Dining Room Makeover

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I mentioned a few weeks ago about my new new obsession with home decor.  My first project was framing the builder-grade mirrors in both bathrooms.  Then Joey replaced the builder-grade light fixture in the guest bath.  (Are you seeing a pattern here with all the "builder-grade"?)

Then one day, I decided that I wanted to spice up the dining room with some fresh paint and a chair rail.

Here's the before:

And the after:

Once I had taken the picture down so I could paint, I decided I was done with it.  Truth be told, I was done with it a long time ago, but I didn't have another option, so it stayed.

I found this one day and knew I had to try it.

What do you think?  I really like it and it was so easy!  (Well, once I figured out how to eliminate the air bubbles.)

Here's the finished product, for now:

I still want to add something to the window, but I haven't quite decided what just yet.  I'm very much a minimalist when it comes to decorating, but I really like how this all turned out.

The best day of his life.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Taylor's party went off without a hitch!  The best part was hearing Taylor say, over and over, "This is the best day of my life!"

As expected, he was VERY excited.

The first gift he opened was Tony Hawk for Wii and I'm not sure he's ever been happier.  But then, as you can see, he's pretty excited about all his gifts!

After gifts, I tried to get him to swim some more before cupcakes, but he wasn't having it.

So, cupcakes it was!

Is that not the best picture of Taylor blowing out his candles??  (Well, pretending to blow them out, since they wouldn't light with the wind.)

Just so you know - as a follow-up to my procrastination post on Friday - I made all the cupcakes Friday night and I think they turned out great!  Both the kids said they looked professional.  God love 'em!  I was just happy that they turned out how I saw them in my head.  That rarely happens.

Of course, there had to be some throwing in the pool.  Joey is such a good daddy!

Photographic proof of all the excitement.  Although he doesn't look all that excited in that pic with me, does he?

The party was a success, so now I can relax and procrastinate Ashton's party.

Like I said, procrastination is an art.

Procrastination: It's an art.

Friday, August 27, 2010

So... Taylor's birthday party is tomorrow.

What have I done to prepare?  Nothing.

Well, that's not exactly true.  I started having a minor panic attack yesterday when I realized I hadn't done one.single.thing, so I took Taylor last night to the store to pick out candy for a very small candy buffet.  He's so excited about it!

Score one for mom.

Other than that, I'm a total party-planning loser.  I would certainly love to throw an extravagant party like some I've seen in the blogosphere, but it's just not me.

So instead, I'll spend all night tonight making cupcakes and attempting to decorate them for my little Star Wars fan..

(Pic from HERE)

Then tomorrow, before the party, I'll run around like a crazy person trying to make something out of nothing so that Taylor's party is not the laughing stock of the 1st grade.

Wish me luck!

Birthday celebration #1

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last Thursday was Taylor's 7th birthday. Since Joey works Thursday nights, we celebrated with family last Wednesday. I assumed that Taylor would want to go out for dinner, but when I asked what he wanted, he said, without hesitation, Spaghetti Tacos.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Needless to say the rest of us ate our spaghetti sans taco shells. Hey, when it's your birthday, anything goes, right?

After dinner, we headed over to Joey's Grandparents to have cake and open a few presents. His party isn't until Saturday, so we couldn't make him wait a week and a half! That would be pure torture!!

The only thing he asked for this year was an Xbox.

(Yes, that is Christmas wrapping paper, inside out.  I didn't have birthday paper and I knew he wouldn't care.)

This is one of the reasons that I love Taylor so much. His personality is so BIG! That last picture is him passing out from excitement. LOVE HIM!

(Games for his PSP and an additional Xbox controller.)

Taylor was so excited all night, he kept saying, "This is the best day of my life!" 

I love that he lives only in the moment.  This is a blessing (when things are great) and a curse (when things are not so good) sometimes, but on this day, it was definitely a blessing.

Happy birthday, sweet boy!  Momma love you!

The night I tried to scrapbook

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Saturday evening, the kids and I headed out to my friend Kelly's house.  Both of our husbands were working, so we had big plans to eat and chill.

Years ago, when Kelly lived next door, both of our husbands worked evenings so most of the time we would cook dinner and eat together.  It was more fun than eating alone and it's a lot easier than cooking for one.  So, Saturday night, we relived the olden days.

We made Crunchy Onion Chicken and Skillet Potatoes and it was so good!

Then we took the kids to the pool.  It was fabulous.  The kids are now old enough to swim by themselves so Kelly and I just sat on the edge and chatted it up.

(You have to look closely, but that's Taylor and Larson, tossing a ball over the volleyball net.)

Earlier in the afternoon, Kelly texted me and said I should bring my scrapbooking stuff.  She is a scrapbooker extraordinaire, as evidenced by this picture:

(Also, she's trained her children well.  Any time they see a camera, they stop and pose, knowing it will eventually become scrapbook material.)

Now, what you should know about me is that I don't scrapbook, so when Kelly texted that, I just laughed.  And she knew it.  However, I used to scrapbook.  In fact, I'm the one who got Kelly into scrapbooking, but quite a while back I lost my zeal.  Then I started blogging and to me, this is my scrapbook.

But because I'm a good friend (LOL) I grabbed Taylor's baby book (which is very unfinished - and he just turned 7) and my wedding album (which is almost finished - I've been married for close to 12 years.  Steller, I know.)  I thought I could at least get her to help me finish my wedding album and make a bit of headway on poor Taylor's album.

This was a major FAIL.  Turns out I've lost misplaced all of Taylor's baby pictures and basically have no photographic evidence that he existed prior to 3 years ago.  It's quite a sad story.  Luckily my  mom, the scrapbook queen, thinks she has CDs of pictures that may prove Taylor wasn't dropped from the sky when I started this blog.  So for Saturday, the scrapbooking effort was futile.

Now, you may remember that the last time we went out to see Kelly and her family, I took her some cinnamon rolls.  She loved them so much that she bought her own Kitchenaid mixer and planned to break it in with a batch of cinnamon rolls on Saturday night.

Unfortunately, I ruined them.  We're not exactly sure what happened, but I think I killed the yeast (I didn't even know this was possible!) when I poured the milk/butter mixture in before it cooled enough.  The rolls wouldn't rise.  It was so sad, but we wanted them so bad that we cooked them anyway.  They weren't terrible, just a bit dense.  Now I'm determined to make another batch myself to prove that I've still got it. (Whatever it is.)

All in all, even though our scrapbooking and baking efforts were both pretty much failures, we still had a great time.  Now if I could just find those pics of Taylor and then convince Kelly to complete my scrapbook for me.

Window shopping, Ashton style.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saturday, Ashton and I had a little mother-daughter date.  She wanted to go to the mall to try on clothes. Although I love shopping, I wasn't all that excited about the option she had chosen because it was tax-free weekend and I knew it would be packed.  And, we weren't buying anything since we had already purchased all of her back-to-school clothes.

But, she really wanted to go, so off we went.

First, we stopped here for lunch.

Then we headed to the mall.  After we drove around for what seemed like forever, we finally found a parking spot.  Then, as we were walking into Macy's, I saw a front row space. *face palm*

Our first stop was Gap Kids, where Ashton found the cutest headband!

Then we wondered around a bit in the store until I had a fabulous idea! I told Ashton we should choose mannequins that we like and replicate the outfits for her to try on and I would take pics. A little modeling session, if you will. She was totally game.

Our next stop was Justice. I have to say, they have the cutest clothes!!

This was my favorite outfit. Doesn't she look so cute?!?

Then we wondered over to The Children's Place.

I love this one too!

By this time, Joey and Taylor were heading home from their little guys afternoon of shoe shopping and haircuts, so we decided to wrap it up with a few last outfits in Macy's. (I wasn't a fan.  Really lame options, but Ashton found a couple to try on.)

We had so much fun! And I was so proud of Ashton. She knew we weren't buying and she never even asked. Such a sweet girl.

Back to school

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today is the first day of school.  Ashton is in the 5th grade (and her last year in elementary school *sniff*) and Taylor is in 1st.

I guess I need to stop asking how this happens because I know how - Time flies!!!

The kids laid out their clothes last night and went to bed early.  Their alarms were set for 6:15, but I heard one of them up much earlier than that.  Turns out it was Ashton.  She got up at 5:45 because she wanted to have time to watch TV before school.  Trust me, this won't last.  She is not a morning person.

Taylor, on the other hand, slept until his alarm went off, but then he was up, dressed, and his happy little self.  He has been so excited to wear his Karate Kid shirt!

Me?  I didn't sleep much at all, but that's beside the point.  The important thing for me is that I am officially declaring it to be Fall.  With the start of school, for some reason it just seems like my wardrobe should change.  No, it hasn't cooled down yet.  In fact, it's supposed to be 101 degrees today.  But that won't stop me from wearing pants and close-toed shoes as opposed to summer dresses and sandals.  Maybe I can will the weather to cool off.

Lucky number 7.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today, my baby (see Exhibit A) turns 7.

Exhibit A

He's gone from this:


To this:


From this:


To this:


Then of course there was this:

2005 (Oh my goodness, I die!!)

To this:




And this:


Taylor, what I love the most about you is your personality.  You make the silliest faces and say the funniest things!  Your personality is so big!


But you have a soft side too.  You have so much love to give.  You love to hug and snuggle.  I'll die a little inside the first time you're "too big" for this.  I pray it never comes.


You're growing up so fast and mommy and daddy are so proud of you.  We love you so much!

Happy birthday, sweet boy!

let's get acquainted

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THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
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I'm a weather addict