An Overactive Child

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I've said before that for me and McKinley, our active days are our most successful days. And when I say that I mean on the days that we are out of the house, doing fun things around the city, and being active, they keep us from arguing, him getting bored, which why we tend to argue in the first place. With summer coming, my husband fears that we will argue more and be in a sour place by the time he comes home. And on some days, that might happen. But I don't suspect it will happen every day!

As you know from reading the blog, we are all over the city on fun adventures. We hit the zoo, Deanna Rose, World's of Fun, Union Station/Crown Center, and on rainy days the mall or aquarium. We haven't done as many things lately, school has been in full gear since post Spring Break, and the poor kid has had a bout with the flu and a horrible virus that landed us in the ER last week. But, all that's about to change on May 19th. The last day of school is fastly approaching and I'm thinking ahead about all the fun things we're going to do to celebrate summer!

However, I'm also worried about him being the over active child. You know the one. They have soccer, baseball, swimming, and piano. They have practice or games almost daily, leaving very little time to be a kid. I don't want that for McKinley. As of now, he's involved in baseball. Practice is every Friday, with games every Sunday, and it will be over in early June. He's also involved in a weekly combo dance class, but we've missed a month of class, so I'm not sure it's worth going back. Up next will be swimming lessons. Two weeks of daily dips in the pool that will bring tears and hopeful joy. And there's the possibility of another dance class, but that's up the air as of now. Oh, and there's a possible basketball camp. He's very interested in basketball and I would love for him to get involved. So now we're up to three activities and that doesn't include the fun stuff I have planned. And we haven't even included vacations? When is it too much? When is he going to just be McKinley?

At this point, something has to give, in my opinion. Swimming is a non-negotiable, so that's stays on the summer agenda. Like I said, baseball is over in early June, so that's not an issue. What I guess we need to decide is if he wants to continue dancing or if he would like to take the summer off and try a different sport. I definitely don't want him overextended. I want him to be a kid, enjoy his summer break, and play from time to time. I mean, he's six. His summers will be completely full of other responsibilities before we know it. 

What do you do to combat the over active child or is yours one of them? How much is too much? When do kids just get to be kids? This past Kindergarten year has been eye opening in the fact that our expectations of children is incredible. I wasn't expecting it!! And I'm not talking about my expectations. I'm talking about the educational system. I personally need a break and I know McKinley does! It's time to turn off our brains and just be!  

I would love to hear your thoughts so let's chat!!


Having it All

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

There is a stigma around women that we have to prove that we can have it all. Successful jobs, being the perfect mother, a supportive spouse, a size four, and dinner on the table by a certain time every night. And there's also the new "I woke up like this" motto. A flawless, makeup applied face with perfect hair that is completely unattainable. And we all know it.

And there are those women out there who seemingly have it all. I'm surrounding by them. They have successful careers. Children who are pristine. Immaculate homes that appear to be cleaned on a daily basis. Perfectly balanced meals that are on the table by the same time every night. And they wake up every morning refreshed, renewed, and ready to do it all again. That my friends, is not not how this woman lives her life.

There was a time that I was a full-time employee, starting at the age of 23. I moved to the big city, Kansas City, and began a career in retail. I then moved to a corporate job that I had for almost 15 years. I bought shoes that I didn't need. Wore all the latest trends. Made dinner every night with the assist of my husband. Went on super fun trips. I had it all! Or so I thought. Then I had a baby. That changed it all.

And what really changed it all was when I lost my job in a massive layoff in 2014. It was then that I decided I was ready for new career. The career of being a stay at home mom (SAHM). I wanted to spend all of my time with my child that I was only seeing for a few hours each night and full time on the weekends over the last three years. Going on adventures. Cuddling on the couch during the day. Taking naps when needed or wanted. All while being the perfect spouse by having dinner on the table, clothes washed and put away, and living out the life I had wanted since the birth of my son. I thought then I would have it all. And I do. But it comes at an expense. 

What's the expense you ask? Well, I don't buy shoes that I don't need. Actually, I don't buy shoes at all anymore. I don't wear all the latest trends. I have a few trendy pieces that I pair with boyfriend jeans in the fall and winter, and with shorts in the spring and summer. I make dinner every other night, focusing on meals that make leftovers so that I'm not spending every single night in the kitchen. And the only trips we take these days are to the grocery store, to my parents house, and occasionally to the river for long weekends or a week in the summer. But I have to remind myself that this is what I wanted. I wanted to be home, and because of that, we don't have the extra income that we use to and we make our fun on a budget.

I have other friends who stay at home, or work side jobs to help with additional income, but I also see them lamenting about the struggles of doing so. And I'm not taking anything away from those rantings, but you have to remind yourself that this what you wanted. This is what you thought having it all would be like and you can't go back on that when it's hard. Sure, I get mired down by the photos on Instagram of the latest trip someone took or the fancy car that someone just purchased. I see cute friends all dolled up, with freshly washed hair, and made up faces that glow from restful nights sleep or daily workouts. And I admit, part of me envies their lives. But, then I look in my rear view mirror and see that sweet boys face on our way to school, I realize I'm right where I should be. 

On our way to school we listen to the radio, Mix 93.3 in fact, and every day the morning show has a theme. Monday's it's all about why you love your life. Tuesday's, what you're thankful for that day. Wednesday's, you can whine about anything you want, as long as it's casual. And Thursday's is all about asking the Magic 8 Ball app your most pressing questions. And every day, McKinley follows along. What does he love most about his life? That trains exist. What is he most thankful for? That Granddaddy introduced him to model trains. What can he whine about? Well, almost anything on any given day. And on Thursday's, he just likes to emulate the voice of the Magic 8 Ball app. He's favorite catch phrase, "Outlook hazy. Try again." And I wouldn't know any of this if I was behind a computer, in a cubicle, working a 9-5 job. I would be missing out on all the conversations that take place in my 2011 CRV. All of those little moments in life that matter. And I would have missed out on this precious moment today!

While eating his breakfast this morning, and because he's eating school lunch this afternoon, I had some downtime to read a little in my book for book club this Sunday. McKinley wanted to know if it was a chapter book. What chapter I was on. And told me I needed to do some reading to get it finished. Wise words, dear boy. When we got in the car, and as we backed out of the driveway, he asked me what happened at book club. I told him that we generally each lunch together, ask the questions we found online, and we all discuss the book as we interpreted it. I explained that this was the best part of reading and discussing a book. That we all read the same words, but we all read it differently, and it's fun to hear how others viewed the characters and situations that took place, as they're generally different than your own. Did I mention that McKinley wrote a book yesterday? Yes, he wrote about Ghost Ships and he took it to school with him today. He read it to himself in the car and told me that his book club was going to discuss it at their next meeting. In the school parking lot, I asked him to read it to me. I caught it on camera because it was too precious not to. And I'm sharing it with you. A glimpse into my life as a SAHM. And this is why I think, or should I say I know, that I have it all!


Mama DIY: Chic Small Bench

Monday, April 24, 2017

Southern Unique Elegance is having a banner spring! We have expanded into a new space, a room to be exact. And as a result, we have been selling more! I think it's because you can see the pieces we have on hand, it feels more like a home, and we're really giving it our TLC. We've made weekly trips to ensure the space is clean and tidy, and we're constantly adding new pieces. We only offer things that we would use in our own home, so you know your getting quality every time.

Now, just because we're adding pieces that we would put in our home doesn't mean they start out that way! We are all about purchasing things that may or may not need a facelift. And, when they do, I'm there with my DIY skills! Recently, we bought this small bench that looked like it had stepped right out of 1992! The fabric and colors were a dead giveaway. However, the piece had nice lines and was fully functional. It just needed a little tszuj. And that's exactly what I did.

I removed the cushion from the bench for starters. The whole thing needed a new coat of paint, in a completely different color, and it needed a light sanding before I painted it. If I've learned anything in DIY, it's that you need to lightly sand anything you're going to re-paint. It helps rough up the wood, takes the sheen off of the paint, and helps the new paint adhere better. And you have far less drips! Lesson learned the hard way!!

Once the sanding was completed, it was time to paint. I'm a huge fan of spray painting. It's so much easier and I feel like I get a better coverage than brushing it on. However, there are times where a brush is what you truly need. For this, I used a high gloss black spray paint. With my handy spray nozzle. That thing is a must!!

Didn't that make a huge difference? It really gives the piece an upgrade without a lot of money! Then it was time to reupholster the top. What goes with high gloss black? Black and white toile. We had the fabric on hand from when I got a new shower curtain. That's right, this is my shower curtain. But it's such a gorgeous fabric! And obviously multi-purpose. 

So here's what you do. Take the original fabric off of the cushion by removing every staple you find. I used a screwdriver and a staple remover when I couldn't get the ones that were truly stuck! Keep the fabric because that's going to be your template. Lay out the fabric you're going to use, wrong side up, and place the original fabric over that. Cut out your new cushion covering. Again, wrong side up, place the cushion on top of the fabric.

Now it's time to upholster! The main thing to remember is to pull the fabric tight. If you don't, you will have a saggy cushion top and no one wants anything saggy! Once you have the desired tightness, begin stapling. Start on one side and then move to the opposite. And remember, something I didn't do the first time, make sure you like the placement of the fabric before you start to staple! I had to take the whole thing out because the fabric needed to be horizontal and I had it going vertically!

When it comes to the corners, pretend you are wrapping a package. Just make sure you get the corners just right. There will be a pleat, and that's okay, but you don't want to have the bulk of the fabric showing underneath. Again, staple.

Once everything is completely stapled, it's time to reattach the top to the legs. Make sure you've kept all the original screws, or other supplies, because you're going to reuse them. If they aren't able to be used again, keep one for accurate replacements.

 I love how it turned out!! It's gorgeous and so chic. And the colors are perfect for anyone's home. And if you want it, it can be yours! Just head down to Louisburg! 

Are you going to attempt your on re-upholstery project or just buy something new? Let me know if you attempt it and how it turns out!


The Flamingo

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Flamingos. The cutest bird ever! They're pink, tall, beautiful, cheerful, and I'm completely obsessed with them! They were huge in the 80s and mostly associated with Southern Florida and lawn art. You know, those plastic sticks that dressed almost every yard in the country and appeared tacky. And to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't mind putting a few in my backyard this summer! I mean, how cute is this!

With a backyard BBQ coming up this weekend, I'm using this party as an excuse to use flamingos for our outdoor decor, even if it's only going to be in the low 50s! Anything to make the event more festive and summery, right? I have awesome paper plates that my mom found at Joann's, but check out the collection from Target! Darling!! 

I've also found flip flops, phone cases, and jeans to fuel my obsession further! Check out all things flamingo that I'm loving for spring and summer!

My happy place is flamingos! I can't get enough of them and apparently I'm not alone in the retail world. They are everywhere and they've come along way since the plastic lawn art in the cuteness factor! However, I'm still okay with having a few like the ones pictured above!

What do you think of the flamingo craze? Are you on the pink wagon or are you so over the trend? 


Trophies and Ribbons

Monday, April 17, 2017

I am not a mom who believes that everyone should get a trophy. Not everyone deserves a trophy or a ribbon. Do you know how you earn a trophy or a ribbon? You work hard and win. That's how you earn a trophy. There is only one World Series Champion, only one NCAA Men's Basketball Champion, only one Super Bowl Champion. See a pattern here?  So why do we insist that children get a trophy just for participating? We are giving our children a false impression that there is no need to work hard because you get a trophy no matter what. We are setting our children up for instant failure!  

The first year McKinley "earned" a trophy was in 2015 and I was still a little leery of giving it to him. They didn't even get it from their coach. Their last game was rained out, and as a result, the parents had to go and pick them up. Not really a way to receive it, right? So Joel brings it home, McKinley takes one look at it and says, "I thought it would be bigger." A little ungrateful and yet another reason kids don't need a participant trophy. They don't even respect it. In 2016, we missed the last game, for a reason I can't even remember, and we never received McKinley's trophy and he never even asked about it. Best thing that ever happened! 

We haven't really had to worry about the trophy/ribbon issue since last summer, that is until McKinley decided he wanted to sign up for the district tournament stacking challenge last Thursday. They learned about stacking in PE this month, and when the flyer came home, McKinley told me he really wanted to participate. He thought it was fun and wanted to try. How could I say no? I'm not going to tell my child he can't do something, even if he had just learned how. I want him to know he can do anything. But at the same time, I was so nervous for him because he wasn't skilled at stacking. And we didn't have cups. And I didn't even know you could buy cups! Lots to learn about stacking.

So when Thursday rolled around, McKinley started to grow nervous. He even went so far as to tell me he didn't want to go because he was so worried about all the people that would be looking at him. I told him that there was no reason to be worried and that no one was really going to be watching because they would be so busy watching their own children. Still, the nerves were evident that night as he clung to me and never let me leave his side. He practiced and I was shocked at watching him do his thing. He wasn't super fast, but he was patient and in the zone as he stacked and un-stacked his cups. So awesome to watch your kid work at something they have set their minds to, right?

Then it was time to compete. He didn't know about the stop watch aspect, and some really sweet older boys showed him how it worked. He only needed to be shown once. He had this! And then it was his turn. Three tries to get your best time and boy did he concentrate! And they weren't great times, but that's not what mattered. He had fun, he worked hard, and he accomplished his goal of competing. And that's how you earn a trophy or ribbon. 


During the ribbon ceremony, they had all six and under contestants come up on stage. There were 15 participants and only 12 ribbons. Each child did earn a participant ribbon, but only 12 children received ribbons for their best times. McKinley was not one of them. As he came off stage to join us, there were tears. They didn't roll down his face, and he didn't cry in front of the crowd, but I saw those crocodile size tears and I knew. I knew that he was sad because he didn't get a ribbon and he asked why. And I simply said, because their times were better than yours. And that's the truth. I'm not going to lie to him. I told him that he if wanted a ribbon like theirs, he needed to practice and then came back next year and earn one! And that's all he needed. The tears were gone.

Later that night as I tucked him in, he asked me if his ribbon meant anything. I told him that it did. It meant that he tried. That he had the courage to sign up, being the only student from his Kindergarten class, and do something he had never done before. That he had enough confidence in himself to compete among others that have been stacking for awhile. And that most importantly, he had fun. Because if you can't have fun, why do it?

So we are planning to purchase cups so he can continue to practice. Who knows if this will be a real thing for him in the future, but he is going to know that we fully support him in anything he wants to do. And, that we are going to help him become the best he can be, because he's going to earn that trophy or ribbon with hard work and practice. Always practice!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bullies. To sum them up, they suck! And you encounter them at every age and stage of life. I honestly don't remember truly being bullied in school, but I do remember that a boy in fifth grade told me he would "go out with me, but I wasn't pretty enough". To be honest, the "pretty enough" words have followed me all my life. Maybe that's a result of being bullied about my looks. I wasn't one of the cute girls in school. I definitely went through my awkward phase just like everyone else. Although, there were those girls that never did and I envied them. Still do!

So when my six year told me on the way to school today that he didn't like going to school because of the bullies, my heart broke. He's in Kindergarten, just starting his school career, and I'm already dealing with not liking school for reasons that are out of my control! And I hate that someone so innocent and sweet is dealing with something so hateful. Bullies! They suck!

I remember it truly started around the age of three when a little boy joined his preschool class late in the year. McKinley had a toy that the child wanted, and instead of asking (I know, who does that at three), he just took it out of McKinley's hand. Well, McKinley pushed him and took it back. Was he being a bully, I asked myself? My dad said no! He was telling the kid that he wasn't going to take his bulling ways and took matters into his own three year old hands! 

With Kindergarten comes new discoveries. McKinley found the friends that are more like him and I'm so thankful for that! I love listening to him talk about the boys who have similar interests and what they do during recess and centers during the school day. However, there are days when he tells me that "today wasn't a good day" because one child was bad all day and upset the class. Or upset him specifically. And for a while, it was daily. I've witnessed the bullish behavior in class myself and it's upsetting. And the fact that's it affecting my child's experience in school is even worse. 

Bullies. In my opinion, these are the ones who are sad inside. Are troubled about something. Are angry. And they don't really know how to deal with these emotions, so they take them out on other people. Treat them poorly and try to bring them down to their level. I said all of this to my child and told him that sometimes there just isn't anything we can do to help them. They are who they are and sometimes never change. 

So today, when he told me that he didn't like school because of the bullies, I told him that unfortunately, there are bullies throughout your life and everyone needs to choose how to deal with them. For me, I will continue to be kind and nice to them. You know the age old statement, "Kill them with kindness". I will not fall prey to their attitude and let it change mine. I told McKinley to continue to hold his chin up high and to be the kind, awesome kid he is. To be the good guy. That's all anyone can do. And then he asked, "What if they tell me I'm not a good guy?" Again, heartbreak. I just reinforced that the fact that he is a good guy and to simply ignore the ones that say he isn't. Because let's be honest, the bullies are simply not the good guys! Again, they suck.

Is your child currently dealing with bullies? Have they been impacted by the attitude and nastiness that comes with bullies? How are you talking to your children about them? What advice can you share? I'm all about the kindness rule of thumb. That, and continually reinforcing to my child that he's awesome! And that nothing, or no one, will change that!


Mama Style File: Hair Update

Monday, April 10, 2017

Here we are in the early stages of spring and I feel like everything around us gets that age old spring cleaning! My den just received a massive update with a major clean out and clean up! We just cleaned up the yard yesterday, cleared out all the weeds from our gardens and got those planted, and I'm making a mental list of all the rooms in our house that need a major cleaning as well. But, the homestead isn't the only place that needs a spring cleaning. Our appearance does as well!

And when I say appearance, I don't mean a makeover, I mean a maintenance cleanup! I've been slowing cleaning out my closet and getting things ready for donation. I've cleaned out dresser drawers for all the same reason. I'm doing the same thing with McKinley's clothes as well. But, I've also been taking a look at me. I am trying to make a mental note to drink more water so I can hydrate the body, especially my face. I have been neglectful of my skin and it shows from the winter months! It needs a spring lift and brightness and that's something that healthy eating and drinking can assist with! But, I'm also looking upward to the hair! I've been on this, "I'm going to grow my hair out" kick for months now, but I'm not loving the growing out process. And, I'm not loving my hair! (Yet another reason to get to drinking that water!) I have a much needed haircut and color coming up this week, and I was spending some time on Pinterest this weekend looking at colors I like. I showed a few to my mom, who always weighs in, and I told her I was thinking of continuing to grow out the locks and she asked why? She told me my best haircut is below and that I shouldn't go long again. It only weighed my face down and that I should go back to the shorter lengths. Well there you have it folks! I never would have thought I would "short hair" and "on me" from my mother!! I've always been a long hair girl and she supported that. I guess with age comes change and I love it!

So, I'm going back to shaggy shorter lob look and I've picked several cuts I love. I've also found a couple of colors I like to help brighten my face as well! Check out my hairspiration!

My personal fav of all the cuts is the upper left hand corner! I love the color as well. However, I love all the cuts and think they would be so cute and chic for spring and summer. Sure I wanted to get to the ponytail stage, but who cares at this point! I just want a cute cut that's flattering.

Are you looking to make a hair change with the change of the season? Anything on your trend radar? Which of these styles is your favorite? I would love to hear your opinion! Cut is scheduled for Wednesday!


Raising a Child in 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017

Just this morning I was reading a blog post on Scary Mommy about the 26 phrases I should use on my child when they are in the middle of a temper tantrum. And they said it would work on teens as well. So I decided to take the plunge and open the article, knowing full well I would shake my head at half the phrases listed. I wasn't incorrect! And not an hour later, I was disciplining my child without an utter of one of the 26 phrases listed!

Here's an example: 

1) Instead of saying “You’re being so difficult!” I should try this: “This is a tough one, huh? We’re going to figure this out together.” Um, no. He's being difficult and I'm going to tell him that! And, I'm going to ask him what he can do to change it. Just like I did this morning. He was complaining about how cold he was, so I suggested we get dressed for school, I had laid out a sweatshirt, and it would help warm him up. He's come back, "No, it will cut into my playing time." So mutter to myself, "Fine, be cold. No skin off my nose." And as I walk away, I get the ever constant "Fine...." which sounds like this "Fffiiiinnnneee". A drawn out f, followed by a long i that lasts a while, and then a sharp n on the end. Something we hear all the time. And on that "fine", I had had enough. It was time for a come to Jesus about being kind, showing gratitude, and addressing that shitty attitude!

Now, I'm not one that's opposed to spanking. And when I say spanking, I mean a swift pop on the bottom. Nothing more, and that's exactly what I did. I don't do it often, because it's not needed, but I do use it when I need to get his attention. Today was the day. It all started when he woke up. He asked me if he had to go to school today, something he asks daily, and after being informed yes, proceeded to complain about having to go and not going at all. Instead of feeding into it, I simply walked away. Less than a minute later, he was out of bed and downstairs asking to play. I told him he had 20 minutes and then it was breakfast. And that's when the cold statement was uttered and the getting dressed defiance started. 

I should also back up to the night before. It was his sixth birthday yesterday and we celebrated with my parents for a small family party. Pizza, a train cake, and gifts were on tap and it was a chill event. Until exhaustion set in. Post party, he was a irritable and taking it out on his toys and us. Trying to be patient, without uttering ridiculous phrases like the one above, I told him it was time to start winding down, getting his pajamas on, and thinking about books to read before bed. He was complaint, but still cranky. It wasn't until we were brushing his teeth that it all started. I won't go into detail, but I will tell you that while I was tucking him in, I told him that if I didn't see an improvement in attitude, the toys from his birthday would be put away for a while. He fell asleep while I was in mid sentence. So to wake up as cranky as when he went to bed was not a fun way to start the day. 

 Another example:

2) “That’s it, you’re getting a time-out!” But instead of sending him to timeout, I should say this, “Let’s go to our calm-down space together.” Well, I wasn't the one the needed to calm down, and I'm pretty sure that when I was six, I went to timeout alone! And, I got more than a swift pop on the bottom. My mom was not one to shy away from spanking, and I mean spanking. So when it's time for timeout, guess who goes there alone! And usually in tears. And usually complaining about how mean I am. That's right! I'm mean! And I'm not your friend. And, I'm pretty sure that the more you complain, the longer your going to sit! I won't raise an asshole who things he's entitled to do whatever it is he wants to do without any consequences and to not do it alone!

Another one:

Instead of “Go to your room!” and I should use: “I’m going to stay right here by you until you’re ready for a hug.” Guess who doesn't want a hug? Either of us! And guess what, we both need time apart, so guess who's going to their room? And sometimes, it's me! I walk away and go to my room just to get a minute alone. And sometimes, it's okay for him to go to his room, just to get away. It's not a bad thing to have some separation. And then come back together for a hug. I'm all about hugging it out to ensure he knows that I still love him, even when I'm mad, frustrated, or don't like him. It's important for him to know that I love him no matter what, but I don't need to hug him the minute he gets mad! 

In my opinion, the way we are asking parents to raise and discipline our children is so frustrating! We aren't supposed to raise our voices, spank, show disappointment, show frustration, and constantly use a syrupy voice to tell them it's all going to be okay. It's not always going to be okay! It's not always going to fair! Life isn't fair. And if we don't teach them that now, when do we? When they're 10, 16, 21? So many things aren't going to go their way, like playing before school because you have to get dressed, eat breakfast, and actually go to school! And if you're going to yell, cry, and smash your toys in protest, then it's my job to step in and have that come to Jesus. Complete with a swift pop on the bottom! 

And guess what? He's fine. This is him right before heading out to school. He sang in the car, held my hand as we walked into school, kissed and hugged me goodbye, and told me he loved me as I was leaving. No anger. No frustration. No resentment. Just a child who was disciplined for his actions. Was told to be accountable for his actions. And wasn't an asshole! My mission was accomplished! At least for this morning!


P.S. Here is another one for you to chew on. 

Instead of “Eat your food or you will go to bed hungry!” Try this: “What can we do to make this food yummy?” Really!! I don't serve disgusting food so there really should be a reason to try to make it yummier! You get what you get and you don't throw a fit! Jeesh! 

This Is Six!!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Today my sweet baby boy turns six! People say it all the time, but honestly, where did the time go? We have had quite the adventure over the past six years! From visiting Thomas the train, checking out Disneyland and California Adventure, watching Monster Jam in person, to creating your own monster jam course on the beach of the Outer Banks, I love your adventurous spirit! You are willing to try new things, aside from food. However, you are a huge fan of food trucks, as long as they serve hot dogs and chicken strips! The river is your all time favorite place to be. Throwing rocks in the river, fishing with Granddaddy, and driving Dodgy and the "tractor" are your activities of choice! And I promise, we will head down there soon!! 

We spend time all over the city. I love that your love to be on the go. And I love that little hand in mine as we walk through the zoo and Deanna Rose Farmstead. Worlds of Fun rides are the best in the summer and sliding down those scary slides at Oceans of Fun is just another exciting thing we do. I could honestly go on and on, but I won't! Instead, let's take a trip down memory lane and check out your life in pictures!!

Meeting Mater at 2 was pretty amazing!! 

First day of Kindergarten!! 

He loves playing baseball! Heading home! 

You turned five and lost a tooth in the same week. Turned around and you lost your second one in July!

The biggest highlight of five? Seeing the wondrous 844 Steam Engine at Union Station!

So now you're six! I can't wait to see what we do during the next year. We have some things planned, but the little things in between are pretty spectacular! 

This is six!!

Happiest birthday to you!! I love you sweet boy! 


Home Decor: Updating Our Den

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

About two years ago or so, I spilled turquoise nail polish on my favorite rug in our den. I mean blue, blue, blue in turquoise and the rug was cream! I tried nail polish remover, Simple Green, and rug cleaner. Nothing worked. It was bright blue for a couple of years. At the time, we were using our antique green coffee table, which didn't help conceal the spot, and I ended up trading it out for a wicker trunk that housed extra pillows and blankets. It was nice in theory, but it didn't work for drinks due to the fact it was wicker. There was no solid top, just the waffle of the wicker, which caused drinks to tip easier and spill through the cracks onto the extra pillows and blankets underneath. Needless to say, it wasn't the best coffee table. So, I gave it to my mom and she uses it as a trunk to house McKinley's toys. The green coffee table made a comeback and so did the stain that had been hidden by the wicker trunk. It was time to find a new rug!

During a recent trip to Home Goods to look for outdoor decorative pieces, and a black bathroom rug, my mom and I found an amazing rug for the den! It's definitely not something I had been looking for in design, but when we laid it out on the floor of Home Goods, we knew it was a winner! The only issue was the fit in our den. We decided that if worse came to worse, I could put a portion of it under the couch to help keep the rug from taking over the space. I didn't need to do that!

I took some pictures for my mom that night just so she could see what it looked like it the space. Then I added the old coffee table. What is glaringly obvious?

It was time for a new coffee table! I immediately went online and found several. I loved the look of this one. This Mid Century Mod table was perfection but not the price! And this one was nice as well, but I wanted something not so new. I have this thing for antiques. A thing for pieces that are a little beaten up. That have a ton of character. That tells a story. I chatted with my mom and we decided it was time to go dumpster diving! Or to our favorite antique store, Mission Road Antique Mall. That's when we found the perfect coffee table.

It was sitting in the middle of the hall. No price tag. No one in sight to tell us about it, and we were about to walk away, when the owner came around the corner. I asked if it was for sale and she firmly said no. It was her display table. After showing my disappointment, she asked what I was going to do with the table. I proceeded to tell her I was going to cut down the legs and make it my coffee table. She was so upset at the prospect of the table losing it's legs, but after a few minutes, she made an offer. We countered. And it became ours for $70! A school house table that had been used for painting, as you can see from the paint stains. I was so excited about my new table! 

After getting it home, there was some work to do, so my dad come over one afternoon to help me. He brought over his portable circular saw, clamps, L-Square with level, and we got to work. (I'm not allowed to have knives so using the circular saw was out of the question!) Other than cutting off the legs, nothing else was really needed. I had originally planned to sand down the table and stain it, but after looking at more closely, I decided I loved the color stains, the roughness of the wood, and the years of use its seen. Nope, leaving it just as it was! Blogging about turning it from work table to coffee table later!

The table has been in the den for a little over the week and I've been making tweaks to the room ever since. This rug and table have really been a motivation and inspiration for me to get this room back to a room I love spending time in. I had lost my love for our den. It was over crowded, dark, and just not a space I found joy in anymore. There were piles of this here and that there. And it just didn't scream family friendly or inviting. Aside from my office, it was space of a frustration. Not anymore! I love it! Let's take a tour.

Here is what the space looked like before. I'm adding back in the before office photos so you can get a perspective of how this whole room has really taken shape and become more light and airy.

Here is the rug with the concealed nail polish stain.

And do you see that black table in between the chairs? Well, there were two and they had made their way to either side of our couch. It dawned on me, once I got a larger table in the room, especially one so light, that there were way too many pieces of furniture and it was dark. I felt like the walls were closing in and something had to go. The end tables were the answer! They are now in our booth in Louisburg waiting for a new family room. (And you are getting a birds eye view of just how messy my house is on a daily basis!)

It was time to get this clutter, and dark room, back to its old/new self. I got to work cleaning out all the books, making piles of the ones I'm going to donate to our schools upcoming mobile library, and the ones that I wanted to keep. The end tables made their way into my mom's Explorer. Then it was time to clean out the hat boxes over in the right hand corner and consolidate old photos into the larger of the boxes. Two hat boxes are now making their way to the booth! Then it was time to dress up the coffee table and get this room in shape.

After a solid week of work, and proper placement, I'm happy to reveal the new space! 

And I've already made a decorating note. We need either an incredibly large print over the sofa or a wall full of art. Excited to get that started!

Can you see the paint spots?


The next thing on my agenda is to take down the ballet posters and pointe shoes from over the yellow cabinet and turn it into McKinley's art work wall. He as painted and created some amazing pieces this year, that they need to be on display. Can't wait for all the artwork over the next few years to be added!

And every room needs a bar!

What do you think? Do you like it? Have a favorite spot or piece? Do you like the new coffee table? All of the pieces you see on the table are from Michael's and they were on super sale! You don't have to spend a fortune on small room accent pieces. I love Joann's, Home Goods, and Michael's for these exact reasons. A room on a budget is everyone's favorite thing, right? 

I will make sure to share my updated art walls once they have been completed. Up next, our bedroom! I've been dreaming and scheming for a while now and I just need to make the final push to actually do it! 


electric toothbrush