 diapers in rotation to go completely cloth.
6. You need special detergents to wash cloth diapers so that they maintain absorbency.
7. Some brands fit different than others.
8. Sometimes the smell doesn’t come out in one wash (they make stuff to help with that, just need to pick some up)
9. I believe we are ready to make the switch to 99.9% cloth.

It is more work by far to cloth diaper, especially keeping up with getting them back and forth to my mom’s so that she has diapers during the week/day or him. And she will be leaving me the dirties to deal with when I get off work lol. Can’t blame her there. But all-in-all I like the switch. I feel good about it. And I am very sure my pocket book will feel good about it too!!!

ok, now for the ramblings… I was looking back at my blog posts and realized that I have/will be talking a lot about what I want to do or will do, and I don’t have much to talk about what I HAVE done. I want to remedy that and I am positively itching to start something… ok, and finish it.. Seriously, I think I am going to have to do something big this weekend. I need a change in the house. I am not entirely sure what I will do, but stay tuned!!! I also have a bunch of photos from Halloween and other family odds and ends that I need to share…so more on that to come.

oh, and I find posts to be more interesting if they have a few pictures in them… so for the sake of keeping it interesting… I thought I would share some of the things I have been pinning lately 🙂

maternity pics

Image found over at Bon Temps Beignet

stamp monogram
Image found at the lil house that could
This is the manner pig… use it at the dinner table, the person who is not minding their manners gets the pig(for being a pig) and the last one with it has clean up duty!

Idea found at Madsens Memories

Anyone else have a hankering to make a change??

My version of the Pinterest Challenge

Well it’s Wednesday…. and that means it is time to ante up with my Pinterest challenge. We have had a pretty busy last week, so forgive the simple nature of this project. This took about 10 minutes to do…although I am not sure I am done with it. I think it needs a little something else…it isn’t quite as good as I had hoped… anyhoo.. here you go!

Here was my inspiration..I saw this and fell in love with it. But I have 3 kids! So we needed more than one flower.


Since I already had supplies on hand for the small 8×10 canvas I used it. So here is my version….

This is a very straight forward project… it required an 8×10 canvas and your choice of acrylic paints, and a paint brush.

I had each child pick a color and put their hand print on the canvas. I used some wax paper for them to get good coverage on their hands before they put their prints to the canvas. Then I took some green acrylic paint and painted on a couple of leaves and stems. Voila! Complete!

Here is Ashton doing his…

Notice the cute little baby rolls?? Love that!
And Garrett doing his…

I couldn’t find the camera for Hannah’s, but just envision a 12-year-old putting her hand in paint (gross!!) lol

So did anyone join in? Did you at least find something on Pinterest that you would LOVE to make? I know my sister-in-law and I have to plan a weekend to do some projects.. there are just too many ideas that need to be tried!

To see what the hosts of this challenge and their followers did, go check them out!

Young House Love
Bower Power
house of earnest