February 22, 2017

Lily and her Pinkalicious Fifth Birthday

Every year I like to let the kids pick what they want to do for their birthday party. For Cooper turning 8 this month, we went to Great Wolf Lodge up in Cincinnati and had a great time! For Lily, we held a little party at home with a theme of her choice. Pink. So, that is what she got. A whole lot of pink.

For the party activity, we painted cupcakes following an easy youtube tutorial on canvas. They turned out great, but I didn't get a picture of us painting or the finished result unfortunately. I purchased cute aprons for each kid from amazon to make sure they didn't get any paint on them and used the painting and aprons as party gifts. At one point we had to let the backgrounds dry, so we played a quick game of Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake.

For the food, I made one table with pink foods (cupcakes and candy and fruit wands) and the other table with some green foods (pickles, broccoli, salad, etc) to cure pinkatitis. I found some sandwich slider recipes on Pinterest that were so good and made a strawberry spinach salad with homemade poppy-seed dressing.

I tried to make the cupcakes look just like the ones in the Pinkalicious book, and then set the table with a place for each kid to decorate their very own cupcake with sprinkles and cherries.

Plus a chocolate cake for all the chocolate lovers in our family. She was so excited all morning running around in her new pink frilly dress waiting for everyone to arrive.

The best part of it all was that Lily had such a great, happy day. Happiest of Birthdays my not so little Lillian.

January 19, 2017

Our New Home - Living Room

Hello everyone. Hope you are having a nice start to the new year.

Back in the middle of September, we bought a new home! We have been slowly settling in, and have quite a long way to go. The second day after moving in, the laundry machine wasn't hooked up properly and we were out taking a stroll around our new neighborhood. When we returned, our kitchen was a pool and water was pouring out of the lights in the ceiling. The whole upstairs and downstairs were flooded. It was awful! Due to the damage from the water, we get to replace all our wood floors! We haven't started that endeavor yet, but will this spring.

We've been renting the last five years over in Germany, so it was hard to make the house how we wanted. With our new home, it has been so much fun figuring out our style and design preferences. I have pinned hundreds of images on pinterest and scoured over furniture websites. We're finally getting close to finished with our living room, so I thought I would share. Just need a floor lamp, another side table, a garden stool, and some accent pillows...

This is what the room looked like when we moved in. The previous owners had a HUGE TV above the fireplace that left a gaping hole with wires etc. We hung a large mirror to hide the mess and fortunately it fit perfectly. 

The house was painted a goldish tan, but I really wanted to brighten up the walls and modernize the house. I searched for the perfect paint color for weeks. We grabbed about 10 different samples from Sherwin Williams and ended up going with Agreeable Gray. I love the color and am so glad we picked it for the majority of the house. 

 In October, I started searching for sofas. We went to stores to test a few, and then started the online search. We both liked the Presidio sofa from William Sonoma, but not the price tag. It was going to be well over our limit. We knew we wanted a well made, single seat cushion, down filled couch, and finally found the perfect one! The Interior Define Caitlin Sofa.  I read so many good reviews about their sofas, and the fact that they have a 1 year return policy made me feel more comfortable with purchasing a sofa we had never seen or sat on in person. So, we took the plunge. The sofa finally came after waiting almost 14 weeks, and we love it. We also got the matching chair, which is bigger than I expected and also very comfortable. We did the Pebble weave in Dove for the fabric and picked walnut legs. The leather chair is from Pottery Barn when they had a 50% off sale for Black Friday. The coffee table and end table are from West Elm.

As for the rug, I first had it lengthwise. It drove me crazy that the end table wouldn't sit perfectly on the rug or off the rug (see the pictures below).  It was straddled between both, so we turned the rug horizontal and everything came together nicely. The rug is from rugsusa.com after I read this Emily Henderson blog post about 52 timeless rugs. This rug was the least expensive, and I liked the geometric pattern and gray in it. It doesn't shed and with a nice pad under it, feels wonderful.

Eventually, I want to paint the white behind the built in shelves a pretty accent color. I just can't decide exactly which color yet, and I want the accent color to match an island we plan on building in the kitchen. I'm thinking definitely a blue, but not sure which blue.

 I'm loving this room. The windows let in so much light in the afternoon, it makes the room the perfect place to hang out and read a book or play a game with the kids. Add a warm fire and good smells from the kitchen equals bliss.

Now, back to my online search for the perfect accent pillows and touches for the room.

January 12, 2017


Just before the holidays, our sweet baby girl Maya became very sick. We had her at the Vet being taken care of for a week, but on Christmas Eve, she was just so weak and frail from not eating that we had to put her down. It was just awful as I am sure so many of you can relate. She laid her sweet head on my lap and let me know that she was done. She was so tired and weak. I tried so hard to stay calm and just talked to her about how much we loved her and how she was simply the sweetest dog there ever was. And honestly, she was.

The stress and worry while she was at the vet induced shingles in me over the holidays. It was a blessing in disguise though because I was able to spend much more time at home over the holidays than I would have. Life just feels so different right now still without her around. I can't get used to coming home without her there. Feeding her, letting her out, having her go between my legs over and over when I came home from work, our reason to hurry home to take care of her. I miss her so much right now.

Maya, aka goosebottom, Maya Po the noosh, and babaganoush, we love you so much and will always remember you.

November 28, 2016

Lily's Pink Ombre Dresser

A few weeks ago, my parents brought us an antique dresser, dining room table, and wonderful doll house from a very good friend of the family. I was thrilled to say the least. I've been dreaming about fixing Lily's room up since we moved into our new house in September, and finally got started! I still have grand plans that I'll share later, but for now, here is the antique dresser in her room.

The dresser was originally dark walnut, with black metal pulls. I purchased white pulls on amazon, and use Valspar Pink Chalky Paint from Lowes for the drawers, and Annie Sloan White Chalk Paint for the rest. I was going for am Ombre look, but didn't want it to look to harsh, so I just mixed a little extra white into my pink paint each time I started on the next higher drawer.

 The keyholes had little metal circles that go over them that I think I will paint white and add back onto the dresser this weekend. Looks strange to see the holes now that I am posting these pictures.

The cute maple desk is missing a pull and I need to order new ones for it.  I'm considering painting it. What do you all think? Leave the desk natural or paint it to match the dresser?

In case you are wondering where I purchased some of the decor, the unicorn head, turquoise bird lamp, and heart shaped bulletin board are from Target. The paint color on the walls is Sherwin Williams Silver Peony.

I've used Chalk Paint a few times now over the years, and I have to say the Valspar Chalky Paint line has so many great colors to choose from, and cost less than Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and went on a little easier. I had to paint two coats, but did not prime. I also had to use the wax sealer after letting the paint dry, and it seems like the paint will hold up well. Time will tell...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

October 11, 2016

Noticing the Differences

Since moving, Cooper and Lily have noticed that funniest differences between Germany and the US that I wouldn't have even thought about. I love the way their minds work. Enjoy!

  • Shortly before flying to the states, we stayed at a cabin in the woods near an awesome ropes course. We did the ropes course with Cooper, which involved several super long zip lines that Cooper loved. As we were driving from our hotel to his grandparent's house he exclaimed super excitedly "Look mom!! All the houses in America have zip-lines running to them! You can ride a zip line to your house here!" (In Germany, the power lines are all buried underground). 
  • As we pass random people on the street or in stores, we get big smiles and "Hello, how are you". Cooper and Lily both asked me at different times "do you know him/her?"
  • Ice. Lily can't get enough of it. "Why do people like their drinks so cold here". I think she mostly is loving the ice maker on the fridge. (Ice was hard to come by in Europe). 
  • "Why is it so cold in every building in America? This must be the coldest place on earth," they said every time we walked into our hotel hallway.  
  • "Mom! I just saw the coolest bird! It was RED! Really, it was!" Cooper shouted as a cardinal flew by our window. Honestly, I don't remember any red birds in Germany so I can understand the surprise for them. 
  • "What is that smell! It is awful!", both were amazed at how awful skunks smell.  
  • "Mom! They have squirrels! Look, look, a squirrel!" 
  • After warning my kids about poison ivy, all ivy plants are poisonous. 
  • When getting ready to take a trip for fall break, I told the kids we're going on a little vacation. Cooper asked "to Majorca?" No, honey, close but not quite. To Tennessee.