beautifully written {not by me}

i ran across this post today, and it’s so thoughtfully and beautifully done.  i want to keep a link to it, so posting it here to do that and to share with you.  it’s about growing up.  ‘you can never go home again‘  i think we can all relate to one thing or another.  i got a little choked up while reading it – in a good way.  i must be hormonal or something.  ;)

it got me thinking about transition – something our little family is doing a lot of right now.  life is all about learning to adjust to new things, people, situations – and i think the better you’re able to go with the flow, the happier you’ll be.

{home is where your people are.}


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dropping in {with a little holiday cheer}

if you haven’t seen this jimmy fallon/roots/mariah carey/kids collaboration, you need to take three and a half minutes and do it.  it’s pure awesome, and if those kids don’t make you smile, i don’t know what will.  hope you’re enjoying the holiday season.  i can’t believe that christmas eve is just two weeks away!  i’ve got work to do, but i hope to be popping in more often.  things are starting to settle down after a few hectic weeks – can i just tell you that a 2-year-old with a case of the terrible two’s and a dog fresh out of surgery to repair his torn ACL has me a little distracted?  thankfully, beckett’s ‘beast mode’ seems to be taking a break, miller is recovering nicely, and we are starting to make some headway on this house of ours.  new light fixtures are headed our way – hooray!  we cannot get rid of what we have fast enough.  in the meantime, here’s my update….

christmas is happening!  like his mother, beckett is beside himself with the joy that christmas lights bring.  he looks for ‘christmas wights’ and ‘cowors’ (colors) when we drive through our neighborhood at night.  he is not disappointed.


we finally decided it was time to bid farewell to beckett’s rat’s nest and got him a proper haircut.  he now sports a smaller rat’s nest and looks a little like kate from ‘jon and kate plus 8’ when he’s fresh up from a nap.  he’s cuter though.


‘rosebud’ is a-growin’, and a-kickin’ (like, a lot).  we are mere weeks from her arrival, which has us both elated and a little terrified all at once.  i think we’ve landed on a name, but we’re not tellin’.


weekend {in pictures}

well, nothing like a week off of blogging, right?  i feel like sometimes i just need a little break, and i suppose i was being a little lazy last week.  since i didn’t do it last monday, here’s a recap of our past two weekends…

{new entry lighting}

{baby balancing}

memorial day weekend, we headed to the cabin.  first stop on saturday, this totally great, albeit dumpy, fabric shop in springfield.  they have an unbelievable number of fabrics, and they are dirt cheap.

{one small corner}

meanwhile, this was happening at the bass pro shop.

obviously, between hole-in-the-wall fabric shops, toddlers on atv’s and hanging in the river, we like to keep it classy.

back in kc, we went for ice cream, and this sequence happened  more times than i can count.  

{rare quiet time with the short guy}

{and tomatoes growing in our very own backyard}

if you can’t tell, i’ve become quite the fan of instagram.  if you fancy, follow me @carabrooner.

diy {recipe book}

i am forever tearing pages out of magazines – outfits i’d like to replicate, home interiors that i love, and recipes that i’d like to try.  for years, i’ve just stuck those ripped pages of recipes into another little cookbook or stuffed them into a cabinet, and i finally decided that i had to get them organized.  i made a trip to visit martha at staples, and she solved my dilemma.  how i love her tips – i aspire to her level of organization!   i am a total nerd and love office supply stores.  they’re my grown-up version of back-to-school shopping.  am i the only one who loved getting brand new pencils and trapper keepers in the fall?

anyhow, here’s what you need:

get your dvr going and catch up on your smutty shows (bethenny ever after anyone??) while you get busy stuffing pages into your sheet protectors.  put your like recipes together into categories – i did main courses, sides, appetizers, desserts, and breakfast/brunch.  you could break it down even further if you like – seafood, chicken, and beef dishes within your main course section.  i didn’t want to get that technical.  throw all your pages in the notebook, using the dividers to mark each section, and voila!  you’ve got yourself a little book of your favorite dishes.

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blogging from my phone today, really just to see how it works. i’m not technologically gifted by any stretch. a lot on my mind today, so i’m keeping it short.

after hearing some good things, i picked up this book and i’m reading it now. it’s about the differences in child-rearing in the american and french cultures, and it’s pretty good so far. hope to do a full book report for you once I’m finished. :)


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glass storage

i kind of have a thing for packaging.  i love beautiful packaging (for example), but i very much dislike ugly packaging (for example).    i feel like a lot of everyday items come in really ugly boxes, bags, or jars, and i just don’t like looking at them.  to solve my stupid little pet peeve, i’ve purchased quite a few glass jars.  that way, i can put our boring everyday stuff in pretty jars, and it’s much easier on the eyes.  do you have a creative idea for solving a pet peeve?  do share!

{on the kitchen counter – sugar and flour}

{in the pantry – snack central}

{in the pantry – oats & craisins}

{in the laundry room – detergent and dryer sheets}

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a few months ago, i picked up the perfect leather clutch.  it lives in my mama-purse (i.e. cracker, diaper, toy carrier), but when i don’t need to lug around everything-beckett-could-possibly-need-at-a-moment’s-notice, i just pull it out and run,  and it’s a perfectly chic little clutch.  to kick it up a notch, i added a tassel that i made using this tutorial (a quickie $5-10 project).

{american apparel pouch/cara-made tassel}

yesterday, i came across this number, and was quickly reminded of my pouch.  similar, no?  personally, i like mine better, and it was about $50 cheaper.  i think that’s a win.

{k. slademade}

diy {dipped side table}

i spotted this table in a west elm catalog recently and thought to myself, ‘self, i can do that.’  so i did.  mine is a little different though:  it’s taller, instead of the ‘dipped’ part being raw wood, i painted it gold, and mine only has three legs, but who’s counting, right?

{west elm table}

what you’ll need:  a table like this (i would cut the legs down a few inches in this one – it looks pretty tall), gold paint, painters tape, and a smallish paintbrush

i had painted my entire table white a while ago, so i went straight to the legs.  i guesstimated that the dipped part on the west elm table measured up to roughly 1/3 of the leg.  i wanted to see a little more gold, so i measured up 10 inches and put the tape there.  make sure it’s on securely – you don’t want any bleeding under the tape.  then get your paintbrush dipped and get to painting.  i did about 3 – 4 coats and sanded (lightly!) in between a few of them.  when i’m painting, i use this to sand between coats – it’s almost like a buffer.

and voila!  it doesn’t look like a million bucks, but considering i have less than $15 invested in it, i’m a happy camper.

i’m off to slap a coat of polycrylic on this bad boy, and then i can put it to work.  might be fun to put neon pink or yellow on yours!

green machine

sorry for the lapse in posting, friends.  we have been out in denver, ‘the sunshine state’ (old school anyone?).  it was a great few days with my whole fam-damily together, and we had a fun time doing touristy stuff.  more on that later.  today, i’m pointing you toward a cool little article about a green building.  sounds pretty awesome to me.

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a hit of spring and a new hobby

i was running through target the other day and decided i needed new nail polish.  i had a bottle of pale pink at home, but i haven’t been able to get the lid off for about a year, so i figured it was time to move on.  i snagged this one up – literally.  anyone who has shopped with a toddler knows that you must keep the cart moving at all times.  commit, and move on.  i did, and i like this color very much.  mostly, because when it starts to chip, you don’t really notice, and i can’t keep a manicure pretty for longer than 48 hours.

in other news, beckett has totally gotten into cars.  it’s hilarious to me because he has a few cars, but we’ve never made a big deal about them.  i would love to know what’s going on in that little head of his.  he carries his cars around the house, makes them go ‘vroom’ on the floor, and most recently, wants to stand at the front windows and watch for cars coming down the street and then exclaim car!  car!  it’s pretty darn cute.