Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's Official!

It's Official, we're moving! Our home was put on the market this past weekend and we already have a confirmed showing three confirmed showings for tomorrow evening. That's four days after listing it! (I have to confess, I'm afraid our home will sell before we have something to move into)


We've owned our first home for nine years now, but it's time for us to move on to something larger and with a community feel. Sidewalks and nightly walks with our boys and dog are something we now crave. We are sad to leave the few friends we've made at our current residence.


During the last two weeks it's been fast paced at home, prepping and getting the house show-ready. Shampooing carpets, decreasing clutter, organizing, fixing the mailbox post, and touching up interior paint. While touching up the paint I decided to tackle another chore (which wasn't on my must-do list) and that was to clean up my door hinges. Last time I painted the door trim I didn't tape off the hinges (big mistake) and have lived with painted hinges ever since. So I decided to spend one entire day removing hinges, soaking them and scrubbing the old latex paint away.


I came across this idea on Pinterest (love it!) and it actually worked. I filled up my crock pot half way with water, added my LA AWESOME solution (found at my local dollar store) and a dash of dish soap. I turned the pot up to high and dropped my hinges in to soak. I removed one hinge at a time (careful, they will be hot) and scrubbed away the old paint with a hard bristle brush from Home Depot. Wha-la, shiny and new...well new looking.


As to what we're looking for in a new home, it comes down to layout, square footage and basement. Chad and I are set on what we're looking for and not willing to budge much. Our plan, for the long term, is to purchase this new house and stay until we retire, having it paid off by then. Having a home that will fit all our needs this time around is a must. We've worked, long and hard, to save and find what it is that we truly want for our family.

I'll keep you all posted as things progress. Wish us luck!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Welcome, Come On In - Holiday Home Tour

I haven't been formally asked by a fellow blogger to share my holiday home tour, but Christmastime is my favorite time of year, and I love a good holiday home tour as much as the next person, so without further ado...

Christmas in our home is always a big-to-do. Blasting carols on the radio, baking cookies, shopping, and decorating. I aim to start decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving, and hope to be finished by Christmas Eve. I like to take my time with this, I usually change things up a few times before I settle on something for good (OCD tendencies). And if I find a holiday decor item that I love, love, love I normally won't hesitate to buy it and add it in someplace. This year is no different. We're now 7 hours away from Christmas Eve, but I think my home is finally complete.

Snow has arrived and that fills me with joy. The Ohio Valley has received almost no snow during the last two winters, so imagine my excitement when our first snow of the season fell long before Thanksgiving.  These photos were snapped just a week ago.

For the front of the house I went with simple gold. A few wreaths on the windows adorned with gold bows...



and sweet jingles bells on the front door.


For the interior I used an assortment of festive colors, come on in...



The living room is the hub of our home. We spend the majority of our time in this room so it receives the most attention and love. I loved the idea of re-purposing, if you will, the sunburst mirror to hold our incoming holiday cards.


 
Our king nutcrackers stand at attention...
 


 
while this basket holds our throw blankets to "get cozy" with.
 

 
I recently painted the outdated red fireplace a bright, crisp white and I adore it. I knew it would be a beautiful backdrop for the Christmas decor.  





The dining table has been set with things purchased last season from Target. The day after Christmas is a great time to snag deeply discounted items for the following year. The reindeer napkin rings, deer head and frame were newly purchased this year. 

The frame is a thrift store find complete with a sparkle of gold metallic spray paint.



The ornaments are hung from the chandelier with fishing line.




We all love hot drinks at different times of the day; before work, after school or when coming in after building a snow fort. We gifted ourselves an early present this year and now have our very own drink station. Complete with hot chocolate, tea, cider and peppermint marshmallows, yum. 



Our home is smaller and limited on space, so I keep the decor focused to these two areas of living space. I find the house festive, but not overly cramped. And easy to enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to have shared some neat ideas that you too can showcase in your home. Check out my family's holiday traditions and get a delicious gingerbread recipe here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



















Monday, December 16, 2013

Family Holiday Traditions

Holiday traditions mean something different to everyone and can be celebrated a million and one ways. They may be something your parents did for you as a child and now you've carried the tradition on to your children. Or they can be something new you've started with your own family.Whatever the situation may be, holiday traditions create fun family memories that last a lifetime.

Pajamas
In 2006 Chad and I celebrated our first family Christmas with Carson, he was 9 months old. That year we started our own tradition, gifting Carson and each other a brand new pair of festive holiday pajamas. We'd open our gifts on Christmas Eve morning, and wear our new pajamas to bed Christmas Eve night, while resting and waiting for the "big man in red" to visit.

{2006}
{2007}

This tradition has been carried out for seven Christmas' now, and has come to include Cohen since he was born in 2008.

{2008}

{2009}

{2010}

{2011}

{2012}
The gift itself has also evolved. Now instead of only pajamas, the boys' packages include a holiday story or two, a short holiday movie, and a small candy item. This year I'm wrapping these gifts in a festive gift bag, but Pinterest offers other wrapping options, much more blog worthy than mine.


{source}

Cookies
Baking homemade gingerbread cookies has been a household must-do since 2009.  Carson and Cohen are old enough to help out and really enjoy doing so. I have to keep this activity a secret until the exact time of execution because of the constant asking, "Is it time yet Mommy?" I've taken the liberty of linking the recipe I use yearly, I prefer this recipe because it doesn't require molasses. I don't bake often so molasses isn't something I need to keep on hand. However all the required ingredients are things I'd use on a regular basis. The only thing I need to stress about this recipe is to refrigerate the dough. I actually put my dough in the freezer for two hours, it rolled out nicely and was much easier to use with cookie cutters.











Chad actually decorated this cookie to match myself :)


These cookies are delicious! The boys enjoyed the cookie cutting, baking, and decorating. It was fun to capture the experience and especially fun to eat gingerbread boys and girls.

And don't forget the milk ;)

Ornaments
Over the last several years I've made an effort to buy at least one new ornament a year for our tree. My favorite go-to place is Hallmark, so I head on in during a time when I don't have small boys with "sticky" fingers (they love to touch everything) and purchase an ornament or two. My plan is to display the ornaments on our tree until my boys are grown and have a tree of their own. Then I plan to pass on the ornaments to them and their families to display for their Christmas'. I hope the ornaments will be nice reminders for them when they leave home. (...insert tear...)

{2013}
And I had this made (plus one for each of my parents) so my brother will always have a place in our homes at Christmastime.



What holiday traditions to you have with your family?  Happy Holidays to all!







Friday, December 6, 2013

Big Life Changes

Not posting for over three months was never my intention. I've written this blog for over a year now and it's been so much fun. I've learned a lot from my fellow bloggers, and have enjoyed sharing my own stories with my readers. The last few months have brought about many changes in my personal life and taking a break from this blog was much needed.

In late August, I unexpectedly lost my younger brother. He passed suddenly on a Sunday morning, at the age of 26. My brother was a good-hearted, loving person, however he had been fighting his own addictions and demons for the past few years. God took matters into his own hands and chose to accept Jeffrey into his home on August 18, 2013.

The week of Jeffrey's passing was bitter sweet for me; not only were my parents and I burying my brother, but both my boys were starting school that week. Cohen for the first time, was heading off to Kindergarten while Carson was entering the second grade.

Excitement filled our home the morning the boys attended their first day of school. We woke a little early that morning, carried out our daily routines and I snapped a few quick pictures of the boys before they headed off.








Cohen was finally able to ride the "big cheese" with his older brother. He was headed to a big new world with new sights, sounds, and friends. And yes, I cried like a baby when I put them on the bus. My babies are growing up.



The following week, I also entered a big new world with new sights, sounds and friends. I started a new job outside the home. I'd been a stay-at-home for over six years, and loved every minute, every adventure and every new memory made with family.

The time had come for me to find a new way to contribute to our family and that meant entering back into the workforce since both my boys were gone full time during the school day. I work 27 hours a week, and only during the hours that my boys attend school. As an added bonus, my office is five minutes from my house. Finding flexibility and closeness was crucial for me. I had no desire for my boys to attend a sitter before or after school.

So here we are, four months after burying Jeffrey; the days are getting easier, the tears flow less often, and I smile more knowing that my brother is watching down over our family. It's become peaceful for me knowing he's no longer suffering and is truly at rest. My job is in full swing and going well. I work at a small, family owned flooring business and I enjoy the others I work with. The holidays are quickly approaching and the snow is starting to fall in our neck of the woods.

My year has been full of chaos, fun and sadness, but my family has held me up and been my rock through it all. I love my parents and all my boys dearly and look forward to what 2014 will bring for us all. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my readers. May your holidays and New Year be bright! 

After the holidays I plan to get back on the band wagon and share stories of family, fun and more DIY projects, so stay tuned....

In Loving Memory
Jeffrey Thomas Felix
May 12, 1987 - August 18, 2013