Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

I just love this tradition we started, spending one day in July indulging in everything Christmas without getting all the decorations out. Each year it's been a little different, but I love that about it.

We started our day off with Peppermint Mochas {a must} and homemade cinnamon rolls ON THE BEACH. Because hey, why not? Kensi absolutely loved it and even though the water was rough and we wouldn't allow her to 'swim' she had a blast playing in the sand with Mike. 





Later we lit the firepit and cozied up with s'mores. To make them even better were the toppings: peanut butter cups, peppermint and dark chocolate. Yes we had a lot of sweets today and yes it was absolutely delicious! Kensi didn't like to eat a s'more as a normal s'more and instead ate it layer by layer. Such a goof. 



Merry Christmas! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

OUR HOME: BENCHWRIGHT DINING TABLE

I'm so excited to have a finished dining table that seats more than four people! Honestly, I'm most excited to use this space and decorate it for fall and winter! Ever since my sister Trish and her hubster Walt built their table two years ago, we were determined to do the same. We found our plans between Shanty2Chic and Ana White. The table took only a full day to build and another couple of days or so to sand, fill and stain.
We also made our benches the following weekend. They were much quicker to finish, but in order to make things a little more difficult Mike accidentally spilled the entire can of stain on the garage floor leaving only enough for one bench. Seriously, just our luck. We used Rustoleum’s Dark Walnut Stain. We did one coat of stain and felt something was missing in the color so we mixed some Dark Walnut with Weathered Gray. It’s difficult to see in the photos, but with one layer of the combined stains it gave our table just the perfect touch of worn gray color we were looking for and it helped smooth everything out. The Weathered Gray is very thick even after stirring so we did an application and then quickly wiped and rubbed it into the wood.
Mike and our friend Kyle spending their Saturday in the blazing heat building the table. 

While we were spending time putting the table together in the garage, Kensi wanted to constantly use the tools. She's always trying to put screws and nails into holes and walks around measuring different things. To keep her entertained we gave her a small mallet used for cracking crabs, a few nails and a potato. This was endless fun for her.

The boys did the hard stuff and I got to do the easy stuff: sanding, staining and sealing.


Okay, okay, so here's the kicker of savings. Are you ready? Because I’m such a nut on savings I did a breakdown on two similar Benchwright tables from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, two of our favorite stores. Both of the tables used for my breakdown are extendable tables and ours is not, but the style is the same. The breakdown includes one dining table in at least 86” and two benches in the same length.

RESTORATION HARDWARE
RH Salvaged Wood Table....$3095
RH Large Salvaged Bench......$1295
TOTAL: $5685

POTTERY BARN
PB Benchwright Table.....$2695.
PB Large Bench....$900.
TOTAL: $3700

Okay now hold your breath.
Our table which is the same style cost us $125 and each large bench cost $45 including wood and supplies.

$5685 and $3700 compared to $215 
 Not only is that a steal The word ‘steal’ seems so puny to describe this comparison! For us we wanted the style but without the price tag. We are very thankful we had the option to build it ourselves and it was worth every. single. penny. and every drop of sweat. I’m blown away!
We will eventually add two chairs to go on both ends and change up the wall color, along with adding window treatments. We picked out two large pendant lights on sale a couple months ago by Allen + Roth. They are a great mix of modern and vintage and Mike is so anxious to install them. He will have to do a little electrical work, but nothing that’s too difficult. Knowing him, he’ll probably do it this next weekend and then we can pursue the walls. 
I just can't get over the $$$ difference. All I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Ana White and Shanty2Chic for being such an inspiration and giving us the confidence to build this ourselves. 

XOXO

Friday, July 18, 2014

20 WEEKS


How Far Along: 20 weeks
Weight Gained: 7 lbs 
Nausea: None 
How Am I Feeling: Good
Maternity Clothes: I’m wearing a mix of clothes; some maternity and some regular
Sleep: I'm sleeping much better as I've figured out a way to sleep with all my pillows. 
Cravings: Dolmades, stuffed jalapeƱos and sandwiches
Food Adversions: The word pork still gives me the heebie geebies. 
Movement: Yes! Mostly at night when I go to bed. 
Belly Button In or Out: Out! It popped immediately around 8 weeks. 
Gender: Unknown. We almost gave in at our last ultrasound, but we stayed strong.  
Names: Lately, they've been changing, so nothing is concrete at this point.  
What I'm Looking Forward To: We just saw our little bean last week for our ultrasound and I can't wait to hold him/her! 
What's Different With This Pregnancy: I'm still sore but since incorporating more yoga each day the pain has lessened significantly. 
What I'm Missing: Sub sandwiches 
How Are We Preparing: We're still working on nursery ideas and will begin working on the baby's furniture soon. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ARE YOU KITTEN ME RIGHT MEOW

We have begun to really get our itch for fall in the last week or so. I can’t wait for Labor Day weekend to roll around in September just so I can pull out all our fall decorations. I’ve also been planing our Halloween porch decorations along with our costumes. Can you tell it’s the the start of the most wonderful time of the year? 
I love shopping for a few cute October related items for Kensi’s closet and I keep coming across adorable kitten fashion that can do double duty because they are perfect for the whole year through.



| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |

Kensi is beginning to pick out some of her own clothes. She actually picked out the Kitty dress and the socks. Lately, she’s been obsessed with animal faced socks. Last year we scored a pair of owls and foxes from The Children’s Place and she likes to wear them with her jams. Last week while shopping she insisted wearing them on her hands since she was wearing sandals, I now just keep a pair in my purse in case a sock emergency should happen :o)

XOXO

Friday, July 4, 2014

A FESTIVE FOURTH

After dealing with the dreary rain and wind gusts from the hurricane the day before we were so happy to wake not only to find Mike home from working over night, but also to bright cheery blue skies. It was such a beautiful morning and we enjoyed it by making a mixed berry breakfast topped with homemade whipped cream. 
We later took a trip to the pool and had lunch on beach chairs. It didn't take long for Kensi to get crabby as we were running into her nap. All of us ended up napping. I'm not sure if it was the uneasiness of not having Mike home the night before or from being out in the sun or both, but we were all just out! Completely zonked out. I can't remember the last time I've napped like that. 

Our neighborhood has a massive block party full of tons of food, many many kidlits and water balloons. Kensi always has a great time playing with the older girls, but often gets a little left behind because she just can't keep up. They're always on the go and as much as she think she can too, she can't. I'm looking forward to other littles joining our street in the near future for the sake of Kensi. Nonetheless, she still had fun! 

You know it's been a good day outside when there's nothing but sweat, dirt and watermelon juice on your face. 
I think this may be one of my favorite outfits of Kensi's. Honestly, if it came in my size I'd probably wear it. 




We ended our night with a few harmless fireworks that Kensi could enjoy with us. With Mike's help she held her first sparkler and twirled it around. She was so proud. 

Happy 4th from us to you! 
XOXO

18 WEEKS


How Far Along: 18 weeks
Weight Gained: 5 lbs 
Nausea: None 
How Am I Feeling: Good
Maternity Clothes: I’m wearing a mix of clothes; some maternity and some regular
Sleep: Eh
Cravings: This week was all about pop tarts and cupcakes, not good.
Food Adversions: The word pork still gives me the heebie geebies. 
Movement: Lots of kicks and turns are going on in there. Mike also felt the baby kick for the first time this week. 
Belly Button In or Out: Out! It popped immediately around 8 weeks. 
Gender: Unknown, we plan on waiting. 
Names: We have a few that are at the top of our list, but we'll keep it a surprise. 
What I'm Looking Forward To: We finished our dining table and I just need to stain our benches. I’m excited about more house projects!
What's Different With This Pregnancy: Still very sore. I feel like my bones are being crushed every time I stand up. My lower back is also starting to hurt so I’m kicking my butt in gear and doing more exercise and really adding in my yoga.
What I'm Missing: Really missing wine and fun summer cocktails
How Are We Preparing: I’m starting to plan idea boards for the baby’s nursery, I can’t wait to start putting some pieces together!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

RAINY DAY BLUES

Kensi and I are held up inside today as we await and endure the heavy rains of our first hurricane in NC. Yesterday I made sure to stop by the store and pick up a few items to keep us entertained in the kitchen as we prep to make tomorrow as festive as we can rain or shine. We spent most of our afternoon making fun treats such as cupcakes. My love of cupcakes has really grown since living in Maryland where we could indulge in Georgetown Cupcakes whenever we pleased. And thanks to Mike he's brought me over to the dark side of chocolate. I've always been a very vanilla girl until he came along. Today we made a combo of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with a simple vanilla frosting that Kensi could easily decorate with her sprinkles. 

I love that our cupcakes never look perfect, Kensi had fun helping which shows she put love into them. 

In between cupcakes, Kensi pulled out some of her favorite art supplies. We may have glitter all over the floor, but what's the point of doing art if you can't be messy? A little never hurt anyone. She was so excited to paint, but with no luck in finding her a paint brush I improvised and use pom poms instead. {If your little needs a handle and struggles holding on to the pom pom, pinch it between a clothespin} One matched up to each color in the beginning and she did well until the very end. 

Of course the best part is pouring glitter. I normally put it in an old small spice jar for her, but my mind was everywhere but there. She loved using the big jar today. 

We also made peach ice cream, crouton sticks and tomato soup for our and movie night. I can't think of anything better than a bowl of soup with bread dippers on a rainy night, can you?



We had a mini campout in our bedroom and Kensi picked our movie and of everything we own she chose Arthur Christmas. She's totally our girl, Christmas in July.....she knows it's coming soon. I also wonder if she even realized we were riding out Hurricane Arthur all day. Silly girl. 

XOXO

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

CHARLOTTE AND A LITTLE BIRTHDAY FUN

Mike got word over a week ago he would have to go to Charlotte for training on his 30th birthday, BOO! That's no way to celebrate, especially when it's a big one like that. So Kensi and I tagged along. It's only a three and a half hour drive; we could celebrate together and Kensi and I would adventure through Charlotte while he had to work. 

We stayed at the Omni Hotel in uptown Charlotte. {Yes I said uptown and not downtown. Most of the suburbs for the area are located south of 'downtown' therefore they call it uptown} Since it was Mike's birthday he chose his din; we chowed at City Smoke where he munched on fried pickles and a local brew last summer while interviewing. I think Kensi was meant to be a southern girl, she loooooooves her grits. 
The entire drive to Charlotte we enticed Kensi with the pool at the hotel. It seemed like every 10-15 minutes she would ask 'pool?' Even though it was nearly 9pm and dark with a little breeze we took her to the rooftop pool. It was freezing and she did not care one bit. She was determined to go into hat pool after a long drive. 
She only lasted about 15 minutes and came over shaking, ready to be wrapped up into a cozy towel and snuggled so she could warm up. 
The next day Mike had training for work and Kensi and I had Charlotte all to ourselves. We had a fun lunch date and a blast of an adventure exploring Discovery Place a science museum for kids. 

Kensi spent most of our time playing with the newspaper shooter, blocks and petting a starfish, sea cucumber and horseshoe crab. By the end of our visit she was exhausted and crashed out. 

We completed our trip with a stop at a local farm stand and picked up a peck of peaches and enjoyed homemade peach ice cream while cheering on the US soccer team via radio, bump and all! 

We're planning a bigger birthday bash later in July so we could spread out the summer festivities. Lord knows we don't need another week where we're traveling and trying to celebrate a birthday with Independence Day, although it looks like we'll be spending the 4th inside while we get hit by Tropical Storm Arthur. Fun! 
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