Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Shower

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No, not that kind of family shower.

This kind of family shower...

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...a baby shower thrown by those lovely people! Sisters & the Mama, and my nieces are in the picture because they're cute!

This was my second baby shower, the first was given at John's work and I would have shared that one with you too but there are no pictures. And since so many of you only come here for the pictures, what fun would that have been? Although I guess I could have improvised like I've done in the past.

Anyways, my sisters and Mama did such a great job and they even made it bird themed to go along with my nursery.

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We played a few games, and my only request was to NOT do the melted-chocolate-bar-in-the-diaper game, which they happily obliged to. I hate being put on the spot for silly little shower games myself, so I'm glad that none of the games they chose were of that nature. We played the common game where everyone had to guess the width of my belly using crepe paper,

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and in the process I added people to my hate list (those that must have thought I was fat and had the longest crepe paper ever) and my favorite list (those that had crepe paper that barely would have fit around my thigh), but ultimately my BFF-and-might-as-well-be-family Amy won the game. She was pretty much dead on!

The next game was very creative and apparently my sisters told me they were going to do this over a year ago, but I had forgotten so I was surprised. They took a Life of Lacey classic, "Mock Me Later", and turned it into a fill-in-the-blank game. Luckily I had some Life of Lacey fans in attendance and many of the answers were known, but apparently not many people knew the answer to #4:

4. "You don't know what love is until you lay eyes on your baby." How could I possibly love another human being more than I already love myself?
...where "myself" was the blank. There were several people that put "her cats" there instead. Heh. Those furry things? Yeah right! :P

The last game was Baby Shower Bingo which was played as I opened gifts. I was so spoiled in the gift department and just love my family! Not just because they give me gifts (but I do kinda like that part a lot!) but because they are all so thoughtful and generous and entertaining and funny! I am blessed to have such a great family!

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And then, when I got home I took everything out of it's gift bag and oohed and aahed over it some more. Charley is one lucky little lady to be born into such a great family!

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Haiku Thursday

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If you'd like to participate in Haiku Thursday, let me know in my comments so I can come see yours too! And, if you need a little extra help in the poetry department: a haiku is a short poem consisting of three lines; the first line having 5 syllables, the second 7, and the third 5.

Stretch marks on butt, hips
Means it's time to give up on
My thong bikini.


You're now wondering to yourself if I'm joking, aren't you? Well, I'll give you a hint. There is a joke in there somewhere. Whether it's IF I wear thong bikinis or WHETHER I'm giving them up, I'll never tell!

And since I think no blog post is complete without a picture, I guess I'll share a picture too....





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Aww Tuna. You thought I was going to share a picture of my stretch marks in a thong bikini didn't you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Nursery

**Warning: This is a long one!**

I have been itching to share my nursery with the internets, and finally I think I can make it happen. [It's not done yet, but I'm not a very patient person sometimes. My very impatient husband must have rubbed off on me a bit.] Oh, and did I say MY nursery? I meant Charley's. I outgrew mine about 27ish years ago, but have spent so much time hanging out in Charley's that she and I might have turf wars regarding hers when she gets here. But, I just love her room and can sit in there for hours! If only I could fit in her crib....

Anyways, lets start with the basics. The room. John and I live in a 2 bedroom townhouse. That leaves us with one bedroom for us, and one bedroom for anything else; which previously included work-out equipment, computers, and all of John's clothes were in the large, attached walk-in closet. Well now that Charley is on her way, all of that had to be re-homed. There are no "spare" rooms or even "spare" corners any longer, but the baby needs her own room, and that is what we were determined to give her!

The work-out equipment got moved to a closet downstairs, and then moved again to our bedroom...which I'm beyond thrilled about. John's computer got moved to my old desk that is in our bedroom, and mine got moved to a new corner desk in the living room. John's clothes - well, that was the hardest part. He moved them into my already packed closet, and now we share a closet. Until finally, we had a blank slate to start with.

I found a nursery in my googling that I just fell in love with. I had decided on this nursery before we even knew if Charley was a he or a she, and thankfully she was a she because it's pretty girly. I pretty much copied it piece by piece so I can't take hardly any credit for the design. But I loved it so much that I was okay with being a copy cat.

Full room view with notes

So, from this inspiration room, I borrowed the following ideas:
Blue walls? Check.
Pink curtains? Check.
Owl Pillow? Check.
Ikea Malm Dresser? Check.
Ikea Bookshelf? Smaller than this one, but check.
Bird Mobile? Check.
Tree on wall? Check.

So yeah, besides the bead board on the wall and the light fixture (which I did consider both),  I am graciously borrowing this woman's ideas. Thank you for being so darn creative, person! I hope I am giving you enough proper credit!

So here is how my version turned out:

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Thanks Dawn  for the picture!
And now for how I did it. If you have read Life of Lacey for any amount of time or if you know me personally, you know it's going to have some garage sale finds + craft projects in it. Here's what we did...

FURNITURE
Surprisingly, we bought almost all of the big items new. But we didn't spend a ton of money on it. I cannot believe the amount of money the giant baby stores charge for a "set" of baby furniture. If you bought one of these collections, I'm going to give you my opinion right up front: you wasted your money and just paid Mr. Babies R Us's mortgage for him. But I'm sure your baby won't chew up the crib railing or ruin the finish on any of your furniture, so you should be fine....

I on the other hand, bought a highly rated crib from Wal-Mart for $150 (which included the mattress), and the dresser and bookcase from Ikea for $170 and $70, all in white. I am opting to use a lower dresser in place of a changing table with just a changing pad on top.

But I mentioned that almost all of the items were bought new. We did buy one major furniture piece used - the glider. I have expensive taste when it comes to gliders. I despise the normal wooden gliders that you normally see. I wanted something that looked more like an arm chair, but that still glided instead of rocked. Turns out those types of chairs are around $400-$500. Um, no thank you.

027So I had a back up plan which was a white wooden glider that I saw at Once Upon A Child, a second-hand store. It was still the style I despised, but I thought it wasn't quite as bad in white. So I snapped a picture when I saw it just in case it came down to that.

In the meantime, I scoured craigslist every single day just hoping that one of the gliders I loved would pop up on there. And finally one did. I saw the ad maybe 2 hours after it was posted, and the 20 minutes between when I hit send and before she replied were the longest 20 minutes of my life. I had no idea this glider had been so important to me! But, eventually she replied, told me it was from a smoke-free home (whew!) and we took it off of her hands for $100. She also told us that there were multiple people asking about it after I did, but we were first so we got first dibs on it. Thank goodness I was first...I may have cried otherwise!

So, total spent on furniture: $490

BEDDING
Much like the glider, it turns out I have expensive taste here as well. But you know I don't like to spend a lot of money, so in typical Lacey fashion, I didn't.

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Ew! Way too matchy!
I knew I wasn't buying one of those gigantic bedding kits that came with a bunch of matchy-matchy stuff that you most likely will not even use. I don't see the need for a comforter, diaper holder, matching lamp, laundry basket, wall hanging, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Ewww. I'm sorry if that's what you used and you liked it. Different strokes for different folks.

So, all I could really find that I just loved was bedding pieces from Pottery Barn Kids. And we all know that PBK = $$$. But, I had convinced myself that since I was only interested in the bumper and crib sheets, that it was okay to buy from PBK because it would still be cheaper to just buy those pieces than one of those giant bedding kits.

So, after picking up our glider, we were in such a good mood for saving that money that we decided to make up for it by stopping in PBK to see if they had the same sheets and bumper from the inspiration room. Turns out, that is an online only line and I'd have to order it there. But, while we were there I spotted a clearance corner and went to check it out. On the very bottom shelf, was a "package" of bedding items that had been used for a display crib that they were now selling for a great discount. It included a sheet, bumper and crib skirt (which I was previously going to make myself) all for $50...and I actually liked the patterns! Just to give you an idea of the savings, the bumper alone in PBK is $90. So $50 for all three is more than 50% off. As you may have guessed, we bought it!

I know one sheet isn't going to cut it, but luckily I have a wonderful sister that has twin girls and she didn't get rid of a thing (it seems) from when they were babies. She gave me probably 5 or 6 sheets for free, so I think we are covered in the sheet department!

Total spent on bedding: $50

CRAFTY STUFF
I'm likely going to post separately about how each of these things were made, but John and I made a great crafting team and were able to make several of the things that I HAD to have. I hired John for my assistant job because he can sew. And sew really well, actually. He once reupholstered our entire boat by hand. Impressive, no?

Anyways, we made the bird mobile hanging over the changing table, the pillows in the glider, the curtains, the book wreath and we painted the tree on the wall. At one point or another, we were planning on buying all of these things, so I'm glad we were able to use our craftiness for some good and save some money. We did buy a heavy, nice fabric for the curtains, but everything else was little to no cost at all.

Curtains consisted of this: Fabric: $70, Hem Tape: $1 at a garage sale, Curtain rod: Already owned, Curtain Clips: $14

tree drawingThe tree on the wall was originally supposed to be a decal that I was going to purchase on Etsy for around $80. But then $80 is quite the purchase for a sticker, and I started getting confident that I could draw and paint the tree myself.

So one Saturday morning, I got out my pencil and started to draw by looking at a picture of the decal I was going to buy. It took me about an hour and a half, and when that I was done I was ready for paint. I bought a few sponge brushes at Home Depot for $2, had John dig out the leftover cabinet paint that was an off-white color, and started painting. Eventually John came in and gave me a break from the ladder and took over and finished up.

Total spent on the tree: $2 for those brushes, and that's it!

The bird mobile we also made. It sells on Etsy for around $60 - $70, but again, didn't want to spend that. We have access to quite a few trees (read: forest) at my parents house, so we chopped down a little tree for the branches upon which the birds sit. We also spent around $10 on buying 9 different printed fabrics for the birds. I cut patterns, John sewed them together, and I stuffed them. John handled attaching them to the branches, and stringing it all together. This may be my most favorite thing in the room.

Total spent on the mobile: $11.50; $10 for the fabric and $1.50 for the eye hooks. Everything else was already owned or free.

The owl pillow and the quilted pillow were really afterthoughts. The birds were made using the 9 different patterned fabrics we purchased and they only used up a very small portion of each piece of fabric, so we decided to make pillows with the leftovers. The owl was first, since there was a very similar one I wanted at PBK for $29. I could have made my own patterns, but I like someone else's patterns better because I know they will work. I googled for "owl pillow pattern", found one I liked for free, cut out the patterns and let my seamstress put it all together.

After that pillow was made and there was still quite a bit of fabric left, I came up with the quilted pillow design on my own - not that it was a complicated design at all. My assistant sewed this for me as well.

Total spent on pillows: $0
The book wreath was actually my Christmas craft from 2011, and it now finally has a home. Underneath it will eventually be two white shelves and a bunch of children's books on them each.

So, in total, we spent $98.50 on crafty stuff.

OTHER STUFF
And finally, here are pictures of the rest of the room and some of the other little details that you can't see in the first picture.
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I tried to list where each thing came from, but if I missed something and you are curious, just ask me and I'll let you know where I got it. I figure the inspiration room's owner saved me so much trouble by simply telling me where she got each thing, and so I am going to do the same.

Birdcages: $1 each at various garage sales
Giant White Book Basket: $1, garage sale
Pink Toy Basket: $1, garage sale
Pair of Flower Frames: $1 each, garage sale
Pink Storage Bins: IKEA, $4.99 each
Green shelf: $5, garage sale
Glass Bird Plaque: $12, made at a glass fusing class
White Birds: Free! Won them on a blog giveaway.
Brown Owl: $6, Kohl's
Pottery Barn Frame and Mat: $2, garage sale
Diaper Cake: The Mama made it and was gifted to me at my shower. It's too pretty to take apart yet!
Purple Wire Bird in cage: $6, Target
Snail: Already owned. It was something I made at a paint-your-own-pottery place years ago.
Paint: Behr Premium Plus from Home Depot in colors Airy (ceiling) and Sapphireberry (walls), $100
Light Fixture: Home Depot, $89
Canopy over crib: IKEA, $9.99
Blue Canary Night Light: Amazon.com, a gift from my registry

So, that puts the grand total at... (I'm really afraid to see this number)...
$895.45.

Hey, that's not too bad, I think! I know plenty of people that spend that alone on one piece of their nursery furniture!

So what do you think? You think Charley will love it, or did I just design my 29 year-old self a nursery? Regardless, John and I absolutely love it and the room is just missing one major piece: the baby. 61 days to go; not that we're counting.

As we finish up things here and there, I'll be sure to share them with you too and link them back here. I know we still have a couple of shelves to hang, still need to decorate the top 4 "cubes" in the bookshelf, and decorate and fill the green shelf with diapering supplies. John is also working on painting and finishing Charley's own bathroom which I will then need to decorate as well. Yes, this baby has her own bathroom and large walk-in closet. I'm pretty sure I was 24ish before I even had that! She's gonna be spoiled, that much we know!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I've Been Replaced

I know that in 2 months when Charley gets here that I will likely lose my spot as John's #1. But little did I know that I will then be #3, because I've already achieved #2 status.

Each day I get home from work, walk in the door and start talking to my loving husband. Usually John isn't in the front room or anything, but our house is small enough that he can typically hear me wherever he may be. But lately, I've been talking to no one because John has snuck outside to be with his first love after work each day.

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All pictures taken through the back door; unbeknownst to John!


Yes, I've been replaced by a tomato plant. He's been cheating on me with...a plant. I'm not sure how I should feel about that. I hate to see the day that we have a larger backyard and therefore a larger garden. Right now John has one tomato plant in a pot on our back patio. He spends so much time taking care of this one plant that I can't imagine how little attention he'd have left to give me if he had to care for 10 other plants! Would I then be bumped down to #12?? I'm not sure my ego can handle that kind of demotion.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Attention to Detail

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I'm really into crime shows. If one of my reality shows isn't on, or I've caught up on all of the good stuff in my DVR list, I'm typically channel surfing looking for a crime show like Forensic Files, The First 48, or even just an episode of Dateline. John is a fan too. Besides HGTV, crime shows are the only shows on TV that we can watch together.

Also I should mention that for a brief semester in college, I switched majors to Criminal Justice. I started out as an Accounting major, then decided that was too hard and switched to Finance. So when I was a Finance major, I had to take more Finance classes and less Accounting classes. So my first semester as a Finance major I took Finance 101 (or whatever it was called but basically Finance I) and didn't do so well in it. Partly because I was not focused and skipping classes and partly because I didn't like it. So then I scrapped the whole thing and switched to Criminal Justice because I did love me some crime shows. [If that isn't the dumbest reasoning ever. I also like watching So You Think You Can Dance on TV so does that mean I should have gone to school to be a dancer or choreographer? Um heck no. Have you seen me dance??] Oh, and for an ending to the college story, I eventually screwed my head back on right and switched back to Accounting where I belonged and finished it out.

[Why did I feel the need to share that again? Anyways...]

So, as I'm watching these crime shows, I like to put myself in the shoes of the witnesses. I think to myself, "Man, I'd be such a good witness because I pay so much attention to mindless detail! The investigators would love me!" and things like that. & no, I don't have any trouble carrying my head around each day.

But today on my drive home (where I do my best thinking) I start to consider what I may give police or investigators if I needed to be a witness to something. & I come up with something like this:

Officer: Ma'am can you give me a description of the vehicle?

Me: Of course! It was a darker color, larger-ish car. But, the one thing I really remember about it was that it had a bumper sticker on the back and it was way crooked. I mean, why even put a bumper sticker on your car in the first place, and if you do, are you really going to leave it on there if it's crooked? Oh, and I'm really good with numbers and the license plate had at least one 3 in it.

Officer: Okayyyy. Um, thank you for your description of the car. What about the offender. Do you have a description of him?

Me: Oh you bet! It was a man, pretty tall, lighter-ish skin. Don't ask me his race or weight. But what I did notice was that he was wearing corduroy pants and it's flipping 95 degrees today! Who wears corduroys in the summer! And also his hair was a mess. It was like he was trying to do the messy-chic and ended up with nothing more than bed head instead.

Because, while I may pay a great attention to detail, it's probably not the details that are important. So  the sketch of the perpetrator that they would release to the public based on my [most excellent]description would be this:

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And the sketch of the getaway car would be this:
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So basically, it's a good thing I ended up in Accounting.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reinforcing the Pickle Stereotype

picklesIt was totally unintentional, but I may have reinforced the pickles & pregnant lady stereotype over the weekend. I know all pregnant ladies are currently shooting daggers at me because everyone thinks it's so funny that pregnant ladies just CRAVE pickles.

Let me let you in on a little secret if you are one to make this joke: 1) That's not a funny or original thing to say to a pregnant person and 2) It's not even true.

But tell that to the Wendy's drive-thru lady that I encountered over the weekend. She'd tell you otherwise.

What had happened was...

I am a couponer. Not crazy extreme couponer or anything, but there are usually a few really great deals at each store each week that I'll go grab. One week was jars of pickles for free after the coupon. Now, I don't like pickles but John does. So, being a pickle amateur such as myself, and having TWO of the coupons so I was able to get 2 free jars of pickles, I had to make a game time decision on which two types of pickles to buy.

I thought my chances of success would be pretty good if I just bought 2 different types of pickles so at least I could get at least a 50% approval rating from John when I got home, but I was hoping for 100%. Unfortunately, I only got 50%. (For those that need to know details: he likes the sandwich stackers, but said ewww to the bread and butter pickles. Heh. How was I supposed to know?!)

So, over the weekend I was going to visit my Mama and she does like the bread and butter pickles so I thought I'd bring them to her so they won't go to waste. On the way over I stopped at Wendy's to get us each a burger. I paid for our food, got the bag and pulled away. Only then did I notice what was sitting on my center console in plain view for the drive-thru lady along with my big pregnant belly:

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That drive-thru lady must have thought that my pregnancy craving for pickles was so intense I needed to carry a full jar of pickles with me everywhere I went. But lady, you don't understand! It's not what it seems! I can explain! I hate pickles!!
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Flashback Friday: I used to be a cookie girl.

A blog I read, The Heir to Blair, is hosting a link-up titled Flashback Friday. Basically, you write your own post about something from your past, go to her blog and link your post up to hers. It's pretty self-explanatory and an easy way to come up with something to blog about when your blog-idea-well has run dry. Therefore, my Flashback Friday is this:

I used to be a cookie girl.
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No idea where the glasses came from or why they wound up on my face. Also, please take note of my hair, courtesy of the one and only perm in my lifetime.
Beginning in February of my senior year of high school, me and my best friend CJ both got a job at the mall working at the Great American Cookie Company. We were both shown the ropes pretty quickly, and before long we were both cookie making and cookie decorating experts. I don't think I'll ever have a job that I enjoyed more than this one.

[However, working nights and weekends + the whole minimumish wage = not a job that I could stay at forever. But fun, nonetheless.]

I moved my way up over my few years of working there until I was assistant manager. I loved all of my coworkers, and never dreaded coming straight to work from college. I was in school full time, taking 15 hours a semester, and working 35ish hours a week here. Not because I had to (thanks to the generosity of my parents while I was in school), but just because I wanted to. Nobody could decorate a cookie cake like I could. ;)

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No one ever ordered the cow....maybe because having a 16" chocolate chip cookie with a picture of a cow on it is condescending?

If there was some sort of cookie store emergency even today and they needed someone, anyone to come in and open the store and save the cookie day, I could still do it. I still know the morning setup and the cookie "recipes" by heart. 9 years later and the cookie business is still ingrained in my head.

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FYI...those giant cookies you see on display are totally rubber. The icing is real though!

I quote "recipes" above because all of the cookies and brownies we sold came in as refrigerated dough. Some of them had toppings added to them, but for the most part we just scooped the dough out and plopped it on a baking sheet and threw it in the oven. I tell you this because if I ever botch a homemade batch of cookies, I don't want you telling me I should be an expert since I used to work here. I am an expert, however, on when is the perfect time to take them out of the oven!
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Maybe one day I'll purchase my own cookie company franchise and get back to my one true career love. [Although, that makes me nervous because my metabolism is not quite the same as it was when I worked there in high school and college and could eat cookies for breakfast lunch and dinner and not gain an ounce.] Until that day comes, I'll just reminisce over these pictures that I'm thankful I took and continue boasting that I'm the best cookie decorator there is!

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That is 'Wolf Camera' reflected in the glass there. They were across the mall-hall from us!

Now, I'm needing a cookie...perhaps an M&M Double Doozie. Or, a cheesecake brownie. Or, a Chewy Chocolate Supreme. Or....

Or maybe this was a dumb topic to write about when I'm nearly 7 months pregnant and the mere mention of a word such as "cookie" makes me crave them more than ever. I'm sensing a trip to the mall in my very near future. Maybe they'll let me behind the counter and let me give my old gig a whirl for old time's sake! Or maybe they'll let me take a 5 gallon bucket of butter cream icing home with me. Regardless, this flashback has me feeling very nostalgic.

Any flashbacks you'd like to share? Feel free to join me in my trip down memory lane!
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