Wednesday, July 25, 2012

thrifty find: burlap lamp shades

Right now I am loving the natural fiber of burlap -- and apparently so is Pottery Barn and the rest of the world!  :D  
While flipping through my PB catalog for design inspiration I was completely drawn to their new burlap lampshades. 
But sigh, I cannot pay $70 for a lampshade.

This is when I turn to Target, who has a similar product {okay, so not as luxe} for only $19.  

So I snagged the large version to replace the broken shade on the Eiffel Tower lamp in our living room.

Of course, Hubby still thought $19 was expensive "for a lampshade."  


Monday, July 23, 2012

the {one year} photos

Portrait photographers deserve the utmost respect.   Particularly kiddo portrait photographers.  At least the good ones do.

I don't know how they do it.

Get those kids to smile.  Get those kids to look 'normal.'  Get those kids to actually have fun while getting their photos taken without having a meltdown.  Keep those parents from having a meltdown.

Saturday morning I tried to get "good" photographs of my family, and while I love a challenge, might have been easier/better {albeit more expensive}to have just hired someone.  {I think I said this to Hubby about 100 times during the process.} 

I love photography and getting creative...but flowers and food are more my forte.

My one-year-old was nearly impossible to shoot.  Even with my sweet hubby there to corral him.  He just would not look at the camera.   He would look anywhere but at the camera.

There were a few moments that worked, though.  My favorites came when least expected, like on a dumpy storefront stoop, with mangy alley cats there to mesmerize the boy.

So the morning wasn't a total loss.  Here are some that half-way turned out -- or were just funny to me {like the face smooshing shot.}

I love this mural in our city - so I had to use it in some shots!

Rather than try endlessly to keep his shoes on, I let him go barefoot.  Gotta choose your battles.  Plus, we're in Kentucky.  {that joke never gets old, right?}

I didn't let the boy actually touch these cats, but the hubby did in order to try to distract the boy, which resulted in a major allergic reaction.   Sneezing, red eyes, the whole bit.  

My favorite!

Okay, so I look like a total dork here...but love the bright yellow gate, and do you spy the old claw-foot tub waaay down the alley?  So cool!

this camera was just a prop - I have no idea if it really works.

Sometimes, it is just easier to resort to your own backyard.

this pic looks like poor Cormac is being tortured.  epic fail!  

Ever tried to take your own family portraits?  Was it as difficult for you as it was for me?

Yet, in the end, a few treasures!

And Hubby saying, "Wasn't that fun?"  
and only sounding half-way sarcastic.

Friday, July 20, 2012

{a first haircut}

Before the big 'first birthday' event last Saturday, Hubby and I decided that Baby needed a haircut - bad.

So we took him to a place nearby and, even though I have heard that first haircuts can be emotionally traumatizing for mothers, I fully expected to be completely apathetic.  I mean, it's just a haircut.  Right?

Hairdresser {eyeing me as I'm snapping photo after photo like a crazy mamarazzi}:  Awwww.  Do you want to keep a lock of his hair?

Me:   Psssshhh naw I don't need to.  What would I do with it?  The pictures will be enough.  {snap, snap, snap}

Hairdresser {looking doubtful as she snips} : Are you sure?  So many moms want to keep some....

She clearly had seen crazy quite a few times, and I fit the bill.

Me: No, really, I'm good.

Then, about halfway through, yes, I snatched a clump of his baby-fine blonde hair.
Off the floor.
And shoved it in my purse.

Then I even teared up a little.

Baby survived it.
Mama survived it.

Daddy, of course, kept us calm and together.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the renovation : exterior paint before & after

At the beginning of the year we purchased 'the dream home' - aka the really, really, really old, as in built in 1859 old fixer-up that we really can't renovate or move into until we sell our current home.  Which could be never.

le sigh.

Anyway, it's all good really because 'the dream home' is currently a two-family which we rent out the back unit of to cover the mortgage and are now preparing to rent out the front unit to make a little extra cash.  Cash for the renovation.  Which could be never.

So that's the story, now on to the photos of the only improvement we have made to the place so far: repainting the exterior and in doing so sealing the ancient bricks to prevent further water damage to the inside walls.

I posted here about our color dilemma.     The faded pink had to go, but since the metal on the actual windows is a light blue {and the windows are fairly new} instead of trying to paint the window 'trim' we tried to work with that light blue color.

Here is the house when we purchased it.  There was a lot of discoloration from water damage and no detail work.

Hubby and I knew we wanted gray for the body, but then we struggled for months about the trim colors, and just how crazy we wanted to go.  You can see all the different combos we looked at on the corbels above the doorway.   You can also see we had the wood doorway stripped bare and sanded, which made the new paint go on really smooth and nice.

Painting in progress!  We had only one guy doing the job, so it took a while.  But we weren't in any hurry.

Here is the BEFORE: 

And the AFTER: 

Sorry these pics look a little dark - clearly I should have been patient for a 'sunny moment' - but you get the idea!

We are pretty happy with the results!

There is much more to the house than this frontal view, and we repainted the entire thing.  I will wait to show you those photos until we make some more improvements, though.

Which could be never.  ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

{a first birthday}

There are some things I won't go into detail about regarding our little man's first birthday party...the coffee I forgot to put out, the rain, the huge pile of decorations that got shoved in the basement at the last minute because I ran out of time, the food that wasn't quite ready, various wardrobe malfunctions, or the fact that I completely forgot to even do my hair.
None of it mattered at the end of the day anyway.

  What  mattered most was that Cormac was surrounded by so many of the people that love him {and us} who were a part of his first year.
Here are some photos that hopefully capture the details and a little of the joy of the day...

the birthday boy socializing with guests

This year has been a wild ride.  The birth.  The sleepless nights.  The first eight weeks of 'survival mode.'  The 'firsts.'  The infectious laughter.  The crocodile tears.  The fumbling through it all,  hoping and praying that we are doing a half-way decent job.  
Something {new and beautiful} every day.  

 While we all sang 'happy birthday' to him I saw it all flash before my eyes, which then brimmed with tears.  

How did we go so quickly from this.... this?

Just the blink of an eye, friends...truly, just the blink of an eye.