30 June 2011

dancing queen the remix

This post from June 2009 made me think about how much Mabry has always loved to dance.  I dug up a couple more videos of the girlie dancing to share as well.

One way for Mabry and I to pass the time is to crank up the oldies music that we both love so much and dance on the counter tops. Don't worry, I was right there to catch her and she really wasn't near the edge at all. By the way, like how I figured out how to post larger videos??

These videos are from when she was only 17 days old:

Then just a few months later:

For more of Mabry dancing you can also check out this post and this post.

As a reminder to myself: Tomorrow is the day you can finally sign her up for dance lessons. Make sure you do it!

29 June 2011

onslow beach revisted

I originally posted this one back in June 2009.  I can't believe that Dan and I haven't been back to the Atlantic Ocean since then.  Shameful seeing as we are only two hours away.  This has to be one of my favorites posts about Mabry and Dan and some of my favorite pictures of the two of them.  I would also like it noted that I would love to have my bikini body back.  I should print out that last photo and staple it to the pantry door.  Walk away from the MnMs.... 

**I was also looking through old videos and came across one from our Onslow Trip.  I am including it at the bottom of this post.

Yesterday afternoon we decided to take an impromptu family trip to Camp LeJeune.  There is a private beach there that we have heard lots about and wanted to check it out for ourselves.

The weather reports had said there was a chance of rain late in the afternoon.  We were concerned when we got there and buckets of rain were being dumped near the entrance to the base.  Luckily by the time we drove the 8 or so miles to the beach on the other side of the base it was gorgeous!   We are talking blue skies, a few clouds and the perfect light breeze.


They have cabins on the beach that you can rent.  (We are going to be looking into that for sure for next time!)  They also have indoor and outdoor showers (great for cleaning up at the end of the day) and cabanas.  

Once we were out of the car and into our bathing suits, I took the opportunity to get a few photos of Mabry.


She loved pointing to the seagulls and yelling, "bird!"

I asked her to "show me her teeth" in an effort to get a smile out of her and this is what I got.  Of course she had a mouth full of turkey sandwich at the time.  So that probably wasn't good timing on my part.

After her sandwich Dada took Mabry down to the water.  

She hated it.

So I took her back up to the dry sand to play and Dan went for a swim.

We tried a few more times to get her to put her feet in the water.  She still tried to avoid it and would cry if the water got too close.  It was fairly warm, so I think it scared her just how quick the rushing water would come in.  

Dan finally came up with a great idea.  He dug a shallow hole that was near enough to the water that it created a puddle.  He then sat Mabry in it.  She had a blast.  Splashing and digging around in the sand.

Those two played down by that hole for probably over an hour.  It was so cute to watch them play.  I love watching Dan with Mabry.  He is such a good Dada.

Being this close to the water gave Mabry a little more confidence and she let her Dada take her out into the water.  She wasn't too happy being out where the waves were really crashing. 

But she was OK keeping her feet in the very shallow part.  Big strides!

I was there I promise!  We took one picture to prove it: 

I need to get better about stepping around to the front of the camera more.  

Bonus Video:

28 June 2011

while driving home revisted

This post was originally from September 2009, about six months after we had moved into this house.  Here we are almost two full years later and I still check the toilets before I use them and randomly check under the car if I have to stay out in the garage for long periods of time rather than just jumping into it.  (Think the way a small child jumps into bed so monsters don't grab their feet.)

*Phone rings*

Me: Hello?

Dan: Hi Hon. How are things going?

Me: Good. Mabry is watching Peter Pan and being really good. What's up?

Dan: *Hesitates* Um...promise not to freak out?

Me: (Immediate thoughts of him eating in bed and destroying our white comforter that took me over a year to find; the house burning down; him telling us we are being relocated.) Sure?

Dan: I want to say up front we are not going to sell this house.

Me: *Now really worried.* Ok?

Dan: The next door neighbors found a 7 FOOT SNAKE IN THEIR GARAGE today. Animal control said it wasn't a pet, IT WAS WILD.

Me: *Mock calm voice* Oh is that all? No big deal. *Frantically looking for a place to pop a u-turn on a major interstate and put as many states between me and our house as possible.*

I am now looking everywhere I go when I walk not only outside but in the house. Toilet lids are opened and throughly inspected for anything that could be lurking. Cupboards are checked before reaching my hand in to grab anything. The best part is Dan said the neighbors told him that they had to call a whole bunch of different places before they could someone to come out and catch the snake. My plan is to call 911 and report shots fired if I find one, I figure that means I will only be screaming like a little girl while hanging from the chandelier in the dining room for about a minute before help arrives.

That is if I don't just drop dead from total fright first.

27 June 2011

fruit poops revisted

This week I am taking a blogging/Internet vacation.  Never fear, I took a walk down memory lane while visiting the blog archives one night last week and picked out some of my favorites to share with you throughout this week.  Enjoy your week and have a wonderful 4th!

This post was originally published in March 2010.  I especially love the second video.  Even though Mabry's verbal skills weren't all that fantastic, her personality is exactly the same today as it was then and it shows.  

Here she sings Jesus Loves Me. Only she just rocks back and forth singing, "Bible, Bible."

23 June 2011

inspiration for the fourth

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest lately?  I am on that site constantly.  It is a wonder I am able to get anything done around here.  There is so much inspiration to be found.  Since the Fourth of July is coming up, I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I have seen lately on the site. Maybe give you some last minute inspiration for a project or two.

1.  Wreaths.  I don't know why I have a wreath obsession all of a sudden, but I do and some of these are just too darn cute:
(Photo Courtesy of Attempting Creative)

(Photo Courtesy of AllYou.com)

(Photo Courtesy of Emily Sparks)

(Photo Courtesy of A Little Hut )

2.  If wreaths aren't your thing, how cute (and easy) would it be to make this banner?  I can imagine it in so many different places during a 4th of July BBQ.  
(Photo Courtesy of Funkyshique)

3.  Printables and fun BBQ ideas:
(Photo Courtesy of Jamis Fabulous Discoveries )

(Photo Courtesy of Skip To My Lou )

(Photo Courtesy of Poppies At Play

4.  Yummy Foods.  I'm not going to lie, not only both of these look delicious they also looked really easy to make.  
(Photo Courtesy of Skip To My Lou

(Photo Courtesy of All Recipes)

5.  Fun, cheap and easy craft to do alone or with the kids.  I could see these out on a picnic table.  I really like the star one and would probably just have several of that one around.
(Photo Courtesy of Total Art Soul)

7.  Clothing.  I think that the best way to sum this up would be cute, cute, cute!                                         

(Photo Courtesy of theuptownbaby)

(Photo Courtesy of Meet Virginia Design

22 June 2011

a plea: dan come home soon i am running out of rooms

Right after Dan deployed I moved the office upstairs into what was the play room and then the play room was moved back downstairs into the room that had been the office.  Two weeks ago I decided to switch the play room and Mabry's room.  Partly because I wanted her to have more room to play and partly because I was bored and saw this photo on Pinterest and was inspired.

The only stipulation that I made for myself was that I had $40 to do any changes.  Everything else had to either be something I already had.

It turned out exactly the way I had hoped.  

Step into Mabry's new room...  

This height chart was another Pinterest inspiration.  A piece of whiteboard, some stain and a little acrylic paint was all it took.  I actually made this at the end of last month and it was hanging in the play room, so I just left it.

Mabry is not very big:

The white dresser and nightstand Mabry had weren't the best.  I really wanted to find her an antique that I could refinish.  So I listed what we had on Craigslist and sold it two days later for $75.  I then found this 1960s dresser for $40.  I sanded and stained it and then added the knobs from Hobby Lobby.  The jar of Hershey Kisses is our way of counting down until Dan comes home.  A kiss from Dada each night until he gets back.  (Except I have to replenish the jar because I might sneak one or two sometimes.)

The canvas in the frame and the one just sitting on the dresser were both left over from a project I had done over a year ago.  I used other pictures I had seen as inspiration and recreated them with a little acrylic paint.  (I blurred out Mabry's full name on the one picture.)

The wreath was actually a yarn wreath I had made around Christmas but could never find a place for.  The yellow trim was from Michael's, the curtains and rod were already hanging in this room from when it was my office.

I bought a the thick grey ribbon and then created the rosettes from scrap material I had for the dress form.  It took two cans of spray paint to cover the bookshelf:

Up to this point I hadn't really spent any money since I had sold the dresser and nightstand replaced it for less.  I ended up using my original $40 budget on sheets from Walmart, a clearance blanket (not pictured) from Target and some material to make the ruffles at the end of the bed, cover the headboard and make some pillows.  The buttons on the headboard were a collection of random ones I had lying around.  I still have a couple of pillows to make, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

The flashcards were a free printable found here.  Betsy and I had hung them up in the play room when she was visiting and it worked so well with the color scheme that I kept it.

Mabry is really happy with her new room and I am too.

21 June 2011

i know i've been gone awhile, but i come bearing a gift

Hey strangers.

I have been working on several posts in my head for the last couple of days.  The problem is finding the time to actually sit down at the computer and type them out.

In the last 48-hours I have been more productive than the last two weeks combined.  It is an amazing feeling to know that right now the house is 100% clean, the car and truck are both detailed, the lawn is mowed and I am almost completely caught up on my design work.  Also, Mabry has been in bed on time for the last couple of nights.  Trust me, all of this is a big deal.

Have I mentioned that I have a new found and very deep level of respect for anyone who is a single parent.  Not easy is an understatement heard round the world if you ask me.
Car Wash

Anyhow, this is just a quick post today because it is already 1:00am and I am exhausted.  I did want to drop in and let you all know that I am alive and still here and that I will be back with all kinds of interesting posts for the rest of the week.
Car Wash

Ps.  The photos (because what good is a post without photos?) are from this weekend when I took Mabry to the car wash.  She is afraid of the noise the water makes as it pelts the car.  So I always let her move up front with me and try to keep her preoccupied.  This time it was making a game out of hiding from the water and playing with her little iSpy book that I made last week.  Inspiration for the book found here.

PPs. Just because I big fat puffy heart love you all so much, I thought I would share all of the iSpy photos I took so you can put together a book of your own.  Please note that the pictures have all been sized down to 4x6 already, they will be too pixelated if you try to have them printed any larger.  To get your copy of the photos please follow the link HERE to download.

16 June 2011

fakin' it

IMG_7640 copy

I'm not going to lie, this has been a really bad week for me.  I have pretty much felt like I have been drowning for the last 72 hours.  Overwhelmed with work and things to do around the house, feeling like the worst parent in the world (confirmed by Mabry at least once), missing Dan terribly, not wanting to be a single parent/homeowner.  I could keep going, but I think you all get the picture.  It has just sucked.  Big time.

Some weeks are just going to be like this.  I have to remind myself of that and put on my big girl panties, slap on a big old smile and fake it until I make it.

14 June 2011

mabry's bathroom reveal

Several times on here there has been mention of my love for a certain photo of a bathroom I saw.  Mabry's/guest bathroom is the only room in the house that had been untouched since we moved into this house over two years ago.  Boring builder's beige and not an ounce of personality.  Even though I had found the vintage sports themed bathroom photo interesting, I had no inspiration to try and create something like that in my house.

About the only thing I had done for that room was replace our old shower curtain with a bluish/grey flowered one from Target that I had found deeply discounted on a clearance end cap months ago.
Bathroom Redo 6

Then the night before I went to pick up the paint for the board and batten project it hit me.  Why not use vintage photos (my love) from Penn State (Dan's love) in the bathroom?  Suddenly I saw the shower curtain mixed with the old photos and white walls and it didn't seem too boyish at all.

I would certainly have enough paint to do both the board and batten project and the bathroom if I bought a gallon.  So the next day I picked up the paint and while Mabry napped I worked on the walls.

I found a website where you can look through all of the old yearbooks from Penn State online.  I picked out some of my favorite photos and then sent them to Dan.  He had the final say in what would go up.  He also helped me find some other vintage Penn State images.
Bathroom Redo 3

When I was in Philly visiting my sister we stopped at IKEA and I picked up a couple of frames for the walls.  A few hooks for the towels (50% off at Hobby Lobby) and a cute cup and soap dish re-purposed into a candle holder from the clearance aisle at West Elm and the bathroom was done.
Bathroom Redo 4

Bathroom Redo 2

The long photograph is the team photo from the first year our beloved JoPa took over as head coach in 1966.  That would be 45 years if anyone is trying to do the math.  He looks much younger and yet still the same.  I think it is the thick glasses.
Bathroom Redo 5

So what do you think?  Love it?  Hate it?  Who cares it is a bathroom?
Bathroom Redo

10 June 2011

anthropologie inspired sign

Anthro Inspired Sign

While B was here over Memorial Day weekend to help with the board and batten I put her to work on a few other projects I had going on at the house.  One of which was to help me find a way to fill up some blank wall space in the living room since I had rearranged it the week before.

We were coming up with all kinds of ideas, but nothing really got me excited.  Which was a total bummer.  Then one evening we decided to throw together a sign out of a piece of whiteboard and some supplies from around my house for in her dining room.  After seeing her sign I knew I wanted to make one for myself.  The empty wall was the perfect place to put it.  The hardest part was picking what quote to put on the board.

B and I both thought that the signs looked like something you would find in Anthropologie.  Only a crap ton cheaper.

Want to make a sign for yourself?  Follow these simple steps:

1.  Go to Lowes and pick up a piece of 1x6xwhatever you want whiteboard.

2.  Have the Lowes people cut the board into however many pieces of equal length that you plan to use. In my case I bought a 1x6x12 and had it cut into three 3 1/2 foot long pieces.  I saved the leftover for a future (unknown) project.

3.  Stain all the wood.  I used the Dark Walnut stain from Minwax.  I only did one coat.  I also only stained the front and sides.  There were two thin pieces of wood that had to be stained as well.  We used scraps left over from the board and batten project.  Make sure you stain those too.

4.  Let the stain dry for about an hour or so.
Anthro Inspired Sign

5.  Using Photoshop or whatever program you may have pick a quote, font(s) and sizes for everything you want.  Then print it out.

6.  Trace the letters onto contact paper and cut out.  We found that the exacto-knife didn't work well with the contact paper.  It was just easier to use scissors.

7.  Peel the contact paper from the backing and stick to the wood.  I wasn't very particular about placement.  I just sort of arranged them on the boards somewhat at random.
Anthro Inspired Sign

8.  You can tape the sides off if you want, or be extra lazy and inpatient and just hope you won't get any paint on them.  (Guess which way I went.)

9.  Using a sponge brush apply a very thin coat of paint all over the top of the board and contact paper.  Almost as if you are whitewashing the board.
Anthro Inspired Sign

10.  Realize you have zero patience and as soon as you finish painting the last board go back to the first board and start peeling off the contact paper to expose the stained letters underneath.

11.  Wait a few more minutes to make sure that everything is dry enough and then flip all of the boards over.  Determine how much space you want between the boards and then using screws attach the scrap wood pieces to hold everything together.

Anthro Inspired Sign

12.  Attach a D-ring hook to the top middle of the frame (make sure you measure).

Anthro Inspired Sign

13.  Hang and enjoy.

14.  Decide that you are missing a little something and convince your sister to paint a little blue heart at the end of the quote while you make dinner.

Anthro Inspired Sign

In case some of you are curious, this is what B's sign (aka my inspiration) looks like:
Anthro Inspired Sign
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