UPDATED: 2013 Goals

So I made the bold move to put my 2013 goals in writing, so now it’s time to face the music.  This could be really depressing, but let’s dive in . . .

  • Paint the fireplace.   STILL NOT DONE.  I need courage folks–tell me to do it.  Tell me it will look amazing.  I’ve been trying to muster my courage by scouring Pinterest for similar makeovers, but I haven’t found anything.  However, I did determine that it’s a lannon stone fireplace, which led me to this beautiful image (from here):

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So what do you think?  Any suggestions to somehow handle this beast?

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  • Hang new lights in the kitchen.  DONE.  You can just barely see the new ceiling light in the reflection below.

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  • Create better organization in our entryway.  DONE and detailed here and here.  Update: this has still been working out pretty great, especially with the cart as a catch-all.

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  • Hang artwork/pictures.  Partly done, but still a long way off.

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  • Get a vintage sideboard for the dining room.  NOT DONE, and I’ve changed my mind slightly.  I need a piece that’s less than 12″ deep so that it doesn’t crowd that side of our dining room table, so I’m thinking of having something custom made.  Need to get on that already.
  • Get new dining room chairs.  DONE.  Mini Bunches is a big fan, and so are we.  These aren’t as tip-prone as our old ones.  

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  • Style the family room built-ins.  DONE.  SORT OF.  I THINK.  MAYBE.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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  • Paint the master bathroom.  DONE. No pictures yet, but once I get some new lights, then I’ll share.  
  • Get window treatments for the master bath, guest bath, guest room, and Mr. B’s office.  Three out of four ain’t bad, right?
  • Finish painting all the trim in the house.  NOT DONE.  I don’t know if this will ever be done.  There’s just. so. much. trim.  But I made some progress.  So that’s something right.  Plus, I decided to paint all the doors in the house, and I’ve gotten through about 60% of them.  Now to just knock out the remaining 40%.  And then change all the hinges and doorknobs.  Oy vey.  Eventually, each door will look like this:

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  • Unpack our remaining boxes in the basement.  NOT DONE.  But progress has been made.  Once we have a garage sale this spring, I think we’ll be in better shape.
  • Paint our master bedroom.  NOT DONE.
  • Paint the upstairs hallway.  NOT DONE.
  • Paint the guest room.  Partially DONE.  I forgot to paint under the desk, and I’ve also decided that I need to paint the soffit.
  • Paint Mr. B’s office.   NOT DONE.
  • Paint the guest bath.  NOT DONE, but I did get all the trim painted in there, so that’s something, right? 
  • Take more pictures.  Especially ones with a little twist.  And get them edited/posted in a somewhat timely basis.  We all knew this was going to be a fail, right?  I had less than 15 posts in 2013.  But I had so much fun with Mini B, that I’m going to forgive myself.

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Well, the report card’s in, and I’m going to score it a C+.  And I’m going to refrain from doing a 2014 goals post I think, especially since there are so many 2013 goals that still need to be completed.  So I shall carry on, and maybe my 2013 goals will be finished sometime in this decade.  Fingers crossed!

2013 in Review

Another year.  Faster than the last.  Can that possibly keep happening?  I hope not.  Otherwise, I’m going to end up blinking and Mini Bunches will be graduating high school.

Now that everyone has hopefully received our Christmas cards (sorry for the delay, but it was Vistaprint’s fault), here it is for the interweb.

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

 

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The photo was courtesy of Nickel City Studios’ Alyssa.  She is AMAZING.  I think that an annual photo shoot with her will become a tradition for sure.

It’s hard to believe that 2013 led us to so many places . . . Seattle, Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Florida, the Adirondacks, and Boston.  Phew.  Will 2014 be the same?  Let’s hope so.

And just to do a quick look back, here’s what a year did to my baby . . . from January 2013 to January 2014.  Sigh.

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Wishing everyone a happy and health New Year’s!!

Clowning Around for Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!!

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Mini B loves her clown costume (handmade by Aunt J).  She even gave us the “sad clown.”

 

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But only briefly.  The hat was a bit of a challenge for her to keep on, but she loved the rest of the ensemble.  Dressing up is totally her idea of a good time these days . . .

 

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I love that I have such a wonderful, talented Aunt who took time to not only make Mini B’s costume, but also a matching one for Mr. Squishy.

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If only they could be trick-or-treating together tonight, but maybe next year?  Either way, we love that they’ll be dressed the same even if they’ll be miles apart.

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She loved walking in it and crunching leaves.  She just kept going back and forth.

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I told her to go stand by the garage so I could take a picture.  She walked over and decided that she should sit down for the pictures.  Her mind is too funny.

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Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!!!!

 

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Someone can’t wait to get some candy . . .

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Pack it up Pachysandra!

Remember when our house looked like this?

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And then how it looked like this:

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Well, while all that sunken concrete and overgrown Pachysandra may do it for some of you, it didn’t really hit the mark for us.  So we finally hired us some landscapers and got our curb appeal on!

It was amazing how much they accomplished in only three days (we had a different contractor replace the limestone steps and take out the iron scrollwork a few weeks earlier–since that post is pressure-treated wood, we were told it has to stay uncovered for a season, but then we plan to paint it or vinyl wrap it) . . .

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And to really see the difference, here are some side-by-side comparisons:

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Of course, now that it’s been a few weeks and our grass has grown back in, things are really looking better.  I wanted a lot of color, and next spring we should be able to see it (we’ve got hydrangeas, lilies, peonies, dogwood, cherry trees, etc. so there should be lots of blooms).  It’s not perfect, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

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Mini B gives it her stamp of approval.  What do you think?

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Peekaboo

Good morning.

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Where’s Mr. Squishy?
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Where is he?!

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Peekaboo.

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Mini Bunches: 1 Year

It’s three months overdue, but finally here it is: a celebration of Mini Bunches’ first birthday!!

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Don’t expect any Pinterest-worthy pictures here.  We didn’t go overboard for the party, nor was there any super cohesive theme.  The most cohesive thing would have to be the flag bunting.  Remember how I made her invitations?

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Well, I tried to carry the flag theme through as best I could.  I bought a bunch of vintage sheets and made some fabric bunting (I used this free tutorial).  I wanted something really girly for Mini B, and I think this fit the bill.  Plus, it’s something that she could possibly decorate her big girl room with some day.

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I made a bunch of different sizes, and put them up all over the house.

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Besides that, the decorations were minimal.  Some balloons strewn all over, and some new picture additions to the house.

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Those are all printed Instagrams (I used MPix to print them–great quality and they have an app, so you can upload files right from your phone), and I used a hot glue gun to stick them to the door (just a tip–be generous with the glue or else they’ll come down after a couple weeks).  I put them up in chronological order.  My plan is to completely cover the door.

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And then I did a little artwork on the chalkboard pantry doors, and put up all of Mini B’s monthly pictures.

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Now that we’ve covered the decorations/theme (or lack thereof), let’s get to what really matters about such occasions–the family and friends that really make it special.  Mini B lucked out on her first birthday–so many close family and friends made the trip to celebrate with her.  Just look who she got to wake up with . . .

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That’s right–it’s Mr. Squishy!!!  He came out for Mini B’s big day.    So not only did she get to wake up to that smiling face, but she also was rocking some awesome birthday hair.

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All of Mini B’s grandparents made the trip.  I don’t know what they liked more–playing with B or comparing who had the cutest pictures of B.

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She had a great time at her party, even though the weather didn’t exactly cooperate.  Our outdoor cookout turned into an indoor feast thanks to some drizzly rain.

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But we did sneak outside for a quick family photo shoot.

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Mini B loved that everyone sang Happy Birthday to her.  So much so that we ended up doing it twice.

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And then it was time for the moment we’d been waiting for–the SMASH cake!  I wanted to make her cake myself, so I used a low-sugar recipe for the cake (from here), and then just made regular cream cheese frosting (since she loves cream cheese).  I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t notice that ragged edge without icing–it’s in all the pictures.  Ugh.  When I made Mr. Squishy’s smash cake a few weeks ago, it came out much better.  Oh well.

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We had high hopes for what might happen when the entire thing was placed in front of her.

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That might have been her only taste.  After that she was more interested in feeding it to Mama and Dada.

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Things progressed pretty slowly.  I felt badly for our guests.  Can you tell which ones of these are family?  I’ll give you a hint . . . ahem-iPhones-ahem.

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We tried helping her along with a fork, but she just wasn’t digging how the icing felt on her hands (she was having a diva moment).

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In the end I think more ended up on her chair than on her.

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All in all, it was a great day.  Thank you to everyone who came, and thank you to all the friends and family who couldn’t make it but sent along lots of well-wishes.  B’s favorite part, besides the singing, was seeing so many new, fun people.  And also opening their gifts, haha.

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Happy Birthday Mini Bunches.  I love you.  Best year of my life.

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Graduation: 2013

This post is long overdue, but what else is new?  I have about 73 posts milling about in my head, and about 1,316 pictures to go along with those, but let’s be realistic.  Probably ain’t gonna happen.  But, I have already edited these pictures, and since I’m feeling nostalgic for my own college days now that schools are back in session, I thought I’d get this one done and out there.

This past May my oldest little cousin graduated (I’ve got a bunch of cousins, all much younger than me, but this one’s the oldest of the crew, hence the “oldest little” bit).  I am so proud of her.  Hard to believe she’s gone from a little baby whose diapers I used to change to the accomplished woman that she is today.  But enough of me gushing and getting weepy.  Here are some pics . . .

No visit to UConn would be complete without a trip to the Dairy Bar.  Best. Ice. Cream. Ever.

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Although I’m not sure Mr. Squishy was sold on it . . .

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Time for a campus tour . . .

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Nerd alert: she’s an engineer!

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Deep thoughts in UConn’s halls of learning . . .

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And now for the main event . . .

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Someone thinks she’s big woman on campus . . .

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Way too cool for school.

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And then there was cake.  Yes.

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And since the graduation coincided with Mother’s Day, we thought it was a good time to add to my grandmother’s charm bracelet.  Two more charms for her great-grandchildren: Mini Bunches and Mr. Squishy!!

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It was a great trip to Connecticut filled with family, laughs, food, and good times.  And to my oldest little cousin: I’m so proud of you!!! Congratulations again.  Love you.  One more round of applause!

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And a final big toe up! from Mr. Squishy . . .

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