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Interior Motives

Decorating and DIYing our house to make it a home.

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Good Enough To Eat

Tried and true recipes my family loves.

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Life Lessons

Navigating motherhood through life's little lessons.

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I Heart Pinterest

When all else fails, go to Pinterest!

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Pretty As A Picture

Photography tips and tricks for the average person.

Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY: Before & After Chalkboard

Now that we're finally moved in, I was itching for the rain to stop so I could start a new project. I think if someone let me, I would paint chalkboard paint all throughout our house. I think I'm in love with the stuff!

I found this at a garage sale before we moved. It cost me all of ONE dollar.

Husband asked: "What's with the rabbit picture?"

I said: "Don't you know about my penchant for rabbits?" (tee, hee)


No, not that I have anything against rabbits, but what I really wanted was the frame! Initially I was going to paint the frame off-white, but with our cream colored walls, I thought this contrast was good enough for now.

From left to right: mini chalkboard from small picture frame; mailbox for bills; mini pots to write on; large chalkboard.

I do miss my HUGE chalkboard that Husband made for me in our last house, but we just don't have the wall space. S'Okay. I can roll with that.

Bigger view of chalkboard in the old house.

This was a mini-project, but a good start. Today Husband and I will shop for paint for our youngest daughter's bedroom. Yipee!

I've linked up to Sarah's "Make Something Mondays" link party! Join the fun!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trying Out Some Texas Eats

Smoked BBQ Ribs from Railhead.

I don't know about ya'll (I love saying that!) but I love me some good ribs. And what's the point of going to Texas if you aren't going to sample their cattle, which we saw many of, grazing under trees due to the 100+ degree temps.

Because I like to eat, I kept pestering my brother for the best places for: ribs, authentic Mexican food and sweet tea. Little did I know that I needed to visit my BFF in South Carolina if I wanted the best sweet tea around!

Now that's a big plate of fries!

He would sprout off names of places I've never heard of. And we'd see signs for Chicken Express and Braum's but eventually we'd end up at The Keg, Saltgrass Steakhouse and a little mom and pop shop called El Taqueria Herrera.

Even though we ate out more than we've ever done in a year at home, I swear I lost weight due to lack of appetite 'cause of the heat. Why aren't Texans all 95 pounds?

When we got home I described our stay in Fort Worth this way: it was like living in a hair dryer.

Seriously, the wind and heat never stopped! Husband and I would laugh and say "Look it's cooling down, it's 97 degrees at 9 o'clock at night!"

Anyhoo, we had a nice time there and enjoyed the southern hospitality of many people.

Monday, June 20, 2011

St. Louis Missouri, A Must-See

Our stop in St. Louis. A view of the arch.

There are always two thoughts when I come home from a vacation. One, it's good to be home. And two, I didn't take enough pictures.

I guess I was hoping that the photographer from my brother's wedding would take care of those. I'll see those in a few weeks I'm sure.

Meanwhile, our stop in St. Louis was so nice. We actually got to ride up in the arch and see the view from above. The ride was cool, sitting in a five-person "tram." Not a good idea for anyone with claustrophobia.

Magnificent. 630 feet above ground.

According to the St. Louis brochures, there is so much to do there, from letting the kids tour a museum at night with flashlights to hanging out with the cool crowd (college kids) in the "Loop" area enjoying the eats.

Both Husband and I were surprised how urban it was but nonetheless, we all had a great time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ten Minute Monday Makeovers

We've had a lot on our plates these past few days. First off, as of last Wednesday, we are finally moved into our new (older) house (or our 'little cottage' as I like to call it.) Husband and I hauled all of our stuff on one of the hottest days here in the Midwest. Lucky us.

The following day which was last Thursday, the kids ended school and the next day, (Friday) Husband and I celebrated 16 years of marriage! We took a break from our unpacking and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant we'd been wanting to try. :)

This past weekend was all about our oldest daughter's softball tournament and the two of us working concessions. I got to dole out burgers, brats and nachos while Husband manned the refreshment station.

To add to the chaos celebratory ambiance, we're getting ready to leave for our 18 hour road trip for my brother's wedding in Texas in two days.

Stress anyone? Just a tad...

I'm not as anal about this trip seeing as we just pulled off a crazy schedule.

There is a site that I visit however, that offers wise advice when traveling with kids. MomsMinivan.com

I've gone to this site for several ideas, like:

  1. how to save money when road tripping it
  2. what kind of games to take along (free printable ones too)
  3. how to pack certain snacks
  4. how to prevent car sickness (this one's for me!)

What can I do in 10 minutes today to help prepare?

- take a walk with Husband, always a stress reliever.
- take 10 minutes to write a list of things to pack (as not to forget anything.)
- take NO MORE than 10 minutes to check emails. Delete most, save the rest.

So take 10 minutes today to lessen the stress in your life, I know I will!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Parenting Is Not For Weaklings

In the controlled chaos of our move, Husband and I have found parenting to have some great challenges. With the span of our children's ages (13, 10 and 6) we, like many other parents, face a plethora of issues.

From modesty issues with dressing to working/practicing/studying to your full potential, to not fighting with your brother/sister. The subjects run deep and wide.

It's exhausting.

A few days ago working with 4th grade LD kids, I asked this group of six boys, "who plays video games at home?" Surprise, surprise. They all did.

When my kids were little, I used to take them to our pediatrician who would say "TV bad, reading good."

That was pretty pointed, but only tackled one topic, now there are more battles; TV, online gaming, social networking, internet perusing, peer pressure, media influencing...the list goes on.

And what about these things? Their potential to permeate our kids' minds/behaviors/treatment of others blows me away-pardon the pun which you are about to read-->. (Someone please tell me how "Call of Duty" the video game where these kids are "blowing up people and blood is flying everywhere" --the boys' words, not mine--is teaching anything to our kids?)

I'm not even going to talk about violence, mature language or desensitization. Read the "Plugged In" review here.

I told Husband, I won't give up (even though there are days when a lobotomy sounds so good.)

I won't fold to allowing our children to be babysat by a TV/computer etc. I won't tolerate less than a best effort, I won't support selfish/rude behavior...we're the parents right? This is supposed to be our job, right? When did we as parents give up raising our children, leaving it to teachers, coaches or heaven forbid, their friends?

So we chug along, praying fervently, trying so hard to role model, teaching, counseling, patiently listening amongst our own innumerable responsibilities (and yes, my dear 13-year-old daughter, we have more responsibilities than even you are aware of!)

Parenting is not a job for the weak. And in the end, it really is our job.

Hooking up to Gypsy Mama's "5 Minute Friday"

photo credit - Image Source

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back Issue Inspiration

During this time of year, you'll most likely find me out and about since it's garage sale season. It's exciting to hunt for treasures that other people deem as trash. This includes back issues of my favorite magazine, Better Homes And Gardens.

Any DIY/decorating girl will tell you there's much inspiration to be found in these magazines, even if they're a few years old.

The best part, (aside from the cost - 25 cents each) is that you can rip 'em apart to pin on bulletin boards or store in a binder without feeling guilty of not loving every single page in it.

Just another thrifty place to find inspiration! For more (free) inspiration, visit their site www.bhg.com