Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dropping In

Just dropping in.  I'm still here.  Just haven't had much time to post lately.  And, it will probably be that way for a few months.  I want to focus on my family during this transition time.  But, don't worry!  I'll be dropping in. 

My friend who constantly makes me laugh posted these pics on FB of her baby girl.  She is a yoga instructor and posted this one a while back.  Look!  She's doing yoga!

And, this one recently.  The caption: "I'm starting her early"

Also, thanks so much for all the help and advice on my last post.  Y'all rock!  I'll be sure to post pics on everything when done.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Confessions & Project #2

This past weekend, I got my lip busted by my iPhone.  My 18 month old threw it at my face.  I deserved it.  I'm about to tell you something that has made 3 people laugh.  When I confessed to these 3 different people at 3 different times, they all said the same thing....

"Now, THAT is what you need to write about on your blog!"

So, I'm confessing to you today.  We'll call it: Confessions of a S.A.H.M. (stay-at-home mom)

In the wee hours of the morning, I put Liz in bed with us.  This is not the secret.  She always goes right back to sleep and doesn't wake up until there is day light outside.  At that point, she tries to pry my eyes open with her itty fingers.  When I finally open them and lift my head to look at her, she smiles, claps her hands and in the sweetest (whisper) voice says, "Yaaaay!".  It is at this point that I do what no mother should do.  I grab my iPhone off the night stand, click the YouTube app, search Barney (or Elmo, or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) and hand her my phone.  She knows how to click "done" and to go back to the search menu that shows the next one and click on it to watch it.  Am I terrible?  If I am, I got what I deserved this past weekend.  Apparently, she couldn't get back to the video from the 'email this video' screen (this happens from time to time, so if you get a YouTube video from my email address at 5:45 am, you'll now know why).  She got mad and chunked it towards my head (I think she was asking for my help).  It hit my lip. :(


Project #2 is Taz's bedroom!  (disclaimer: these photos are terrible)
You can only see a little bit of his room, but I purposely took pictures only of the areas we plan on changing. 
So far, we've painted and JT installed a brown ceiling fan.  These photos spell out the main plan I've got going on in my head....and the things I need YOUR help with!!!!

I found this blueprint of our house and I've cropped out his bedroom to show you the floor plan.  Here is where the furniture is/will go:

Here are the pictures I took today:

So, tell me if I'm crazy.  I want to take the doors off and paint the inside of the closets a soft, neutral yellow.  JT is going to build custom wooden shelves to put books and baskets on for storage.  On the floor, I want something like this that we can throw toys into:
But, I'm thinking JT can build it out of wood and put some wheels on it and include a rope handle!  They can roll out, we can throw toys in, they can rooooll back in!

Here is the other closet.  Same exact size, just on other side of the window area:

Here are the wall pockets I have.  I want to spray paint them white.

And hang them here for book storage:
(and I swore I'd NEVER have a TV in my child's room, but this is a small house.  We broke down and put one in his room to avoid toys being in the den all the time.  It comes with strict rules and I'm trying not to be so hard on myself about it)

More pics.....

This little drawer set will be gone.  The built-it will go into this wall, too. (see diagram above)

Here is what I need your help with!  We have no idea what the custom built-in should look like for his bed area.  How involved should it be?  It's a small room.  Here is what I'm going for, and the reason I want to do the closets as described.  When we put the house back on the market, I want to show that this room could be an office and/or a bedroom.  I think the closets could look like built in book cases if done right.  My other goal is storage, storage, storage!  It's a small house and we have way too many toys.  :) 
But where will his clothes go?  Ah, I'm glad you asked!  That is project #3!

Here are images that I'm drooling over for the bed area.  What are your thoughts?

Kids Bedroom with Built-In Bed traditional kids
And if your eyes aren't bleeding, you just might need to click on over to Jill's blog and see who was her guest writer yesterday. (wink wink) You may see a side of her you've never seen before.....

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's Your Turn.

I have a confession.  I don't have any faves to share with you this week.  I'm way behind on my blog reading due to sick kids.  :(

I thought it would be kind-of fun if you shared your favorite posts this week with me!  Ready.  Set.  GO!

Oh, and don't miss my new post on our project I posted yesterday afternoon.

Happy Weekend!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Latley & Project #1

Lately, we've been....


enjoying the children's museum with our cousins,

playing with farm animals, 

visiting the flea mall down the road from our house,
This wooden rocking horse was seriously taller than my husband...and he's six feet tall!

Just a cute little wicker doll stroller.  Didn't buy.

Pair of lamps.  Exactly what I want our bedroom lamps to look like, only I want ours white.  These were in great condition, but I had no idea how I would make them white and look pretty.  Didn't buy.

Cute set of metal children's chairs.  Thought these would be great for outside this summer.  Didn't buy.  Wish I had!  They were only $10 for the pair!

Old bike.  Didn't buy.  Just thought it was cool.

Oval side table.  I think I want this for our den.  I didn't buy, but now I'm thinking I'm going back to get it.  Hope it's still there!

Antique type-writer.  Just thought it was cool.

We've also been painting....
(and when I say "we", I really mean "JT", but I helped!)

...eating good dinners...
JT made up this salad recipe because he knows how much I love cucumbers.  It was really good! 
He sliced cucumbers really thin and arranged them really pretty
Added sliced red onions
Added sliced cherry tomatoes
Added Feta cheese
Then, topped it off with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.  Yum!

I gave him:
10 points for presentation
10 points for creativity
10 point for originality
10 points for use of ingredients
and, 10 points for taste.

Then, we decided we've been watching Iron Chef America too much.

We've also started on Project #1: The Laundry Room
Except I don't know if this space justifies as a "room".  It's more like a closet.  Here is the before pictures:
(JT took all the clutter and stuff away before I took the pictures)

Also lately, these verses are speaking to me:

2 Corinthians 12:10 
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [NIV}

Ephesians 6:10-11
Finally, be strong in the Lord and His almighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. [NIV]

and these song lyrics are speaking to me....

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

There is also a lot of coughing, fever, medicine, snot, lack of sleep, and crying lately.

So, that's what we've been up to lately!  What about you?

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Progress + Illness = Links

My husband informed me that the link I sent you to --- the one called "WWJP?" on Pete Wilson's blog --- calls someone a lazy _____.  HA!  I didn't even read that part.  Updating to tell you that I didn't know it said that before I linked it and I'm sorry!  :)  I guess now it's really funny.  Ooops!

(original post is below)

I have two sick children and no doctor yet in this city.  I've only gotten a few hours of sleep and the past few days have been extremely hard.  The good thing is that we have made progress on the house!  We've figured out a way to arrange the furniture, we've painted 2 rooms and the foyer, and designed a few other custom built-ins that will be in our house/closet.  I want to share that all with you soon, but I don't have long.  I'm surprised I'm even able to sit down and write this much!  Pretty soon a child will come up to me and need me (Bless their hearts, I wish I could take all the sickness away....), so I'm sharing a few links I've had saved......

I heard about them from this cool mama.  If you're a fan of her blog, you've seen her daughter sporting them in all her cuteness.

Love everything on this site.  Go browse around, you'll love it too!

:: Pete Wilson ::
Have you ever heard of this guy?  He's a pastor in Nashville and the author of this book:

A funny (short) post from his blog that you must see:
addressing the parking issue they have at their church

And last, but certainly not least, one of my favorite videos eva!  I could watch it over and over and never grow tired of it.  Have you ever heard of Ryan, from Pacing The Panic Room?  If not, you should get to know his blog.  He is super talented and made this video of his wife's pregnancy out of PHOTOS her took of her!  Make sure your volume is turned up!  The music is great and it's so cool how the still shots go with the beats and words of the music!  Flippin awesome! 

And if that isn't enough, visit his blog and see the week-by-week photos he made of her with a little story about what was going on in the pregnancy each week.  Amazing.

Ok, I now have a baby on my lap.  Peace out.  I'm tired...that's all I could come up with.  :)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Risk or Leap Of Faith..

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know the story behind our dream becoming a reality.  It really started as John Taylor's dream.  Of course, I wanted him to chase after his dreams and I encouraged him.  I smiled and slapped him when he talked about how it would never work out.  Just kidding about the slapping.  I really did tell him that we should just have faith.....if it was meant to work out, God would provide a way.  John Taylor's dream became my dream, too.  I wanted him home with us.  I wanted to be a family where the Daddy wasn't tied to another company, having to worry if he was going to have a job tomorrow morning. 

When we surprisingly got a rather large amount of money in the mail one day (very soon after JT got laid off and we talked about his dream), I knew it was God telling us to go for it!

When I told a local friend about pursuing the dream with this money, she said:
"Wow, that's great.  But, if that were us, I don't think we'd ever take that risk"

I think she meant it as a compliment.  :)

It dawned on me that we never even thought about the risk.  Well, I hadn't.  I think I remember writing in a I just have too much faith?  Today I can honestly say NO.  I don't have too much faith.  I don't think that's possible.

If you follow The Nester, then you know she declared today National Take A Risk Day.  So today, I'm sharing the little risk we took when we started Kiwi Wood Werks & Designs.  Sure, JT may build from our garage at the moment, but dreams are coming true.  We thought the Atlanta Market was never going to happen for us.  God opened a door for us just months after starting KWW and we now have several new vendors thanks to that opportunity.  We are still dream chasing and talking about the next step.  There will be risks involved, or as I like to call them.....Leaps of Faith.

{linking up with The Nester today}

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Questions & Answers - Part 1

This post contains questions I've gotten recently (and some not so recently....sorry I'm just now answering!).  I thought I'd answer here on the blog in case anyone else has the same question.  Ok, here we go.  Some of these were easy to answer.  Some of them, not so much....

"I am looking for a neutral green for my kitchen and was wondering about the willow branch in your sons room... Is that a green tone?"
Yes, I would consider it a neutral green.  Maybe even would call it a "sage".  One thing I've learned about paint colors is to pick out a color using the color swatches and then always go one shade lighter once I pick a color.  I say this because every time JT would paint a room, it always turned out darker than I expected from looking at the paint sample.  We finally started going a shade lighter and love the finished product when we do that.  :)  Hope this helps!

"What would you say your parenting style is?"
This is hard to answer.  I don't really write about parenting much on my blog and do NOT consider myself an expert on the subject.  In fact, I'm needing some advice in that area!  But, if you're just wondering out of curiosity, I guess I just go with whatever feels natural and best to me.  (which could get me into trouble....)  When I think of parenting "styles", I think of Attachment Parenting and such.  I wouldn't say I'm a full-on attachment parent, or full-on in the opposite direction either.  I would feel safe saying I'm somewhere in the middle.  The only other thing that comes to mind is that I'm not a believer in trying to conform every baby to a certain "schedule".  Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that babies and children thrive on some sort of routine, but there is a difference.  Every baby/child is different and to think that every baby can adapt to the same thing is really crazy to me.  There is no grand book out there that is titled "This Is How To Parent", so no way is right or wrong.  It's just whatever fits your baby's temperament and personality.  I'm a HUGE fan of Tracie Hogg, The Baby Whisper.  When I read her books, I kind-of get this "duh" feeling because she makes so much sense....almost like I should have known it already.  Her books give you a little test to see what type baby you have and then she directs you on how to parent THAT type baby.  I like that.  And, it seems I could talk on this subject for days, so I'm going to shut up now.  :)

"What is the paint color of your daughter's play kitchen?"
I get this question a lot.  The pink we used is called "Blushing".  It's Valspar and the number is 2002-4A
The buttery yellow color is called "Jekyll Crane Cottage Yellow".   It's also Valspar and the number is 3005-8B.  You can find more play kitchen questions/answers in THIS POST.

"I remember reading on Facebook that you were going to start a series of posts on homeschooling.  When are you writing about that?  Are you going to homeschool or are you already?"
I'm so glad you asked this (months ago!) because it will hopefully cause me to now get my butt in gear on these posts that I long to share with you all.  At this time, we are still not 100% sure if homeschooling is the direction we will take.  But, we are prayerfully considering it.  I can only speak for myself when I say that I've always felt led to homeschool my children.  But, John Taylor has struggled with it and it's something that I absolutely will NOT do if my husband isn't 100% on board.  I want and will need his full support on the issue.  We have sought the opinions of other spiritually mature adults that we trust who homeschool (all of which did not ever think they would homeshcool their children, but now do) and the here is the advice we got: 
Pray about it.
Educate yourself.
Ask questions. 
We've done just that.  I now have over 50 pages in a Word Document of research I've gathered and want to share it all with you someday.  It, along with my thoughts, are scattered and I would like to organize them before sharing.  Am I homeschooling now?  Well, the answer to that is yes.  If you think about it, all stay-at-home moms are.  :) 

"Are both of your kids drinking Soy milk because they are both lactose intolerant?  I think my baby is and I'm thinking of switching to Soy, but I'm scared he won't get the calcium he needs."
My first child did have problems with cow's milk and that is orginally why he started drinking Soy.  But, he no longer has problems and he still drinks it.  Both our children drink Soy because we choose to give them Soy instead of cow's milk.  Here's the thing.....humans are the only mammals to continue drinking milk after weaning - and milk from an entire different species at that! 

I am quoting this from an article I've read:
Most of human evolution was fuelled by plant foods, with milk playing the same role as it does in other mammals - produced by mothers for nurturing infants until weaning.  The sugar in milk - lactose - is broken down by a special enzyme called lactase, which then gradually disappears after weaning, having done its job.  Continuing to drink milk past this point is why so many people are unable to digest lactose, which can remain in the gut and ferment, producing bloating, watery diarrhea, flatulence and stomach cramps.
Those who can cope with cow's milk in the short term face longer-term consequences.  It is loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol, animal proteins and sugars, is devoid of fiber, vitamin C and iron and contains only small amounts of vitamins K, E, B1, B2, and B6, magnesium, selenium and zinc.  On the plus side, it does contain vitamins A and D, vitamin B12 and calcium.  But, it may also contain salmonella, listeria and E.Coli bacteria, hormones such as oestrogen and antibiotic residues. 
Cow's milk infant formulas have been linked to allergies, type I (insulin dependent) diabetes and even cot death.  Soy-based infant formulas are an excellent alternative and have been used safely for over 60 years and despite the scare stories, there is no evidence of damage to a baby's mental or physical development.

If that isn't enough....milk has also been proven to be linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer.  Saturated fat also promotes obesity which effects fertility.  Contrary to what you may hear, all the same essentials are in Soy milk.  We buy organic and I've compared the cartons.  I also believe that the milk companies have spent billions of dollars to promote their product, making citizens believe they "need" this product to live, or else they are not healthy.  So, that is why my kids drink Soy.....if you're still reading.  :)

I feel that is plenty for now.  I will post Part 2 soon! 

{image source here}

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

This Week's Faves

There were SO many posts that I saved for this week's faves!  Here are some of them.  I'm also including my memory verse for this week at the bottom since I didn't have a chance to post it yesterday.  We took the kids to the Children's Museum with their cousins.  More on that later.....

Favorite posts from this past week:

3 Things That Are True About You: A Musical Post :: by Kat :: Passionate Homemaking
Loved this post!  Such a creative way to get a message across and it really did get the message across.

Queen Anne Reupholsliptery :: by Colleen :: Red Door Abode
I can not believe that she did this slip cover WITHOUT sewing!  She may be my new hero...and the reason I go ahead and give my slipcover a try and stop putting it off!

how to get a front row seat :: by Emily :: chatting at the sky
What can I say?  Emily always speaks to me.  I love Emily.  She's my hero.  I want to be her.  Did I just type that out loud?!  Emily, if you're reading, I'm not a freak, I promise.

A Love Story :: by Kim :: Kosek Casa
Only Kim could write about everyday happenings and keep me in such suspense!  She's such a great writer.  So creative and so funny!  Thanks, Kim.  I loved the ending.  :)

Scripture memory for this week:

Psalm 30:5
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pretty Pictures

Yesterday afternoon, my 3 year old locked me and my 1.5 year old out of the house.  JT was not at home.  It's funny now looking back on it.  He ran in and just locked the door.  The Convo went down like this....

Me: Sweetheart, unlock the door!
Taz: OK! (door handle rattling around frantically)
Me: No, turn that little knob you just turned on top of the door knob so Mommy can get in!
Taz: OK! (door handle rattling around frantically)
Me: (walking around to front door so I can look in window and see him at the door that leads to our garage...I knock.  He is pacing the floor frantically.  He sees me and runs over smiling at me thru the window) Baby, go back over there and turn that knob ON TOP that you JUST turned.
Taz: Mommy.  I'm gonna go get some milk.  K?
Out of pure panic, I then decide to turn the front door knob and it was open!  I walked right in.Whew.


I have my heart set on JT building one of these for the Doodlebug's room......

And, we are trying to come up with a stylish/functional design for the custom built in for our (small) entry way for extra storage....these images inspire me.

And, wanting JT to build a window box under the windows on the front of our house....

What do you think? :)

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Need A Good Laugh

Hey bloggy-blog readers.  Yesterday was hard.  Really, really hard.  I knew it would be hard and stressful to move and I knew it would be an adjustment for the kids (and me), but I didn't know it'd be this hard.  The kids had meltdown after meltdown....all day long.  It finally hit them.  They were probably thinking they wanted this "vacation" to be over and wanted to go "home".  I didn't know if I should laugh or cry when we left Mississippi the other day to come back to Birmingham.  I stopped by our old house to see if we had any mail and when I pulled up in the driveway, Liz started clapping and saying "Yaaay!" so sweetly.  Bless her heart.  She thought we were finally home. 

So, if y'all wouldn't mind saying a little prayer for us.  We'd really appreciate it.  :)  Pray that I get these boxes unpacked, too.  And, that I find a place for everything because that, my friends, is becoming a problem.  Pray that I find a way to live with the clutter until then.  The putty on the walls filling in the holes until it's painted.  The dirt tracked in on the hardwoods because we go in and out getting new boxes.  The toys EVERYWHERE, the computer on the kitchen table.  Pray for my anxiety.  I walk into the den every morning and just want to cry because it's such a mess.  I'm so overwhelmed and tired, I don't know where to start each day.  My prayer is to remember that it is not my "stuff" that matters most.  It's not how clean my house is.  It's my kids that are most important.  They don't care about a dirty house.  I pray that I'm there for them through this transition and I'm focusing on them more than I am getting the house in order. 

This blog has become my happy place and you readers, my BFFs.  Thanks for sticking with me through the good and the bad.  The deep posts and the silly and mundane posts.  The commercial below makes me laugh so hard.  So, thought I'd share with with you today, in case you need a good laugh too.  I'll probably watch this 29 times today.  :)

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Progress, Feature, & Verse

This post is going to be jammed packed, but don't skip anything.  You'll not want to miss out on everything I have to share with you.

First of all, blog readers, YOU ROCK!  I can't keep up with y'all!  I've gotten so many questions via email since being featured so much the past couple of days, so I'll get around to answering them all soon.  I'm even thinking about doing a Q&A post real soon since there are others that may want answers on the same questions.  Working on that....coming soon!

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Along with being featured on Kristin's blog this past Friday, I was also featured on Evelyn's blog, Woodlands Cottage!  I'm sorry I didn't mention.  You must check out her blog.  It started out being a place where she could file away inspiring pictures, quotes, etc. and has grown into such a wonderful blog!  There are some amazing photos and I could have sat and scrolled for, hop on over to her blog and check it out! 

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I'm so excited to share my memory scripture for this week.  It reminds me of Natalie Grant's song, Held.  Does it you?

Psalm 30:5
For his anger lasts only a moment,
   but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
   but rejoicing comes in the morning.

For his anger is but for a moment,
   and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
   but joy comes with the morning.

For His anger is but for a moment,
         His favor is for life;
         Weeping may endure for a night,
         But joy comes in the morning.  [KJV]

I am loving this verse this week.  It really reminds me that with all that I have going on, He will be there.  I may weep at the end of the day from feelings of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, but if I just wait and rest in Him, He is there when I wake in the morning.

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Ok Bloggers, what site do you use to keep up with the blogs you read?  I read a lot of blogs.  I have always used Blogger Dashboard to manage them, but it doesn't seem to be working right anymore.  It only shows me so many of the most recent updates and then stops loading them.  Is anyone else having this problem?  I've heard Google Reader from a lot of people, but it seems so confusing.  I just want something simple.

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A few others have asked how to "follow" my blog.  I wrote instructions in a post and you can read them by clicking here.  Hope this helps!

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Last, I want to tell you about A Thoughtful Place
 I'm pretty sure Courtney and I would be BFFs in life because everything I read and see on her blog reminds me of me!  I love her blog and I'm so, so, SO honored that she asked to feature me today.  Her 'organization' page!  Oh my goodness!  She's so creative and we love all the same things in a home.  Enough rambling....GO CHECK HER OUT NOW
She is featuring our Vintage Play Kitchen in this post.

Thanks so much for the mention, Courtney!  Your blog rocks!
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We're getting settled in our house.  Still a lot of unpacking to do and I'm having a hard time figuring out how to arrange the bedrooms.  :)  Thanks for checking in on me and I'll post pics as soon as we start making some progress.  We have picked out some paint colors and they are below!  Have a great Monday everyone!

Woodlawn Colonial Gray

Shark Loop

Pecan Cream

Olive White

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

This Week's Faves

Perhaps I should title this post Last Week's Faves....and the week before because I have all these "faves" saved that I haven't posted!  So, I'm picking my absolute faves from the past couple of weeks and throwing some new ones from this past week in the mix.  Enjoy!

I know I posted about these yesterday, but I'm hoping that I might find time to actually make one of these in the near future and I want to have the tutorial filed in the proper place so I can find it.  :)  So, if you missed it yesterday, check it out!

Because I had planned on writing this great, spectacular post on Lent and then read hers and she said it better.  :)

Love never fails :: by Big Mama :: Big Mama
All I can say is AMEN, SISTA!

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Projects & Feature

Since Spring is upon us, and I have so many home projects for this spring, I thought I'd share a little spring project inspiration with you today!  These bloggers are much more talented than I am and I would have never thought of these projects! 

First, take my friend Kim.  Ok, let's just call her Super Woman.  Her house....To.Die.For.  Her sense of humor....dry and real.  Just the way I like it.  :)  Her mothering, hello, she has 3 kids under 4 and has time to do projects like the one below....Nuf.Said.  Her body after three babies.....brick house.  I think you get the picture.  So, I can imagine this project went down like this.....

Kim is enjoying the view of the water from her brand new lake-front home that was perfectly decorated by week two after moving in (which was during Christmas, by the way).  She's looking down at the extra fabric she know, since she hand made all the curtains, pillows and shower curtains throughout the whole house.  She thinks: what can I do with this cute fabric?!  And it hits her!  Oh, and did I mention that she's also breastfeeding during all this?  Yea.  Super Woman. 

Hope on over to Kim's blog to see a full tutorial!

Next, we have the beautiful and talented Kristin from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.  Since JT has decided to build a custom built in desk area in our master bedroom, I've been thinking of how I want to organize all the cdm photography & KWW office stuff.  I have some brown cardboard photo storage boxes that aren't very attractive.  I started at them for a while, but not ideas jumped out at me.  Then, I saw Kristin's wonderful idea on THIS POST!  Ding, ding, ding, ding!  I could totally do this!  Cover them with scrap book paper or fabric.....

She actually covered magazine holders, but I could do the same thing to the photo storage boxes.  You can see the full tutorial HERE.

Also, Kristin is featuring me today on her blog, so be sure to stop by HER BLOG sometime today and check it out.

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