Friday, February 14, 2014

Before and After: The Breakfast Room

For a long long long (looooong) time, I have wanted to do something about our breakfast room furniture.  For some reason though, despite several moves and updates in other rooms, this one remained it's tired self.  It's time had just not come.  

The table and chairs were Pat's - and maybe someone in his family before.  I've forgotten.  They were the few pieces of his to survive Katrina.  Then we had kids and I figured if those chairs survived Katrina, they could certainly handle another few years of toddler life.  They took a beating alright and had garnered a new sort of sealant called maple syrup!  But they were still functional.   Functional.  Yeah, like that's how you want to describe your breakfast room - the space in your home, aside from the kitchen, you probably spend the most time in.  

So it was time.

I threatened to put them on our curb in Houston before we moved.  But they made their way on the truck and came back to Louisiana.  And found a home here - in the brown room.  

Before… brown tile, brown walls (with my crazy paint samples already littering the space), brown table, brown chairs.

And AFTER...

Let's take a look from a different angle too.  Here you can see my one creative contribution to the space… the kids art wall.  Thanks to the help of a true design professional and some serious pushing outside of my boundaries by her and my husband, we have this lovely, bright, colorful, inviting space.  
It all started with this… my inspiration from Pinterest.  I wanted to mix it up a little bit but thought I wanted the colors toned down.  A lot.  My smart husband and clever designer thought otherwise.
I mean look at this light fixture.  Never in a million years would I or could I have ever picked it out.  But we did.  And it's amazing.
Did you notice the chair cushions?  And bright rug?  
We even kept a few of the old breakfast room chairs - although they were very tired (and sticky), I liked the size and shape.  So I gave them a good wash, fresh coat of chalk paint and we completely replaced the seat cushions

We love our new space.  Not only is it a fun place for our family to gather, but there's plenty of extra seats for guests to join us as well!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fletcher is THREE!

For a while I've been trying to figure out a good time to capture some new photos of Fletcher to mark his third birthday.  He doesn't like the camera and is generally sticky or dirty - or in some form of undress (usually from the sticky dirtiness).  And then it hit me!  Catch him in his element. (duh).

We recently had a large pile of topsoil delivered for yard work.  But while we procrastinate and it sits, Fletcher has made it his personal playground.  So here you go folks… THREE!

Some of his other birthday celebrations (aside from the big zoo party) back in October included a whole family party at Mamie and Papa's (Daddy, Fletcher and my birthdays all fall within 10 days of each other!).  That's a lot of cake.
A tremendous birthday present surprise!

And the best birthday present/surprise - Fletcher caught the biggest fish of the day all by himself!  Although he's clearly not a fan of fish fishy-ness.  Eewww.
Oh, and the new tradition of a balloon drop on your big day!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's a Zoo around here!

We combined the kids birthdays this year for one big (BIG) party with our very own petting zoo (courtesy of the awesome folks at Zoo-2-U).

We took full advantage of our nice, big backyard and invited both of the kids classmates, a few friends and neighbors.  And while I've been Pinter-pressured into birthday party madness before, I kept it all nice and simple this time.  We provided the place, entertainment, some snacks and cake.  Done.  Ahhh, so nice!

Seriously, I think we could have just provided the petting zoo and been done with it.  They all loved the animals!

These goats were cracking us up… apparently they didn't like the damp grass and kept standing on the turtle to stay dry.

 We already have the bounce house...

The only downside of a party so large (in my opinion) is way too many gifts.  And it doesn't work to ask guests to not bring a gift.  I've tried it.  I probably wouldn't follow those rules either.  But really - the spread was ridiculous.  So I made the kids select a few at random to give away at Christmas time.  Surprisingly they were very open to the idea.
But trust me, they are not suffering.  They're making great use out of a lot of awesome gifts.

Although this one might have gone to someones head a little.  The teacher is in!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sydney is Four!

Hard to believe this precious thing is four years old!  I remember so well that first night we brought her home.  The one when we thought, "oh my goodness, what have we done!!!"   Thankfully we didn't send her back because she has been a treasure ever since.  And I'm thinking four just might be my favorite age - so far.  She's not a baby anymore - or even an unruly toddler.  

She's a little person with whom we can do a lot with, share great conversation, play games and have good laughs.  She is smart and funny and inquisitive.  She's a leader and a helper.  She loves a party and defines it as one anytime more than 3 friends (of any age) are present (must have something to do with those Louisiana roots).  Equal parts girl and tomboy, she's just as likely to be racing boys on the playground as playing princess with the girls.

I was away on business for her actual birthday but her amazing daddy set up a grand surprise that might just have to become tradition in our house.  All she really kept asking for were balloons and cake.  So the morning of her birthday, she opened her bedroom door and got her own personal Balloon Drop!  We'll do it again for Fletcher's birthday next week and I'll take pictures to show you, but really, it was the Best. Thing. Ever. in the mind of a four year old!

I finally pulled out my good camera to take a few official birthday pictures.  I haven't really been using my big Nikon lately.  Relying, rather, on the ease and portability of my iphone.  I still love the idea of taking great pictures and think about all the fun shots I'd like to get but those things take time that I just haven't had lately.  And I'm ok with that.

And while I did pull it out for this little shoot, time again has not allowed me to do much editing (which I stink at anyway).  So here they are straight out of the camera.

She is LIGHT YEARS more cooperative about having her photo taken.  But she sometimes has her own idea about what would look good.  She kept doing some crazy dance move which gave me a lot of shots like this...
 And don't dare ask her to smile or look happy.  We are in the fake smile phase for sure.

 And then sometimes the REAL Sydney comes out just to aggravate mommy.
 I cannot end this post without sharing the story of this precious dress.  A friend posted pictures last spring of her gorgeous daughter wearing this same dress for Easter.  I became a little obsessed, asking where they bought it, looking up the designer, etc.  It had come from a cute kids boutique in Seaside, FL but we were in the throws of moving from Houston back to Louisiana, so this mission would have to wait.  The weekend of our move, in-between homes, staying at my in-laws in Gulf Shores, I got a call from this friend.  She was at the boutique, they had another dress, it was on sale and did I want it.  

This beautiful gown was the first package ever delivered to us in our new home.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chicken Report

In case anyone else shared my concern for those chickens that Fletcher chased, dunked and tortured earlier this summer...

We are pleased (and relieved) to report they have fully recovered from PFSD (Post-Fletcher-Stress-Disorder) and are laying eggs!

Sydney sure does love them!  Asks to visit them all the time.  And remarkably can tell them apart - named Molly and Jasmine after some of her favorite Houston babysitters, they only have a few distinctive markings but she knows exactly which one she's loving on.  

Notice Fletcher always lurking in the background?