Archive for February, 2012

Last week, I reminded you how awful our master bedroom used to be.  I’m very happy to report it looks much better now.


We finished this room a while ago, but never showed off any pictures.  Probably because it’s never as clean as you see it above.  Except for the day the cleaner’s come… which is when I snapped these pictures…

Complete product list is below… but everything in the room is new.  EVERYthing.  Umm, because it really needed it… did you see the before picture up there?!

Here’s some tight shots of what we have on display on our dressers:


On mine, wedding pics and a magnifying glass from the realtor who sold us our house.  He died a few weeks later.  As he knew he was dying, he instructed his wife to get us that magnifying glass – as a symbol that we should always seek to look deeper into God’s Word.  She gave it to us after he died and, needless to say, it is incredibly special to us.


On Jason’s side, he has an original piece of art by my mom.  She painted that while we were skiing at Whistler/Blackcomb on our second wedding anniversary in 2010.  He also has a framed piece by yours truly.  It’s a bunch of words, phrases, dates, names, etc… that are very personal to us as a couple (which is why it’s blurred!).  That was an easy, cheap and special gift I gave him a couple of years ago.

And another look at the AFTER…

Okay, here’s the list of everything you see…

Furniture – Malay Collection @ Cost Plus World Market (bed, nightstands and two of the short dressers, which they no longer sell)

Duvet Cover and pillow shams – Clover @ West Elm (no longer available – sad face)

Rug – @ West Elm (also no longer available, we got it on clearance)

Throw – @ Ikea (I snagged it for $9.99, but can’t find it on their website)

Paint – Software (dark) and Online (light) @ Sherwin Williams (fantastic colors for a blogger, no?)

Blue vases (one on each dresser) @ HomeGoods

Lamps – Crate & Barrel (looking at them now, I think I need to peruse Pinterest for some new DIY shade options)

Standing mirror/jewelry box @ local furniture consignment store

Iron Leaf Art – @ Kohl’s

The Kiss (above bed) – the one item from his bachelor pad Jason was permitted to bring into our marital home. 🙂

I’m not including prices on this list, because everything is sorely outdated.  We finished this room more than a year ago and I’m just now showing it off!  Hmm…. I wonder what could have kept me pre-occupied?  Oh yeah, must have been that cute nursery and its primary resident. 🙂

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There she is!  Our new Curtis rocker from CB2.

For the first eight months of Kenton’s life, we snuggled with him in the Pottery Barn Dream Rocker we scored on Craig’s List for $300 (retails for about $1200 – with ottoman).

We were never 100% happy with that rocker.  The color was blah and it took up a ton of room in our not-so-big nursery.  So, a few weeks ago, we sold the rocker and matching ottoman on Craig’s List for $400.  That was plenty of cash to order the $299 Curtis rocker and left us with a small profit!

We already had the white leather Crate & Barrel ottoman.  It was being used in our family room, but since we did a new DIY ottoman/coffee table, we no longer needed it downstairs.  (Great story behind that ottoman – it retails for $169, but we scored it for $12 at a charity auction a few years back.  You read that correctly, $12!)

The timing on this smaller rocker couldn’t have been better.  Kenton recently figured out how to pull the curtain through the slats in his crib, which meant the inevitable “pulling the crib out from the wall” just happened – leaving even less space in the room.

The downsides to the rocker – it’s not as cozy as the old one, but the seat seems to be softening with each feeding session.  Also, the arm rests are a little low, so we’ve been using a Boppy pillow to help our arms hold the weight of our 20lb+ little munckhin.

The budget for this particular nursery swap is AWESOME:

Sale of old rocker = (-$400)

New rocker (w/ taxes, S&H) = $340

Ottoman = already had

Pillow = already had

Faux sheepskin rug = already had

TOTAL = (-$60)

That’s right – our wallet has three extra $20’s thanks to this improvement!

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This whole working mom thing is not for sissies.  You’ve got to be organized and on zee proverbial ball.

Mornings, in particular, are preshush.  Amen?

Lately, I’ve been trying to shave every possible time hiccup out of my day.  I wash my hair at night so it takes less time in the AM.  I prep baby’s meals and mom & dad’s lunch the night before.  Latte duty is delegated to Mr. Dreamer while I’m “serving” breakfast to the wee one.  I usually opt to wait and eat my oatmeal at my desk.  That means I haven’t had warm oatmeal in a while, but at least I’m at my desk about five minutes earlier than I would be if I ate it at home.  Every second counts, people.  EVERY. SECOND.

That means that digging around for my makeup, brushes, makeup brushes and other AM necessities in this nonsense was becoming an issue:

Ugh.  Pretty awful, eh?

A complete overhaul of the master bathroom is in the looong range Dreamcast.  That room needs more help than I even care to think about.  So, a quick, simple and cheap solution would have to do…

[ENTER SCENE]: The $2.28 utensil organizer from Walmart.


Now, I know I’m not the first person in the world to think of this solution, but I did think of it on my own and feel brilliant for it.  Check it out:


I feel so much better.  Everything has a place.  It’s easy to find.  It just makes me happy.

Isn’t that so much better?

You know what’s also better?  Our master bedroom.  A loooong time ago, I showed you what it looked like.


The good news is it looks absolutely nothing like this now.  I suppose I owe you an update.  That’s coming… soon.

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Dreams Only Girlfriends Know

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Also known as, “the day after my birthday.” The two days are separate, mind you – not to be combined or muddled.  I always hated it when people gave me Valentinesy gifts for my birthday.  There was also the boyfriend who thought he was clever and gave me a combo “big” gift for both my birthday and Valentine’s Day.  Needless to say, that relationship went nowhere.  Mr. Dreamer has never done that – in six February’s together.  LOVE HIM.

This year, though, he outdid himself.  He took on daddy duty for the weekend so I could hang with my girls.  Remember them?  Jessica, Leslie and I went to college together and have some fantastic, never to be shared in public, memories – and we love adding to those memories in our thirties.  Why not?

These two gorgeous gals came over from LA and we had a great weekend… dinners, hikes, shopping, wine, looooong chats, tears, hugs, baby cuddling, lots of laughter.

For the record, Leslie absolutely bought that “outfit” and will find a way to work it into her one-woman Broadway show someday.

I must admit, the best part of the weekend for me was when these two fashionable ladies tore apart my closet.  We dragged everything out.  I tried on countless combos.  They gave honest thumbs-up or thumbs-down.  They helped me figure out new things to wear and *gasp* told me I could wear skinny jeans and/or leggings in public (without a shirt or tunic almost down to my knees).  I’m still holding on to a few pregnancy pounds – for the memories, you know? It’s hard to let that go, emotionally, of course.  I’ll never be able to do the leggings – something in my soul just says NO – but I did decide to take them at their word and wore skinny jeans out to my birthday dinner with the Mr.

Why, yes, I was that lady taking a picture of myself in the restaurant bathroom.  Trust me, it’s better than taking it in my bathroom (the cleaning ladies come today… whew!).

Not bad!  I actually felt comfortable and …wait for it… sexy. 🙂

And confident enough to inhale my birthday dessert.

(In case you’re curious, we’re at my favorite Scottsdale restaurant, Olive & Ivy.  It’s our third year in a row eating there for my birthday!  I love it.)

So, I’m another year older – and finally not dressing in baggy post-maternity tents.  Yay, me!


As you can tell, most of the photos above were taken with my iPhone, in not-so-great lighting.  However, you should see the photos before I “fixed” them with my favorite iPhone app

Not bad, huh?  The app is called Snapseed.  It’s like a dumbed-down version of PhotoShop for your phone – really easy to use.  I got it for free during a promotion, and it looks like it’s free right now – so, GET IT.  (I think it normally runs $4.99)

And this concludes your lesson in iPhone photo editing and girlfriend fashion helping for today.  Come back tomorrow to see my bathroom drawer.  Seriously.

PS: Snapseed didn’t pay me or ask me to write anything about their app.  I just like it.

PPS: Jessica and Leslie didn’t pay me or ask me to write about their fashion advice. I just like it. I like a lot.

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The Land of Dreams

Not to brag, but I have to say I noticed a familiar nursery theme in the “What’s New?” email advertisement I got this week from The Land of Nod:

Gray/White stripes, polka-dots, bright yellow accents…

Yep, it’s official.  Kenton’s nursery was ahead of the trend.  Now, hopefully my grand idea for his “big boy” room will also be a trendsetter… we shall see!

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Family Dreams 2011

Family photos 2011.  Yes, I realize it’s now 2012.  Sorry.

I’m just now getting around to this, but wanted to show off some of the fantastic shots from our family photo shoot.  We had two shoots – one in October and the other in November.  We were able to get time with both sets of grandparents to mark this fun phase of life with their first grandbebe.  Kenton wore the same outfit for both shoots.  Orginally, we were going to try and make it look like one shoot – but I opted for an outfit change (why not?!).  After all, I dedicated a whole Pinterest board and a blog post to figuring out what we were going to wear!  As you can see, we settled on a navy/gray/beige color palette.

Here are the highlights.  Shots were taken by our amazing wedding photographer, Jennifer Radack with O’Grace Photography.

so handsome

The TOES!  nom-nom-nom….

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Reality of a Dream

This is the reality of life with a baby boy – and from what I’ve heard, baby girls engage in this behavior too.

Moms-to-be, now you know.

That is all.

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The “Dream Rocker” is now in the capable hands of a local momma-to-be.  A woman on a nursery mission… she wanted this rocker, bad.  Gosh, it just seems like a few months ago that was me.  Wait… I guess it was!

The Mr. and I gladly accepted $400 for the rocker/ottoman set – $100 more than we paid just a few months ago.  NICE!

Immediately, we hopped on CB2’s website and ordered the new rocker of our dreams…

After taxes and shipping, we netted about $50.  Not exactly sure what we’ll do with that little profit, but I’m sure we’ll figure something out (hardy-har-har-har-wink-wink).  We also already have the perfect ottoman to go with our new rocker, so there’s no need for that expense.  Allegedly, the new nursery addition will be here this weekend!  Yippee!

Okay, now for the BAD NEWS!

I know!  It’s devastating.

I noticed some people who pinned this photo on Pinterest complain about not being able to find it at Ikea.  So, I did some digging and, sadly, the Allamala Magazine Wall Rack was discontinued.  Cue: screams of terror and gnashing of teeth.

However, I did find quite a few eBay and Craig’s List listings when I Googled it – so there is hope.  I’m also going to try and find some similar items that can serve the same purpose and do a post about that.  So, if you have ideas – please send them my way.

Now, dry your tears… it’s BABY PICTURE TIME!

Yep, eight months old!  Craziness.  This month we added shoes.  Check out the monthly progression here.

And here’s a gratuitous shot of the now-chunky babe stripped down to a onesie…

Okay, bye… I need to go gnaw on some baby fat…

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