Let’s Talk Shop

Ok so your thinking “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” Well, it’s a very easy or many days not so easy answer!  As a mom you are torn thirty direction every twenty minutes of every day.  How do I achieve mom of the day status when I am trying to start a small business with my mom and your husband has a large small business that takes him from home up to 9 hours a day 7 days a week…Oh ya and it’s summer break!  Let’s not forget I really want to sit down and share with you all we have going on!  Well, the struggle is real!  LOL!  I am obsessed with this saying on so many levels and my family and I use it often via all conversation types!  So as you know my mom and I refinish furniture whenever time allows.  Well it’s recently gotten real as we now have clients coming to us with requests for specific pieces we currently have on hand or something they are looking for and want us to refinish.  This is fantastic I agree but then there are the days were you’ve been focusing on pieces  as you have a deadline for three days straight literally coffee in hand sander or brush in other hand or mouth!  Another problem only two hands; darn I need a third most days!  Anyway, I have a four and five year old that have requests, demands, passions of their own they need me to help nourish.  Well, it’s been a juggling act I’m very lucky to have two kids so close in age that adore one another at least 98% of each day!  Daily has been a breakfast of substance pancakes, oatmeal, fruit.  Then the day begins in the shop and when I say shop I mean my garage that is stacked with shit or as I prefer to tell people it is mom and I’s place of controlled chaos!  Country radio is turned on which mom isn’t a fan as I learned just today but she hums to herself most of the time so says it doesn’t bother her😩  This week we turned latex colors of mud puddle and wandering creek into chalk paint!  We also got some Rustoleum Country Grey!  Now what are we about to tackle?  Seems a common question or look we give each other most shop mornings!  The kids hit the legos for a bit!  This week we had a few pieces that we needed to get started as clients had ordered!  Currently we are booked two weeks out to start anything new.  When I say this I have to also say mom and I suffer from the real struggle of staying focused and when we can’t feel a pieces we start or work on another happy place piece.  These are pieces that aren’t ordered or sold but pieces that make our heart happy and allow us to re-group/re-focus so we can get back to the task at hand!  This to us is SO important because if you aren’t feeling a piece it will show in your work.  Crap work results in Crabby clients and that is not ok.  Honestly, we haven’t had this happen and I’m not being pompus but we have always been this way.  If you remember my mom and I had a bakery at one point together and in baking you learn the hard way!  YIKES when your cake crumbles because your were in the wrong mindset so you have to re-do!  Another thing I’m learning as I’m typically the one that deals with booking of the biz is keeping your clients in the know!  I love and so do they love receiving text message updates on their piece and including pictures so they too can see the transformation!  Before and after’s are a must.  With that being said sometimes I get sooo excited to do a piece I start and an hour later say “oh shit” I forgot a before picture!  Well, the pieces we had this week were a dining room table, a living room cabinet, living room dresser turned focal pieces, a patio set, and my fun piece was two wrought iron chairs and table-I had a vision and mom’s was two side tables-she always has visions!  So, below I am sharing where we are as of today!  The dining room table you will have to wait until it is set up in the homeowners house to see with the legs for transporting purposes but you get the idea.  The cabinet it an old piece that had side shelves that slid out but we added a new top on the original laminate top so these will no longer open this still has to be distressed.  Living Room dresser turned living room focal piece was done in Rustoleum aged grey and waverly elephant and our made white chalk paint.  The patio furniture set we have had and threw many ideas around about but always had our version of Annie Sloan’s Arles latex turned Chalk Paint for the color.  The cushions I had and they fit perfect for the table/foot rest we wrapped the foot rests in burlap and added a hole to the table to add an umbrella!  The wrought iron chairs were vomit yellow with black wrought iron in rough shape.  The table was just 80’s this piece still has to have a bit more paint but I have to share!  Mom’s tables while be layered and have a bit of beach feel when completed!  They were done in latex wandering creek which we turned to chalk!  Now your saying and the kids are where when you did all this?!  They bounced around playing school, building zip lines throughout my living room with yarn for their lego guys to go on, to agility training for our two shepherds which they said were amazing at rope jumping!  Dinner each night we had as a family so we could talk about our days and then head to the trampoline to jump before bedtime!

 

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Let’s Re-do A Room!

So as I mentioned in my last post I was just up visiting my in-laws!  We had a great trip as all family vacations were put on hold so far this year so the kids were so ready to get away as was I.  Joe spent the week in Canada with his brothers.  So maybe not technically a family vacation but we all got a much needed break!  My in-laws at the beginning of the year decided to forego being snow birds and try their wings out in the north woods year round!  I don’t think my mother-in-law intended it to happen so quick but the house sold in the first day!  We on the other hand are so happy to have them closer to us as the kids are getting bigger and they adore all their grandma’s and papa’s in different ways.  Let me quick give you insight on my in-laws then we will get on with it!  My mother-in-law is a beautiful women she will literally give the shirt off her back for her loved ones.  She adores those in her life and is a great support to all her kids.  They all are entrepreneurs in some way or another and pushes them to go after their dreams and passions.  She has been very supportive and pushed me to blog and grow my mom and I’s furniture business.  My father-in-law is just as passionate as my MIL but he also has to have all the facts before moving on his passions.  There is no jumping head first into anything.  My brother-in-law provided him with the nickname “bing” yes like the search engine!  He is a wealth of knowledge and if he doesn’t know he will research the subject and get back to you!  He has a silly sense of humor which I know first hand can help in stressful situations.  So with this bit of insight let’s talk home makeovers!  My MIL said go with whatever you want I know I will love!  My FIL said let’s discuss your thoughts as I deserve a say in what you do to my home!  Which honestly I was and am completely ok with as I wanted him to be happy when I left their home with what I did.

First project up was the kitchen.  My MIL wanted to re-do it but buying all new was not in the budget right now.  So she wanted to paint the cabinets which I thought was great!  She was excited so she got them all done before I arrived.  I suggested going two tone as it seems to be very popular and grey on bottom and white on top I love!  She did just this but called and said “I’m not sold on how this looks!”  I said “leave it until I get there.”  She did and when I arrived in looking at the space I knew exactly why she didn’t love the grey was looking blue as she had a lot of blue details between the kitchen and living room which are open to each other.  Her countertops were grey and I think had a hint of blue in it and there was wallpaper on one wall with little blue flowers.  The grey lost it’s power to all the blue and was looking blue itself.  I then noticed little wood painted pieces behind her sink on the wall.  I asked what this was about.  She said she just put them up as the water kept getting up there and looked terrible so she just added this.  I liked it ALOT but we had to do more.  Her two over the oven cabinets were the ones with glass insets but her’s were very out-dated.  So I knew this too needed to be changed.  Last she had asked before I came up to re-do her dining room table which was too dated so needed to freshen up.  Lastly, they had a space where their dishwasher was but had to be removed so it was just being covered with a curtain; I had to figure out how to make this more-useable and easier on the eye.  So I sat down and came up with a plan!

For the backsplash we would run with my MIL’s idea but we would stagger and stack the wood which hold your seat the wood was shim’s!  Yes, the packs you buy to level stuff out!  They were perfect size and with the layout only required a few cuts.  Which I’m thankful for as my FIL didn’t have ANY power tools; I’ve noted this for my next visit😁!  We went through I believe it was 14 packs of shims at $1.69 a pack so $23.66 and we painted them with white, grey and brown acrylic paints which we had.  To adhere the sticks to the wall I used E6000  which was $6.99 at Wal-Mart which is currently a favorite and Elmer’s wood glue which my MIL had on hand.  I used the wood glue on most of the project put on the few tricky spots I needed the power of the ES6000!  When it was completed I used spray adhesive to just give a final touch of hold.  I doubt I needed this but when I first did them they weren’t laying as flat as I wanted but by morning they were.  So if you go this route know as long as you put glue on all parts you want to lay give it time.  I also was ok with some being a bit raised as I wanted dimension.  So the backsplash cost a total of $30.65 and some change!

Next was the dated glass on two cabinets these I wanted to pull the grey and white together.  We went to the local tile store and purchased three stone and glass tile mosaic back splashes.  This was probably the biggest expense at $14.99 each we spent $44.97.   I truly think the end result is worth every penny!  These too I adhered to the glass using the E6000!

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Where they removed their old dishwasher they had hung a curtain and placed an old microwave cart inside.  It just didn’t flow but I understand the reason behind!  So we had my FIL cut some pieces of trim to pull the area together.  Remember NO POWER TOOLS! We pulled the cart forward to be flush with the other cabinet and painted it to match the cabinets.  Then I suggested getting baskets for storage in the space.  I love how this quick fix came together costing $0!

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Next was the dining room table!  There was absolutely nothing wrong with the table it just needed someone to give it life again and bring it in to 2016!  So I painted it with the grey Rustoleum chalk paint.  Then I used spray polyurethane on it doing two coats as the first one was showing the sweeping motion I did too much.  Then after 24 hours we ate at the table and I realized some grease or oil was either pulling through as I did not KILZ the table first.  Or a piece of dinner sat and soaked into the paint.  What’s a girl to do?  WHITE WASH!  So I white washed the top and honestly I like it better than pre white washing!  We went to the fabric shop and picked up two yards of this fantastic fabric and my MIL attached it to the seat cushions.  With the bit she had left over I suggested place mats to bring in the cushions a bit more!  She loved the idea and happen to have two extra place mats so she adhered them with the spray adhesive and viola!  For $33 in fabric (which was costly but when in a small town is expected) and use of the $6 spray adhesive the results are amazing!  Total project was $39!

One other project my MIL was really interested in having me do was re-finishing a hutch as she needed more storage.  Well we had to go out and wheel and deal a bit to get the hutch she had her eye on.  The gentleman wanted $125 and I walked away with it for $75.  I would have liked to get it for $50 but my in-laws were very happy with the price so we ran with it.  I used the eggshell latex paint they had and I brought up my Annie Sloan clear and dark waxes as I knew she wanted me to wax something!  For $75 they now have a fantastic hutch for additional storage and a great new piece for their home!

So day one was complete and when my in-laws arrived home my mother-in-law was in tears she was so happy!  Yes the table was a two day process but the main coat was on!  I have to say I too was really happy with the results!  She then said ok where can I take the kids tomorrow and what else do I need re-done!  I laughed and said well I was thinking your guest bathroom needs me!  She said ok what do you think?  I said nothing crazy but remove wallpaper trim, paint, refinish existing storage, remove large rack shelf unit and put up new decor!  She said ok I’m in!  My FIL said “well can I please have a say in the color?” I said sure so he went online and looked up shades of yep you guessed it!  BLUE! LOL!  I suggested robins egg and he was in agreement but then we got to the store.  We ended up going with an aqua as it just felt right.  They needed some brighter colors and the bathroom seemed like the place to provide that and aqua works well in bathrooms; I think! My mother in law let me run with it.  We removed the large over the toilet rack, towel rods, etc.  I went in there and got to work taping and painting.  The color at first had me nervous as it was aqua!  But I felt once we had pictures, wall hangings and cabinet back in it would come together.  I believe the paint was $20 and everything else we found around the house.  For $20 I’m very happy with the results!

One BIG thing I failed to mention at the start of this project.  This home is a permanent mobile home.  What that means…it’s not on wheels, it has a basement, it’s not going anywhere.  The problem is those that built it didn’t use the highest quality and many of the walls are not perfect.  My in-laws have spent money to re-do many of the walls and ceilings.  There is one wall the kitchen back splash wall that is not perfect hence the use of wall paper.  I had no idea until I started working on it.  The bathroom walls to were a challenge but I think the end result covers any dominant flaws and both spaces have a fresh new look.  As my mother in law was feeling less than excited about living here full time, with so much not “done”.  I felt like if we re-did some spaces she would grow to love this house and accept it as her home.  I think we accomplished this.  I will mention she is on the hunt for a new dining room chandelier and we are working on two additional rooms via phone direction!  Understanding that home renovations are not cheap and sure there are still things they want to up date including the shower and actual cabinets but until the time is right I think we brought life to their spaces!

Red, White &…GREEN!

Hello All!  Well this last week has been a doozy!  Filling you all in on our 4th of July celebration went to the wayside and I’m so sorry as it was a fab party!  As you all know this is the one celebration come hell or high water we make happen!  It’s the celebration of so many things!  For many it’s the obvious appreciation for those fallen soldiers, those past soldiers and those current soldiers who are and have fought for our freedom.  As Joe, his grandfather and both my grandfather’s served we honor the day for them and those friends we know who have and are serving.  It is also the day we celebrate Joe’s grandfather’s birthday!  Lastly, it’s a time that we get to get together with friends and family to celebrate life and how lucky we are to have those we do in it!  So this year we decided to run with Joe’s heritage and do a Mexican Fiesta theme!

Most important was entertainment and food…at least for me!  So good Mexican food was the start and typically we try to hire a chef to come cook at the event.  This was tough which I hadn’t expected.  So I spoke with a few friends and they highly recommended a grocery store/restaurant a few towns over.  So we had steak and chicken burritos, Spanish rice, black beans, enchiladas, and tamales!  For dessert we had strawberry filled tamales, churros, cupcakes, fresh fruit!  For drinks we had a variety of Mexican beer and of course a margarita machine!  For the kids we had fun flavored drinks and blue raspberry slushies -a must for all parties that contain kids!  My kids are rarely affected by sugar so it was a double thumbs up for us…I’m sure other parents were not thinking the same.  But it’s a party so we all have to have fun!  For the kids we had horseback rides and a small petting zoo which included an alpaca, two sheep, and two goats.  We also had bounce house with a slide and for the adults we had a band.  I would have loved to hire a mariachi band but the cost just wasn’t in the budget this year.  Honestly, the band we had was amazing and was a perfect fit.  They played music of Santana, La Bamba, as well as a Mexican Polka that was perfect for the Piñata breaking!  They also had my nephew who is taking guitar do a couple songs with them.  Overall, the food and the entertainment all worked perfect!  Sometimes plans do go as you initially envision but in the end the results are better than you could have imagined!

Next up we headed to Hayward while Joe went to a desolate island with his brothers for a week in Canada!  With us arriving in Hayward on the actual 4th we got to enjoy a fireworks show that was honestly one of the best I’ve seen in years!  I didn’t capture a ton with the camera but what I did are here for you to enjoy!  It was a great night!

I look forward to sharing the rest of our Hayward trip with you later this week!  As I was there I got to work on some refinishing and refreshing projects for my in-laws and I can’t wait to share those and the other fun stuff we got in to while up there!  Until then Cheers🍻

 

 

To Be A Father

Well my title is a struggle because I am a female so I don’t know the challenges of being called dad,daddy,pops,father.  But I do know the genuine joy that is felt by being called Mom!

I think fathers or at least many fathers challenges are those of being a superhero! Having a wife and kids expect things from you including financially, emotionally, and physically is different then being a mom.  I should mention I say this from my perspective.  As personally I know mothers that are the only superhero in their kids lives.  Those moms I applaud daily.  I don’t know how I would do all the things that two toddlers throw at me in a day alone! So to you moms who are both roles awesome job!!

To those dads that choose to not be active in their kids lives I’m so sorry for you.  Such a loss it is for you.  Missing seeing a child to show you all the joys their life brings including first steps to becoming an incredible baseball player.  There’s even those times when they need their dad to help them as challenges arise for them as being a kid at times can be rough.  A dad’s perspective is sometimes different from mom’s.  Frankly, dad sees things differently then our mom’s like sports or learning to ride your bike.  Maybe it’s that physical aspect.  No doubt those father’s that have chosen to be transparent in their children’s life I’m sorry!  If you are reading this there’s no better time than the present to make a change.

Those dad’s that are rocking this whole daddy thing or at least giving it their all; hats off to you!  I grew up with my dad in my life and yes I have memories with mom but I have very specific memories with my dad.  Him calling my sister and I his pumpkins after kissing us goodnight.  Or he and I dancing in our living room to The Allman Brothers Band on Friday nights!  That embarrassing nickname he gave me but deep down loved that I had.  Dad’s just are different in their relationships with their kids.  Joe may not have nicknames for our kids yet but he always kisses our kids goodnight no matter how late he gets in.  He once a week surprises them with a special note and a donut for breakfast.  It’s the little things that kids remember.  Celebrating dad is such a great day that many times seems like it’s pushed to the wayside.  Not celebrated as Mother’s Day is.  Don’t know exactly why but I hope those of you out there made yesterday extra special for the man your kids call dad or the man you call dad.  As mom’s always seem to cover the big stuff but dad gets the joy of celebrating the small moments they create!

I hope all you Father’s out there had a great day!  As a mom and daughter I thank you for all you do!

Bread, Muffins, and Dinner OH MY!

Hello Everyone!  Well per my last post it’s been crazy around here as furniture refinishing has been going on daily.  But I actually have been doing other things!  COOKING!  I know, I know we all cook but due to the fact that I have let grocery shopping get away from me I’ve had to get resourceful.  By this I mean open the fridge and pantry and work with what you have!

First up I’m sharing my newest and favorite addiction making my own bread!  I had a great conversation with my uncle a few months ago.  He shared that he was making his own bread!  I was intrigued as I’ve always had an interest in this but one I don’t own a bread maker and two kneading is a pain the you know what!  So first things first he said there are no machines and no kneading!  WHAT?!  He now had my attention and supplies for the basic recipe are minimal.  He shared with me the Jim Lahey method of bread making.  So I borrowed the book he had given to my mom and read.  I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Problem was I didn’t have a cast iron pot…hmmmm!  Mom always has the necessary supplies for my random needs.  She finally said I could borrow hers as long as I returned it! My first go at it I burned the bread but out of curiosity I cut it in half.  It was super soft and delicious.  So I didn’t give up I prepped my next loaf.  Using bread flour, active yeast, salt and water you drop it all in a bowl give it a quick mix and cover it.  Now’s the trick WAITING & WAITING & WAITING some more.  EIGHTEEN hours to be exact.  Which I just set my phone timer.  Then you remove it and place it onto a floured cloth (lint free) form the dough by tucking then cover it for two hours.  Thirty minutes prior to this rise completing you start the oven once ready you warm your cast iron pot then it’s time to bake the bread!  Here’s the quick part!! Thirty minutes with lid on then they say twenty-thirty lid off.  This is where I had my issue, my oven runs very hot so for me six minutes with the lid off is perfect!  I’ve now made fives loaves and looking forward to my next one being with kalamata olives!  Would eventually like to do as my uncle not purchase store bought bread and use all homemade.  As the cost is minimal and really it takes no time just patience.  So if you are considering baking your own bread I strongly recommend the Jim Lahey No Knead Method!!

 

http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/#/cookbooks/

Next is these delicious little breakfast muffins that were all gone within 24 hours of making!  If that says anything for how they taste I suggest you get in the pantry.  This recipe was one I found on pinterest the only problem I had was I was out of milk.  So what does one do?  Well I grabbed the heavy whipping cream I mean heavy whipping cream makes everything delicious if you ask me!  I also used whole wheat flour as to white flour. Then I started not paying attention to the recipe just the ingredients (which I never do being a baker).  Putting all ingredients in and mixing.  It seemed thick and lumpy like cookie dough.  Hmm didn’t expect that!  Oh well three scoops per muffin and into the oven they went.  Out came some delicious cinnamon and sugar muffins!  I hadn’t even put the topping on yet and they were great!  once I rolled them in some butter and cinnamon and sugar mixture they went from great to phenomenal!  I typically don’t recommend many substitutes who am I kidding lately I’m substituting up the wahzoo!

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http://pinningeveryday.com/2012/10/pinterest-muffins-cinnamon-sugar-old-fashioned-donut-muffins

Next is a great little dinner that everyone enjoyed!  I had a breast and a half of chicken left from the three pack I purchased and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  Then I remembered I wanted to try these mini pot pies.  I boiled the chicken while the kids ate breakfast.  Then shredded it put in a bowl and put in the fridge.  Grabbed the bag of frozen vegetables out and put them in the sink to thaw.  We ran out the door doing the days plans.  Several hours later we got home and I grabbed the crescent rolls out of the fridge, the now thawed veggies and shredded chicken.  Then I looked at the recipe…once again crap I didn’t have any garlic and herb soup?!  Never had seen it to be honest.  So cream of chicken it was and I added a pinch of garlic salt, pepper, and I believe Italian seasoning a pinch of that mixed with chicken, thawed veggies viola I had my pot pie insides!  Rolled out the crescent rolls placed them in the muffin tins.  Which I’ll be honest the crescent rolls didn’t work so great so I ended up using a roll of pizza dough I had.  I know random but I had it and thought why not.  That worked much better!  Stuck them in the oven and once ready added a sprinkle of pepper and served.  I ended up having six extras to put in the fridge and ten that I bagged and froze.  I have no idea how they will be when I defrost so stay tuned.  The important thing here was the KIDS loved them.  I think because they were just their size.  S is on a broccoli kick too so she was happy they were loaded with this!  I will also say I likely would not have this much left over but Joe wasn’t home for dinner hence the abundance left over!

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http://princesspinkygirl.com/mini-chicken-pot-pie/2/

Ok so there are my food shares for this week!  If you have done any great recipes lately please share as I love to try new things!  Another thing to remember just because you are out of one of the ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t make it.  Get creative I always say the pizza delivery never messes up if it comes out horrific!

Have a great rest of your day!  Cheers!

HELLO!

Hello Everyone!  Ok so I’m not sure what has went on these past two weeks…oh wait spring has happened!  Which means I’m trying to accomplish oh about 1,000 things!  School gets out for the kids.  People are ordering furniture from mom and I and the yard needs attention.  It’s a juggling act as Joe has been working crazy hours again or should I say still!  The past two nights have been after 11pm and he has left I think somewhere between 530am and 630am…I’m asleep but he’s gone when I have gotten up and I know the alarm goes off at 530am!  I’m looking outside to a sky covered in black which I am happy and sad about.

My garden I put in last week to only wake to slight frost days later.  I dropped preen in my beds and walkways to get rid of weed re-growth.  So this says a few things I weeded almost all areas already and my fingers are crossed I won’t have to do again!  My garden I think may be ok.  My tomato plants are the ones that look to be struggling.  My snap peas are sprouting 🌱 and my bells and jalapeno plants are growing!  I did less plants this year as last year it got out of hand.  My brussels were only for me and didn’t do great so I skipped them this year.  Carrots were awesome so I did more this year.  I am also doing a pot of onions.  Onions are completely an experiment as we use them but never quick enough when I buy at the store.  I had one sprout in the pantry.  So I split it and dropped it in a cup of water until they got nice roots.  I then took an old large pot and put some soil from the yard and bagged soil in then buried their roots.  We will see they seem to have taken as they are now next to one of my raised beds outside.  I’m happy for the storms coming and the ones we’ve had overnight as the preen needs to get in the soil.  My flowers and vegetables need the water too!  I also dropped some spot grass seed.  All of which I have been watering daily but nothing in comparison to a good rain bath!

In other nature news our baby birds have learned to fly and left the nest.  Which we were very happy for as Saturday we decided to have our first campout.  We had it in the kids tree fort!  Joe and I completely expected this to last a few hours so didn’t plan very well for our bodies needs being on a wood floor.  At midnight the kids were still snoring and my hips were screaming and Joe was tossing.  He ran in for more blankets!  The dogs slept in there with us!  Nala was pretty much on top of me so I was sweating the entire night.  But, it was so worth it.  K woke at 630 having to go potty VERY bad!  S and Joe slept until 730!  If the rain clears and mosquitoes aren’t too bad we are going to do another round this weekend! But bringing yoga mats out to go under us this round!

Furniture and other home re-habbing has been happening almost daily!  We have sold a few pieces and had requests to find pieces to re-do for people.  This is all super exciting as we need to move some of our finished products.  We are planning to have a tag sale next weekend!  Everyone who does this I’m sure understands the wish to have a little shop and make this their full time successful gig.  But for us that time isn’t now for many reasons so having our version of a garage sale but with new items so calling it a tag sale with refinished pieces for the home including furniture and decorations we hope to feel that same success without the overhead.  Stay tuned for an update on how it goes!  Here are a few pieces completed over the past few weeks!

The kids are doing great!  S has pushed a bit but learning quickly that losing prize possessions is so not worth giving an attitude to me.  I think they are understanding that it’s just me a lot and I appreciate them especially when they are helpful and respectful.  Not that I don’t always appreciate my kids but when it’s just you it makes that appreciation show through more when they are good, not pushing buttons just to push buttons, etc.  K had his last day Tuesday which I don’t think he truly gets that many of these kids he will not see next year.  Which I am sad as I truly found some little ones in his class that were such sweet kids.  But I’m sure at 4K there will be just as many if not more little sweeties!  For his teachers I went with the “Orange you Glad it’s Summer bags!”  I found cute tote/straw bags at Target and filled them with Orange LaCroix Water, Orange Trident Gum, Orange Straws, Orange (mojito scent) Diffuser sticks and bottle, Orange citronella candle, Orange notepad, and Orange Pencils.  Of course topped with Orange and White Tissue Paper.  For S I ordered Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and found a cute saying on Pintrest to send to her teacher with it.  Having her teachers write a note in it each year until she graduates high school and giving it to her graduation day!  If you would like a copy of the note as the one I found you could not edit to personalize please message me and I will send it to you.  I couldn’t figure out how to link for you directly on post.  (Thank you to whomever wrote the original)!

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Well I think this kind of sums up where I have been or at least gives you an idea!  I promise to check back in over the next few days.  I wish all of you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!  Thank you to all those that have and do serve our country!🇺🇸

 

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!  As I mentioned in my last post things have been bananas around here.  Not at the fault of anyone only at the fault that my brain can’t focus on one thing so we have 21 things going on at all times around here!

Teacher Appreciation week was last week and I was super excited to do gifts each day for S’s teacher and K’s on the two days he went.  As I agree with many our teachers are the people that provide our children many of the necessary tools to be successful in the educational journey.  I also think there are teachers out there that are truly amazing, I’m not saying all teachers aren’t great but there are those few that have that special gift.  I truly believe both of the kids have a teacher that has this.  S truly lucked out her teacher is stern but passionate.  She has taught S so much this school year Joe and I couldn’t be more proud.  She’s counting to 60, doing addition, and starting to spell words!  Granted maybe this is totally normal in 4K but I’m pretty impressed.  So I wanted last week to be special for her teacher.  I completely can not claim any of these adorable gifts as I’m Pinterest queen for finding these type of things!  So each day S brought a little something and I will tell you I spent very little money as much of it I had on hand!  I think in total for the week I spent $13!  So here are pics of everything.  The only thing I didn’t get a picture of was Friday which she gave her a potted flower and card saying “thanks for helping me grow!”

S had her 4K Circus play/musical at school which she was an acrobat!  It was great to finally see the kids perform the songs S had been singing daily around the house!  The teachers did a great job as I heard one parent say “how do they get them to do all this?”  I can’t even get mine to get dressed!  I completely agree but then again they are their teachers not their parents!

Soccer has continued and K started his cooking class which he made donuts (he ate before I could take a pic)!  He absolutely loves it.  I barely get in the door with him and he’s saying ok see you later mom!  I have to say he has come so far since the beginning of the school year.  As I used to have to stay with him for a bit each day of school.  Now, I can almost drop him at the door and he is completely happy to go see his friends!  Fingers crossed this continues into next year where he will go to “BIG” kid school with S!  S is definitely progressing at soccer she loves the sport and is doing very well.  Tumbling, well tumbling is different she loves it but it is more of a technique sport (if that’s even how you say it?).  There are a lot of parts to remember in doing just a somersault; arms tight to ears, legs together, butt down, chin tucked…I mean I’m exhausted typing the steps!  Soccer you just get out there and get at it! K on the other hand loves practice but they had their first scrimmage and he didn’t understand why they were taking the ball from him, why doesn’t he dribble the ball to the goal alone.  That whole team sport concept will take a bit of time I think for him!  Either way they are both having fun and that’s what matters!

S’s school had a fun fair which the kids and I went to.  I wasn’t sure going into it how it would be as it seemed like they were going to be short volunteers, short on raffle prizes, etc. by the notes sent home.  I was able to donate two baskets I made up.  As again I thought crap that would be terrible to go and have no stuff to bid on.  We got there and it was fantastic!  They had a ton of donated bidding items, games galore set up and all staffed, face painting, food!  Your typical fun fair and one for our community that everyone goes to and makes a night of!  It was great to see such a great community supported event! The kids had a great time as we of course got our faces painted, played a few games and ate ginormous pieces of pizza!

 

One fun and I say fun today as a few days ago I wasn’t sure they would survive!  The kids had a robin build a nest in their play set which I was not wanting to happen as I thought for sure the mother would abandon them having so much activity in there.  But I am happy to say she has not.  She has been going in there in the evenings to care for her now 4 babies!  The kids love checking in on them and seeing them hatch was quite an experience too!

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Speaking of mothers and babies!  Mother’s Day happened just a few days ago!  I hope all you mom’s out there had a wonderful day!  I spent it with the kids putting in my garden which has kind of become a tradition.  This year they painted rocks for us to label each plant we placed!  I also went to dinner with my mom and one of my sisters the Saturday before to celebrate with them!  The day was beautiful and the time was great!

Ok well I’m finishing up some DIY projects which I’m excited to share so we will talk again very soon!  Have a wonderful Wednesday!  Cheers!

Fireplace Update

Hello!  Ok I’m a few days behind on sharing as things have been bananas but I wanted to quick check in with a picture of the finished fireplace I talked about in my last post that Joe had to re-do for a client!  It turned out beautiful as Joe added some uplighting (thanks to Vanderstappen Power Plus) as they only had two can lights…Stone thrives when lit up as you can see below!

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I have so much more to share just feels like the days don’t have enough time in them but expect to see more over the next few days!  DIY, Kids, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink!  Cheers

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!  Well where do I begin things have been completely crazy around here. Between Joe working 10-15 hour days and the kids starting tumbling, soccer and cooking class!  YES, cooking class!  I’m all over the board these days not sure if I’m coming or going and as they say this is just the beginning for my journey of chasing from sport to sport!  I actually enjoy seeing them at these activities the timing isn’t always convenient (right at dinner) but we are figuring out these minor details!

Let’s quick chat about Joe as I haven’t really seen him in a few weeks as he’s been jumping between jobs like a mad man!  If you remember he did a salon last year.  This year they asked him to do their new bathroom.  So this meant late nights which would be fine if that was all he was doing…LOL not my husband still up and out around 630am and off to a residence then heading to the salon in the evenings until between midnight and 2am!  Then back at it the next day, I’m not sure how he did this for a day let alone three.  Then it was on to getting a home up to speed and finishing up another home and another fireplace as well as completing a outdoor spa.  So the long days continued but not until 2am closer to 11pm.  His final big project he is working feverishly to finish up is a home’s fireplace.  Joe was asked to look at this fireplace as the homeowners thought the original mason’s may have as they put it “put too much sand in the mortar mix”.  Joe went to the residence having no idea what he was getting in to.  After sharing three videos of homes that ranged from theirs 8 years old, to a 30 plus year old home and a three month old homes mortar and seeing within seconds of gently scratching the joints with his chisel it was crumbling off Joe knew this was more than a too much sand in the mortar issue.  This was a safety issue the fireplace was not structurally sound.  As he showed the owners the other two homes which took much more time to even get a small amount of mortar to come off from the joints.  They were as expected disgusted but wanted to have it done right.  This was poor masonry at it’s finest.  Joe had to make a decision if this was a job he was willing to take on.  As there is risk setting up scaffolding and beginning to remove stone what if the wall crumbles taking down his scaffolding and those on it.  Joe also felt terrible for these homeowners that someone would provide such poor craftsmanship.  As you might have been able to tell by past post’s Joe is VERY passionate about stone and the craft of masonry.  He wanted to fix it for them.  A few things that also went along with it.  They had a three week window as they were hosting a party at their home.  But within that three weeks they have to also live at the residence first and foremost, next they have to still replace carpeting, deep clean and have the house ready for this event.  So really Joe had two weeks to tear the entire inside fireplace down which is 22 feet tall using care as they wanted to use the same stone to re-do it, fix any issues within the fireplace, then put all the stones back up the right way.  As the saying goes when it rains it pours!  Once they got into the it they discovered a few problems…the hearth was pretty much set on a pile of sand!  Yes, as to concrete placement the amount of sand used under the hearth was so much that the concrete literally crumbled at the touch.  The stones when tapped with the chisel had all mortar drop off them; which I will say made the cleaning of them much quicker than expected! Then for the final NO WAY when the gentleman came to check the gas line he revealed that the line wasn’t put in properly and had been leaking!  Joe said in his career he has never seen a fireplace like this.  He plans to have the inside done by Sunday leaving the homeowners two weeks to get the inside back in order.  Then next week he will move to the outside which is 40 feet tall.  Who knows what this will bring as it has faced the elements of the midwest.  So, Yes Joe has been busy as everyone has a deadline and these one’s all happen to be within a week of each other.  If anyone has discovered how to re-create a person so they can do their exact talent please let me know as I need three Joe’s right about now!

Back to the kids and I!  S & K started playing soccer which S has always had a thing for the sport since I can remember we have been saying she will be a soccer player.  K well he’s getting there.  He’s enjoying running around and learning.  He was so nervous the first day saying “Mom it’s just practice not a game, right?” He was very concerned about this.  So each week I make sure to say we are heading to practice so we can get better and some day play a game!  Last week he said “I think I will stay in the car and watch a movie, I don’t want to play”.  I said “OK” we arrived and he got out sat down and ate an apple and drank water.  As soon as he heard the coaches whistle he jumped up and said “I have to go the whistle blew!”  It made me so happy as I don’t ever want to pressure my kids to do anything especially sports.  When I was a kid my parents didn’t and I tried stuff I stuck with what I felt I was good at and they supported me.  I think sometimes parents get wrapped up too much themselves and forget it’s not about them it’s about the kids.  Anyway, he’s getting the hang of it and last week one of his classmates was there which he thought was very cool!  So now he’s excited for this weeks practice.  S also started tumbling which we are on week two and I’m not just saying this because she’s my daughter but I can definitely see improvement.  She practiced everything she learned from week one to week two and I think that helped.  She so very excited as all she wants to be able to do is a cartwheel!  I’m thinking we will get there but the coach works a lot on form and being a disciplined gymnast.  Which I think is great as it’s a very easy sport to get hurt in.  I also think S loves the cute outfits!!  K will start cooking class tomorrow which he is sooo excited for!  He loves to bake and cook with me and when I saw that our local YMCA was offering this I had to sign him up.  He’s been talking about it for weeks so I will let you know what my little chef whip’s up!

Other than all this which after I read it I guess maybe it’s not that much.  It’s more the kinks of figuring out when to feed the kids dinner on sports nights as of course they are or when to keep the kids up late to visit with Joe.  As that is one thing we have gotten back on schedule with.  BEDTIME!  Joe almost always let’s them stay up later than I so since he has been working late bedtime is back to 7:30/7:45 and you know what they pass out in minutes and stay asleep until 7 the next morning unless of course S hears Joe then she sneaks down to have breakfast with him!  Or like last week we surprised them by getting up and all going out to breakfast together.  It’s the little things that matter and you really realize that when schedules in life get crazy.  I wish you and yours an amazing evening and we will talk soon!  Cheers

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One Grandma, Two Grandma’s, Three Grandma’s OH MY!

Hello All!  I hope your week has been great!  It’s been busy over here as the weather changes we are so happy to be finding ourselves outside ALOT!  Plus the kids started some sports this past week so life of doing as we please is now turned to doing as the coaches schedule!!  We will talk on that soon!  Last week we had quite the busy couple days with visits from all grandma’s!  S & K are super lucky to have not just two grandma’s but three!  As I’ve mentioned in the past Joe is adopted and his adoptive parents always allowed a relationship with his birth mom.  His birth mom lives about 3 1/2 hours away so not too far but her and her husband are crazy busy at a youth camp that they are the caregivers at so we see them usually twice per year.  Joe’s other mom and husband have been snow birds until just a few weeks ago!  Now we get to have them here about 6 hours away from us full time!  We see them a bit more.  Then of course my parents are 30 minutes away and they probably see us more than they want and my  mom comes up a couple times a week!  Last week just happened to work out that we saw all three!!!  The kids were ecstatic first up was Grandma Gail and New Papa!

They sold their home in Sunny Florida to live full time in the North Woods!  Their home sold much quicker than they had anticipated…1 DAY!  So, moving up happened a bit sooner than they planned so on their way up we were able to see them.  We did dinner at one of the kids favorite restaurants as there is a game area.  Grandma and Papa always come with a roll of quarters to play!  Air hockey is one of the games they all play against each other.  Papa and Grandma get quite competitive when it is their turn to play one another!  I love the seriousness when they play.  We also decided to celebrate Mother’s Day with her as we won’t see her on the day!  I decided to do flowers and a picture we had taken of Joe and the kids!  You might be thinking flowers WOW Amanda how creative of you!  LOL!  But these weren’t your everyday die in a week flowers.  We made hand painted bottles and construction paper flowers!  So these can go on a dresser or shelf to enjoy all year!  No water needed!  Sid also wanted to give Grandma Gail the previous project I shared with the egg carton flowers and pipe cleaners.  The visit was great and we are so very excited to have Joe’s parents back in the same state all year!  We look forward to heading up this summer for a vacation!!

Next up was spending the day with my mom!  You might be thinking you spend many days with your mom!  You are absolutely correct and we will spend Mother’s Day with her and her gift isn’t yet complete so when it is I will share.  We just enjoyed a beautiful day at the forest preserve hiking just under four miles.  Again, we weren’t celebrating anything it was just enjoying the day with another Grandma and Papa that we love!

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Lastly, Joe’s other mom (birth mom) Anne and her husband Brian were able to get away from the camp they are at for a few days.  Our house was the first stop on their trip down!  This was great as last time they visited was last 4th of July and that day is always crazy so I didn’t get to talk to them too much.  The day was beautiful so we had the sprinkler set up and the kids played in that with Grandma doing quick runs through with them!  They also enjoyed ALOT of time on the trampoline with both of them!  I made those fantastic skinny lasagna roll ups with salad and garlic bread.  It was great to sit and talk with Brian as I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to talk to just him.  Getting to know each other a bit better while Granny Annie enjoyed her time with the kids!  S had her doing everything from playing dolls, to watching her moves on the rings on play-set to flying with her down the slide.  They also discovered we have the start of a birds nest in the play-set!  The evening ended with Joe making it home to spend a little bit with them before they headed to their next stop on their trip!  We also gave Granny Annie her flowers and picture which she loved!

Overall, it was a busy couple of days but those are the best as a lot of new memories were made and as the kids get bigger they are remembering these moments.  I’m trying to be sure to get pictures as they are happening as they are so very important to all of us!

I hope you have a great Monday and we will meet back here again soon!  Cheers!