Hoo Are You?


Here are this week's questions!

1. Do you like to listen to Christmas music?
- I L-O-V-E listening to Christmas music, our kitchen stereo is only on the Christmas station anymore.
2. Are you one of those people who get all their shopping done early,
or do you do most of it in December?
- Majority of shopping gets done Black Friday with only a couple items to buy in December.  As of now, have to buy Avalynn one more thing and her stocking stuffers.  Otherwise just need to get moving on all of my handmade gifts.
3. Do you set a budget on how much you spend on each person?
- We set x amount for parents and sisters.  As for the kids' I've never really budgeted myself, I know how much I can spend that year and look for great deals to get most of what I want to stay within that amount.
4. Do you send out Christmas cards?
- Yes, last year I didn't as there was too much other stuff going on, but already half done with ours for this year.  Actually received our 1st one today! 
5. Do you enjoy this holiday season or does it stress you out?
- Enjoy it like NO OTHER!!! 


DIY - Glass Painted Ornaments

Tonight as we were sitting around the dinner table I was talking with the Hubs about how I wanted to do a craft with Emma.  I remembered these glass ornaments down in my craft area, left over from a previous years holiday ornament I was making.   I grabbed some acrylic paints and we just squirted some in and slowly rolled the ornaments for total coverage with the paint.  Sometimes having to add more.  Unfortunately, most of my paints were bad *note to self: buy new acrylics* so our color selection was limited.  The Hubs came up with the idea sticking them upside down in water bottles to dry, he's brilliant I tell ya!  I think these are going to make excellent gifts for the grandparents and aunts from Emma - am sure they'll love them!!! 

Ornaments in their "drying" rack - love them!!! 



What I Learned This Weekend - 2nd Edition

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine has been pretty up & down, just like any other day I suppose.

Here's What I Learned This Weekend...

1. Getting up @ 3am for Black Friday shopping was pretty much a bust.  Unless there's an absolute AMAZING deal that will be gone asap, I am no longer going out that early.
2. Stay far far FAR away from Target until later in the day, we stopped in there around 6 am (2 hours after they opened) and the lines completely wrapped around the store, we promptly left and came back after 1pm - MUCH BETTER and faster, 2 people were in each line and they still had plenty of their good merchandise deals!
3. I'm completely capable to be awake for 22 hours after only 4 hours of sleep the previous night.
4.  True friends make everything better - enjoyed a great evening with the Nace's, playing cards and chatting & lots of giggling from us ladies, until midnight.
5. Speaking of friendships, I came to the realization that I'm done being the only person making an attempt.
6.  I like to think I'm a great friend and person and if they don't want to know this part of me, then it's their loss, I can't force more to happen.
7.  I don't like afterthought invites - they make me feel cruddy!
8.   Teething is EVIL when it comes to Avalynn - my poor baby is in such pain, and she speed crawls to us as soon as she sees the ibuprofen dropper, she loves her feel better meds!
9.  Making snowflakes with the oldest and then it starts flurrying outside is the best!
10.  Toll House, Brownie Bites (in the refrigerated section of the grocery store), seriously ROCK MY WORLD!
11.  Saturday was a meltdown day, 3 of them just on my part - I honestly can't remember the last time I cried, it was much needed and I feel better!
12.  Naps for everyone in the house makes everything better.
13.  Emma is a follower when around other kids.
14.  I don't like this, as it tends to be the kids who aren't the best behaved.
15.  Avalynn is finding her voice.
16.  It's amazing how loud the girls' volume gets when they are playing together, and this is with Avalynn not even really talking.
17.  I for see lots and lots of loud, rowdy, giggling days ahead in our future - this makes me happy to think of the relationship they will have!


Happy 10 Months Avalynn!

Baby Girl - 

Wow, you are 10 months old officially!  This past month has been lots of fun, just like each previous one.  

You are waving like a pro now.  Daddy will hit his hand and hold it out to you and you smack it like a "high" or rather low five.  You are really cruising the furniture and are speed crawling lately - it seems.  In the past week you'll stand next to our foot stool and push it while walking & you walk if we hold your hands.  You still aren't standing alone though, so I have a feeling it's going to be a little bit before you're walking by yourself.  

You say DaDa a lot and Daddy sometimes.  And you've started to say Mama too!  I couldn't be more thrilled.  It's usually when you are tired and hungry though, but I'll take it any way it comes - it's one of the best sounds coming from you.  You are signing for milk when you are hungry, just another one of the many cute things you do!  

You are still sleeping through the night, except for this past week.  You are finally working on those teeth that have just been sitting there ready to pop through.  Overnight seems to be the worse time for you to sleep, we give you ibuprofen before bed. I've never seen someone come over so fast as you do, when you see the dropper and bottle come out.  You get rather mad at us when we take the dropper away, we even let you have it one night to sleep with (minus the rubber end and cleaned out, of course!).  

You follow your sissy all the time and want to play with whatever she's playing with.   You like playing with your little people bus and will sit there pushing it back and forth.  Oh - and if there's a basket of clean clothes sitting around, you will find clean socks and pull them out.  You love chewing on them.  You even will bite the end of a sock and then start crawling with it swinging from your mouth, we call you our little puppy, it's just so adorable to see!  

You LOVE bath time!  As soon as we push the shower curtain back and start the water you are speed crawling to the bathroom.  You love standing beside the tub and pushing the cups and toys in as it fills up.  You love playing with the water as it comes out of the faucet and don't mind the water being poured over your head (such a difference between your sister and you!).  After you are dressed you love to come back in and stand beside the tub bouncing on your legs and making "oooooo" noises as your sissy gets bathed.  

You are eating table food like a champ and enjoyed your 1st Thanksgiving meal this week.  You especially loved all of the desserts.  Your favorite foods are hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and any of the gerber graduate ravioli's.  We can't give it to you fast enough before it's in your mouth.  You are still in 12 month clothing but we're starting to buy 18 month sizes because some of your 12 month clothes are getting a little snug.  We just moved you up to size 4 diapers.  

I look forward to the next month and all of the wonderful holiday traditions we get to share with you and the changes you'll be making!  We love you so much our little Monkey! 

the Mama

Showing off your adorable new PJ's that Daddy & I got for you during the Black Friday madness! 



Wordless Wednesday *Overload*


The Season Spirit...

has struck the Richards household this past weekend. I will admit that as I type this I'm listening to Christmas music, the outside lights are twinkling, and my house is sparkling on the inside with all of the holiday decor.  I used to always wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I have found over the past few years that that weekend gets jammed packed getting together with friends and family.  This year is no exception.  So, last year was the first year I started it the week of Thanksgiving.  This year I started Sunday with everything but the trees, which got done on Monday.  Me and Emma had great fun decorating our big family tree, loved her asking where each one came from, or me telling her how old she was when she made such and such ornament.  We also decorated her light up tree and Avalynn's little tinsel tree that are in each of their rooms. Avalynn will be getting a light up tree after Christmas for next year.  They both will have the joy of sleeping with their trees lit up/or not for Avalynn - Christmas Eve and finding a little present underneath from old St. Nick.

I have tons of things to share in the coming days, finished picture wall, zipper rosette's, holiday decor, other projects.

As I'm gearing up for Black Friday and figuring out our much more frugal to buy for (pretty much, just the girls')  list and who I can make some great homemade gifts for, I wanted to share some previous posts I've done in case anyone needs some ideas.

- This is great for any married couple you know, the Family Established Wall Art.
- Some Tile Coasters or JOY Plaques, combined into one post.
- Rolled Paper Ornaments.
- Rag Garland's for archways, doorways, & windows.
- Set of Christmas pillows.  Scroll to the bottom of this post to see them.  Just went to Dollar Tree and picked up pairs of stockings and santa's hats, stuffed them with filling and sewed the openings closed.  I have them lining our stairway and a pair on the couch, gave these to a bunch of friends and family one year.

Edie over at lifeingrace has just had her 2nd annual 12 Days of Handmade Christmas.
- 2009 List
- 2010 List

I plan on making some previous things I've done before and some new things from the great tutorials provided during Edie's Handmade Christmas party.  Can't wait to see the looks on our loved ones faces.

Do you enjoy making gifts for the holidays?  Do you like to receive them?  What's your favorite handmade gift you've received?



What I Learned This Weekend

My friend Amber does a weekly post called What I Learned This Weekend and I've decided to join in on the fun!

Here goes my list:
1) Friday I spent the day with my Gramma making our annual pumpkin rolls.  Yum-O, Avalynn, loves the filling of them.
2) I also helped her make chicken pot pie and rolled out dough and cut up the pot pie noodles, it was delicious!
3) I'm so glad that the Hubs & I are on the same page when it comes to Emma, we've entered this bizzare/horrible/so ready for it to be over with - stage with her and it's nice to tag team so the other doesn't get over frustrated.
4) Early bedtimes are sometimes needed and 6:30 for both girls' was needed Friday night - so glad they slept!
5) The Hubs got up with Avalynn Saturday morning @ 6AM, I got to sleep in until 7:15 and got the whole bed to myself for a little. :o)
6) Lesson learned on our seasonal/holiday foam craft magnet project - something with 10 steps and multiple pieces to each step is too much for Emma. She said it hurt her arm too much, so the Hubs and I had a fun morning of crafting.
7) Emma is obsessed with Boomerang, as soon as we'd get in the van to come home this weekend this would be one of her first question to ask if she can watch it when we get home.
8) Avalynn is officially off of baby solids and eating our food - I want my baby baby back!
9) Avalynn is now testing out new sounds and has started waving goodbye and signing for "milk", aka my milk.
10) We have spent everyday this weekend with extended family, which also equals me not having to cook 3 meals!
11) I've decided that I'm going to make time several times a week to craft, as soon as I start it just relaxes me inside. This weekend I tried out my first zipper rosette - more to come on that later next week.
12) The Hubs and I had so much fun this weekend just talking & joking around and sharing LOTS & LOTS of laughs.
13) We both agreed that even through all of the rough times "job wise" in the past 2 years we feel very blessed and happy, our girls' make it that much better!



DIY - "Non" Topiaries

I'm sure you all have seen these DIY Topiaries around blogland.  This has been sitting in my must have, must do pile for while.  I finally tackled it last month.  

Supplies needed:  
- Container(s): I had two, one from Michael's end of summer clearance less than $2 and the second one was a pencil cup from Target's dollar spot that I covered in rope. 
- Styrofoam Ball(s)
- Dark colored spray paint
- Boxwood Bush: I searched all of my local craft stores and couldn't find this, so ended up ordering it off of HobLob, here.   
- Pair of Scissors

Before picture of the pencil cup and some supplies. 

The styrofoam balls spray painted, containers ready, and the balls pushed in some. 
I didn't take pictures of the next step because I honestly forgot.  But I did what Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick did at the end of this post, cutting each sprig into 3rd's.  And I bought two boxwood bush's and only have a little bit left.  

The finished rope non-topiary on a Pottery Barn pedestal I thrifted for $1!!! 

This is the perfect addition to our dining room.  



Wordless Wednesday

This is one of my new favorite pictures - I love watching their bond grow more everyday! 



Hoo Are You?


Here are this week's question? 

1. Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at.
- Being a Mom & Wife. 
2. Name two things you consider yourself to be very bad at. 
- Waiting until the last minute on things, starting laundry and not always finishing (thanks Honey for finishing for me!).
3. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
- Yes, as much as you might not see the reason at the time, looking back it always seems to make sense. 
4. What is something you have eaten lately that you shouldn't have?
- Some sweet bbq chips tonight - late night snacking is baaaaaaad! 
5. Do you think the time should change or leave it alone?
- I normally LOVE the time change, but when babies are around it's not much fun, Avalynn still hasn't switched, and ironically the oldest is sleeping later for once! 


Paint Fiasco

So, yesterday I shared this post about creating our picture wall.   Which meant we, I mean the Hubs, had lots of holes to patch around the house.  We searched the basement paint stash and realized that we didn't have any left of the original living room color we used 4 years ago.  So, thankfully we had panted a switch plate cover, I took it into Lowe's and tried to see if they could match it.  When we tested it on the switch plate it came out too pinky.  So, off to the paint swatches we went, and we found what looked to be a perfect match, even the small dab on the can looked like a perfect match.  Then we come home and the Hubs painted over the patches and this is what we were left with.  Um - note to self 1: Write down all paint colors used in the house, in a safe place and 2: Don't trust self to match a color!!!

The horribleness of it - eeks!!! 
So, I didn't even last a couple hours with it looking like this before I headed to True Value and picked out what looked like more of a gray/blue, but ended up being bright blue!  Can we just say an EPIC FAIL of paint choices by me!  Next night we headed back to TV and picked up tons of paint swatches and brought them home.  In their catalogs you can actually peel off the color and it sticks to your wall, so we hung up about 15 choices and had them hanging for a day. 

Here's the final two, darker color chose as an accent wall.
So we painted and painted for the next 2 1/2 days, painting until the wee hours of the night, the Hubs in charge of rolling the walls and cutting in around the ceiling, I did all of the trim work in a nice crisp white.  We love the look of it now, although as you can tell the lighter shade definitely carries more of a teal hue on our walls.  Oh and all of our curtains we ended up stripping the previous home dyed color from and re-dyeing them a taupe color (they were green before).  

Picture wall take 2!  I think the frames pop a lot more with the new wall color.  And see the "new" chair in the corner, this is my "Mom" area, still a work in progress and hopefully will be finishing this up in the next couple weeks and will share. 

Here you can see both colors side by side.  



DIY - Picture Wall

We live in an old house where there aren't many any long spacious walls, most of them are broken up by arches, doors, windows, or wall bump outs.  Ever since moving into this house, 4 1/2 yrs ago, I wanted big picture wall.  I'd tossed around the possibilities of having it go up the main stairwell but I just wasn't in love.  We have this middle room area before you get to the actual living room, and ever since the oldest's arrival this has been her domain for toys.  But the toys stay at one end of the room and the other end has just not been getting used for anything.  Then it hit me, I could make a big picture wall area when you walk into that room and  re-furb a chair I already have and make it a nice little corner for me.  

We had groupings of pictures and mirrors literally on every wall between the two rooms.  So first off I went around and took them all down and went down to my basement and brought up any picture frames I had down there, as I've been collecting them from family members who no longer wanted them, waiting for the time when I would do this picture wall. 

Here they all are grouped together. 
Next I wanted them all to look the same color wise as I had a mixture of woods and blacks and some gold/brass ones that were passed down.  I opted for a black with silver dust in it.  We just did a light coating of that over the actual black frames, and bought regular black spray paint to spray the wood frames and then a light coating of the black with silver dust. 
Picture of the done pile. 

Next up, I grabbed a roll of wrapping paper and we traced out the frames.  

Then we cut them all out, here's the pile of them. Notice the pack n play - we barricaded the girls off to the front living room area so they wouldn't get in the way. 

Next up, we grabbed some tape and went about hanging all of our mock frames.  Then we'd step back and adjust some.  Also, after we were set on the layout we wanted, we had to tweak it some more as I had forgotten about some canvases and our wedding plate that I knew I wanted on the wall.  So, make sure you have everything you want up on the wall around when you are doing the templates.  

I painted all, but 3 photo mats the same color as our bathroom, because it was paint I had on hand and it's a nice neutral green/gray/blue.  
And actually, the walls ended up having to be re-painted (this will be coming up later this week) and I need to order some new prints as most of mine were just of the oldest and I need to meld both girls' plus extended family photos.  It's all a work in progress.

One thing I do know, is that I couldn't be more pleased with how this turned out.  Total cost: less than $20.  I'll have a better after picture, still no updated photo's in the picture frames yet, later this week.



One of those weeks

where I'm just in a funky schlump. One of my favorite blogger's Kelle spoke earlier in the week about Grays and Colors, and it spoke to me.  As the type of person who has the positive outlook through most things in our life this week has taken me to a dark place.

I've mentioned before about the Hubs layoffs, he's a carpenter for our local union and in just this calendar year he's worked for maybe 3 months.  Needless to say this has been a huge stress.  So we've been looking into options of him going into business for himself, but that takes some start up money so we're hoping to launch that in the new year, but right now in the here we're dealing with another recent layoff as of yesterday.  I'm so over there "not being work".

So this week I pretty much burrowed into my little hole and had my freak out over it all, but now I'm ready to lift my head back up and push forward.  As I know there has to be something better just around the corner!

Speaking of around the corner - anyone else not ready for the Christmas barrage of things yet?!  I honestly LOVE this time of year but I'm freaking out a little seeing friends on FB post pics of their kids with Santa - I mean really - we're not even into a whole week of November yet!  That's another thing I'm looking forward to being bitten with the seasonal goodness.



Wordless Wednesday

Trick or Treat - our little witch and kitty!



Hoo Are You?


1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?
- A kidney stone I had earlier this year, OMG - there's nothing to describe that pain. 
2. What would you name your next child or if you don't have any your first child?
- As we already have two girls we keep tossing around boy names hoping and praying our 3rd will be a boy when we do get pregnant again, so it's a toss between Finn or Owen. 
3. If you could add one feature to your car, what would you choose?
- A button in the van and on the fob to open the rear hatch, it really would come in handy in some situations. 
4. If you named your house (or car or computer) what would you name it?
- Yeah, my van's name is Daisy. 
5. What is your dream occupation?
- To start a business with the Hubs and for us to succeed!  (This is actually in the works now!)