it is beautiful and sunny here today, and tomorrow the high is supposed to be 70!  hello spring!  this weather has me thinking about getting outside and planting a small herb garden.  we had a few small pots of basil last year, and it went crazy, so i’m ready to take it up a notch this summer.  i’m not quite ready for the commitment of a full-on garden, so i’m going to go with a large planter like the one below.  so looking forward to having fresh basil, rosemary, mint, and thyme at my fingertips!

{via my pinterest}

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that day i went a little crazy…

…with chalkboard paint was a good day.

i have had a can of said chalkboard paint for upwards of 2 years now, with plans to paint our fridge downstairs.  it came with the house and was pretty much butt-ugly in it’s original chocolate brown circa 19-seventy-something state.  but, that fridge works like a champ, which is more than i can say for our 2006 kenmore, which is a sorry excuse for a fridge…but i digress.  i popped open that paint, and when i got going i just couldn’t stop.

first was the fridge, which will (after today) more than likely, be labeled ‘beer’, because that’s pretty much all we use it for.  and when i say beer, i mean the 12-pack that we’ve had since october.  forgive the yellow picture – the lighting is not awesome down there.

next was a kiddo table that i got for $5. it had a little frog on the top, and he wasn’t my favorite, so away he went, and now it’s fit for a tea party.

and finally, the pantry.  i’ve already been using it to write down the things we need to add to the shopping list.  i also hope to do a better job at meal planning and plan to write our weekly menu here.

you just gotta love a can of paint.

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happy anniversary…

…to chasing shiny objects!  today marks one year of being in the blogosphere, and i just wanted to say thank you – whether you’ve read one post or all of them.  so many of you have told me that you like what’s going on here, and i truly appreciate that.  i really try to keep things interesting and relatable, and i hope you’ll keep coming back.


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cleaning up

january really makes me want to organize, paint everything white, and start anew.  i’ve been busy the last few days trying to bring some order to a few places that have been…well, messy is an understatement.  yesterday, i spent about an hour collapsing boxes that we’ve been keeping in our basement.  said boxes have been there since we moved in (so over 5 years!), un-boxed big stuff for beckett (pack&play, etc.), or from the plethora of amazon shipments we get at christmastime.  i was sick of looking at them, so off they will go to recycle-land.  those recycle guys are really going to hate me tomorrow.  while the basement is still packed with stuff (mostly baby {nearly 3 tubs full of outgrown clothes} and christmas decor), it does feel a bit less cluttered.  a small win.

my other little project, i saw on pinterest (of course), and the only thing i required to get it done was a tension rod to the tune of $5.  i set out to do this on sunday, but found that we had a leak under the sink – oh joy.  why is it when you want to do something simple, it always gets complicated.  the plumber has come and gone, and so i got to work.  now the cleaning products under the sink are lifted up, leaving more room in the tubs to corral the other little stuff.  another small win, but add on a trip to goodwill to unload some old clothes, and i’d say the house is feeling a little lighter.  next area, the office closet.  yikes.  i am dreading taking that one on.

before – full disclosure here.  please say i’m not the only one with a place like this!?!

oh, good lord, that was bad.  and after…

yippee!  such a mundane thing, but i feel compelled to pass along clever ideas that other people think of.  :)

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on my nightstand

i really do love reading, but my gusto for it is a bit cyclical.  right now, i’m on a little kick and my list is long, so i hope to keep up the momentum and keep the nightly tradition of reading a permanent one.  It’s a nice transition from a busy day into dream land.  i’m usually into reading what i call mind candy – basically a fun little novel – but i’ve added a few ‘real’ books to the queue that i’ve heard some good things about.  here’s what’s on my nightstand.

1.  i just finished up the girl with the dragon tattoo last night.  i thought it was really good, but it does have some pretty intense parts and ‘adult’ subject matter, if. ya. know. what. i. mean.  there are two more books that follow it, and once jared is done with them, they’ll move from his nightstand to mine.

2.  next up for me is in defense of food, which i’m pretty excited to read.  i think the experience of having been pregnant and then wanting to start beckett off on the right foot nutritionally has made me so much more conscious of what goes into our bodies.  if i’m making sure he has a good serving of veg at lunch and dinner, why am i not doing the same for myself?  and other questions like that.

3.  the hunger games – i just have to see what all the fuss is about, and i’ll read all three eventually.

4.  the octopus and the orangutan:  more true tales of animal intrigue, intelligence, and ingenuity – my dad was telling some stories from this book and it really peaked my interest.

i’m always adding to my list, so if you have a recommendation pass it along!

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diy: art

i ran across this painting months ago, and i thought it was so simple and beautiful.  a perfect little statement for just about any room, so i kept it in the back of my mind until i came up with a place for it.

this gal has some really beautiful artwork in a ton of different color palettes, but art isn’t really something that’s on our list to invest in the moment – eventually, yes.    well, i got a wild hair and decided i’d try and do something similar myself – this is the little project i was telling you about yesterday.  jen’s work is on paper and framed, but i wanted to keep it as easy as possible (less room for error!) and picked up a few white canvases.  i got to work mixing, and started brushing on a few stripes (i did practice first).  i started with a tube of light blue but after some playing around, wanted a little more green – well, i didn’t have green paint, but i did have green food coloring.  fyi, it works.  i added the gold stripes last, and i love the little zing it added.  i also painted the edges gold to act as a frame and make it stand out a little from our white bookshelves.  they’re far from perfect and i’m not sure i’m totally sold on the new look, but i definitely love the paintings and i’ve got some ideas for the next time i play around with paint (you can expect nothing fancier than lines and circles!).  these are hanging on command strips, so when we’re sick of the ‘art on the shelves’ look, we can take them off without any damage.

cinnamon almonds

we gave these to a few friends and neighbors this year – a simple way to extend some holiday cheer.  they’re easy and pretty darn quick, so they might even make a great last-minute gift or stocking stuffer.  i used this recipe, and the results are perfectly sweet and crunchy.  actually, they might be good with a teeny sprinkling of salt.  i’ll try that next time.

freshly crystallized…

here they are packaged and ready to go.  i tied them up with some red and white bakers twine (the same i used for gifts this year), and added a little tag that i printed from here. if you like these, emily posts a lot of great printables – keep her bookmarked!

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let’s wrap it up

at the beginning of the year, we were getting the paper fairly regularly, and we decided that instead of just recycling them after we were done, we would repurpose them as our christmas gift wrap.  we saved a lot of colorful pages or ones with fun events (like the opening of the performing arts center) so we could look back at the year as gifts get opened.  i used some red and white baker’s twine (i’m pretty sure this thing will last forever) instead of ribbon, and some festive little tags to dress them up a bit.  i think they turned out pretty cute, and i’ll challenge myself to come up with something more creative next year.  let the games begin!

bear with me, my wrapping skills are far from great.