Hello 2016 (Year of the Non-recluse)

The new year is here, phew! Time for a little self-analysis. The last year certainly had its ups and downs. On the negative side: our dog Dusty passed away, some of our family is further away, and some of our family went through an upheaval. On the positive side: Jack is a healthy, happy boy, I get to see him every day at home, and my husband and I have a strong, loving marriage. I wouldn’t trade our little family for the world!

My husband was especially excited about 2016. He has a theory that even numbered years are good, and odd years are bad. We are not generally superstitious people, by the way. We met in 2006, married in 2008, and our son was born 2014. On some of the odd years, we experienced deaths in the family. There were many other little ups and downs, but those are the big ones. Hopefully 2016 holds something amazing for us. Almost everyone has goals or resolutions for the year. Mine are as follows:

• Don’t become a recluse. Sounds odd, but it’s true. As a stay at home mom and quiet introvert, I find that I can easily go days without leaving the house. I get caught up entertaining the little one at home and enjoy staying in our nice, warm house a bit too much. Sometimes I really need to push myself out the door. I’m going to avoid becoming a hermit this year.

• Get more fresh air. This can go hand in hand with the first one. It’s too easy to stay indoors in this cold weather. If we get a warmer day, I need to bundle up Jack and spend some time outside. I always feel more refreshed afterwards. Summer is no problem, we walk every day. Winter is the tough part.

• Organize and simplify. We have boxes in our basement from when we moved in a few years ago that I should go through. If I haven’t needed something in that time, I should consider rehoming it. Also, I would like to finally paint our master bathroom, the last room in the house to be painted. There are many other smaller easy projects around the house that I would like to finally get to as well.

Of course, I could also say the overused goals – eat healthier, be a good mom, take care of myself and my family – but I feel like those should go without saying. Those are ever-present goals for life in general that carry forth each year.

Now that the holidays are through, I hope everyone can look forward to this new year with a fresh outlook. The past year may have held some tough times for you, but this new year is a clean slate. And remember, don’t become a recluse. Explore that world out there!

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We Have a Crib Chewer

The title says it all. A few weeks back, I discovered gnaw marks on Jack’s crib. He only has two teeth, but he sure figured out how to do some damage.

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I looked online for advice and found this great, easy solution. No sew crib rail cover! The only thing you need is a tape measure, scissors, and a couple yards of fleece. Luck was on my side, because Joanns was having a sale on all of their fleece. Here are some pictures of Jack ‘helping’ and our finished solution to his crib chewing problem.

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A Productive Day

I know I have not posted in a while. I apologize. First, I will share some news: I am pregnant, and we will be expecting our baby in October! I am about 12 weeks along now. We are very excited because this is something we have been trying for. It was something that had to be planned because my essential tremor medication causes birth defects so I had to gradually stop it before we could even start trying. We can’t wait, but there is plenty of things that need to be done before October.

I seem to be past all the nauseau and throwing up. I finally have some energy back, so I have been trying to put it to good use. Just this morning, I swept the floors and did some dishes. Then I went outside to check out the yard. There are still some patches of snow, but I can see most of the yard. We have a lot of water sitting in our back yard. We are lucky that we have a sump pump, and we have been hearing it turning on a lot these past few days. Although the basement is dry, I would still like to fill in some areas in the back yard and try to make the water flow into the ditch that leads to the drain along the road in front of the house. I started the first step today by putting up stakes and twine to show where the water is filling up. When the yard is finally dry, we will need to find some dirt to fill in those areas and hopefully slope it slightly to go down to the ditch. Here is my progress:

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I basically spent the morning wading around in my rain boots. While I was at it, I grabbed a trash bag to pick up around the yard. My husband had hit one of our trash cans with his truck in the wee hours of one morning when he left to go to work. There were little pieces of shattered blue plastic all over our driveway. Now it looks a lot better. When it gets a little drier out and all the snow is gone, we will have to rake. We also didn’t finish burying the sump pump pipe last fall, so I would like to get that in the ground. Also I plan on building a raise vegetable garden on that side of the house seeing that area gets the most sun throughout the day.

It was nice to finally have a nice day to be outside. After I got some fresh air, I baked some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:

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My parents also stopped by seeing they were in the area. We fired up the grill for some burgers and hot dogs. We also had salad and potato chips. I’m ready for summer foods! Yesterday, we turned on the grill for the first time this year. There is nothing like grilled food to bring on the good weather. My parents were happy with it too because they said that their grill is still buried under 18 inches of snow. I guess that is what we get for living in New England.

Anyway, I feel like I accomplished a lot today. Next weekend I hope to get out the shovel and try to help the water drain easier to the ditch along the road. Maybe I will also dig up some of the giant weeds we had last year before they start to get big again. I would really like to have a nicer yard this year. Not that we don’t have enough things on our to-do list for when the baby gets here. My second appointment with the doctor is on Friday, so we are looking forward to it. At my first appointment, we were able to hear the heart beat of our baby. It’s very exciting!

Treasures from the Restore

My mom came over, and we went to the ReStore. For those of you without a ReStore, it is a store where people and builders donate new and reusable furniture and building supplies that are then sold for 50 – 80% off retail value, and the profits go to Habitat for Humanity. They have tons of doors, windows, chairs, tables, dressers, lights and more. There are so many things that I am looking for to use in my house, so we went to see what they had. I ended up getting things for my laundry room, which is in our basement. I got a table that is the perfect height for folding laundry, two shelves, four brackets for the shelves, two packages of screws, and a closet rod to hang on the brackets for clothes that need to hang up right away. Basically, it was a one-stop shopping to furnish the laundry room, all for a total of $30. My mom helped me put it all together. Here it is:

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Don’t mind the walls, they are partially finished. I’m glad I now have storage in the laundry room with the shelves. For only $30, I like this laundry room a lot better now.

New Dresser

My husband and I just bought this dresser from a secondhand shop.

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It needs to be repainted. I’m also thinking of finding different hardware. It will be going in my craft room to hold my craft items. I’m planning on organizing my yarn and knitting stuff in one drawer, sketch pads in another, scrapbooking in another, and so on. It’s time to scour the internet for ideas on how to paint it. Any suggestions?

Here are some inspiring pieces:

I like the use of fabric on the drawer fronts on this one:

http://www.twicelovely.com/2012/01/coral-headboard-and-fabric-front.html

And this mirrored dresser is very classy, but might be too modern for me:

http://blissfullydomestic.com/home-bliss/mirror-dresser-for-35/73420/

Checking Off My List

Our house seems to finally be coming together. It feels good when I can check a project off on my list. It must have been over two months ago that my mom gave me a little shelf to hang on the wall in my spare bathroom. See previous post here to see how, with the help of my mom and sister, the top half of the bathroom was painted a light green to cover up an overwhelming teal. The bottom half is now all white instead of the gray. I used the same white paint on the little shelf my mom gave me. It used to be a golden yellow color with fake black crackling. It has been dry for a few weeks now, but I just finally got around to hanging it.

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I’ll have to play around with accessorizing.

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And here is a picture of the lovely teal that was on the wall when we moved in:

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It is a nice feeling when I get something done around here. I don’t think any room in our house is completely put together even though it has almost been a year since we bought it. Even this little spare bathroom is not done yet. The cabinet is still missing the knobs (there wasn’t a single knob in the house when we bought it). I also want to find something to hang on the opposite wall above the towel bar. For all I know, I should look around my basement because there might be something I already own that I can use.

Also, thanks mom for making this platform to go under our pretty cabinet. We got this antique cabinet from a family member when we moved, but I could not actually use it because the doors would scrape the floor when opened. My mom made a small platform to put the cabinet on so it is raised off the floor. Now I have a handy place to keep my cookbooks and things I use to pay bills. It is also right next to the back door, so I keep my purse and things I bring to work on top of it. Very handy!

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Girl Power!

Last Sunday, my mom and my sister came over to help with projects around my house. At first we were just going to paint my master bedroom, but, while the first coat was drying, we got started on some other small projects. Here is the bedroom painted in Antique Silver by Glidden:

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Travis and I bought a rug to go in the bedroom. We love it! It looks like a sheep’s coat and is reallllllly soft.

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Our furry friends really like it too! Here is Ares hiding under the bed:

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I find Dusty in this spot every morning when I wake up:

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I have yet to completely put back together the room. I still need to put the outlet covers back on, but that will only take a few minutes. Us ladies also fixed the drip in one of the sinks, and we put a light in above the kitchen sink. I really needed the extra lighting, and there were already wires there. Our new light (and, yes, some robots in the kitchen):

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We also started painting the spare bathroom. The top half was a bright teal, too dark and crazy for such a small windowless bathroom. We chose Frosted Green Grape by Glidden. I have yet to repaint the bottom half, which will be all white, no more gray. Here is the top half though:

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As you can see, when you get all three of us women together, we sure get a lot done in just one day. It is fun to combine our knowledge and supplies. It is also nice to have some girl talk!

Fall Decorating

This being our first fall in our new house, I was really excited to decorate the front porch. I still want to add some pumpkins to the front steps. For now, I made a garland. I went to Joann Fabrics to buy some supplies. Their fall decorations were 50% off, so I bought three packages of loose leaves for $0.99 each and a roll of fall ribbon for $2.50. I already had a ball of jute twine that I dug through the boxes in the basement to find. I also purchased some sunflowers to decorate the posts. To make the garland, I cut slits in the leaves and strung them on the jute twine. I added a piece of ribbon folded over the middle. To buy an already made garland at 50% off would be $4.99 for one that is only long enough for one section of the railing, so I would need eight of them. Forty dollars is more than I want to spend at the moment. Maybe in the future, I might be willing to invest in some good decorations. For the present though, here are some pictures of what I came up with:

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It was difficult to see from afar, so here are some close ups:

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Ignore the overgrown lawn.

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Also, I had a yummy dinner. I like these chicken sausages from Al Fresco on the grill with some salad.

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It was also a great day to brush Dusty our dog. Stay tuned for a trench I’m digging to bury the sump pump pipe and a scarf I am knitting for someone for Christmas.

Trip to the Laconia Antique Center

Trip to the Laconia Antique Center

My husband Travis and I went on a little drive today to visit the Laconia Antique Center, the largest antique store in NH. I bought this clock to add to my collection. It was only $35. I’m pretty particular about the clocks I pick for my collection because I want them to look good together, and I prefer ones that wind up. They look nice without cords. I also don’t like spending more than forty dollars, seeing it is just a hobby.
We stopped at a lot of yard sales along the way, but we didn’t find anything good to help furnish the house we bought earlier this year. We also went to Funspot to play some arcade games. I had some beginners’ luck at pinball. It was a great day for a drive!