Monday, December 26, 2011

memories of christmas past and present

what you can't see in this picture very well is the two carrots in the grass and the bag of magic reindeer food in brady's hands.  the anticipation and constant reminders for the last week about making sure to feed the reindeer have been rather cute.  so as soon as we arrived home tonight daddy trampled the snow and the boys headed out to the front lawn to make sure the reindeer knew just where to land and had plenty of food to keep them occupied while santa delivered the presents.
for brian and i every christmas is a new experience as we map our way through traditions old and what to continue on with as well as what to create new for our family.
as a child i have many fond memories of christmas eve and christmas morning.  there was something about walking into my grandma betty's house on christmas morning.  she would be sitting in her chair sipping her tea.  a christmas record would be playing out in the family room and the crackle and glow from the fire and christmas tree would add to the ambiance of the morning.  i still remember the smell of her house around every holiday, one of comfort, warmth and homemade rolls.
the year i started to not believe in mr. c, he landed on the roof of our home, sleigh bells came from right outside my window.  i even heard a "ho, ho, ho, merry christmas."  a sign for me it was definitely time to get to bed so mr c. could come to do his job.  the next morning their were reindeer hoof prints in my front yard along with a bag of half eaten hay.  i am pretty sure that renewed my belief for another couple of years, maybe even a lifetime.
the point is,  the magic of the season doesn't have to be complicated or over thought.  sometimes you can even follow the lead of your children.  as this year comes to an end i sit here feeling completely blessed by all that i have.  i look forward to the new year and all that it holds for myself and my growing family.  it's a great life.
merry christmas to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

diy wrapping paper wreath

my front room was looking a little bare. i decided it needed a little something since we would be eating christmas day dinner in there. i read about this diy paper wreath here what a great idea! it took me sometime to find some paper i liked. i ended up using what you see below. i chose it because it looked christmas enough but also looked like something i could leave up for a while after the holidays. after going to all the work this late i didn't want to take it down right away.

i originally wanted to wreath to be twice this size, however after cutting out several leaf shapes i decided i didn't have it in me to double the size and after doing this if i don't cut out another leaf shape for a while i will be happy. the wreath is made completely out of paper. the wreath itself is simply poster board cut into a wreath shape. you then cut out the leaves and start arranging a stapling them on. i made mine a little fuller than the one on the red thread blog. i also would suggest using a higher quality wrapping paper. i paid $5 for my roll as opposed to a $1 or $2.50. the higher quality paper is much easier to work with. overall the entire wreath cost me $5.69 and i still have wrapping paper left over to wrap gifts with.

the chalkboard looked a little bare after hanging my wreath so i decided to add a little something below and overall i am happy with my simple christmas flare in the front room. it is a whole lot better than what was there before which was nothing!

merry christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I have been meaning to get this post out since Thanksgiving.  I have been a little tired and a little overwhelmed with all my nesting duties lately.  However, I am so thankful to be pregnant and welcoming a new life into this great big world.  I am thankful for these two adorable boys pictured above and all the joy, frustration, laughter and tears they bring to my life.  I am thankful for my husband who is also my best friend.  I am thankful to have such a loving and supporting family who will drop anything to come help me in a moment of need no matter how last minute the notice.  I am thankful for all my sweet, sweet friends.
It is so easy to forget all that we have to be thankful for in life.  We get caught up in all the craziness that surrounds us daily.  But here in this peaceful moment on my couch at 4 am (thank you sweet baby for making it less than comfortable to get some z's.)  I have a moment to reflect on all my blessings.  A moment to be thankful for God and all that he has provided me in my life.

Tanks to my sweet friend Meghan for taking some beautiful photos of my family.  One of those is the one pictured above. It is undoubtedly one of my favorites on the disc. xoxo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

today we were in need of an adventure.  so with a little imagination we built our own little pirate ship.  thank goodness we had a hockey stick, packing tape and left over material from a sewing project.  we built our sail, tied on our pirate bandannas got our swords and set sail on the sea.  we are in search of our treasure.  now we just need to agree on where to sail first.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

nursery chair slip cover

well i have eight weeks left until this baby gets here.  i am finally done sewing for the nursery.  just put the sewing machine away this morning and finally have my formal dining table back just in time for thanksgiving!  wohoo!

i was given this rocking chair by a sweet dear friend of mine.  thank you sweet christy!

the color was not a bad color but did not go with the vintage cowboy theme that i am doing. so, my first attempt at sewing a slip cover began.

first of all if you plan on washing this baby at all i highly suggest you run it through the wash before you start sewing.  i washed mine on hot and dryed it on hot, that way it won't shrink after you get it all done. you start out by measuring your chair and cutting your fabric section by section.  i added an inch to each measurement for hems. i bought cheap $4 a yard fabric so if my first attempt did not turn out i wouldn't be sick to my stomach. 

i sewed the hems as i went so i wouldn't be dealing with 5000 pins or trying to stuff too much material through my machine.  every once in a while i turned it right side up to make sure it was fitting the chair appropriately.  i would suggest this so you don't have to go back and rip out several seams if there is a mistake somewhere.

the back of this slip cover was a little trickier than i anticipated and since i had such a snug and tailored fit on the front of my chair i knew i would need to leave the back loose to take on and off so i could wash it  (you know for those times that spit up gets everywhere.)  so i added ties to the back sides and just tied it up.

the finished result is this beautiful chair that now goes with the reds, blues and whites of my vintage cowboy nursery.  i thought the white chair needed a little pop, so i sewed up a quick pillow, i have to say i won't mind having the back support behind me either.

  i added a little applique star to the fabric.  i found a website with all kinds of free applique patterns.  i printed out the star, cut it our of my left over white fabric and stitched it on with the sewing machine really quick with a zig zag stitch.  just the right touch and happily i can say my whole nursery should grow with my little man for at least a couple of years until trains and cars are cooler than cowboys.  more to come on the nursery later we are still piecing it together.  i can't wait to share some of the other projects with you that have helped pull this whole vintage cowboy nursery together!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

painting your kitchen cabinets

we started and finished this project so long ago.  let me say that painting your kitchen cabinets is not for the faint at heart.  you can certainly  hire someone to do this for you, but to save money my husband and i decided to do this ourselves.  my husband did most of the work and i love him dearly for the end result.  going black was a huge decision and a little risky but the end result is absolutely awesome and i couldn't be happier.  here is a break down of how we did it.

take all the cabinet doors off

sand down the doors and the shells.  this is a very important step.  you do not want to leave any finish on because the paint will not stick well.  in a kitchen you need a good base because of all the water and touching that goes on with cabinets.

then we applied two coats of primer if you are going dark tint the primer so you don't have to apply several coats of paint to cover a light shade of primer.  we also chose to spray on the paint to avoid the brush strokes look.  you can either get a sprayer attachment for your compressor which is what we did or you can buy and individual sprayer.
then we painted two coats of black paint.

to do the shells we taped off the whole kitchen and sprayed those as well.  it made a huge mess with over spray but the over spray did wipe off with a little elbow grease and soap.  you can take your shells off we just didn't want to mess with hanging them again.

we also applied wanes coating to the exposed exterior of the cabinets around the island and also on the upper cabinets.  this gave it a custom look as well as solved the problem of the outside of the cabinets not being paintable as they were not real wood.

once all was painted my husband applied three coats of polyurethane to the shells with a paint brush using long strokes, this did not leave any brush stroke marks and has given the cabinets a good protective layer from chipping.

once the shells were dry he hung all the doors back on and then applied three coats of polyurethane to them as well.

after all was dry we added our hardware and did the tile black splash.

the end result is a completely updated kitchen at the fraction of the cost one would have paid to have all new cabinets put in!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

we got another pet or two....

logan made a pet rock at school today.  i am unable to even post a picture of it here because he is currently napping with his new little friend.  as we drove home this afternoon i hear logan say, "mommy brady is not being my friend."  i respond, "brady why aren't you logan's friend?"  i hear a quiet quivering voice in the back seat respond, "because logan did not bring me a pet rock."  sniff, sniff, sniff.........
i then suggest as any mother would, "brady can we find the perfect rock when we get home and make you a pet rock just like logan's?"  he responds, " that would be nice mommy."
once home we find the perfect rock, some sharpies in our drawer, a piece of felt for blankie and an old small gift bag for our pet carrier.
i wish all of life's problems were solved this easily.  for now i have two new pet's in my house and thank goodness they don't require water or food because we already have our fair share of those.  more importantly i have two little boys with smiles on their faces.  sometimes the simplest of things in life are just enough.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

hoist the sails!

grandma and grandpa treated us to a pirate dinner show in anaheim.  it was quite the event.  the boys to my surprise sat through the whole thing and watched with amazement. while they were serving dinner they came around and handed out paper pirate hats to a select few little pirates.  brady got one and logan did not.  i didn't even think twice about it at the time.

as the show progressed they asked those with the paper hats to come up on stage.  we were team purple and our team purple pirate that we had been rooting for the whole show came by and snagged brady to go on stage.  they sang a song and took a pirate oath.  i was so proud of brady for going up on the stage with out a parent and with a lot of strangers.  he is so brave as a little pirate should be. then they dismissed all the little pirates off stage except for one.

my sweet little brady was asked to stay.  he was asked by the captain of the ship you see.  they asked him if he would go back to his parents and take all of their jewelry and return to the ship and give it to the captain.  in his sweet little voice i heard, "yes."

say hello to pirate brady!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

take a moment

yesterday i took a moment and escaped from the heaviness that seems to be looming over our house.  i couldn't help but watch what was unfolding on our leaf and sun soaked front yard.  these boys have the most contagious laugh i know.  they diligently raked pile after pile of leaves together for the sole purpose of jumping and wrestling around in them.  life is short and when feeling overwhelmed or stressed about it, take the time to realize all that you have around you.  for in this moment i took yesterday i realized that family and these boys are the most important thing.  everything else will fall into place with just a little faith.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the happiest place on earth

a day spent at disneyland.

at the end of the day in the words of logey j, "this is the best day ever."

amen little man!

Monday, October 3, 2011

the girl with the mask

i have been reading a new book Grace For The Good Girl at a perfect time.  i can honestly tell you my life has not been that of a "good girl", but i follow emily's blog, chatting at the sky.  her messages are inspiring and her words captivating, so i picked up her book.  changes are happening in our household.  i am having a hard time wrapping my mind around them and wondering what our outcome will be.  i am the type of person that immediately wants to adjust everything "just in case" the worse happens.

growing up i did not have the childhood of most children.  a single mother who worked two jobs to make ends meet and a father who was no where to be found, nor did he want anything to do with me.  while reading the book i read a story of a friend of emily's.  one who had some rough times in her life early on.  as a result she wore a mask.  this mask enabled her to hide her fears and appear to be so put together on the outside.  she worked extra hard to prove to those around her she could achieve at a high level and conquer anything she put her mind to.  she trusted no one but herself to determine her life success.  i could not have read all of this at a better time.  i have been that girl most of my life.  mask up and working hard to prove to everyone around me that i could do it despite my early challenges in life and i did.

my past comes back to haunt me at challenging times in my life.  i lack the ability to trust anyone but myself, when i know i can trust others around me.  most of all i can trust my husband but it is so hard for me to sit back and let things unfold.  i want to run ahead and put a y in the road and then check both ways to see which will be the best to go down. do we stay on the current path or veer off to see what the other road holds?  i fear change, i fear the unknown, i fear risk.  change is not always bad, it can lead to great new opportunities. 

time for this girl to take the mask down, face her fears, open her heart and mind and believe that God has a plan for my family.  we just need to listen.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the beginning of the vision of the nursery...

with my vision of little singing birdies dashed once we knew it was a boy, i searched and thought a lot about the theme of the nursery for baby boy smith #3 and alas it starts to take shape....

i see a little vintage buckaroo room coming together piece by piece.  best of all we have daddy's old cowboy boots complete with a hole in the toe from when he was a little buckaroo to add to the charm.

more to come as the sewing frenzy begins....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

and then there were three

boys that is.  that's right, me the mom of three boys.  i am feeling slightly out numbered here in our house.  i see lots of air fresheners and stinky sports laundry in my future followed by huge bills at costco and yes costco i am thankful for you.  after sometime i have wrapped my mind around being the mom of three boys and i finally think i can do it and survive.  we are super excited to welcome this little man into our lives.  we are truly blessed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a new room to play in

we finally have a dedicated space for the boys.  after a couple of years of fisher price decorating my family room it is back to normal, with the exception of the straggler toys that get brought down from the loft.
we went and bought a bunch of cubby shelves and storage cubes at target and went to town organizing and carrying everything up.  the end result is an awesome organized space for the boys!  the cost was totally worth it.  to be organized you have to have the right tools and it is not the most inexpensive solution but after two years of crazy bins and unorganized "toyness" it was worth every penny to me!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


we had a great time in yellowstone catching up with family from washington.  we got to meet our cousin jaron for the first time.  cousin chris was nice enough to crawl into this mock wolf den with us at the bear and wolf rescue in west yellowstone.

we had a great time climbing all over fallen trees and exploring in nature.  this is when we had a lot of energy at the top of the great falls.

then our little legs climbed down 300+ stairs on uncle toms trail so we could see the beauty of the falls. we were especially excited about the rainbow we saw coming down. we went about 3/4 of the way down and then turned around to start our long journey up.  brady made it the whole way up and down on his own and cousin chris only carried logan about 100 steps up.  so proud of both of you for doing so much up and down on your own. (by the way the boys napped awesome this day!)

we waited patiently for old faithful and were less than excited when it erupted.  brady said, "it looks like a cannon mommy."  then we were off to explore the pools and other geysers.

we referred to many as baby pools and mama pools and were told that it did not smell so good around here but overall enjoyed our adventure.
our favorite part of this day was ice cream.  by the way meg.  i am a BIG fan of huckleberry ice cream.   YUM!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

grandma and grandpas

there is nothing like hanging with grandma and grandpa for a week.  lots of sweets, a really cool pool that the boys eventually liked towards the end of the week and the ability to see santa in july!
mommy and daddy love all of the good food and watching the boys play with the grandparents they miss soooo much.  we wish you guys lived closer!  thanks for a fun filled vacation and all the love you gave the boys.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

i can't believe it finally fits

this outfit was a gift from brady's great uncle stan.  i remember opening it shortly after he was born and thinking to myself, this will never fit my precious little boy.  today i cleaned out the boy's closet and reminisced about every outfit that no longer fits.  this outfit hung in the back of the closet.  i pulled it out and checked the size.  sure enough brady was ready to wear it and it fits beautifully.  where has the time gone?  i certainly was not prepared for the everyday frustration of raising two boys eighteen months apart.  my lack of preparation has also become evident in the feeling of sadness in how quickly time seems to be going by.  yet another reminder to just roll with the punches, find more patience, laugh with them and love every minute we have for time is flying by quickly.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

diy vintage summer fabric flower wreath

my front door has been looking a little bare.  so i finally had some energy to get crafty and put a little something in the works.  i had all of this stuff just laying around.

i started with a wreath i got at the dollar store and some plain white fabric.  i tore the fabric in strips and simply wrapped it around the wreath.  When i was done i pinned it in the back.

i then cut circles out of some summery vintage fabric laying around the house.  they don't have to be perfect, you will bunch the fabric while you sew on buttons.

i then picked out some vintage buttons out of a sack of buttons my grandmother gave me.  any button will do!

as i sewed the buttons on i bunched the fabric underneath to create a flowery look.

after done i sewed them onto the wreath.  this is the end result!

i hung it on my front door, however i did not post the picture.  the wreath i used was too small for the door.  sigh........

small oversight on my part but still a cute looking wreath!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Brady!

happy birthday brady boy!  another fun filled year of "bradyisms".  my personal favorite was the "indoor side pool" instead of indoor pool.  your fun loving carefree attitude is exactly that of your daddy's.  you have been fine tuning your big brother skills this year and to my surprise you have become quite the protector of him, don't get me wrong you still have your moments of picking on him too.  you love to sleep in like your mommy and trains and cars are still your most favorite toys. you developed a few crushes this year.  need i say lilly lake? you overcome each challenge with a smile on your face.  you are still one of the best car singers i know, next to mommy of course.  your independence is definitely becoming known and while it makes me sad because you are no longer my baby, i am so proud of the person you are becoming.  your daddy and i are so blessed to have you in our lives and look forward to each new day ahead with you and all that they hold.  we love you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

side table re-finishing

i know this isn't the round tables below.  sigh.... i forgot to take a before picture so i took a picture of their ugly step sister still in her original form.  if you can picture her circular instead of a rectangle then you will know exactly what my two round tables looked like before they were made over.

i started with sanding. (actually my kind hubby did it for me.) thanks b.  got all of that lacquer finish off of there for a nice clean surface.

i then mixed 1/2 cup paint and a little less than a 1/2 cup water. 

i slowly brushed on the paint.  waited for it to dry for about 20-30 seconds and then took a lint free cloth (you can buy them at the hardware store.)  make sure to get the ones that say lint free as you don't want lint rubbing off on your paint.

you take the cloth after the paint has dried for 20-30 seconds and rub down the paint.  the goal is to rub it into the grain.  it gives a nice patina look to the furniture.

i did this on each piece twice allowing 30 minutes between first and 2nd coat to dry.

after two days of curing i sanded down the edges on the top and some areas on the legs to make it look a little more worn.  i used 220 sand paper.

i then sprayed three coats of poly urethane on to keep them in good shape for their next owner.

i spray painted the bronze hardware with rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

they are up for sale now on craigs list.  hoping to fetch a good price so i can redecorate the boys playroom and add shelving to hold all of their loot. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

end of the year teacher thank you

here is a little something i put together so my boys could let their preschool teachers know how much they appreciated them at the end of the school year.  i don't know how those ladies do it i tell ya.

i started out with some mini clay pots.  remember that chalkboard project i did?  well i had a lot of chalkboard paint left over.  so i used it on these pots.  that way they can re-use them and write herb names on them or whatever.  two coats of paint brushed on is what it took to get these babies looking good.

when we were done we planted lavender in them, something that will grow and help them relax this summer.  lord knows they need it after this school year.  i added some torn colorful fabric around it as well as a little tag that thanked them for being them signed by the boys.

a simple little project that took a little time but will hopefully make the teachers smile.

Friday, May 13, 2011

sooooooo TWO

this is the face i see most of the time these days.  don't get what we want and erupt into a river of tears.

what's that you say? all this crying is still not working? well then... 

i'll try something a little more dramatic like this.  still crying and yelling NO. (our new favorite word, maybe our only word these days.)

tell me friends when does this end and why can't my kids be on the same page at the same time.  brady is all smiles and cooperation these days it seems they have flip flopped.


i know we will make it through this and i won't remember how terrible it was a year from now lets make that two years. i have forgotten, well almost forgotten what brady was doing at this age.

motherhood.  not for the weak of heart.  love you logey we will make it through this...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the new bedtime

this is the new bedtime in our house.  books on the ipad.  the boys love them almost as much as their daddy does.  what on earth are these guys going to read from to their kids? time will only tell.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

the easter bunny hopped in

the easter bunny hopped in and left us buckets full of goodies.  candy and games and lip balm of course.

then we started looking around and realized that there were eggs all over our house.  we had fun hunting and snacking as we went along.  it should be a fun day of kids hopped up sugar.  happy easter!