Thursday, February 28, 2013

Simplify 101: March Goals

** So today I was planning on sharing my "completed" Master Bedroom... I put  that in quotes because well that space will never fully be done and because I need some more Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to finish up Matt's dresser... BUT no master post because I was a slacker yesterday and didn't get a chance to take photos.

Instead today I will share my goals for the Month of March...

Get Your March Checklist Here

The main focus for the month is on Easter preparation and getting ready for SPRING CLEANING!!! How is it possible that spring is already right around the corner?? 

I also like that there are no huge projects this month... which is okay with me because I still need to finish Matt's dresser and we are going to be gone FOR A WEEK!!!

I'm not going to leave you hanging the week that I'm gone... I will have some posts prepared and I plan on having two great guest posts for you! Lot's to loon forward to in the month of March... Here is a preview... Likely to change however as life happens! 

What are you plans for the month of March?? Are you ready for spring?? I'm not!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Simplify 101: February In Review

How is February already over?? It feels just yesterday I was sharing my goals for February!

Here is how I did...
Set goals for the Month: That is what the above checklist was... COMPLETE!

Check Monthly Tickler Folder: Inside I had information regarding doctor appointments that needed to be made, tax documents, cards for special occasions during the month, and a breakdown of School events that I knew were coming up for Emma.

Get Organized for Tax Time: Ehhh it is that time of the year again... I removed documents that had already come in from my Tickler folder and I created a Tax Zone in Matt's Office... Will share more about that next week...

Declutter + Organize Master Bedroom: This was a HUGE undertaking and while I don't think that the room will ever be 100% complete because we will ale=ways be on the look out for new items. I'm really happy with where we currently stand. I'm going to do a HUGE reveal post Thursday but until then here is a refresher of what the room looked like when we started...

As a refresher here are a few posts that I shared earlier in the month pertaining to our Master...
I cannot wait to share the big reveal... here is a teaser taken a few days ago... so things have already progressed from here.

 Organize Linen Closet / Declutter Medicine Cabinet: For the full post on the closet organization please click here

The plastic Container store shoe bins that you see on the bottom of the closet house our medicine. While cleaning out the closet I took the opportunity to also clean out the bins. I tossed expired medications and purchased meds that we were low on.

Schedule Annual Doctors Exams: COMPLETE.. I even managed to get Hunter's 6 month exam and Emma's 9 year appointment at the SAME time! They both see the same amazing doctor. I also took this as an opportunity to make sure that all dental exams were also scheduled.

Outfit Vehicle w/ an emergency Kit & create a vehicle organization system: This was a carry over item from January and I am SOOO happy to finally cross this off my list. My new van is now organized and ready for a roadside emergency. I plan to share the details soon. Just need to take photos.

Record Last Day of School: June 18th!!!

Begin Planning for the Summer: It was time to focus on camps and our family vacation plans. The goals for the summer are to spend some time in Savannah (my hometown) and Traverse City (Matt's Hometown). Summer is also a busy time for our little girl Emma! She does a two week overnight camp in Georgia (the same one I went to as a child) and she is excited about the camp programs from Fairfax Collegiate.

Valentine's Day: Has come and gone but we shared our love... Favorite gift of the year is the one that Emma gave Matt...
Why yes that is a gold pan kit... Matt LOVES watching Gold Rush on the Discovery channel and he has been saying for months that he things there is gold in the stream across from our house... well now he can go look for it...

Photo Organization: Fail... This was a carry over from January and I am sad to say that I didn't get it completed...

Family Cleaning Pan: Another Fail... we clean but just do not have a set cleaning schedule... maybe this is going to be a bust.

Prep for March Ski Trip: I'm so excited that I have a week of leave coming up and I'm greatly looking forward to heading out to Colorado for some skiing! I also have some major anxiety about traveling with all of Hunter's things and our ski things... the logistics will be interesting but I've been doing some research and I think that we are prepared.

Blog goals: a big goal for this month was to really focus on this blog and I think that i have been able to do so successfully. To include this one I will have 27 posts this month! I've also become more involved in link parties to get my numbers up.

Here are some stats:

My 5 most popular posts of the month were:
  1. The "unofficial" Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge 
  2. Bedroom Window Shopping
  3. Painting the IKEA Dresser
  4. Thrift Store: Gold Elephant
  5. Master Bedroom: Before
With the Macklemore post I hit my highest number of views for a post at 820! That is just crazy..

To put it into perspective here are some number regarding my page views:
  • February 2012 (Just last year): 187... total! 
  • January 2013: 1,785
  • February 2013 (to date): 3,461 (almost DOUBLE last month!)
This month I also happly announced a partnership with B-Thrifty were I am now a bi-weekly contributer to their blog Just be Thrifty!

I am so happy with  my progress and plan to keep this up. My cute hubby is even going to help out and build me a more custom site in the coming months!

HERE IS TO A GREAT FEBRUARY... and it isn't over yet because I have big plans for my final two days... 

Wednesday - I'm taking part in the Pinterest Challenge which is being hosted by some majorly talented bloggers! 

Thursday -  The big Master Bedroom reveal! Cannot wait!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: DIY Mercury Glass Lamp

I am so excited to be linking up to the great Pinterest Challenge (Winter Edition). Thanks so much to Sherry, Katie and their co-hosts Megan and Michelle for hosting this awesome and fun challenge!

This is my very first Pinterest Challenge and I'm so excited o participate!!!

The last time I was in B-Thrifty there was just too much eye candy in their lighting department.

I just couldn't help myself and I brought home these two beauties... Since it was President's Day everything in the store was 50% off so I scored these for only $12.49 and $10.00. Cannot beat those prices!

EHHH these were NOT going to work in their current condition. So I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration and remembered that I had previously pinned a few lamp images!

Can you guess what I did??? I  DIYed a Mercury Glass Lamp!

Again this is what I started with...

Step one was to use some Frog Tape to tape the tops and the cords...

I whipped out some Kyron Looking Glass Mirror-Like Spray Paint that I had ordered from Amazon and took the lamps out to my designated spray painting area... aka a picnic table that came with our house (when we have people over we toss an outdoor table cloth on top...) This is after one coat... Be sure to do VERY light coats as the paint will drip because it is very thin.

After three coats I decided that it was time to get my mercury glass on... 

So I whipped out a spray bottle of water and sprayed the lamps with water... this point my heart was pounding from fear that I was about to ruin the lamps. 

While the lamps were still wet I sprayed another coat of the Looking-Glass Spray Paint. I instantly loved the formerly white lamp as it looked like mercury glass immediately after spraying... the taller green lamps was another story... the water was beady and not creating the right look.

I was excited and disappointed all at once... my next thought was that the green lamp didn't work because it was a more matted ceramic type glass and that the paint had a different effect... So I have some different plans for that one down the road...

But here is my beautiful Mercury glass Lamp! I'm so proud of her! look at this side detail

She was looking a little naked on top so I headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a simple medium shade, and other materials.
For the sake of the project I put both lamps behind the bed... Big improvement from where we were at the beginning of February

Again I love the results that I had on my one VERY glossy glass lamp... I'm going to be on the look out for another one with similar lines so that hubby can have a nice Mercury glass lamp.

Master Bedroom: Ceiling Light

I'm back with another Master bedroom update...

My cute hubby was out of town skiing over the weekend so that meant that I was a busy mommy at home... and that I Might have taken on a few projects that Matt told me not to... He is happy with the results so it is a win win...

Here was our Master Bedroom at the start of the month...

To see  our progress in the room so far visit here, here, and here...

Over the weekend I decided to change out the light...  My dream light from Pottery Barn was this $149 Mercury Glass flush mount... but I was very worried about the amount of light that this would give.

So I hit up my local Home Depot and came home with the Hampton Bay Grace Semi-Flush Mount Fixture for $69.97...

I am fully aware that the above picture looks like a ram... but I saw the light in person and it won me over...  I liked the Rubbed Bronze Finish and the seeded glass.

Only problem is that I have NO idea how to switch out a light fixture and well I didn't want to wait for Matt to get home because he had previously vetoed replacing this fixture... 

So that is where this guy comes in... MY AWESOME DAD!

Byebye Ugly fixture... 

Safety First people... Turn off the electricity in the room that you are changing out your fixture in... and bring in another light source so you can see what you are doing. 

Remove the old fixture

Unscrew the flush mount from the ceiling

Carefully Uncap the wires and unscrew the ground wire that it attached to the center of the fixture mount.

This should be what you are left with

Next my dad removed the metal fixture holder as the crews did not line up properly with our new fixture and replaced with the one that came with the light... I think that in most cases you would just be able to leave the old one...

From this point you will need to follow the directions for your own light as all are different Screwed on the center metal piece that holds our new light. 
Cap the wires together again and screw in the ground wire... Red & Black are screwed together and  whites go together.

Attach Flush Mount to the ceiling

 Add light bulbs and glass cover

Now look at it and smile... or cringe because you can see the white light bulbs... Time to go back to Home Depot for some clear bulbs!
Thanks DAD!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hunter: 23 Week update

Look who is 23 weeks old this week!!!! 
(Ignore my CRAZY hair in the above photo)

We have had such a BUSY week!

  • Hunter can sit up by himself! We are still sticking close by because sometimes his balance fails him but he is really getting the hang of it. 
  • Hunter started Little Gym this week. We did our free introductory class and we loved it! It is just nice to be around other little kiddos Hunter's age. I feel like I'm not able to join a real playgroup because of my work schedule so this is a nice alternative. I'm also thinking about Mommy and Me swim classes. 
  • We are inching towards a new clothing size... can you believe that Hunter drinks a full 10 oz bottle in the mornings while I'm at work!
  • Hunter LOVES solid foods! We have had him in his highchair, over the last few weeks, during dinner time so that he gets use to being at the table and eating with us... during this time we have just placed very small "bites" of what we are eating on his plate just so he can touch and small... and guess what???? He eats the food and really likes it. His favorites seem to be broccoli, chicken, pot roast and carrots. He doesn't eat very much at this age but he really seems to like dinner time and eating with our little family. 

Ahhh don't you just love this face!!!