Friday, December 4, 2015

Lincoln is Two

Well hello there. I took an unexpected long blog hiatus. I got a little burnt out and ran out of things to talk about but I’m back today to share details of Lincoln’s second birthday. Having a toddler keeps me really busy these days. It’s hard to do much else besides entertaining him. Keeping off the electronics is key because he is already obsessed with computers and smart phones and will try to take over for me. I haven’t been doing much crocheting lately but am starting to introduce it when he goes to bed since the cold weather had me wanting to make some new hats.

Lincoln is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse now and loves to watch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. He learned all the names of the characters and loves to talk about them. The funniest one is Goofy because when he says the word it kind of sounds like coffee. Since Mickey is at the top of his list right now we decided to have a Mickey party for his birthday.


We had a much more low key party this year than last and kept it pretty simple at our house. My decorating didn’t include too much besides buying a blue plastic table cloth, red dinner plates with Mickey dessert plates and napkins. My big creative moment came in the form of Mickey cupcakes. I used a chocolate boxed cake mix and made homemade cream cheese frosting. I made Mickey ears out of mini oreos and used red polka dotted cupcake liners I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabrics. This was not an original idea by any means and I poured over Pinterest to find something simple but still captured the essence of Mickey. We set the cupcakes up on the cupcake stand I bought last year (also from Jo-Ann) and topped it off with the Mickey and Minnie Lincoln got as an early birthday gift.



We kept the food pretty simple too and made chili, mac and cheese and roasted broccoli, which are all some of Lincoln’s favorites. Everyone sang happy birthday and he blew out the candles on the first try. It was the cutest thing ever. Then he proceeded to devour his cupcake.




The whole thing was a big success. Lincoln got a present for his birthday which his new favorite character and that is Spiderman. He is super obsessed and it’s really funny. He talks about Spiderman all the time and wants to bring him everywhere.

Speaking of talking, this kid learns new words and phrases almost every day. He is a little parrot and is always repeating what we say. He is starting to get more clear with his words too and it’s becoming easier to understand. Lincoln is also so full of energy. He loves to run, jump and climb. We started him in a toddler gymnastics class to give him something to do now that it’s cold and dark at night. He loves the class but still needs to work on his listening skills a bit.

Christmas is coming soon and while he may not understand the concept he has figured out what Santa looks like and will call out any pictures or figurines that look like Santa. We are looking for something low key to bring him to meet Santa because his attention span is next to zero lately and he won’t do very well standing in a line to see Santa anywhere.

One more picture to share. I was so excited to get a nice family picture of the three of us since Lincoln has an uncanny knack for getting wiggly the second the camera is on us. He may not have a big smile on his face but he isn’t crying or trying to escape so I will take it as a win.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trip to Brandywine Falls

 

The other day Mike, Lincoln and I went to Brandywine Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There is a short walk down to the the falls on a boardwalk. Lincoln only did about half the walk on his own but loved watching the water.

I got to practice taking pictures of moving water and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. Maybe some art for the walls? I’m no pro but I finally figured out the settings for flowing water. A tripod is a must and not too much light. This location had the perfect amount of light. It’s a super popular spot for wedding pictures and we even saw the cutest couple getting theirs done.

We are really loving the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this summer. It’s so beautiful and we’ve spending as much time exploring as possible.

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to Update a Headboard

 

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We’ve been doing a little spruce up in our upstairs bedroom. We had a headboard for years that Mike has built but were feeling like it was time for a change. We wanted to update an older piece to make it more modern. It took a little bit of scouring at our local used furniture stores to come up with some that would work. Finding a queen headboard was harder than we originally thought. We found this headboard at out new favorite furniture thrift shop for $40. It was definitely feeling very dated but it was solid and had lots of potential.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We started by painting it with Annie Sloane Old White Paint. We weren’t trying for an exact perfect finish but did put two coats of paint on it over two days to allow for a good drying time. I actually kind of liked it like this but Mike had bigger plans for it.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

After the paint was dry, Mike lightly distressed it with fine grade sandpaper. He focused on the edges to give it a naturally worn look. Next, he wiped the piece down with a soft cloth to remove all the dust. To finish it off and seal in the chalk paint he went over the entire piece with Annie Sloane clear wax and then buffed it with a soft cloth.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

 

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We moved the headboard into the room and Mike screwed it into our existing metal bed frame with some large screws and washers to keep it secure to the bed.

It completely transformed the look of our room. I have to admit I was bit skeptical about how it would turn out but I really like it now. Another confession is that I am not 100% sold on the distressed look but Mike has been experimenting with it and has been having fun working with that paint technique so I don’t mind trying something new for a little while. The “farmhouse” style is so popular right now I do see ways in which I like it.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crochet Granny Square Blanket


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I actually completed a crochet project! It’s been way too long and it was really fun to get out my crochet hook again. Mike’s niece is having a baby in September and her shower was recently. I really wanted to make her a baby blanket but in my true fashion I started the project much later than I should. I had one week to be exact to get this blanket completely finished.
My first thought was to make a chevron baby blanket because that is my one my favorite patterns. The last time I made one though it took me two weeks of working my fingers to the bone and there just wasn’t enough time. I decided to go with this adorable granny square blanket from Daisy Cottage. I like it for two reasons, one I had seen it on another blog I love, Maybe Matilda and loved how it turned out. Two, it is square so I it would easy to stop when I ran out of time instead of being stuck with a strangely uneven rectangle.
This pattern turned out to be awesome since it worked up so quickly. It’s also super easy to make a granny square since it is just double crochet clusters. I opted to go with four colors to match a picture of the color scheme for the room. I ended up using Aqua in Vanna’s Choice, Navy in Vanna’s Choice, Radiant Lime in Vanna’s Choice and Pewter in Red Heart with Love. I already had the navy and grey at home so I only had to get two new colors. I could have gone with all Vanna’s Choice but I was trying to avoid buying more yarn and use some from my stash. I ended up needing one skin of navy, two of radiant lime and two of aqua and one of the grey. The grey skein was much larger than the other colors so if I had used Vanna’s choice I would have needed two.
I should have measured the size but I didn’t think about it until just now. I did have a little helper who thought this was a mighty fine “blankie” so you can kind of get an idea of how big it turned out. (He cried when I wouldn’t let him lay on the blanket when I was trying to take a picture.)
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I love how this color combination turned out and since I still have quite a bit of the yarn leftover maybe it will end up as a new hat. I won’t get ahead of myself though because this was a major feat to get something crocheted with a 20 month running around. I had a slight delay in the middle of crocheting to unravel a giant knot because Lincoln still thinks playing with a skein of yarn is too much fun.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

June and July Garden Blooms

 

So these pictures are from June through the beginning of July. I haven’t taken any new pictures since then and these have been hanging out on my computer for a month. Even though July and August are one of the most brilliant times in the garden its due to the fact that the Black Eyed Susan and Purple Coneflower blooming for so long.

June is actually a really pretty month too and there is lots going on. We had tons of rain and cooler weather so everything was super happy to be soaking up the moisture. I also loved it for the fact that I didn’t have to water for weeks, although rain all the time did get a little old.

I think the rain and cooler weather slowed down the veggie garden because my tomatoes are just now getting ripe. We’ve had some zucchini and green beans already. Lincoln loves to go in the garden and pick the vegetables. My peppers have been really slow to grow too but they are finally starting to produce tons of baby peppers.

My Asiatic lilies didn’t do very well this year. The black eyed Susan was starting to choke them out so I had to do some pulling this spring. I still got a few blooms but not as many and not as big.

Asiatic lilies

I love these long blooming Stella D’Oro day lilies. They started blooming in June and I still have a couple of blooms in August.

Stella D’Oro day lily

My royal candles or Veronica always looks so pretty when it starts blooming but by the end it’s a dried up mess. I like to remember it this way.

royal candles or Veronica

I tried out petunias this year when we found a clearance deal at Lowe’s. I have had mixed results in the past but these ones have been amazing. I think they will make an appearance next year as well.

petunias

This astilbe looks so fuzzy and is very different from the white variety that blooms in May.

astilbe

My one lone hydrangea bloom. This winter was hard on the hydrangea plus we divided it last year so I wasn’t expecting too much.

hydrangea

Drumstick allium with coreopsis in the background.

Drumstick allium with coreopsis

A close up of the drumstick allium.

drumstick allium

My purple coneflower really took off this year. It’s much taller than ever before and has produced tons of blooms. This was the beginning of July and it’s still going strong.

purple coneflower

I saved the best for last as this is my favorite picture of the bunch and also the last one I took. This was either the first or second day of blooming for this day lily and it was really beautiful this year.

day lily

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lincoln’s 20 Month Update

 

 

This update is much belated but I figured I better get it out before Lincoln turns 21 months old. Blogging is very much taking a back seat to all our summer activities. We also have been doing some painting around the house so my nightly schedule has been looking like this: Pick Lincoln up from the sitter, play with Lincoln in the house before dinner, prepare dinner, eat dinner, play with Lincoln outside, put Lincoln to bed, paint, watch one show on tv, go to bed. Not sure where to fit in much besides that. Also our weekends are pretty much jam packed all the time.

We have been really enjoying ourselves though this summer and Lincoln would rather be outside than anywhere else. He is developing quite the tan lines. The weather has been fairly cool with lots of rain for weeks and then this past week it got really hot so we have been having fun with our hose mister and the water table. Lincoln decided the other day he should sit in the water table instead of stand and play in it. He such a little dare devil climber. He has learned to climb out of the pack and play at his sitter’s and I am dreading the moment when he figures out he can climb out of his crib. He has made a few partial attempts so I feel like the moment is coming much sooner than I would like.

The amount of words he can say has really started to increase in the past week. He is a little parrot too and Mike loves trying to get him to say stuff. He has also learned the real meaning of “no” and loves to tell us when he doesn’t want something. He has started saying some three word sentences. He knows which cars we own. “Mommy car” and “Daddy car” are frequent point outs. He also loves to talk about his friends at the sitters, his grammy, and of course his puppy Abby.

He is such a little animal lover and has developed a mild obsession with kitties. There are a couple that live in our neighborhood he loves to point out all the time. He will look for them when we go out. Of course he still loves doggies too and calls them “foo foos” his way of saying woof woof.

Something I’m not super thrilled about is his new obsession with watching tv and particularly Wild Kratts. He asks to watch it all the time now, starting in the past week or two. He actually will sit and watch for about 15 minutes but then will start playing with something else. If we try and change it though then he immediately wants it back on. He also loves watching minions and we will watch mini videos on you tube.

On a not so fun note we all got sick with the summer flu that seemed to last forever. I am very grateful that we are all better now. Having a well Lincoln is so much better than having a sick Lincoln. His appetite is back in full force and this kid continues to be an eater. He loves fruit, cheese, yogurt and crackers. He literally can not get enough. After we went shopping the other day he wanted to eat everything I brought home and ran around to all the grocery bags pulling food out and asking to have it in his cup. I really don’t know what we will do when he is a teenager. I think he will eat us out of house and home lol.

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Wearing daddy’s shoes

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Matching mommy

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Loving some corn

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Family picture at the Gorge waterfall

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A little nervous at first about the fast water

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

DIY Side Table Redo

 

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Mike found this little gem on the side of the road a couple of years ago. It was in the basement just waiting for some love. It was a nice solid piece but clearly no one has the insight into what it could become like Mike did.

side table before

He started out by stripping the top with citrus paint removed. Then came sanding and staining. He finished it with a couple of coats of latex polyurethane. On the bottom he painted it with Annie Sloane chalk paint in antibes green. He gave it a coat of clear wax and then a light coat of dark wax. Then he finished it off with light distressing with sandpaper.

The dark wax definitely toned down the green which is actually a lot brighter. It’s the same green he used for the side table in Lincoln’s nursery.

It turned out super cute and would make a great side table or foyer table. We didn’t have room for it so we sold it at our recent garage sale to our neighbor down the street. She seemed pretty excited to snap it up so I glad it went to a good home.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Lincoln’s 19 Month Update

 

Lincoln turned 19 months old last week. This kid never ceases to amaze me. He has started talking a lot more and is starting to know more words than I can list. He repeats a lot of what we say but he is starting to identify a lot more on his own. He got a stuffed Minion (from Despicable Me) for his birthday and Mike would always play with him and say “minion!” The other day he saw a minion in a commercial and yelled “minion!” Then he saw one on a box of candy at the movie store and proudly exclaimed “minion!” We’ve only ever watched half of the movie one time and he has identified with this silly little minion. He is also getting really good a please and thank you. He’s starting to say thank you on his own whenever I hand him something. It gets me every time.

He has become quite the little climber and has to climb on everything. It’s pretty funny to watch how he gets up on some pieces of furniture. He’s really quite clever. When he wants to get on the front porch couch he kicks his little foot up onto the coffee table to propel himself up. When he wants to get on our bed, he puts his foot onto the tiny ledge made by the bed frame to boost himself up. Other things he likes to climb on include, the stove, the baby gate, the side of the dining room chair, the dining room table, his y bike seat and basically anything he can hang or get his feet on.

Lincoln has also started walking down the stairs instead of scooting down on his belly. He holds on to the handrail and my hand and then walks down like a big boy. He will do it all by himself on the front porch and back deck too. It’s fun to see him being able to do it himself but it also spells trouble because not only can he walk down the steps but he also figured out how to open the front storm door. If he really wants to get out it doesn’t take much for him to take off.

We’ve been spending tons of time outside because he is in love with being “side.” We play almost every night in the backyard and have been spending time exploring our local playground. We have tons in our area and have only scratched the surface on the available ones. There is a small one within really close walking distance of our house and a much bigger one a little bit down the road. It’s a longer walk or a quick bike ride. We recently braved a crazy busy garage sale (we got stuck in a traffic jam!) to score a little tricycle. Lincoln’s feet don’t quite touch the petals yet but he loves being pushed around on it. It’s actually a bit of a workout!

We’ve been going through a bit of a fussy time too. Lincoln had a little cold/allergy episode that made him a poor little crank for a week. I don’t blame him because I wasn’t feeling well either. He is also getting much more opinionated with pretty much everything. He likes to pick out his shoes to wear and cries if you put the wrong pair on. He like to pick out the food he is going to eat and cries if you pick the wrong thing. He likes to pick out the book he wants to read and refuses to listen if you pick the wrong one. We are definitely working more on choices because he is happiest when he can choose the option he prefers.

He is still an amazing eater although he does get picky about what he wants to eat sometimes. If he likes something then look out because he will eat forever. If he doesn’t like it he will either, spit it out, spit it out and hand it to me/Mike or (my favorite) throw it across the room. He is developing quite the arm and also an obsession with throwing everything. Maybe he is practicing for a future in pro sports :)

We have been having so much fun this summer and I will get an update out next on our Summer Bucket List.

 

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Playing “water golf”

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On the swing at the park

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Putting his shoes on

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On his new tricycle (his legs need to grow just a little bit)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chevron Coffee Table Redo

 

Chevron coffee table redo

It’s time to start sharing some projects around here. Mike has been working hard to redo some of the furniture in our basement. Ok, I helped a little but it was mostly him. This vintage coffee table we got at a garage sale when I was pregnant with Lincoln. It has been hanging out in our basement forever waiting for inspiration to strike. While what Mike did was not complicated it was really hard to think of a good idea for this piece.

 

coffee table before

The before

Mike painted it with a sample pot of Valspar from Lowe’s. They sell sample pots you can get mixed to your color preference and they are perfect for painting small projects like this one. He left the spindles the original color for some contrast.

We struggled with a design idea for the top. Originally Mike painted a stencil on top but it just didn’t look right. The next idea was to try a chevron design. He used chevron Frog tape to create the perfect chevrons and gold metallic paint from Jo-Ann. Then Mike went over everything with a dark Annie Sloane wax to give it an aged appearance.

The handles were spray painted to update the look and this table was finally done. We thought about selling it but after all our hard work we tried it out in the living room to replace our oversized ottoman and fell in love. It fits well and is easy to move out of the way because of the wheels. I would love to paint our current side table to match it. Maybe that will be Mike’s next project...

Chevron coffee table redo

Chevron coffee table redo

Chevron coffee table redo

Chevron coffee table redo

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