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Archive for April, 2012

It’s Monday morning.  Typically, I would be racing around the house at this hour… half-dressed… wearing whatever pants or skirt I picked for the professional part of my day, paired with an old t-shirt that I would quickly change out of after my 11 month old was cleaned up from his breakfast (learned that trick the hard way).  I’d be trying to pack some snacks to silence my ever-rumbling-all-day-long pregnancy hunger while Jason would make oatmeal and lattes (half-decaf for me!).  I would be rationing out formula and baby food – stocking the diaper bag – so my son could eat while he was at the sitter’s house.  I would occasionally yell at the Bulldog slobberly-slopping up baby-breakfast-leftovers from the tile floor. Gross. I would cheerily remind my husband, “We have no plans tonight!” as Mondays are our only free nights during the week. I would pack up my sweet munchkin and drive him 5:00 minutes away to the sitter’s house, and then another 5:00 minutes to my office.  My day would begin like many other working moms, crazy, insane, hurried and purposeful.

But not today.

This morning, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, with my half-decaf latte and oatmeal.  I’m not wearing anything professional.  Jason left for work a little while ago.  The baby is enjoying a few more morsels of his breakfast.  The Bulldog is drooling nearby, desperately waiting for me to turn my head for a moment, so he can lick up a few dropped treasures under the high chair.  I’m taking it all in, slowly.  No need to rush.

I am unemployed.

I have nowhere I have to be today.

I’m past the shock.  This is not what I planned for, not what I expected.  I trust that there is a purpose and a plan for this temporary trial. I know it was planned before I was even born. I know there are lessons to be learned and growth to occur.  I take comfort in that and treasure it.

I wish I could share more information – there are details that would make your jaw drop – but… I can’t.

So, the really great and wonderful news is that you’ll be hearing a lot more from me.  I’ve spent most of my adult life working on a deadline and if I don’t have one, I’ll go crazy.  So, I’m giving myself some deadlines and hope you’ll come back to see what I have to say and show.

Thanks for your support.

xoxo,
Michelle

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I stopped by my local thrift store to browse – primarily searching for a changing table for the new downstairs playroom (update coming soon) – but I happened to walk by the fabric aisle.  FABRIC!  They have fabric at the thrift store? People donate unused fabric? What? Look what I scored…

I’ve got yards of each for just $2.99 each. Seriously. I couldn’t believe it either. Actually, when I got to the register, I found out it was on sale because I also picked up a $2.99 frame and my grand total came to $6.52.

YES.PLEASE.THANKYOU.VERYMUCH.

The gray fabric is for our bedroom, where I’m going to attempt this Pinterest project.

Still not sure what I’m going to do with this vintage chevron upholstery fabric, but I could not pass it up! ($2.99!)

Any ideas for me?

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Dream Higher, Mama!

We have a new addition in our backyard and it greatly (greatly) pleases the youngest member of our household.

Yep. Kenton’s first swing.  We’d been on the lookout for one for a while, hoping to find a great deal on Craig’s List or at a local kid’s consignment store. However, while walking through Costco with Meme (Jason’s parents are Meme & Pepe), she spotted this one and declared she had to buy it.  No argument here! Super-daddy got it up in about five minutes… with an observer in the distance.

The squeals of delight that come from this child while he is swinging (preferably high and fast… yikes!)… are so precious.

He loves it.

The only (major) bummer – the Dream has east/west exposure and so swinging is limited to the morning hours.  There’s simply too much direct sun in the afternoon/evening – not to mention it’s getting to be “that time” of year in Arizona so it’s also too darn hot. It does cool down after the sun sets, but our little man is long lost in his own dreams by that point.

So, for the next few months, if you need us in the morning – we’ll be out on the back patio with a cup of coffee checking out this delighted face.

How about you?  Anybody get a fun, easy project done this weekend?

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My dear friend, Abby, is having a little mini-Dreamer of her own.

So, of course, she needs to be showered with baby gifts.  So, a few of us got together and did a little soiree a few weeks ago.  We had a loose “cookies and milk” theme.  Here are some highlights:

Abby's last name starts with "O" and the baby is lovingly referred to as "Little O." So, the name tags had every guest declaring their love for "Little O" (a cheerio!).

Carrie – the hostess of this partay – is my super-creative friend. You know, the friend that constantly inspires you and frustrates you at the same time because you’ll never keep up with her Martha-Stewart-prowess? Here she is with the guest of honor:

 She came up with this fabulous idea to create onesies for Abby to use for her baby’s monthly photos:

It was a bit tricky because Abby and her husband are waiting on a delivery room surprise (like us!), so Carrie tried her best to choose gender-neutral fabrics.

As the guest activity, we had people write down notes for each month, that we then wrapped up in the onesies.

So, when Abby grabs the appropriate onesie each month, she’ll have a sweet note of encouragement from her friends to go along with it!

This is also the gal who got the shower caddy diaper storage project I told you about on Monday.

She’s registered for green bedding from Pottery Barn Kids. I stopped by the store and got a swatch of their fabric and then headed to Home Depot to match a spray paint to it. I think it came pretty close:

Anyway, Abby was really happy with it and texted a picture of it hanging above her changing table.

This was a great gift idea – but I wouldn’t do it for just anyone.  I knew Abby had some empty wall space in her nursery and this piece would fit right in.  I also know her personality and that she’s open to suggestions and did not have specific ideas already planned for every aspect of her nursery (like, eh-hm, some others I know, yours truly not excluded). So, if you’re thinking about something similar – just make sure you know it will be well received!

Here’s the gang responsible for the shower:

(Yes, I already have a baby bump! Crazy.)

It was a fun day and, most importantly, Abby felt loved.  So, in my mind that = success.

PS: Carrie and Genevieve (pictured above, next to me) own a business called Red Dutch Door.  For those in the Phoenix area, they will have a booth at the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market on May 5th at WestWorld in Scottsdale.  Don’t miss it!  It’s going to be awesome.  The last sale they went to, they were the most popular (by far) and most of their products were sold quickly.  They make subway signs (the “love is all you need” pictured above is an example), bunting, scarves, wreaths and rumor has it – they’ll also have some bike baskets.  So fun.

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Okay, I’ll admit it.  This post is born out of guilt.

First, I confess – I’m amazing.  It’s true.  Okay, that’s a lie.  It’s my mom that’s amazing, but I’m her off-spring, so maybe I get a bit of the awesomeness in my DNA?  Anyway, while perusing Ikea during the nursery-shopping-frenzy pre-Kenton, my mom spotted a fantastic magazine wall rack and thought it would make for good diaper storage.  Boy, was she right!  With a little silver spray paint, this puppy fit perfectly into the nursery and is an awesome spot for diapers.  It holds about 200 diapers – all within arm’s reach of the changing table.  Various pictures of it have popped up all over Pinterest, which I loved because it’s a cheap and fun nursery addition.  Until, dumb Ikea stopped carrying it.  I have no idea when that happened, but it happened.  BOO!!!  I felt really bad.  I did Google, eBay and Craig’s List searches for people who asked me about it.  For a time, there were a few out there to be found.  (If you’re lucky, it’s called the Ikea Allamala Magazine Rack.)

Image

So, I promised to do some searching/digging/crafting on my own and come up with some alternative solutions, which I (finally) have for you here.

We’ve got baskets, magazine racks, floating shelves and shower caddies – yes, shower caddies!

Who knew that creative diaper storage could come from such random objects?

First up: the shower caddy.

I actually loved this one so much, I spray painted it and gave it away as a baby shower gift.  I matched (or tried to) the color in the bedding my friends had registered for – gave this puppy a coat of primer and two coats of green spray – and voila!

more on this baby shower gift later this week!

This piece holds about 100 diapers.  I found it at Marshall’s and it cost me less than $20 (+spray paint and diapers!).

Next up: the magazine rack.

Imagine this with a coat of bright blue or yellow?  This is a nice piece too because as baby grows, it can be repurposed for coloring books (which is exactly why I didn’t return it as originally planned.  It now has a reserved spot in our new playroom!).

Next, some simple items you may already have or can find anywhere for CHEAP: a basket and a floating shelf.

Again, image these painted in a nursery accent color – perfect!  These also can be repurposed when the bambino is potty trained.

So, there you have it – a few alternative and creative ideas for diaper storage.  What do you think? Anything here you would use – or do you have another item you repurposed for diaper storage?  Do share!

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Her Dream From Home

Today is an exciting day!  The much anticipated Her View From Home site is live!

I’m honored to be the DIY/Home Improvement feature writer for this site.  My first post will go live on Saturday, but you can get a sneak peek here.  (It may look familiar!  Best to start with the most popular topic, eh?!)

This site will focus on women in central and rural Nebraska.  So, why is some chic from Snottsdale, Arizona involved?!  Well, that little nook of the world is incredibly special to me.  I spent more than two years in Kearney, Nebraska – right in the heart of central Nebraska – working as the Weekend Anchor and Reporter for NTV News… the ridiculously popular ABC affiliate in that area.

my “anchor portrait”

My parents still have that framed and displayed in their kitchen.  Don’t you just love my “anchor bob?” HA!

It was my first on-air gig and was quite the learning experience for this self-professed urbanite.  I fondly remember the news director explaining to me that I would have to read stock prices on the news – no big deal, right?  Well, imagine my surprise when he handed me the script and “stock prices” were actually what wheat and corn were selling for that day.  What?!  It was… interesting.  Actually, I loved it.  I loved the people and their stories.  I still have very close, lifelong friends there.  I never let go of my Nebraska connections and, thankfully, they didn’t let go of me (despite my on-air flub, when I said “Cornhunkers” while reporting on the wildly popular UNL football team – yep, true story – and there are a TON more where that came from.  I’ll spare you.)

So, head on over to the new Her View From Home site and check ‘er out.  I’m so proud of the women behind this venture.  They’ve put their heart and soul into this and I’m sure it will all pay off!

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Well, helloooo there.  Long time, no chat.  It’s been so long, in fact, my Aunt Holly emailed to ask if the blog moved because she hadn’t seen an update in a while.  Nope, we’re still here!  (Hi, Holly!) 🙂  I’ll explain the prolonged absence, I promise… but first… we need say goodbye.

Goodbye to the old, ugly, white, leather couches that occupied our living room:

Goodbye to the guest bedroom furniture… since baby’s need for a space to play now trumps a queen bed for guests:

Ignore the ugly bedspread! We did have a really nice Angela Adams duvet cover on there, but never bothered taking a pic. Oh well!

Goodbye to the brown leather couch in the family room:

Ahh... yes... in with the new already.

(well, not a real goodbye for the brown couch… just a move for that old girl)

Finally, the saddest of all… Goodbye Nikon 18-105 lens:

Sweet girl took an unfortunate plunge onto the tile floor and is getting a trip to Nikon Hospital.  We don’t know how long she’ll be in inpatient therapy.  For now, her cousin, our 50mm fixed lens is the only one we’ve got to snap shots around the Dream and of the wee one.

For those who speak “photog” – you know that’s a challenge to only shoot with a 50mm lens.  However, it will also be excellent practice and will hopefully make me a better photographer (silver lining!).

So… as you can see… we’ve had some MAJOR changes in the Dream lately.  I can’t wait to update you on what we’ve done/are doing with all of those newly empty spaces… good things, my friends, exciting things.

However, it’s not all goodbye.  We’ll also say, “Hello!” to the newest Dream dweller:

Yep!  Baby #2 is on the way!  I am due in mid-October and we are THRILLED.

So is Kenton, he just doesn’t know it yet.

Just like last time, the first trimester of pregnancy was easy-peasy, but left me with little-to-no energy.  Hopefully, that explains my absence as of late.  If my options were sleep or blog – sleep won EVERY. TIME.  As of this week, though, I’m officially entering trimester #2, which is good because I clearly have a lot of work to do!

PS: I’ve finally updated Kenton’s monthly pics.  Check them out here.

PPS: Follow me on Twitter or Instagram (mrsdreamer), where I definitely update more than once every three weeks!

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