Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School | Seeing Things Clearly

Most parents around this time of year are running around getting everything ready for the next school year. You are probably stocking up on supplies, buying new school clothes, and maybe getting doctors appointments out of the way.

This year little bear is going to 1st grade! How did that happen? Just the other day she was tiny and fast asleep on my chest, I could hear her little breath and feel her warmth… and this really did happen the other day ha! She is still a tiny human to me and even more precious she is a little girl. She is full of sassiness and life, Hailey is known for being a little fearless and in the same breath she is a worrier and an over thinker. At this young age she can dance around the house and not care who’s watching but then worry about what her friends at school are going to say about one little thing or another.
We are like this as grown-ups too don’t you think? Dance around the house with a broom and then fret about what to wear to an event and what others might say about you. Even the most confident worries some times. Thankfully our kids have us to back them up and help them out, so don’t forget about all the little tiny worries your kid might have as they take on this big scary new school year.

Towards the end of the school year Hailey started telling me about her trouble seeing in class, I knew then that she was going to need glasses – mind you my husband and I wear glasses and we have worn glasses since we were young kids. I was not totally surprised. Since little bear worried about what kids might say if she showed up to school with glasses from one day to the next and as a mom I also worried she’ll loose them or take them off because she is not used to them. I decided to wait and get her glasses when school was out.

So over the summer we went to the optometrist and she picked out her new glasses! After she tried on each and every pair of course! Just a few weeks in and little bear is super great with her glasses she wears them all the time. We chose to get her transition lenses to wear out and about to protect her eyes from the sun and a pair for indoors with a blue lenses to protect her eyes when she is one her tablet or watching TV. She has been super responsible wearing them and she even will switch them out when she plays on her tablet.

I think it’s important to build up her self-esteem and make her feel comfortable about the changes in her life. Although she worried about her first day at church and what her classmates would say she still rolled with it as she got ready for church and made sure her outfit matched her glasses :)  

She walked out of her room the other day hands on her hips and simply stated “I don’t care what anyone says about my glasses, I can see everything now!” I know I am a little bias but to me she is the cutest tiny human wearing glasses that I have ever seen! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

D.I.Y | Coffee Station

A couple of months ago my friend Lety asked me to help her refinish an old bookshelf-hutch and transform it into a “Coffee Station” for her breakfast nook. I loved the idea, the old bookshelf-hutch has been in her home forever, moved from on room to the other until it ended up in the garage and it looked old and dated, plus the idea of making a “Coffee Station” (like the ones you see all over Pinterest!) was one I could not pass up.

So we planned a long weekend to knock the project out and over the course of three days we got it done! We took this old dated bookshelf-hutch and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk paint, only my second project with chalk paint. The best thing about chalk paint in the fact that you don’t have to sand a piece of furniture all the way down to be able to repaint it! You can give it a really good cleaning, scrap away dirt and grime and use wood filler to fill in any holes or scratches and then just paint away.
Before and After one coat of paint.

Chalk paint might seem a little scary when you first tackle it, it’s a small container of paint and you feel like it’s not going to be enough, but it goes a long way.  Also if you are like me, the first coat of paint will freak you out because it looks so imperfect you want to go over it again and again – don’t do it. The first coat will look uneven, maybe even look like brush strokes and streaks. Walk.away. Don’t sand it down.

The second coat magically steps in and make everyone happy again :) Plus if you are using chalk paint you are trying to get the Shabby Chic kinda look, you want character and depth. The next step in this process is to add texture, we decided to sand down edges and corners to make it look a little aged and worn. Isn’t it funny how we can make a piece of furniture look aged and worn – call it Shabby Chic and it looks fabulous – but if it’s just plain and dated then it’s just old? Sorry! I thought that was funny. Lastly we need to seal it, you do this with Annie Sloan clear wax and if you dare add some dark wax to add more depth of color.

This Bookshelf-hutch had lots of texture already. 

I was worried about the dark wax, but to truly get the look we were looking for we had to venture off and try it. I failed to document this step, because I was in full blown panic when I first applied the dark wax. It was blotchy on the white paint and I hated it!! Then I took clear wax and applied it over the dark wax and “pulled’ the dark wax back off the area we were working on – phew!

The end result, was lovely! I also used the drying and in between time to practice making little projects to complete the “Coffee Station” and give it some finishing touches. I made a wooden sign with Lety’s favorite saying “It’s coffee O’Clock” and a serving tray out of left over pallet wood. I have to improve my sign making skills, but the tray came out great, I’ll put together an easy step by step for it soon on the blog :) All in all, it pulled together and I think it came out nice. Do you have one of these “Coffee Stations” at home? I am trying to figure out where I can squeeze one in at my house! 

My first wooden sign- "It's Coffee O'clock"

Rustic Wooden Serving Tray 

The finished project! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Galveston Island – Quick Getaway

How has your summer going? So far our summer has been very crazy and busy – busy with work and busy being a parent. For my friends with young kids and you feel like life is busy and stressful, let me tell you what I didn’t believe when my son was just a kid. It does not get easier. I know you think it might get easier because your children seem to be more self-sufficient and they can take care of themselves, but at some point as they become a “young adult” you realize that when it comes to college and growing up it can be very stressful as a parent too.

This summer we did not plan a summer vacation mostly because in the last nine months as a family of four we have been to – Key West, FL – Freeport, Bahamas – Nassau, Bahamas, thanks to a cruise we took in November 2015. Then for Spring Break we took and little adventure and flew to Seattle, WA from there we decided to lose our minds and take a road trip from there to – Portland, OR – Sacramento, CA – San Francisco, CA and we even made a short stop in Lake Tahoe, CA. All of these were little stops along the way but they were major trips for my little family. 

So with the combination of trips taken and tuition we did not plan to go anywhere this summer, but the best got to us and we needed a time out. I needed a moment to breath, I needed a moment where it was just the four of us – minus the drama of life. I can’t lie I love wood working and I’ve found quite some peace in the solitude of drowning out everything with the sounds of a sander or a miter saw running but I miss my little family at the same time. That’s what we need don’t you think? Balance.

We decided to take a little trip to Galveston Island, not far and believe it or no other than taking a day trip to the beach or the strand in all my life I’ve never stayed on the island. So we booked two nights at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort and we planned to just let go and have fun for a few days.

We spent day one at the pool and just relaxed. Nothing special just a few drinks and swimming around like goofy people. Dinner was just pizza and movie watch in our hotel room just hanging out.

Travel Tip – the next day we headed over to Schlitterbahn for some serious fun. Did you know that you can check with your hotel and see what kind of deals they offer for nearby attractions? We scored our tickets to Schlitterbahn for 50% off the normal price!

Our day at Schlitterbahn was well spent, thankfully it was a cloudy raining day, there wasn’t a ton of people and it wasn’t super 100 degrees hot either. We did get rained on a little but it’s a good thing we were already wet and not made of sugar!

On out last day there we took the ferry over to Bolivar and we hit the beach. The rain caught up to us but not before we had a chance to make some sand castles and sand crab! The storms off of the shore looked crazy cool and again we didn’t mind more water too much.

Before we made it back home we stopped at the strand of course, there is no trip to Galveston Island without a stop at the Chocolate Factory and boutique shopping!

In the end out trip was well worth it, but then again isn’t any trip well worth the time? We got to breath as a family and enjoy our own company. We had fun together and laughed a lot, my kiddos are growing up, thankfully when we pull away from life and it’s just the four of us we fall back into place – almost like nothing ever happened.