We’ve been home for quite from our bi-annual travel to God’s Country but I thought I’d throw this up for posterity (and grandparents). For the last three years I’ve somehow managed to spend Mother’s Day in Iowa solo. Genius move, Matt! I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to top last year’s surprise trip but we still had a great time. This year I packed up the minis and we hit the open air for a ten day trek crowned with a Kentucky Derby bridal shower for my soon to be sister-in-law, which deserves a post all on its own. If you’re dying to see pictures now, just take a quick jaunt over to Jillian’s blog. She did all of the paper and printables for us and I can’t sing her praises loudly enough. She listened to all of my crazy and sent me everything I wanted and needed without missing a beat.
I was still feeling pretty craptastic (thanks baby #3) but we made it. The kids loved all of the undivided attention and being fawned over from various family members. We hit the farms up hard so they are convinced that Iowa is a magical place of farmers, goats, cows and fields of dreams. As it should be.
Feeding the cows a grass appetizer. Hudson was like, nope. The best part of the day was when Hudson was able to drive this tractor down the road and his little life was just made. He seriously talks about the tractor and farmer John Gannon all the time.
I mean, can you even with Hudson sleeping with his tractor? You can take the boy out of Iowa.
Half way there folks! I was on the war path to get all of our weekly errands knocked out in record time. After dropping Matt off at work we made it to Costco before the opening bell. That is the hallmark of a true professional right there. No one got pushed out of the cart and only two grammies stopped to ask me if they were twins this round.
We hammered out the rest of the SAHM trifecta in record time, Starbucks and Target for those not in the biz, before heading home. After hustling everyone to their blessed after lunch quiet time I was dealing with the latest saga of my life. That mother-trucking pool. It’s an above ground, salt water system and everything is DANDY when it is working. #redneckyachtclub
Lately it has been a huge pain. I can’t seem to keep the salt water system thing working and the vacuuming and, and, and. I have tried to call for help and no one services above ground pools here making me BFF+E with the local pool store. So, basically I’m frantically google-ing and hitting the you-tube for how-to videos and it is making me crazy because nothing is working. I have no way to wrap this story up except to ask that you feel very badly for my first world swimming pool probs.
After trying really really hard to make it to the gym this afternoon. We’re talking packed up the kids and made the trek to find the kids club doesn’t reopen until 5 pm tried. We decided to get creative with our backyard festivities. New favorite game ever. Mom sits around and tells you what to do next while you burn off all of your 4 pm crazy. Enjoy the prison yard pics. Concrete on concrete, what can you do?
Keep on keeping on people. I’ve got a date with my sander for the next few days while the weather is giving us a semi-reprieve from the sweltering degrees.
The nesting mode has kicked in nice and early this go round. Maybe I’m realizing that I’m not going to be able to do much of anything, let alone decorating once this lad/lady arrives on the scene. Add in impending holidays with a newborn and I’m in get ‘er done mode in the middle of summer. We’ve been in the house since the end of last October and I’ve unpacked and arranged furniture, sort of… but haven’t gotten around to hanging much of anything on the walls. I will blame the plaster walls (they are a b) for this but really, I’m a leeetttle, tiny bit lazy.
We are all for room sharing over here which works out real nice since we live in a three bedroom house and we take up one room all by our selfish selves. We aren’t finding out if new baby is a he or she although I am 90% on team girl but we shall see how much Mother’s Intuition knows. My plan is to have Harper and new baby share after the initial couple of months room in with us. I really hate sharing a room with a newborn (heartless! I know.) but I hate climbing up and down stairs all night long even more.
So we’re finally kicking Hudson out of his crib and moving that upstairs. I know he’s three and still in a crib, keep your judgment to yourselves. We operate on a keep them in the cage as long as possible policy. SO…my point! Here’s what I’m planning on doing to his little room in the next couple of months.
Let’s just call it rustic/camping chic, m’kay? The biggest change is adding the bed. We’re going with a trundle because who knows when we’ll need the kids to really be doubling up on bedrooms. It’s from Walmart because we are fancy like that. I’ve loved that canvas from Lindsay Letters forever + some vintage national parks posters and we’ll call this room decorated. I’m not painting (lazy) and want the option of making it a boy/girl room if my initial plan of Harper + baby rooming doesn’t pan out. I also need to whip up some curtains, I’m planning on the big buffalo check since apparently NO ONE has these premade.
I’m also working on getting Harper’s room past the initial step 1: add a crib, I started with. I’ve been on the hunt for a dresser for her room since the day we moved in with no luck. I’ve been so close on a couple of Craig’s List finds and then the sellers bail or never respond or are doing whatever they have going on that is more important than providing me the crowning jewel to my toddler’s room.
So there you have it, what’s been keeping me up at night. Toddler beds v. daybeds, room sharing and sleeping schedules. Riveting, I’m sure.
We’ve spent the last few days being busy bees around here. I’ve been working on cranking out this china buffet that I had Matt haul home for me on Father’s Day. #betterspouse
After slathering the dang thing in citrus stripper I immediately realized I don’t actually want to refinish it. I mean, I do, the candy apple green is blinding but I just don’t want to do the work. I wish I would have given into my lazy self and just painted right over the sucker but lucky for me and my perfectionism, we’re doing the refinish properly. So, stay tuned for a delightful reveal in about…3 weeks as I can only work on it after the 6 pm. The temperature during the day has rivaled the surface of the sun lately so I am not tempted AT ALL to add to my sweaty mess by using a heat gun to finish stripping this hulk. It’s looking so great, right?
In other more exciting + fun news, we hosted Matt’s cousins from Iowa for dinner last week. They are taking their four kids on an epic road trip from San Fran all the way down to San Diego. I bow down to their vacation prowess! We celebrated by making s’mores cupcakes, which is pretty much unrelated but if a blogger makes cupcakes and doesn’t document it, did it actually even happen?
I cheated using boxed cake mix but added homemade marshmallow frosting and graham cracker crumbs. I was impressed how homemade they tasted so three cheers for that!
Sunday we decided to be Fun Parents and took the kids to Disneyland for the morning. Serious Sally had a great time on the carousel.
We stopped at the Anaheim Packing House for lunch and it was SO good. It’s only about 7 minutes away from Disneyland so it was a nice change up from the usual corn dog combo I usually get. I ordered from Georgia’s and it was great. The pulled pork sliders and mac and cheese were a hit all around our table, plus the owner was just so nice!
That about wraps up our weekend fun! I’m working on big boy bedroom plans and gearing up for a festive fourth of July on the beach.
Baby number three is en route and due two days before turkey day, on my sister’s birthday! Which probably means I’ll still be pregnant in December. We can’t be more thrilled/terrified if we tried. The kids have no idea yet. Strangers have already been asking me when I’m due (yikes!) and surely the kids HAVE to be twins, right?! We are about to really become the crazy family in the neighborhood. Get fired up, it’s going to be a fun ride!
Well, well, well. Took a little detour on the posting, didn’t we? Apologies to my numerous (2) readers. Summer has kicked off with a bang here in SoCal. It was 90 degrees at 10:45 am, making our usual trot to Trader Joe’s feel like a 3 mile death march. Hold on to your seats, there’s a lot of summer left for complaining and I wouldn’t want to leave you hanging.
We spent Hudson’s third birthday at Disneyland. I nixed the birthday party because I am mean. Don’t feel too bad as he ate his weight in strawberry ice cream and got to drive at Autotopia.
Basically the best day a three year old could ask for.
Thanks to no one for the magical Main Street picture capture.
We also celebrated with a backyard cake party with his partner in crime. You’re welcome for the out of focus memory capture.
Obviously I need to take a break with my gram obsession and try a little harder with the real camera from time to time. Luckily, that lovely lawn ornament gifted from the previous owners is in perfect focus. Making memories here folks!
Alrighty, I’m going to try and keep you posted on our daily mundane. I’ve got lots to catch you up on. Promise.
This weekend went by so quickly but was so fun! Two weeks before Easter we didn’t really have any plans and figured we’d keep it low key but then somehow the week of we were involved in three egg hunts. It was insane, remind me to dial it down a notch next year.
Friday we got together with a group of moms and toddlers and had an egg hunt in the park with 10 kids, three and under. It was just as hilarious as it sounds, we were basically herding cats all over the place.
Saturday morning we thought it would be a great idea to attend the first annual Rose Bowl Egg Hunt. Spoiler alert, worst idea ever. There were so many families there and they ran out of eggs before it was even time for our age bracket. Oh well, live and learn! We headed home and dyed Easter eggs in the backyard to keep the festivities rolling.
They each had a dozen eggs and could have sat there all day. Harper turned into the hulk and was crushing and tossing eggs all over the table and in the bowls. I’m not sure how anyone does this activity indoors. We hosed them and the table off with the garden hose.
I bought a sparkly egg kit which turned out to be kind of a mistake. We still have glitter all over our tub from hosing them off after this adventure. Before bed Hudson planted his special jelly bean bushes. He was so thrilled for this job and could not believe that suckers would grow overnight. Perks of a two year old imagination!
Sunday morning the Easter Bunny brought treats for everyone. Baskets were filled with swimsuits and other summer fun must haves. We also realized Harper is a candy fiend. She tore through those eggs like a professional, tossing the goldfish cracker filled ones aside in search of her main prize, a fistful of M&Ms.
She was throwing some shade after having all of her precious treats stolen from her vice grip.
Hudson apparently has quite the green thumb, his jelly beans sprouted a big crop! Harper obviously was thrilled to help harvest that too.
We made it to church and our third egg hunt of the weekend. The kids barely made it through service as they came crashing down from their sugar high. Hudson was pretty proud of himself for walking up front for the children’s message. The pastor gave all of the kids stones to help them remember the empty tomb so Hudson is pretty proud of his “Jesus rock”. We hustled home for brunch and naps. Of course I got zero family pictures of everyone in their Easter finest. #momfail
I think that wraps up this installment of holiday fun! If you made it this far, you deserve a leftover Cadbury egg.
Growing up I hated going to yard sales and second hand shops with my mom. And there was no way she was dragging me to an auction! I was like, could we just buy it new?! Painting a swell picture of my pre-teen sweet disposition, amiright? Fast forward to college and rooming with my BFF, Mel and my view on thrifting started to change. This may have had to do with our useable funds available (read: we were broke). We followed our mothers’ advice to hit up the stores and do a little digging to furnish our apartment. Side note, Mel’s mom is thee very very best thrifter I have ever met. Her house is so impeccably furnished and I guarantee if you ask where she got an item, it will be, “Goodwill. For a dollar.” People line up for her annual garage sales.
After a few rounds of shopping, we quickly realized we were the worst at second hand shops. Unlike Mel’s sister, Karlie who could run in and find like 18 things (always clothes and accessories!) and look so chic. We resigned ourselves that some people have an eye for finding treasures and we were not those people.
I’m here to tell you people, you can get better at thrifting! It is actually a skill. The more you go, the more you know. Here’s what’s helped me hone my eye and pick up some steals among the um, less desirable items?
– Go early and often (weekdays are best). The inventory rolls over very quickly in thrift and consignment shops. If you’re on the hunt for something specific you are more than likely going to have to go to a lot of shops, a lot of times. The professionals (antique dealers/resale shops) all go during the week so the weekends might be a bit picked over but it’s still worth it to check, just get there early (like doors opening early) for the best selection. My favorite shop in Santa Monica was on my walk home from work. I would stop in probably twice a week for a quick browse. This holds true for garage sales too. Go early for the best selection but stopping by towards the end of the sale will get you a better price if the item is still there.
– Take a list. I have a running list on my phone of things I would like to find second hand. I use the app Cozi but a simple notes page on your phone would definitely work.
If you’re looking for furniture, remember to keep some rough measurements for the space you’d like to fill because if your new purchase doesn’t fit in your house, you’re still stuck with it. Most shops have a no returns policy or a very strict one. The main reason I like to keep a list is to help me mentally weed out all of the other junk on the shelves. I know what I’m looking for, I can quickly scan the shelves and move on. It keeps my trips short and efficient, I can now scan a shop in about 10 minutes. It also keeps me from falling into the trap of buying things off list just because it is inexpensive. I’m trying to be intentional with what I’m bringing home, not just more decorative filler items.
– Know what you’re willing to pay. Based on my list above, I know what I’m roughly willing to pay for each item. For example, I almost never pay over $8 for silver plated items (mint julep cups/bowls/trophys). This is because I just enjoy collecting these pieces and don’t necessarily need another one right now. I can wait for the next item to come along in my price point. If you don’t have luxury of time or collecting do some research and know a fair price. That being said, almost all shops are willing to negotiate on price. If you’ve done your research, you know what’s fair but can always ask, is this the best you can do? What if I pay cash? Goodwill and Salvation Army have weekly sales too. I bought all of my items this weekend for 40% off because it was before noon.
– Have a game plan. This might just be my OCD tendecies showing their crazy but with any shop I go to I hit the furniture first, then the small housewares and then linens/pillows. I’m almost never shopping for clothes. Not because I don’t think you can find awesome deals, you can! But finding house stuff is more thrilling to me than clothes. I do love an online consignment clothing shop though (obviously).
Those are the ways that I’ve become a little bit better of a thrifter over the years. Patience is the number one thing to have while shopping second hand. The perfect thing is out there, you might just have to wait a bit for it to find you. Enjoy the hunt! Do you have any tips that I missed? What is your very best thrift score?
I’m sure I’ll get a collective eye roll from the seasoned mothers round here as my two years of experience is impressively lacking. But where else but thee old internet can you chime in with your best and brightest ideas? I’m hoping to share a few additional nuggets of wisdom saving my sanity on the daily.
If you should ever find yourself outside our home in the hours between 5 and 7 pm I would not blame you for calling CPS based on the sheer volume of the shrieking within our walls. These are consistently our worst hours between getting everyone fed, bathed, read to and in bed. I swear the clock strikes 5 and the kids ramp up the crazy. Every single dang day. Matt works late hours (sob, sob) so I’m doing the bedtime/bathtime rodeo solo. The one thing that has been a serious game changer is bathing the kids before dinner. I don’t remember why I chanced into this but guys. DO it! The kids love splashing around while I get dinner ready (worry warts-I can hear them and we’re all on the same floor so no one is drowning on my watch). Then it’s pjs and then we do dinner.
I know you all are thinking, aren’t they getting filthy at dinner negating the whole bath? Nope. I just wipe faces and hands and it’s totally fine. If we’re having something super messy I usually have them eat with pj tops off so I can hose them down a little more thoroughly.
It saves my sanity when the kids are taking a sweet forever to eat because I can just cut out an extra book reading like a mean mom to keep us at that glorious 7 pm bedtime. We’re not pushing the whole song and dance 30 minutes later. Because I seriously live for 7 pm.
That’s it. Saving my sanity is getting the kids in the tub before dinner. Any other tips to keep the crazies in check?
Podcasts, you guys! Why has no one told me of the gloriousness of these? After listening to Serial (hello, all aboard the bandwagon) I realized I was totally underutilizing my daily walks with the kids.
Here I was walking around town just listening to them complaining from the stroller! I am totally addicted now which is shocking since I really really hate listening to talk radio in the car. Here are my favs that I’ve been listening to.
After the Jump: Hosted by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge. This was her first and possibly final season as she’s taking a break on the podcast to work on the new/old home she just bought. She interviews designers, makers (her word) and other small business folks. I basically have no need to be listening to this since I am none of those things but her interview skills are on point and I always find myself learning something new. In her final episode she said she took on the venture because she thought she had poor interview skills. Consider that skill honed woman!
The Big Boo Cast: Big Mama and Boo Mama. They totally crack me up! Two southern ladies chatting it up. In their words, talking all about the important stuff: faith, family, friends, fashion and food. Plus, of course, our hair.
Grace Talks: This was a series Edie did awhile back. I thought it was so smart and insightful. I felt like I needed to be taking notes while listening since she had so many great thoughts and suggestions on life, faith and using your talents to serve those around you. Great stuff here!
Here’s the Thing: Hosted by Alec Baldwin. I like this way more than I thought I would. He invites his famous friends on and they discuss movies, their careers and acting. A few favorite interviews: Julie Andrews, SJP and surprisingly, David Letterman.
Call Your Girlfriend: Hosted by two smart boss ladies. Talking about all sorts of girlfriend things but also a lot about politics and women’s rights. I don’t always agree with all of their views/politics but it is enlightening to hear their perspective. I wouldn’t recommend listening to this without earbuds as there are some topics you might not want to broach with your two year old…like periods and IUDs.
Hope*ologie: The Nester, her sister Emily and their Dad talk all about what’s inspiring them right now. It’s a companion to their site by the same name. They have some fun guests and I just enjoy listening to their family chemistry!