Sunday, August 31, 2008

A little bit of the past and the present

I found these baby pictures of my girl and I just had to share them. They were on the internal memory of my camera and were a nice surprise for me to see! I can't wait to get them in prints so I can do one final scrapbook page of when she was a baby. I think she had just turned one around the time of this picture. Isn't she adorable?
The No-Thumb-Sucking is going well this week...she is up to six stickers! We have gotten Arielle out of the habit of bringing blankie everywhere we go. We let her have it for naps {which have been too little and few lately} and bedtime so who knows if she has actually put an end to her habit once and for all but I know she is trying very hard. Zak and I think it's great that we actually get to see her entire face and her expressions now when she is in the car and on the couch instead of a blankie attached to her face. I'm actually quite amazed at how easy it has been to "detach" her from Blankie but I really hope that taking it away from her doesn't take away a part of her.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Chalkboard Project

After seeing this cute project made out of an old framed picture, spray paint and chalkboard paint, I decided I had to make my own. I had an old picture down in the basement that was just perfect to repurpose into a chalkboard for Arielle's room. I even found the wooden beach decorations on clearance at Hobby Lobby for just forty cents and I wasn't even looking! Check it out:


I still have a large can of chalkboard spraypaint leftover...does anybody have any more easy ideas?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bye Bye Blankie?

Blankie has been in our lives since Arielle was born but we never really knew how important it would be until Arielle was about four months old, if my memory serves me correctly. The way that Blankie came to be such a huge necessity in our lives is simple. Arielle hated being in the car from the time she was born. She almost always cried and even if she did fall asleep she would usually wake up every time we stopped {I swear this kid has never wanted to miss a thing that was going on around her}. This was so frustrating for me and I would usually end up being more upset than she was by the end of the car ride. As the weather starting to turn colder, one day I decided to bring a blanket with us to keep Arielle warm in the car. To my surprise and enjoyment, Arielle did not cry once on that entire ride. From then on I decided that Blankie was going with us every time we left the house. I even started putting it in her crib with her when she went to sleep. Little did I know how attached she would become to it and how it would change her life for good.
Not only did my new-found lifesaver keep Arielle quiet in the car but it also gave her the determination to suck on her thumb whenever she was holding it. If it weren't for Blankie I don't think Arielle would have ever been a thumb sucker. I have seen her just think about blankie and automatically her thumb goes in her mouth. There was one day a few weeks before Arielle turned two, that we lost Blankie #1 at the mall. I don't know who was more panicked over or her. After an hour of going back through stores and the lost and found we left empty handed. Thank God I had my mom make a backup Blankie just in case anything every happened because we surely needed it! Arielle knew that it was a different Blankie but since she had no other choice except to live without a Blankie so it was good enough for her. In retrospect, having a backup Blankie was probably the worst thing for all of us because now that Arielle is almost four the Blankie is becoming more of a nuisance than a lifesaver.
All of this is leading up to the fact that Arielle had her first dentist appointment today and we found out that her teeth have already become bowed out from all the thumb-sucking. I asked if this would only affect her baby teeth and when the answer was no, I became determined more than ever to wean her off the Blankie. I'm pretty sure that if we can get Blankie out of the picture that Arielle will stop sucking her thumb and we'll have a better chance of her not needing braces. So we had a long talk with Arielle about not sucking her thumb anymore and she agreed to try to stop doing it. We decided to make a "No-thumb-sucking Chart" {similar to a potty chart which was very successful for her with potty training}. For the past almost 24 hours she has been more than cooperative in defeating the thumb sucking urge. She even tried to take a nap yesterday without Blankie {it was entirely her idea} and went a whole car ride to school this morning without it! I think with a lot of encouragement, several stickers and probably a few tears that she is going to be successful. Wish us luck!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Slippin', Sliding and Bike Riding

The weather was perfect this past weekend in sunny Colorado! Arielle got to experience her first time ever on the Slip and Slide! She couldn't quite bring herself to jumping on her belly so with a little push from Daddy she was able to slide all the way down. Arielle even went for a swim in the pool to practice her BOBS and show us her newly discovered BELLY BOBS. Zak and I gave the dogs a hose bath and I furminated them too. For those of you that don't know what the FURminator is you should check it out because it's truly the best deshedding brush in the world! Both of our dogs are half german shepard and malamute/husky so you can only imagine how much hair covers our yard when we are done furminating them. After all that we still had enough energy to take our first bike ride of the year {it only took us until August to do it}. Arielle was so happy to get back into Daddy's bike trailer and ride through the tunnels! She just laughed the whole way through them and it made me so happy to hear her enjoying our bike ride together! I didn't take a picture of our bike ride but this one is from last year. Her head touches the top of the trailer now so I'm thinking this might be the last year that she can ride in it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Wall Squares Project

After seeing the wall square project for the first time here I became inspired to make my own. So off I went to Michael's for styrofoam {who knew how much this stuff actually's not expensive but certainly not worth what you get} and ribbon. My first attempt to make the wall squares with scrapbook paper on the front and ribbon on the sides failed. Neither one of them was sticking very well to the styrofoam so I had to think of something else. Fabric was the next best thing so I set off to JoAnn. There I found two coordinating brown fabrics with splashes of rust color which was a perfect match to my newly decorated bedroom. I actually ended up covering one of the squares in some leftover linen fabric but when I didn't like how it looked I glued paper on top and put the ribbon around the sides. It all stuck much better to the fabric than the styrofoam. I am amazed at how little effort it took to transform these materials into beautiful pieces of art! They are a perfect way to fill some wall space for not a lot of time and money.

My bedroom makeover is complete!

Finally, I can stop obsessing about decorating and painting our bedroom because I'm finished with the makeover! After two years of ignoring our bedroom we now have a very sophisticated and relaxing room to enjoy. After wondering whether or not the new blue walls were too bright I realized that adding dark wall decor really toned it down and made it look beautiful. I found the perfect accessories lying around the house and bought a few new things to complete the look. I think the most exciting part about finishing the bedroom makeover isn't spending time in it but taking pictures to share on the blog (even if the photos turned out horrible because I used our old camera). I am sure that I will be redoing the little things here and there (still have to find the perfect picture frames for the nightstands) but at least I can say the hard part is over!
You can't tell from the picture but the new, round mirrors are distressed black and have detail around them. They were the exactly what I was looking for when I decided to hang mirrors above the nightstands. We got the television mounted to the wall and I'm so glad we did it. There is more space left on the dresser to add more accessories if I want. I decided to lean our tile wedding photo instead of hanging it so there wasn't too much clutter on the walls.
Painting the bathroom doorway dark brown made a huge difference in the room. It really defined the two spaces and broke up the tan wall. The color is called "Traditional" by Behr. I can't believe I never thought of this before but hanging matching sconces on either side of the doorway really looks great! I struggled with what to put on each wall and then it hit me that whatever goes on them should be identical.
I even found the nicest piece of metal wall art for the bathroom to hang above the towel bar.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arielle's Loft (a design dilemma)

I am posting this blog in the hopes that some of my new, thrifty design blogging friends will have some ideas to share. We have a loft in our 4 bedroom house. It sits in between my daughter's bedroom and a second guest bedroom. It is the first thing you see as you walk up the stairs and look to your left. Approximate size is ten by ten feet. There is one window on the outside wall. Currently, we have a console television stand on one wall and a loveseat across from it on the other wall. I am considering changing this room up a bit by possibly removing the television since we already have three other tv's in our house (a bit much I know). If I removed the television stand and it's compenents, what would you recommend I put in place of it? I would like to keep the loveseat since it's practically brand new and matches a couch that we put in our "game room" downstairs. My three year old already has a playroom all to herself (300 square foot finished room in the basement) so a toy room is out of the question! Anyone have any ideas? Please include inspirational pictures if you have any. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

At Last...

This is a phrase that Arielle seems to use over and over never fails to make me smile when I hear her say it! Even when she uses it in the completely wrong way, gramatically speaking, it somehow makes sense to me and I can understand why she said it.

"At last" the summer is coming to an end...where have all the warm days gone? Arielle is going to be starting in a new pre-school class at the beginning of September. I don't feel like either one of us is ready for another change but at the same time I can't wait for something different to begin. I am starting to feel restless {hence the reason for redecorating the master bedroom} and perhaps Arielle is too because she keeps doing things that she knows are wrong {like eating lip gloss and putting stickers on furniture}. I can't wait for her to start putting her strong mind to good use at school...learning to read and write seems so far away but really it isn't. I keep working with her on the number and alphabet flashcards in the hopes that this notion will come sooner than later. For now, she continues to put her mind to good use in other ways that are far more appealing like pretending to be princesses and throwing tea parties for her stuffed animal friends.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Master Bedroom *Update*

Thanks to some helpful tips from fellow bloggers and a day off from work, I have begun to redecorate our master bedroom. Here are some pics of the changes that we have made so far:
First, we painted an accent wall in the bedroom. The color is called "Ocean Kiss" by Behr. I took the duvet cover with me to Home Depot to color match and the one we chose seemed to be a perfect match in the store. However, when we painted the walls it became clear that the blue was more bright than dull. I opted to stick with it because I've always prefered the brighter hues anyway and it added a lot of cheer to the room.

Next we took some much needed advice and hung the curtains on clips and moved the rod up five inches. What a difference these small changes made to the look of the room and the function of the curtains! I love it!
I found the perfect piece to hang above the bed! It is a bit smaller than what I wanted to hang but I couldn't resist the way the copper and rustic mirror went together on this barn star. It looks great! I am currently searching for matching candle sconces to put on either side of the star above each nightstand.
I purchased a few tropical accessories to put on the built in wall shelf but still don't know if they look right. I'll leave them there for now until we mount the television to the wall, which we have already purchased the mount so that will be a project for next weekend. I am debating whether or not we should paint the bathroom doorway another color since it sticks out from the walls. I have brown paint left over from the fireplace mantel (see pic below) that I am thinking about using. I think it would be a nice transition from bedroom to bathroom. Does anyone else agree?
Lastly, we decided to paint the master bathroom the same blue that we chose for the accent wall in the bedroom. I really like how it brightened up the space and tied the two rooms together.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The dragonfly in our garden...

The other day while Arielle and I were playing in the backyard and looking at flowers in the garden, we spotted a huge dragonfly flying around. It landed on one of the Glads and just sat didn't even fly away when Arielle touched it! I think it was in awe of us as much as we were in awe of it. I even had time to run inside to grab the camera and come back out to find it still perched on top of the same flower. Could be that this little guy was injured and that is why it didn't fly away but I hope not. Still, it was fun to play with him for a while.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Miss Bossy

Lately Arielle has been acting like little Miss Bossy around the house. She has started really testing me when I say no to something by repeating that she will do it over and over again in a song-like manner. But I know underneath all of that bossiness lies an angel full of goodness because I see it come out of her from time to time. For now I will just take the highs with the lows and hope that the fours are a different story to write about.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Master Bedroom Makeover (suggestions please!)

Please allow me to digress from the world of pigtails and baby dolls for a moment to discuss a more grown up subject...decorating! Recently I decided to makeover our master bedroom. The problem with this makeover is that our room is quite small so there was no way to rearrange the furniture and since my stepdad made our bedroom set replacing it was out of the question. The solution was to add curtains to our gigantic window, replace our old small dresser with a big one and buy new linens. Again, I do not have any before pictures but that's okay.

This makeover is not yet complete because I am stumped as to what to put on the walls (I am not happy with what is on them now) and how to decorate the wide dresser and space around it. I also need ideas on how to decorate the built-in wall shelf, the wall above the bed and the wall across from the bed. Please leave a comment with your ideas on how to turn this boring bedroom into an oasis. Thank you!

Above the bed is a framed island print. The frame is metal copper color which I like but the mat is green which does not match the new duvet cover which is blue with tan & taupe ribbons. I really do like the print and every other room in my house has a beach or tropical theme so I think keeping it is a good idea. I would definitely have to replace the mat probably with tan or brown but I'm not sure. I could reframe it all together but I don't know if I would keep it above the bed or hang it somewhere else in the room.

This is the new, wide dresser that we just bought. I love how it is rubbed black finish over espresso so it picks up just enough brown to tie in the new curtains. My problem is that I don't know if we should mount the television on the wall or not. Either way the cable box and DVD player need to remain on top of the dresser as much as I do not want them there. How do I decorate this monster? What type of accessories should I use? The bigger question is what do I put on the walls. The only idea I came up with so far is to buy 3-4 matching iron, decorative squares (I've seen some at Kohl's & Linens and Things) to hang in a row above. I also think a couple of various sized candle holders would look nice but arranging accessories around the electronics seems to be a challenge.

Here are the new curtains! They are dark brown silk with embroidered tan flowers. The slipper chair brings a tropical touch to the room because it is made of wicker. The color is dark brown and I just recovered the cushion in a warm, linen fabric. Should I put matching sconces on either side of the curtains? If not, what should I do? Nothing? I think I like the tile print where it is. What do you think?

This is the dreaded, built-in wall shelf (please ignore the very messy view of my bathroom). It has been empty since we moved in over two years ago because I am at an absolute loss as to what should go up there. Should I use great big accessories or smaller ones? What type of accessories? If not accessories what else is there? Plants would be too hard to water and I'm not sure if I like the look of artificial plants. Help!
Lastly, what should I put on the very small wall space next to the bedroom door? I was thinking about switching the door so that it opened outward so I have more wall space to decorate. Either way, should I keep the framed beach print or replace it with something more sophisticated and elegant? Whatever I put there should coordinate with the accessories that I choose for the built-in wall shelf above.
Thanks for any suggestions that you might have on how to finish decorating my bedroom makeover!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Take me out to the ballgame"

We got to take Arielle to another Colorado Rockies game today and nothing could have made her happier! Last year, when we took her for the first time she got a "Dinger the Dinosaur" stuffed animal. She could not wait to bring it back to meet the "real" Dinger and have it autographed by him. We all tried to have fun at the game despite the fact that the Rocks were still on their losing streak. Then there was the weather; it was very hot at first then felt like it would downpour at any minute. There were some highlights from the day like when Arielle got to eat a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone all by herself for the first time (not really though because Zak and I kept licking the sides so it didn't drip all over her). Then every time a song would come on at the stadium, Arielle would cover her ears up because she said it was too loud! She even got to play at the kiddie playground and go down a sliding pole for the first time. She told me not to help her on it and she did it herself! She definitely had lots of fun at the ballgame!
When we got home, after Arielle ate dinner and played with her friend Imani for a little while, she had a total meltdown. For the first time ever she cried and cried when we told her it was bedtime and kept saying, "I don't want to go to bed" over and over again. I'm sure the combination of missing a nap and eating loads of sugar all day had just caught up to her and she couldn't handle it all at once. Now that she is sleeping and not screaming and kicking, I can look back and say it was a fun day but at the time I was really regreting taking her out to the ballgame.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pink Island Surf Bedroom

I decided to re-paint Arielle's room a couple of months ago. The original color that we chose was light yellow and although I really liked the color it didn't go with the tan on the ceiling and we never did a third coat of paint which it really needed. Seeing how I couldn't remember the name of the paint I just decided to go with a different color. I chose light blue based on the fact that Arielle's bedding {Pink Island Surf collection from PBK} complimented it well and when I asked Arielle what color we should paint her room blue was her choice! Not only did we repaint the walls but we also shuffled her furniture around, added a matching bench at the foot of her bed and spruced up an old bookshelf with beadboard. After adding a few beachy accessories and some new wall art the end result is fabulous and exactly what I was hoping for her room to look like! I wish I had taken "before" pictures but no such luck so here are the "after" pictures only.

I just want to add that after looking at the pictures on Chris Kauffman's "Just Beachy" blog, I see a lot of resemblences in my decorating style compared to hers. She just re-designed her daughter's bedroom as well and I noticed some similarities especially in the furniture choices. CK is such a wonderful designer and a huge inspiration to me in my decorating endeavors.

This room was inspired by Pottery Barn Kids!

All Linked Up:


~Momma to Bug n' Bear~