Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Lot Can Happen in 100 Days

every so often, my sister giselle, challenges herself to make a change for 100 days. it differs from time to time, but her latest conquest was to workout for 100 days, focusing on weights to help prevent osteoporosis. she is such an inspiration! her hard work has also inspired one of our other sisters (i have a LOT of sisters. seriously.) to set her own 100 day goals. i'm not usually a bandwagon type of person, but i need a pick-me-up, so i'm joining in the fun!

my motivation in this is mostly about baby #2. we plan to continue our fertility treatments later in the year and i need to be physically and mentally prepared for all of the injections and, hopefully, the pregnancy itself. therefore, high gear is where i need to kick it into!

so...my goal is to run for 100 days (taking sundays off) starting june 4. yup, monday. the only glitch is that we're going on vacation for 12 days at the end of june, so i'll have to tack those back on as an extra 12 days. totally doable!

but wait! there's more! ;) you can join me! i've decided to host this challenge for anyone who would like to participate. your 100 day goal doesn't have to be fitness related, either. it can be whatever you want it to be, whether you choose to go to bed by 10pm every night, eat the recommended number of servings of vegetables every day, do a daily blog post, stop shaving your legs...okay, please don't choose that one, ladies. anyway, it can be whatever you want!

to participate, just go here and follow three simple steps.

as people join, i'll add the blogroll to that page and we'll do progress reports along the way, for those who want to, and as people complete their challenge, they'll get a big shout-out so everyone can celebrate with them! feel free to join at any time, because this is going to be an ongoing program (i have SO many goals i need to work on).


i hope you'll join us, because, as my sister said, "a lot can happen in 100 days."

linking up
 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pic Tip #4

if you like this post, follow me for LOTS more tips and tutorials on my new blog Mommy See, Mommy Do!

pic tip #4: how to look thinner in photographs (without photoshop!)

so, this tip is more for the model than the photographer, but photographers can still take these tips to help during their shoots as well.

i'm not going to lie, this is one of those tricks that is so easy you'll think "why didn't i think of that?!?".

for this one, i'm going to start with the before & after then explain how this optical illusion came to be.
completely unedited pics

thanks to my lovely niece for posing for me. she's a great sport!

the secret: it's all in the position of your jaw. when posing for a shot, most people don't pay too much attention to it and wind up looking something like this:

the solution: while relaxing your shoulders, position your head a bit forward (not jutting your chin out) and lowing your chin slightly.

don't overextend or you'll look like you're craning your neck for some inexplicable reason!
this is what it should look like:
ta-da! now you look 10lbs lighter! :)

a few more simple tricks:

  • lean toward the camera, not away. leaning away makes you look more broad.

  • shoot at a slightly elevated angle. shooting from above makes the face more prominent and the body smaller & less noticeable. shooting up is always a no-no, unless your model is anorexic-skinny!

  • twist at mid-waist to emphasize the smallest point of the body, accentuating the waist and minimizing the hips.

  • turn your face slightly away from the camera, keeping your eyes on the lens. this slims the face, lengthening the jawline, and showing the contour of the cheekbones.

it's amazing what a difference a shift in position can make, but it's important to be subtle with these techniques. you definitely don't want to look like you're trying too hard; it should look natural.

now, go out and take some awesome pics! i'd love to see your before & after's!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mack's Favorite Things: Play Mat

i'm realizing, as i get more comfortable in my role as "mother", that there is a lot of baby gear out there that is completely overrated or overlooked. so, to help spread the word about the good, the bad, and the unnecessary, mack has agreed to try out some products for us and let us know what he thinks of them.

the first item on his list is his play mat from the FAO schwarz safari collection.

source
it features 6 different animals (lion, tiger, monkey, zebra, giraffe, & elephant) and a mirror hidden under a flap in the shape of leaves. the design is great for capturing babies' attention, even though two of the animals don't make the appropriate sounds. the zebra plays a fast-paced song (not too annoying, either) and the giraffe sounds like running water (what sound does a giraffe make, anyway?). each of the other animals makes the sound associated with them.

things mack likes:
  • it's easy to get the animals to make a sound. he doesn't have to hit or kick them very hard to get a response.
  • the mat is pretty thick, so he doesn't hurt himself on our hardwood floors when he throws his head forward when lost in his enthusiasm.
  • the bright colors and varying patterns are very exciting!
  • the animal heads are at the perfect level for kissing.
things mack doesn't like:
  • because of the electronic aspect of this mat, washing is difficult. (okay, maybe that's more of something mama doesn't like).
  • the mat is pretty small and easy to roll off of, so mama has to stay nearby to keep him on it.
overall:
the FAO schwarz safari play mat gets one & a half thumbs up!

the opinions expressed here belong entirely to mack & carlia. neither was compensated in any way.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rafflepalooza!

it's here!

the raffle to benefit the hudson foundation is finally here!

it begins today (hosted by flats to flip flops) and there are so many great prizes, from jewelry to a scentsy starter pack and so much more. tickets are done by donation via paypal and are only $5 each or 5 for $20.

so head over there and get your tickets before time runs out!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Family-Friendly Life

i grew up in a pretty strict household - loving, but strict. we were allowed to watch TV, but only for an hour before we did homework or on saturdays until 10am, when our chores began. we got a good talking to before we went into a store, so that we knew what our mom's expectations were of us (ie. no asking for things). our language was monitored, restricting "bad words", some of which now sound silly (shut up, idiot, crap, sexy, and butt were all taboo!). our time on the phone had a 30 minute limit (obviously, pre-call-waiting...i'm dating myself) that was regularly enforced. movies above a G rating were pre-screened by our parents for inappropriate content. basically, we lived in a bubble. ;)

the world is a vastly different place than it was when i was a child, though. i want to raise mack similarly to how i was raised, but adapted to this day and age. i want him to know right from wrong, the value of hard work, the importance of surrounding himself with people that bring out the best in him, and confidence to aim high, but i don't want to overly-shelter him. how can i raise mack in a safe, clean environment while still keeping him aware of the world?

i recently read an article called 10 ways to keep the house rated G and it had some great tips.

#4: limit screen time particularly stood out to me. when we were growing up, we spent so much time playing outside. i have the best memories of following my older brother around, out building forts, catching/skinning snakes (i grew up in the country, if you can't tell), and climbing trees. it was a great way to grow up actively, fostering our imagination, and constantly learning. TV and video games just weren't important to us and i worry that mack will be drawn in by technological entertainment and have no desire to do anything else.

there are a lot of other great rules to live by in that article, but i think it all boils down to #10: lead by example. i have to be a consistent mother, showing him the way, and not telling him "do as i do, not as i say."

i know it's easy to say all of this without having done it yet, but it's good to have a game plan, right?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Freebie

keeping with the tone of yesterday's post, here's another free 8x10 printable. enjoy!



click here to download.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Word

as i was scrubbing the guest bathroom yesterday morning in preparation for our niece to come visit, i got lost in thought. (this is what happens when i do mindless work...or pretty much anything that i don't really want to do.) i was thinking back on the past 10 years of my life, when my journey with B began. i thought about places we've been, things we've seen, obstacles we've faced, dreams that we've achieved, and how it all shaped who i am.

that got me mentally dissecting myself, trying to determine exactly what that is. how would i describe myself to someone? how could i convey every aspect of my being in few words? how about in one word?

grateful to be me, even at 1:00 am with no make-up on. ;)
challenge accepted!

lots of words came to mind - labels, really. infertile (although it still applies, it no longer defines me), photographer (one of my proudest titles), crafter (much to the dismay of B, because it takes up so much of my time)...

but then i realized that those are what i am, not who i am. no, i needed a word with more to it, a deeper meaning. keeping in mind all of the ups & downs in my life, i almost settled on "evolving", but it didn't seem to quite encompass all of me.

grateful, that's the word i was looking for. that one simple word holds so much meaning for me. it perfectly encapsulates who i've become through it all and how i feel about where i've been and where i am now. i am grateful for the joys in my life. i am grateful for the challenges i've faced. i am grateful for the things i've experienced. i am grateful for my faith. i am grateful for those who have touched my life and allowed me into theirs. i am grateful for the love i feel from and for others on a daily basis. i am grateful to be me.

i invite you to take the challenge. take a good, long look at yourself and see if you can sum up all of you in a single word. blog about it and share the link!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Now Available

this little ol' blog has come a long way...a very long way. it started out as a personal journal of my struggles with infertility, but has since evolved into something bigger, encompassing every element of my life and loves. it has grown leaps and bounds, attracting new readers & followers every day!

as of today, you can now opt to advertise on/sponsor NB101! it's quick, easy & affordable. this is a great way to get exposure for your blog or website, even if you choose just to do my free ad swap program. take a look at the sponsor page for more information!

as NB101 grows, so will your site!

A Blogger How-To

as most of you are aware, my blog recently underwent a renovation, including a new name. it's been a wonderful change, but it posed a bit of a problem with my email address, because it shared the same name as my blog.

last week i updated the email address associated with the blog, but i then needed to tackle the problem of connecting it to the blog itself, via blogger. well, after a bit of work, i got it done...and i wanted to share it with you, so you don't have to deal with the headache i did when trying to figure it out.


how to change your email address on your blogger account:

step 1:
log into blogger (duh) and, if applicable, select the blog you wish to change the email address for

step 2:
select "settings" then "basic"

step 3:
under "blog authors" click on "add authors".
type in the address you'd like to use then click on "invite authors".

step 4:
in another browser, log into your new email address, open the invitation from blogger, and accept.

step 5:
toggle back to the previous browser. refresh the screen then, next to the new author, drop down the menu and select "admin".

step 6:
click the "X" next to the email address you would no longer like to use.

that's it! you're done! the old email address no longer has access and you can blog away under your new account. enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Love Love

you know how staring at a word too long can make it start to look weird? making this printable totally did that for me.

enjoy!
click here to download the full version of this 8x10 printable free!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Free, You Say?

i couldn't sleep last night. i just laid in bed thinking and thinking, pondering life - where i'm at in mine and how it has shaped who i am, and the forces behind it all.

then i had a thought... when you pray for patience, god doesn't give you patience. instead, he gives you opportunities to be patient. when you pray for humility, he gives you reasons to be humble...and so on. we always get the means to the end, rather than the end result.

so, i decided to cheat the system. i'm going to start praying for gratitude, that way he'll give me lots of things to be grateful for! free stuff! ;)

and in the spirit of getting free stuff, i found this quote the other day (LOVE it!) and decided to use it to put together my first printable and am giving it away to you for $100 free! come on, who doesn't like free stuff?


click here to download the full version.

***also, please take a moment to visit maria at every day is a country song. she got some bad news this week. the pregnancy that we've all be so hopeful for is coming to an early end. she has suffered through several miscarriages, but remains so strong. however, even the strongest among us need support.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Donna Reed, I am Not

please don't judge me, donna
when i decided to become a stay-at-home mom, i have to admit that i had delusions of perfection. i thought, "my house will always be spotless", "i'll prepare gourmet meals every night, even if i'm the only one there to eat them", and "i'll get up early and fix my hair and put on make-up every day".

bahahahahahaha!

in reality, my house is strewn about with toys, shoes, burp cloths, and dirt. there is a massive pile of laundry calling screaming my name. i have at least 5 DIY projects sitting around in partial completion. my hair is pulled back in a pony-tail and my make-up is non-existent.


my good intentions of being productive in the mornings are thwarted by my in ability to go to bed early. "night-owl" seems to be the category i was born into. i stay up late every night, spending time on the computer (mostly working on my blog and other social media outlets) and trying to cross things off my to-do list. why i can't seem to finish a project during daylight hours is beyond me.

i constantly over-commit myself to good intentions. i intend to go for an early morning run on the treadmill every day. i intend to go to bed with a spotless house every night. i intend to finish a project a day. i intend to be a perfect mom/wife/housekeeper/blogger/photographer/designer/daughter/friend...

so, it all boils down to one question: how do i do it all and still do it well?

this seems like a great topic for discussion. tell me, how do you do it all?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Almost Didn't Blog About It...

mother's day, that is.

my mind was in a million places on sunday - wishing my mom wasn't 2000 miles away, loving the baby boy in my arms, and aching for all those still waiting to hold their little miracles.

i was there last year, and for many years before. i know how much it hurts to see others being celebrated for being something that was unobtainable for me. i conveniently got "sick" every mother's day, so that i wouldn't have to watch as the mothers were asked to stand at church to receive their flower or candle or whatever that year's gift may be and be recognized as a selfless nurturer, and later receive my own pity gift as they passed out the few remaining extras. i wanted to crawl under a rock to hide from my embarrassment, later opting instead to play hooky.

i dwelt on those memories as i got ready for church, not having any reason to hide out this year, and even shed a few tears (before applying the mascara, of course) for all of the women still fighting the battle.

in an effort to be sensitive to them, i almost didn't blog about my first mother's day. then i came to a realization...i deserve this day. i waited nine years for this day. i endured nine painful, tear-filled "un-mother's days".

my boys hanging out, watching TV
so, with a portion of reserved just for them, i set aside my survivor's guilt and poured the rest of my heart into my big day and what a wonderful day it was.

B got up early to feed mack then laid him next to me to cuddle until it was time to get up and get going. i loved waking up to my baby boy's smiling face next to mine! before getting out of bed, B brought me breakfast, waffles and strawberries - my favorite.

i was completely spoiled all day, never having to lift a finger, not even to change a diaper. (talk about the perfect gift!) as far as the gifts go, B and mack really hit it out of the park, giving me a new pair of running shoes, a much needed external hard drive, and (my favorite present of all) an eternity ring encircled by small diamonds and garnets (mack's birthstone), complete with mack's name & birth date inscribed on the inside. i couldn't believe my eyes when i opened it! B is the king of going above and beyond and he certainly made me feel like a queen. :)

B better watch out, though, because i'm a an advantage now. i know exactly where he set the bar, mother's day coming first and all, so i know what i need to do to outdo him for father's day. i've got a few things in the works, which i can't divulge here, because, believe it or not, B actually reads this silly blog. that said - thank you, B, for making my first mother's day better than i could have ever imagined! i love you!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

4 Months of Mack

laughing for daddy
i am one lucky mama. it's a fact. i have the most precious 4 month old in the world!

mack turned 4 months old on may 5th and i'm just now getting around to blogging about it, because we had family come visit. it was a bit of a disruption for his schedule, but he handled it like a champ and it was so worth it to have that time with my brother and his family!

mack's 4 month check-up was on the 9th. dr. L kept telling me how great he looks and how healthy he is. he's right on track for his size (14lbs 8.5oz/27%  and 25.5" long/61%) and a little bit ahead of the curve with his activity. after his 2 month check-up, she wasn't at all surprised to find out that he's already scooting (finally in a particular direction) and rolling all over the room.

she laughed when i told her how much he's eating now (he's been on 8oz every 4-5 hours since he turned 3 months, but has been wanting to be fed every 3-4 hours in the past couple of weeks). with his bottle being maxed out, she gave us the green light to start spoon feeding him rice cereal. he's a bit on the messy side, but, with a little bit of sugar mixed in for flavor, he's eating it like a champ. i only feed him by spoon once or twice a day, and add a little bit of cereal to each bottle for the other feedings, which he devours.

getting ready for bed
this new addition to his feedings seems to have helped him set his nap routine, though the times are still a bit flexible. he takes one morning and two afternoon naps, the first two for two hours each, the last for an hour.

he is still loving his early bedtime, too. depending on his nap schedule, he goes down for the night anywhere between 5:30 & 6:30 pm. dr. L made sure to point out how lucky we are to have a baby that sleeps for 12-13 hours straight, too. (believe me, i count my blessings every night!)

exercise time has been lots of fun for mack, especially since we introduced him to the johnny jump-up a couple of weeks ago. he still doesn't know that he can actually jump in it, but he immediately figured out that he can turn himself around by taking small steps in the direction of his choice. he loves being in it and stays there for a good 30 minutes (supervised, of course).

i love watching him discover knew things, like grabbing his feet. they have become his latest obsession, along with grabbing my face when within range. he just needs to work on being a bit more gentle. those little nails, even when freshly trimmed, are sharp!

my favorite thing in the world is getting mack out of his crib when he has just woken up. his face lights up as soon as he sees me, like i'm his hero, rescuing him from imprisonment in his crib. his smile seems to stretch across his entire face and his eyes twinkle. it melts my heart every time. i can't help but hold him close to me as i scoop him up into a bear hug. good thing he's extra cuddly when he wakes up. ;)

we love weekends with B. he is such a wonderful daddy! i just wish he could be here every day, so he wouldn't have to miss a moment of mack's life. every time we pick him up from the airport, he tells me how much mack has changed in the past week. i guess it's a lot more noticeable when you go five whole days without seeing him in person.

i am just so beside myself with the constantly growing love i have for my son. there are no words to describe this deeply intense feeling, but i can tell you that it is accompanied by sincere gratitude. i thank my heavenly father every moment of every day for sending mack to us. he truly is a blessing from above.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer Fashion by Ashley

i have a great appreciation for fashion, but my implementation seems to fall short...often. therefore, i think ashley from flats to flip flops is much more qualified to tell you what the top summer must-haves are...


Hi everyone!  My name is Ashley and I blog over at flats to flip flops!

I blog about fashion, faith, and philanthropy.  Modest fashion, mommy moments and giving back are the theme over at my place!

I am so excited to be guest posting for Carlia today!  I am sure you guys know this(cuz you totally read her blog), but she is A-MAZ-ING!  Seriously blessed the day I found her and her blog!
Carlia asked me to let you guys in on my top fashion picks for summer!
So here goes, a little Summer Lovin!





Summer Pics 2012


1.  Graphic Tee's

What says summer like a graphic tee?  I daresay nothing does!  Comfy yet stylish and a great way to show off your personality.
 ($35 - jackwills.com)

2. Retro Sunglasses
Truth be told, I rarely spend over $10 for sunglasses. But I love the retro-y feel these sunglasses have.  And if you are spending as much time as I am outside in the summer, a great pair of sunglasses is a must!
(Mango oversized sunglasses£20 - mango.com)

3.  Head Wraps
I do not like doing my hair in the summer.  Mostly because I am lazy, but also because I am usually outside in the heat and need my hair off my neck.  Head wraps, bandanna's, or cute headbands are a great way to make your ponytail not so boring! 
(Forever Young Head Wrap$18 - threadsence.com)

4.  Bright Colored Sandals
You know this girl loves her flip flops, but there is definitely something to be said for a pair of "nicer" sandals.  I also love adding a pop of color to a plainer outfit with colored sandals! 
(Bamboo sandals$21 - lulus.com)

5. Bright Maxi Skirt
A maxi skirt is like wearing your pj's all day long. All the comfort, but none of the weird stares!  Love maxi skirts and I especially love this one with a chevron print.  Which is all the rage right now!
 (The Annabelle Chevron Maxi Maxine, XS, S, M, L$43 - etsy.com)

6.  Over the Body Tote
These are the perfect bags for a mom on the go!  Sling this puppy over your body and you have 2 free hands, and all your essentials.  I especially love this one, because its pink.  Such a fun color for summer!  
(Messenger bag£25 - riverisland.com)

What are some of your must-have's this summer?  I'd love to hear and have you stop by my place at flats to flip flops sometime!
Thanks again Carlia for inviting me over today!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another Cheap Trick: The Cheater's Guide to Rewiring a Lamp

this is a trick i learned from my amazing dad, who was an electrician before he retired, so don't worry - i won't get you electrocuted! ;)

i found this lamp at goodwill (which has recently become my favorite store) for $3. i know it looks pretty old and out-of-date, but i loved the overall shape of it. i could see such potential, but it needed some major work, aside from just the lampshade and finish.

this lamp has to be older than i am and it still has its original wiring, plus it was missing the turn knob. it's kind of hard to turn on a lamp without some sort of switch to do it, right? so i got to work rewiring it and guess what! it was super easy! *before & after transformation at the end of post*

here's what you need:
  • an extension cord
  • a pair of wire cutters
  • a phillips head screwdriver (the one with the "x", not the flat ended one)
  • a standard base lamp socket (you can get these for just a couple bucks at any home improvement store)
here's how to do it:

start out by disassembling the lamp, so that you can remove the wiring. to do this, you need to work from the top down. the socket should pull apart, so that you can unscrew the wires with your phillips head screwdriver. after you've detached the wires from the socket, remove the bottom piece (with older lamps, this should be a type of metal plate. newer lamps often use a felt lining.) and pull the wire through and completely out.

now, take your extension cord and, with your wire cutters, cut off the end that you plug into (not the end that plugs into the wall!).
this is the end i cut off

pull the cut end apart about an inch & a half to two inches, splitting the wire into two pieces, then carefully remove just the outer layer, exposing the actual wiring about a half an inch. the result should look something like this:

then look at the end that you plug into the wall. there should be one prong that is wider than the other. follow the wire from that prong to the end with the exposed wire. mark that wire in some way, to help you differentiate between the two. i drew a small circle with a sharpie near the top of my wire.

after you've prepared your cord, run it from the bottom of the lamp base up through the top. twist each group of wires, as they may have become a bit separated while being pulled through the lamp, and bend each set to for a hook shape.

next, take a look at your socket. there should be one white or silver screw and one gold screw. the white/silver screw is the live side and the gold screw is for grounding. just remember: white is live, gold is cold.
white is live, gold is cold
working with the set of wires on the side of the cord that you previously marked, wrap the hook around the white/silver screw and, using your screwdriver, tighten the screw against the wires. then do the same with the other side, attaching it to the gold screw.

it should look something like this:
this is with just one side attached

after that, all you have to do is put the cover back on, screw in a bulb, and plug it in!

here's proof that it works ;):

here's the side-by-side before & after of the lamp:


i spent:
lamp - $3
extension cord - free (i had one on hand, but they are really cheap at walmart, etc)
lamp socket - $2
lamp shade - $5 (i had a coupon)
spray paint & sand paper - $10

total: $20

i'll be doing an easy how-to on painting a lamp soon.

Friday, May 4, 2012

If You're Awesome & You Know It...

clap your hands...and donate to our raffle to benefit the hudson foundation!


today is world give day, so it's the perfect time to reach out and help a cause that is near and dear to your heart.

handmade baby afghan that will be included in the raffle
ashley at flats to flip flops, as well as the founder of the hudson foundation, and i are putting together a raffle to be held later this month and you can help. :)

for those of you who aren't familiar with the hudson foundation, it is a charity organization with the mission of helping couples struggling with infertility to be able to pursue IVF. 100% of the proceeds from the raffle will go toward the hudson foundation's mission hope grant.

you don't have to be rich or super crafty to help! all donations are appreciated and can range from homemade to store-bought, services to gift cards.


if you're interested in helping loving couples to start their families by contributing to the raffle, you can email ashley or me.

thank you for helping to make the dreams of parenthood a reality for deserving couples!

*the winner of the monogrammed artwork give-away is do i have to be a D.I.N.K.?! i'll send you an email to coordinate getting your prize to you.*

**winner chosen at random via the use of a random number generator

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Versatile is My Middle Name

okay, so it isn't really, but it totally could be, otherwise i wouldn't have gotten this awesome award. ;)

thank you to ashley over at flats to flip flops for the big pat on the back! *head over and show her some love. you might even learn a thing or two from this fashionable mommy.*

now...it's time for me to share 7 deep, dark secrets - or maybe just some fun facts about me:
  1. i have a terrible memory (like can't remember why i walked into a room kind of terrible), except when it comes to useless information. i can remember random bits of trivia and verbatim lines from a movie, but i can't remember what i ate for supper last night.
  2. it's been 10 years since i moved away from texas and i'm losing my accent. it makes me really sad, because i loved my accent. i refuse to stop staying "y'all", though!
  3. i started drawing portraits when i was a teenager, but i haven't picked up a pencil in over a year. i really need to soon, though, because i want to do a portrait of mack.
  4. i'm addicted to buying scrapbook paper. i have TONS and i haven't even scrapbooked in a couple of years. hopefully i can get through a big chunk of it when i do mack's baby book...and with all of the awesome projects i have on my list.
  5. i watch way too much TV! my favorite shows right now are the big bang theory, the office, don't trust the b- in apt 23, new girl, and pretty much anything on bravo. technically, i'm not wasting time, because i'm usually working on a project while i watch. ;)
  6. i love mini-vacations. i'm too cheap to book a proper vacation, so weekends away are usually the way we go. there's just so much to see/do where we live that a weekend is a great way to fit it all in. plus, it's a fun way to surprise B sometimes. i can't wait till we go on our first weekend trip as a whole family.
  7. i kicked B out of the walk-in closet in the our bedroom. i didn't have enough room and there was a whole closet in the guest room that was not being utilized, so i "reassigned" his closet area. wasn't that nice of me? ;) he's such a good sport, though.
and for the nominees:
  1. DRMama at life among the palm trees
  2. NV at babyNV
  3. slese1014 at mommyhood after fertility frustration
  4. heather at a little hope in my pocket
  5. maria at every day is a country song
  6. dandelion breeze at adrift on a dandelion breeze
  7. josey at my cheap version of therapy
  8. sarah at baby talk
  9. bridget at the lost stork
  10. 3 bed, 2 bath, 1 baby
  11. andrea at palm trees & rainy days
  12. ashley at traditionally nontraditional
  13. a miracle 4 us
  14. journey through IF
  15. shannon at solo pronto
1) Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
2) Add an image of the Versatile Blogger Award
3) Thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link to their site
4) In the same post share seven completely random facts about yourself
5) Include this set of rules                                                     
6) Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of  their blogs

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another Cheap Trick: Ottoman Makeover

that's a whole lotta brown leather going on!
when our couches officially died a couple of months ago (though, we should have declared them dead a year ago), i caved in and let B get his dream couch - a leather reclining sectional. i call it the "man couch". it's not pretty, but it's so comfortable that as soon as i sit down, i forget all about how ugly it is.

so, i'm in the process of trying to balance out all that ugliness with some pretty improvements to the room. the first thing that had to be changed was the ottoman.

we got our leather storage ottoman at big lots a few years ago. it only cost us about $100, because it was damaged - the casters were broken off. B reattached them by drilling through small blocks of wood. it was a really sturdy fix, but you could see the blocks sticking out. aside from that unsightly characteristic, it clashed with the new couch, as they were different shades of brown. in a perfect (aka - rich) world, i would just buy a new ottoman, but i currently get paid in slobbery kisses and poopy diapers, so i took my two pennies and gave it a facelift.

i tried to pic out a sturdy printed upholstery fabric (because prints don't show stains as well as solids) that wasn't too girly or elaborate. it didn't hurt that it was on sale for 50% off and i had a coupon for another 25% off! i got 4 yards of high-quality fabric for under $25! i don't think B is too crazy about my choice, but he can't complain about the cost.


here's the before & after:

tips for reupholstering your ottoman:
  • don't just double check your measurements, triple or quadruple check them! i almost wasted nearly a yard of fabric, because i came *this* close to cutting one section a half an inch too short.
  • iron before and after you sew. to get accurate measurements, you need to make sure all the wrinkles are out. you also need to iron it after to give it a crisp look, making it look more professional.
  • only use actual upholstery fabric. cheaper fabrics are okay for throw pillows and such, but when you're upholstering a piece of furniture, you need a fabric that isn't going to wear quickly.
  • scotchgard is the your friend. take the time to prevent stains by spraying a coat of this stuff on there before using. it's not expensive and one can is enough for an entire couch.
***don't forget to enter yesterday's give-away!
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