LIFE + STYLE BLOG

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy Birthday to Our 1st Baby

How did this happen? I can't believe we have a 6 year old. I say this most years, but 6 just seems so big.

Happy Happy birthday little guy! You are as funny as you are wild, and despite being all boy, you have a kind, tender heart. You love to learn and ask questions and you are an amazing artist and drawer. You have quickly become your brother's best friend and you are fiercely protective. We love you so so much and can't wait to watch you grow this year.

xoxo, Mom

DIY {Growth Chart}

This project is one of those things I have had pinned FOREVER, but just never got around to doing. I'm not sure if I thought it would be too hard, too much time, etc but have no fear! If I can do it, you can too. Seriously.

There wasn't one particular tutorial I followed, I found a few and took tips from each of them. Hopefully this one is pretty comprehensive and won't leave you with a bunch of questions.

What You'll Need:
-Piece of wood (I chose 1x10x6), but if you think your little guy/gal might be taller than 6ft, you can get a (1x10x8) and keep the length or have them cut it to a (1x10x7) Both Lowe's & Home Depot will do the cut for free. Here's a pic of the wood's barcode from Lowes.

-Stain. We had a bunch of different colors left over from when the house was built. I recommend in the Minwax brand, but really any brand will work. I chose the Dark Walnut #2716

-Large Permanent Marker-King Size

-Chalk
-Measuring Tape
-Sandpaper
-Foam Brushes. I picked up this pack from Walmart. It had a bunch of different sizes and was super cheap. Like $1. I used the biggest one in the pack. I recommend the foam brush unless you are using a very nice bristle brush that won't shed. The cheaper bristle brushes tend to leave little fibers behind and you'll notice them in your stain.

-Number Stickers. I used numbers you would put on mailboxes and found them in that section at Lowes. I got numbers 1-5, but get 1-6 if you are doing anything above the 6ft. board. Make sure you get the non-relfective ones. The reflective numbers will say so at the top.

So now on to how to make this thing.

Begin by lightly sanding the rough edges of the board until smooth. This will prevent you or your kids from getting little splinters and just gives it a more finished look.

Next, coat the board in one coat of stain. Go with the the grain, which just means do long brushstrokes the length of the board, not up and down width wise.

Let the first coat dry for about an hour then do a second coat. If your wood has little knots or kicks the stain will soak more into those areas. I happen to love that look, but you could always try to sand those out if you don't. Don't forget to coat the sides as well. I found one coat was enough for those.

Let the second coat dry completely overnight. Once the board is dry (shouldn't be sticky to the touch) bust out that tape measurer. Lay the tape measurer the entire length of the board.

Using chalk, VERY lightly mark every inch until you've done the whole board.

Next, I went back through and made sure the lines were all equal length. I did the following:
Inches were 1/2 inches in length
Every 1/2 ft(6th inch) was 1 inch in length
Every foot was 2 inches in length
These lengths are what I happened to like, but you can really do whatever. I would just make sure you have some sort of consistency (Making 1/2 ft mark double the inch mark and the ft mark 3x the inch mark for example)

This is what it looks like with the different lengths

Once the chalk lines are complete, it was time to trace over them with the permanent marker. I practiced on a piece of paper before I actually did it on the board. #fearoffailure

I did thinner lines for the inch marks, a little thicker for 1/2 ft. marks, and super thick for the ft. marks.

Get to marking. Relax, take a deep breath. It won't be perfect, but honestly you won't be able to tell when it's all said and done.

Next I stood the board up and fixed/straightened out any of the lines that weren't quite right.

Now comes the easy part. Place your stickers next to the foot marks. I had 5 stickers, but my board goes up to 6 ft. I bought a 6ft sticker and tried it out, but didn't like how it looked. I ended up adding a 6ft line at the very top of the board, but didn't put the number 6.

And there you have it! We are waiting to hang it until we move into the new house, but I can't wait to see how it will look! I plan to use a white sharpie to write in the kids' heights. 

P.S. If you haven't been keeping up with their heights, you can call your pediatricians office and get the heights from their well visits.


Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Christmas Recap: Part 2 {Christmas Day}

* I realize it's almost February, but this post has been in my drafts since well, Christmas, and it's now or never.

There's nothing quite like waking up on Christmas morning. Jack slept in (of course) and we managed to hold off Ben until 8 to open presents.

The pure excitement on his face his priceless!

Jack was at such a fun age this year and he was able to actually open the presents vs. just eating the wrapping paper.

At noon we changed out of our pjs and headed over to my parent's house for Christmas with my side of the family.

You know how Jack is obsessed with Elf on the Shelf? Well my sister found this elf shirt and Jack LOVED it. But he loved it a little too much and kept crying and trying to peal the dang elf off the shirt.

You'll notice there were lots of outfit changes as pjs were unwrapped.

When every present was unwrapped and every gift played with we headed home and tried to put our house together. Until next year!
Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Recap

Come Sunday night I was totally not ready for this weekend to end.

I traveled early Friday morning to see a client and got to witness this beautiful sunrise. Something about a sunrise instantly puts me in a better mood.

Saturday I cleaned and organized the house and it felt amazing. As a reward for our hard work, that afternoon we tried out the new Smoothie King that just opened. I didn't realize most of their smoothies are meant to be meal replacements which also means a lot of calories. I ordered the boys and myself the kid sizes which are 12oz and around 100-150 calories instead of the regular shakes which go up to 32oz and some are 500 calories. It was ok, but I think I like Orange Julius better.

Saturday night J and I watched both American Snipper and The Imitation Game. Two totally different movies, but I really liked them both. The Imitation Game was way more interesting than I thought it was going to be. 

Sunday morning I made a recipe I've had pinned forever. You guys. I made toffee. Doesn't that sound crazy? I made a freakin candy. For some reason I thought it would be totally hard and complicated, but I followed this recipe and it was so easy and so delicious!

It finally rained and I got to wear my new Hunter boots for the first time. Who would have ever thought I'd be wishing for rain.

The rest of Sunday was spent cuddling, playing Wii, and having tackling sessions.

J had a meeting with a client so on his way home he picked up dinner and we ate sushi while watching the SAG awards. Anyone else underwhelemd by them? It was the perfect ending to a weekend I wish didn't have to end.

I'm hoping this week flies by as our first baby turns 6 on Thursday and we can't wait to celebrate! How is that even possible?!?


Linking up with Biana for Weekending.
Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday, Friday

This is going to be one heck of a random post for ya.

//one//
I'm DYING to go on a trip somewhere. Like overseas somewhere. Since we're moving and buying a new house in just a few months this trip won't be happening anytime soon. J and I are going on a little overnight date in February to see Hozier in concert in St. Louis. Although it's just one night, it'll be nice to get away just the two of us.

//two//
Forever 21 has been killing it lately with their jewelry. You can't beat a couple dollars for these gorgeous jewels! I got these for Christmas, which I happened to pick out and order for myself, for my mom to give me. Make sense?

//three//
I LOVE Veggie Straws, but I think I love the Veggie Chips even better. Have you all tried these things? They are so addicting and I tell myself the calories don't count since it's like eating a bag of vegetables. Yeah...

//four//
I made 3 different DIY projects last weekend, and all week I've been thinking about what I can make this weekend. It feels good to actually complete some of the things I've pinned even if I pinned them 2 years ago. Better late than never.

//five//



Linking up with ChristinaAmanda, & Karli.
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Buy this Bootie {Look-A-Like TOMS Wedges}

And bootie as in shoe, not my actual boo-tay.

You guys. I have been obsessed with these Tom's wedges for several months now.


At $88, they're not that expensive, but for something pretty trendy I didn't want to spend quite that much. Imagine my excitement when I saw my friend Alissa in almost identical shoes and like the good friend she is, she let me in on the secret.

Kmart.

I KNOW. Well Kmart has stepped up their game because look at their version...

I promptly ordered the nude pair before Christmas and they happened to be on sale so with tax and shipping it came to like $18. Here's a pic of my actual pair. (sorry, i can't get it to rotate for the life of me)

Not only are these booties cute, but they're SO comfortable! I'm going to be ordering the black ones pronto as my other pair of black booties hurt my feet after 5 minutes.

Kmart has no idea who I am, I'm just letting you know about the awesomeness of this shoe. And in case you want to order yourself, your mom, and your friend a pair (or two), go here.

Do you shop at Kmart? If so, what other great deals am I missing out on?


Linking up with Annie.