Life Update and Easter

It has been FOREVER since I did a blog post. Two little ones have a way of getting in the way of that… I’m happy to say after NINE months of being home, I will be going back to work on Monday. Both boys are in daycare; unfortunately, they are in different locations due to my oldest son’s daycare not having room for my little one until summer. We will manage though!

So what else is new around here? Not a whole lot, but I did manage to get some Easter decor up around the house. It also involved re-decorating everything my 4-year-old put out. I bet you didn’t know that you needed to line up all the plastic Easter eggs on your kitchen table 😉

Here are a few house pics (and one of a cranky bunny). I’m hoping to have some projects underway over the next few months, including: a pallet wall off my kitchen; painting our master bedroom; and (finger’s crossed) finishing our mud/laundry room, which will entail tiling, adding a counter, new sink, cabinets/shelves, and a new light fixture.

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Top 5 Goals for 2018 and Chalkboard Project

As 2017 is about to come to a close, I’m trying to focus on a few “me” goals for 2018. I’m not usually a big new year’s resolution type of person, but I think 2018 is going to be my year. I like to keep this blog positive, so I’m not going to reflect on the ugly parts of 2017. This list is realistic with a few stretch goals mixed in.

  1. Land an awesome job. After having gone on several interviews and had numerous calls with recruiters, I have started to realize my “worth” as an HR professional. My number 1 goal for 2018 is to get an awesome job that I can be proud of and work my booty off.
  2. Get fit-ish. I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to transform my body because I’d be lying to you and myself. My goal is to simply continue to eat right and exercise when I can. I have some high hopes of starting Orange Theory in 2018 with some women in my neighborhood, so hopefully we can motivate each other!
  3. Go on a vacation with my husband. I think me and my hubby are long overdue for a couple’s vacation. Maybe somewhere tropical, or to the Southern Ground Music Festival, or just anywhere that isn’t Illinois. Any suggestions? I love boat drinks!
  4. Spend more time with friends. I have some really amazing women in my life who I have been friends with for years. I want to make it a priority to see them more often. Life gets in the way and sometimes I realize it’s been 6+ months since I’ve seen a close friend.
  5. Keep writing. I’m a writer at heart and haven’t done much of it the past 10 years. I’m realizing how much I miss writing and how much fun it can be. I want to come up with a list of blog ideas for 2018. On the short list includes home projects, gardening, fashion/style finds, silly mom posts, and home design ideas. What would you like to hear about?

Speaking of home projects…I wanted to share a little project my hubby completed. Last year I asked him to make me a chalkboard for our kitchen. He did such an awesome job that I again asked if he would make one as a gift for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. Below are a couple pictures of mine as well as an in-progress picture and a final picture from my brother. (Note: most of my artwork are ideas from Google.) Materials are listed at the bottom.

Materials/Details:

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2018!

The Awkward Time Between Christmas and New Years

Now that Christmas is over, and I have already put away most of the Christmas decor (yes I’m nuts), we’re in that awkward part where it’s between holidays. The weather has been keeping us indoors this week with a high of -4 the other day! Luckily, with all the new toys the kids received for Christmas, Jay has been able to keep himself occupied.

Since I’m still on the job hunt, it has taken so much self-control to stop myself from partaking in the after-Christmas sales. I did end up picking up a few things from Target (pillows, ribbon) for next year. Sorel has an awesome sale going on right now too. The Joan of Arctic boots were a ridiculous 50% off the sale price with code SORJOA50.

In other news, I have a few interviews lined up/pending, so I’m very hopeful that 2018 is going to be MY year! Hopefully, I’ll have good news to share on this front in the coming weeks. Until then, here are some highlights from our Christmas mixed with some home decor. I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a happy new year!

My Kitchen was Clean for 5 Minutes…

I managed to clean up my kitchen enough to get some pictures I deemed acceptable for a blog post. The bottles were washed, the dishes were put away, and the clutter managed to find a new home. The family room, however, looks like a war zone….

One of my favorite parts of our house is our kitchen. I’m SO happy we decided to do the upgraded kitchen which included a Palladin window and 5 extra feet of kitchen space. We opted for Aspen White granite counter tops and had the microwave built into the island. I knew I wanted a chimney range hood eventually (a project we just completed recently), so I did not want a microwave above the range top.

Kitchen details and where to shop at the bottom.

The details:

Stay-at-Home-Mom Truths

Growing up,  my mom stayed home with us until I was in junior high when she went back to work full time. Now being a mom of two, I sometimes wonder how in the world my mom did it without going absolutely crazy. She didn’t have a network of other moms or social media to keep her sanity all day long. I do consider myself lucky that I have TONS of mom friends (most who work) that I can vent to, ask for advice, and share great mom moments.

Here are 5 mom truths:

  1. It’s impossible to keep your house clean. There are times it looks like someone tried to rob us and ransacked our house; however, the sad reality is, it’s just us living here. I’m in a perpetual cycle of organizing/cleaning/picking up my house. Clutter makes me REALLY tense.
  2. You will say things you never thought you would say. “Don’t take your pants off outside,” “Stop putting your hands down your pants,” or “I’m going to tell daddy!” And about a million other things you never thought you would say or even HAVE to say.
  3. You will need to get the F out of the house some days. I don’t care if it’s to run to the dry cleaners. I have even offered to drive 40 minutes to my husband’s work just to bring him something silly he forgot. This is followed by number 4:
  4. You will regret leaving the house with 2 kids. Why did I think I could go to the grocery store with a sleeping baby and a 4-year old. There is literally no room for the food in the cart unless I choose to wake up my sleeping baby and baby wear him (which he HATES). It should be an Olympic sport getting two kids in and out of the car and shopping with them. You would think I would be super strong after all this exercise, but I’m not. This also really makes those long, lonely walks down the aisles of Target extra special when they come around. To those moms who can bring their 5 kids everywhere and they are well-behaved, I applaud you.
  5. There is no such thing as personal space. You will want to be left alone, but that’s impossible because, well, kids. I would LOVE to spend 40 minutes alone in the car like my husband gets to do nearly everyday going to/from work. Between my kids and dog, they all want to be on top of me or touching me at all times. As I write this, my dog came and sat nearly on top of me and stared at me about 1 inch from my face. I sometimes wish they liked me just a tiny bit less.
  6. BONUS Mom Truth: You will go crazy yet still find moments throughout the day where they melt your heart. I can be really irritated at something and Luke will smile up at me, or Jay will tell me I’m the best mommy in the world (don’t be jealous, yesterday I was the worst mommy).

Hopefully, I’m not alone in these mom truths. What are your mom truths? It’s ok, we’re all thinking the same things.

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Everything is under control
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My little corner of the world

Welcome to my little corner of the world! I’m currently a stay at home mom (job searching after being laid off 6-months ago). I have 2 boys, Jay (4) and Luke (4 months) and my husband Matt. We also have an 80-pound lap dog named Diesel.

Two years ago we built a house out in the “country”–FAR west Chicago suburbs. It’s a colonial style home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. We have spent the last 2 years (and counting) making it our own. My goal for this site is to share a great deal of home decorating ideas/renovation projects as well as general mom observations.

Word of caution: I have a sarcastic and sometimes dry sense of humor that I attribute to my husband. Being thrown into stay at home mom life has been nothing short of a shock to my system. I’m a human resources career woman by trade. Many of my comments will be raw mom truths to help me keep my sanity.

I do hope you enjoy my corner of the world and what I have to share with you! I promise to always try to be honest in my commentary and link where I buy everything in my home renovation posts.

Cheers!

Accidental Stay at Home Mom

It’s been a loooong time since I posted, but I wanted to give a few updates and hope to post more regularly moving forward. Six months ago I was laid off from my job, while 8 months pregnant. Real nice, huh? I pulled my 4-year old out of daycare because why spend that mortgage tuition each month when I would be home full time.

Fast-forward a couple months, and I ended up having our second babe (Luke) 5 weeks early. I started looking for jobs back in September, way before I was even ready to go back to work, but I figured it made sense to start the process early. Now here we are, in DECEMBER, and I’m still without a job. I’ve had several interviews but no luck so far. I’m beginning to feel this stay-at-home-mom thing isn’t as temporary as I first imagined.

The days can definitely be long! My 4-year-old, Jay, goes to preschool 3 days/week (another thing I thought would be temporary until I got a job, and he went back to daycare full time). By day I attempt to clean the house, job hunt, interview, change diapers/get spit up on/feed the baby/watch cartoons.

As I’m nearing in on my unemployment running out, I’m in job search panic mode! I decided I would throw a little energy into my blog to entertain not only myself but hopefully a few others out there with some raw, uncensored thoughts about my day. I also plan to do some home updates as well. We have done a few projects here and there along the way.

August 2017

Mudroom Makeover

Our mudroom/laundry room is between our garage and kitchen. The space is SMALL! We are actually on our second set of washer/dryer because we originally had a top loading machine, and we couldn’t open the garage door easily. Luckily, our builder agreed to move things around and put in a recessed vent for the dryer wherever we wanted so we were able to purchase stackable top loaders! Major space saver!

The room is far from complete, but I wanted to share what we did on the left side of the wall to help with organization. I still need to put up some wall art (and a new light fixture), but my hubby will be making me custom frames (Inspiration is Shanty2Chic) 🙂

Phase 2 will include a custom cabinet with an undermount stainless sink where the slop sink is located with butcher block countertop. We will do white subway tile with a grey grout back splash and floating wood shelves (see Jenna Sue Design Co. for my inspiration on that). We will also box in the washer and dryer.

Before

Our little helper 

Completed!

Details:

Inspiration:

Grove Collaborative

I recently stumbled upon the Grove Collaborative. This amazing site finds the best, effective, and affordable natural cleaning products that are delivered to your door! While I never thought I had a need for cleaning products to be delivered to my door, I find myself absolutely loving the service.

Products are competitively priced, and you can pick your delivery schedule. I typically do 1 delivery per month; however, you can do however often you need. If you don’t need anything one month, simply skip! There is no commitment. As their site says, “you decide what you want, and when you want it.”

Another service they offer is the VIP Program. This is a once per year fee that allow you unlimited free shipping and 5 full-sized gifts per year. For each VIP member, they also donate 100 square feet of rain forest. How cool is that? Not sure you want to commit to VIP? That’s ok! You can do a trial version (think Amazon Prime…).

Ok, so I know what you might be thinking? Why would I want cleaning products? I hate cleaning my house and rarely do it. Well, I was the same way, but I’ve fallen in love with certain products. My favorite is the Caldrea Countertop Spray in Sea Salt Neroli. I even have some coworkers obsessed with this scent.

Other popular brands that I love include Mrs. Meyers, Zarbee’s, and Method. Products range from health and beauty to household cleaning. Have a sick kiddo at home? Try the Zarbee’s Naturals products for children.

If you’re curious, click my link here to explore and sign up. You’ll get $10 for signing up!

My most recent order. LOVE this stuff!

DIY Fall Wreath

I’m so ready for FALL! The weather in Chicago has been hot (above average for this time of year). I have slowly started doing some fall decorating by kicking it off with a DIY wreath. The problem I have with door decor is that my front door isn’t covered by an awning or porch, so anything I put up, has to be able to withstand Mother Nature. See below for a product I used to waterproof my wreath. It’s typically used for fabric, but I use it for my door decor.

Here is my finished product with details below. This wreath took me anywhere from 5-10 minutes. No joke! The only problem I ran into was that I cleaned out Hobby Lobby’s inventory of those berries, so I ended up having to find more at a second location to fill in the wreath a bit more. All I did was stick the picks into the wreath and wrap the extra in the back. I did not use any glue. There is a HUGE selection of picks at Hobby Lobby, so let your creativity go wild.

I was thinking that the best part about not gluing them is that I can pull the picks out easily and reuse the wreath with Christmas picks if I want.

Before I added the extra berries
Finished product. It was very sunny so the color seems a bit off in the photo.

Details:

  • Wreath : Wreaths were 50% off the day I purchased, so I paid only $2.50!
  • Berry stems/picks: similar here
  • Pumpkin and other pick: unable to locate online but purchased at Hobby Lobby
  • Never Wet: Waterproofing solution I sprayed on the wreath