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Long Time, No Updates…

You may be wondering where I’ve been since November of 2014. Well, let me tell you ALOT has happened in that time. I found out I was pregnant with my  daughter in December of 2014 and had a difficult pregnancy. I was very tired and nauseous and just didn’t have the energy or desire to update on any of my projects. I got a job at a knitting store (for fun) and worked at Pottery Barn Kids (for the discount) for a bit and then our little Ivy Grace joined us in August 2015. I am a stay at home wife/mother at the moment. I do feel ready to get back to work but Ivy refuses to take a bottle so I’m reluctant to leave her for any period of time because I know she’s hungry and doesn’t understand the concept of a bottle lol. Being a new mom has been quite the journey and I still question myself every day. Thank God for google. I don’t know what people did before the internet with newborns.

She is 4.5 months old now and an absolute joy! I couldn’t be more in love. She is smiling like crazy and starting to laugh more.  She is ticklish which is super cute. She spits up so I will wipe under her neck with a wet wipe and she makes the funniest little chuckle when I do it; it’s hysterical. She loves TV, phones, ceiling fans, light fixtures….she’s getting grabby too and keeps trying to take my phone (or just touch the screen which deletes what I’m doing or moves me to a completely different location–super fun. She has found her feet and loves to hang onto her ankles while I’m trying to change her. She thinks her feet are very interesting. She is loving her bouncer activity table and chats a lot.  Oh and tonight she sat up on her own–unsupported!!

Now, I’m feeling much more settled and interested in getting back in the swing of things; including blogging. So….what’s new?

The nursery is almost complete with the exception of some wall décor. I can’t decide what I want which is the problem. I’m debating between printing a giant picture from her newborn photo session or making a wood sign with a quote or lyrics on it that are meaningful to me. As soon as I get around to ironing her curtains (which I already hung because the directions said they would fall out on their own—they didn’t) I will post pictures of it. It’s probably my favorite room in my house actually. It turned out super cute so I’m excited to share it.

Our basement is totally finished (other than the playroom). It has actually become my husband’s music room because he recently purchased a drum set and started playing down there.

My guest room has improved leaps and bounds from the storage facility it used to be. It actually looks like a bedroom now and has plush, cozy bedding. I’m still working on adding a few pieces but it’s a big improvement.

The scrapbook room desk is completed. The room is a disaster with Christmas and my projects I have all over in there but I will get it cleaned up and take some pictures.

Our bedroom is currently under construction with a new bed frame coming on Wednesday and bench. I still have to pick a paint color and probably buy new curtains and all new bedding. It’s hard to get out of the house with a baby who can only stay awake for 1-2 hours before she’s cranky and who refuses to nap on the go. She just likes to scream which is fun. OH BOY!

The master bathroom is currently being painted. My husband is trying to convince me to take the builder mirror down and put stone up. I’m trying to convince him porous stone isn’t a great idea where toothpaste and things can splash and not be wiped…and I can’t decide if I want to stick with silver tones or switch to oil rubbed bronze in there. My gut wants bronze because it would look best with our tile but all of our door handles in the house are brushed nickel and I don’t plan to change them.

Our living room received a MAJOR update with the addition of a coffered ceiling which came out GORGEOUS!!! Still haven’t gotten any new furniture for it but Miss Ivy Grace likes to spit up constantly so that’s probably a good thing.

The kitchen received crown molding. I also put up valances on the windows…I can’t remember if I blogged about that or not but I’ll post pictures of it’s current state.

Last but not least. The backyard got some new rose bushes. A lot of our plants didn’t survive the last winter 😦 that’s always sad. Our weather has been super crazy this year and my mums started growing in December thinking it was spring.  Pictures to come!!

 

Halloween Tablescape 2014

This was my first year decorating for Halloween so I wanted it to look festive but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. Everything you will see on this table was either bought at the dollar store or was something I already had on hand.

Halloween Tablescape 2014
Halloween Tablescape 2014

Let’s talk about the details… To start, the white base tablecloth I already had. I bought three of them online for a 4th of July party we had one year for $10 each. I’ve gotten TONS of use out of them for parties. The black tablecloth on top of it I bought at Michael’s last year for one penny on clearance after the season.

Place Setting
Halloween Place Setting

The silver charger is just plastic and can be purchased at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby very inexpensively. I think you can get them on sale for only 50 cents to a dollar a piece. I however got these for free from my Aunt Jan’s house. The matte black square plate on top of that was a wedding gift off my registry from my mom and they were purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond. These were also super inexpensive and I believe they were only a few dollars a piece. The small black and white floral plate is actually china from my wedding registry as well (also from my mother). I already have my grandmother’s delicate and decorative china so I didn’t want to register for more of that. Instead, I opted to choose bone china as it’s more durable than ceramic or stoneware dishes (or so I was told) BUT this is everyday china that can be put in the dishwasher– A MUST!!! This pattern is made by Lenox and is called Moonlit Garden. GORGEOUS. I love my dishes.

The glitter skulls are from The Dollar Store and there is a switch on the bottom to make the eyes light up. The color changes in them to basically every color and they kind of flash like a strobe light. I didn’t have to purchase batteries either so that was a bonus.

DIY Candlestick Holders
DIY Candlestick Holders

The red candles are from The Dollar Store and came in sets of 2. I had always envisioned using clear wine bottles to hold the candles and my original plan was to line the entire table length with them. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to consume enough wine to do that. Five bottles was all I could manage. I know right? I should have tried a little harder. Oh well, I’m going to save them for next year. I thought the candle wax would drip down the sides and make it look like blood but they didn’t drip at all. That must be some newfangled technology-no drip candles. Ugh, first world problems.

The roses used to be alive and were a gorgeous deep red color. You’re going to have to use your imagination there because I don’t have a picture of them alive. I thought about throwing them out but then thought the dead flowers was sort of Halloweenish so I left them lol.

Spider Web Placemats as Table Runner
Spider Web Place Mats as Table Runner

I got these spider web place mats for free from my Aunt Jan. At least I think they’re place mats? They weren’t large enough to use under the silver chargers and still be seen so I thought I would just layer them up and make a table runner out of them. But I also thought about hanging them on the wall in a big collage. I also bought 6 rats from The Dollar store. Three of them are standing and three are on all four legs. I just positioned them between the 6 table settings.

Spider Webs on the Chandelier
Spider Webs on the Chandelier

Finally, I added spider webs to the chandelier (purchased from The Dollar Store). That completes my Halloween tablescape for 2014!! In the future I want to find deep red cut glass goblets (preferably vintage) to add. I’ve seen them before but had no use for them so now I will have to be on the lookout for them when I go antiquing. I also would like to add some napkins and napkin rings so I will be on the lookout for those. Now that the season is over I may be able to find some cheap ones on clearance. TIME TO SHOP!!! I also think my chairs would look really good with black satin chair covers. I know they sell some at Bed Bath and Beyond so that’s something to consider.

Miles and Miles of Garage Sales!

This past weekend there was a garage sale that I believe started in Port Huron, Michigan and went all the way up to Port Austin along the water’s edge. My In-Laws bought a lake house in Lexington this year with a beautiful view of Lake Huron in the backyard. Being that Lexington was right in the middle of this sale–it was a good opportunity for me to check it out for the first time and then just stay the night at the house. Plus my husband was already at the lake house helping watch our nephews because my brother in law and his wife were in Vegas celebrating their wedding anniversary.

I knew about the sale for a few months thanks to my Mother-in-Law and I was actually really excited about it. I had all of these grand ideas that I would find tons of beautiful furniture pieces at ridiculously low prices. I specifically was looking for a dresser with a nice shape and antique gold hardware that I could paint black for my entry off of the garage. I could use the extra storage for gloves/scarves and I also want to put a “command center” in that space with a corkboard and calendar. The top drawer could house pens and paper and things so I could get them out of my kitchen drawer. I want to be able to come in off the garage and drop my purse, keys, and mail there so that none of those items end up sitting on my kitchen counter top. If you know me, you know that I HATEEEEEEEE clutter sitting on my counters.

This is the lake house.

The Lake House in Lexington, MI my In-Laws Own
The Lake House in Lexington, MI my In-Laws Own
Sorry I didn’t take more pictures for you but this will have to do 🙂 My husband and I are lucky enough to have our own bedroom (that we share with his Nonna) when we stay there and the view is spectacular.

I was supposed to go garage sale-ing with a friend of mine but she bailed at the last minute so I drove up there by myself and met up with my husband who graciously kept me company as we drove through a view cities worth of sales and were out there for hours and hours and get this…I didn’t buy ONE thing!!! UGH!! I was hunting furniture and there was NO FURNITURE!! Do you believe that? Miles and miles of sales and no good furniture? I was super disappointed. There were some good knick-knack types of things but I’ve got more than enough of that and nothing to set it on so I didn’t buy anything. But I took some pictures of things we saw along the way.
DSC_0742 This first picture was taken at a friend of the family’s cottage. They refurb furniture and make new things out of old things. They are very talented and if I had a need for any of the specific pieces they were selling I definitely would have bought them. They had a beautiful kitchen island that was custom made too.DSC_0743 This second picture I took because the antique sleds in the right corner caught my eye. I’ve been wanting one to desplay for my Christmas decor but these were a little pricier than ones I’ve seen in other places and I don’t really have the disposable income for Christmas items right now. I really just need to focus on furniture.

DSC_0747 These people had a barn next to their home that was FILLED with things. They actually had alot of beautiful items…pretty china and they had awesome gold and crystal lamps and there was one piece that especially caught my eye but I didn’t have a place for it. It was a decorative antique scale that was crystal and gold. It resembled the scales of justice that you see in law books and things. The lady was willing to sell it to me for just $25 too and I told her no because I literally have no place to put it in my house. It is a shame too because it was gorgeous.

Hubby made me stop along the route at this nice man’s house who had a bunch of old cars for sale. He used to have a Trans Am but sold it and has been jonesin to get a “new” old car. I have no real interest in buying a car–but I was particularly fond of this man’s wrap around front porch. I would LOOOOVE to have a beautiful wrap around porch one day.DSC_0745DSC_0746DSC_0744

I think we were in Port Sanilac when we found a cool little spot that had the old town general store moved onto to the property as well as a bunch of the old post office items. They also had this barn area that was set up for live performances.
DSC_0748 They do plays in there every so often which I think is super fun. Outside of the area they had more sales set up and an Amish woman selling homemade jam. It was cute.

Most of the things people were selling were “junk” to me. Lots of clothing and small items for the most part.

It was fun to get out and have something different to do despite not finding any treasures for myself and I had some quality time with my man which is always good. Maybe I’ll have some better luck next year. *Here’s hoping* 🙂

Some Front Yard Perennial Additions!!

After the landscapers were done doing their thing in the front yard I couldn’t wait to put in some COLOR!!! Now, keep in mind I will continue to add more plants so this is just the beginning but I’m really excited about what I’ve done so far and like it alot.

New Perennials
New Perennials
I went to Weigand’s Nursery near my house and they actually didn’t have much in bloom that caught my eye. I only found what you see pictured and some pretty orange lilies that I planted in the back yard.

Here are some close ups of what I bought.

Dark Purple Astilbe
Dark Purple Astilbe
This is Astilbe and it’s a beautiful dark purple color. I’ve never planted astilbe before and my mom never had it in her garden but I love the fluffy plumes and thought they were interesting and different. These ones stay on the shorter side so I put them in front of the boxwoods.

I also bought another variety of Astilbe and this variety gets about twice the size of the dark purple. It doesn’t quite show in the pictures but it’s a pretty lilac color.

Light Lilac Colored Astilbe
Light Lilac Colored Astilbe
I thought it was perfect to go in between the tree and my boxwoods. I like that they’re tall enough that when the boxwoods grow you’ll still be able to see the pretty plumes and if any of the foliage is covered by the boxwoods that won’t bother me because I’m in it for the color anyway. Plus I don’t think they will get wide enough that it should ever effect the tree or look crowded. I wouldn’t mind finding another color to put in between these two which is why I left a space between them.

Then there’s the DAISIES!

Daisies :)
Daisies 🙂
Whenever I look at them all I hear is Meg Ryan’s voice in You’ve Got Mail saying something along the lines of, “Don’t you just love Daisies? Daisies are the friendliest flower.” If Daisies don’t make you smile I don’t know what will. I didn’t think they would do much for the front but actually the bright white really pops off of the mulch and other plants and they show up really well from a distance. They’re still tiny now but when they grow they will be even more easily seen over the boxwoods and will hold their own among the other plants.

This hydrangea was already planted but here it is anyway 🙂

Hydrangea
Hydrangea
Once this baby grows to its mature size it will be taller than all of the other plants in front of it and will be covered in pretty puffs of color. I need to plant another one directly behind the tree so it becomes a wall of hydrangeas but I haven’t decided if I should buy a large one from a nursery or transplant another one of the baby hydrangea plants that’s in the backyard up here.

I still need to figure out what else I should plant to fill in the other bare spots. I think right up against the house under the window I might plant Holly bushes which I LOVE and think would be really pretty in the winter covered in berries but if you have another idea or any ideas for the rest of the open space let me know 🙂

Thanks–Robin

Spring/ Summer Kitchen Decor 2014

I spent almost no money to decorate my kitchen for Spring and Summer.

Spring/Summer Kitchen Decor 2014
Spring/Summer Kitchen Decor 2014

Here is my table decor for Summer.

Spring/Summer Table Decor
Spring/Summer Table Decor
I started with these placemats that I already had and I’m absolutely in LOVE with the colors and pattern in them. The pictures may not accurately depict their true color but they’re super soft in tone and color and shout SPRING to me.
Paisley Placemats from Home Goods
Paisley Placemats from Home Goods
The oil rubbed bronze napkin rings I bought from Bed Bath and Beyond with a gift certificate I had from my wedding around Fall. I don’t have any other napkin rings and didn’t want to spend any money on new ones this season so I thought I’d see if they would work and I happen to think they do. The khaki colored napkins are also from Home Goods and JOY they came in a set of 6 for under $10. They actually say “Bon Appetit” in black on one side which DOES NOT work with the Spring/Summer look I was trying to acheive but no problem because I just put that facing down! Haha, hey…why not?

Now for the Captain’s Seats.

Captain's Chair Place Setting
Captain’s Chair Place Setting
The pale green rectangular placement is actually my husband’s from his bachelor days. Yes, this placemat is OVER 7 years old and is still beautiful. He only has two of them (the other two he had coordinated with the solid ones but had some ugly peaches and weird colors that I personally didn’t find appealling. I put those up for sale in our garage sale for 50 cents a peice and they didn’t sell) lol. Anyway, the pale green in his placemats actually does not MATCH my paisley placemats but it doesn’t matter. They’re all so pale in color that you would never know they don’t match unless you put them right on top of one another to compare. Besides, having a mixture of colors is what adds some interest. On the same note, the khaki of the napkins doesn’t match the paisley either and yet it all works. I found though, that the plain placemats needed a little something. So at Home Goods I found a set of two woven placemats I decided to layer over the green ones. It adds some texture and I love using natural materials when decorating my house. Natural materials typically don’t go out of style and won’t look cheap (even if they are).

My centerpiece is a rectangular vase that was a wedding present from Crate and Barrel that we filled with some limes. And the bonus is that we always have limes on hand for drinks on the patio with our neighbors 🙂

Crate and Barrel Vase filled with Limes
Crate and Barrel Vase filled with Limes
Easy, inexpensive…done and done.

I realize my table is a bit bare. Eventually I’d like to buy some pretty stoneware cream plates with a textured rim that look somewhat vintagey and maybe some vintage china or something to layer in. I’ve also had my eyes on some silver serving trays at some of my favorite flea markets but I haven’t had the money to spend on it yet. Once I buy one of those trays I plan to put it on the table, off centered and pile it high with pretty spring decor items. Until then, simple is the way I’m going.

Something I’ve recently learned from all of my friends with children is that the less items you decorate with that they can reach, the better. So, I’ve been trying to focus new purchases on wall art. I, personally, have a hard time finding wall art that I like so when I DO find it I buy it. Over my pantry doors I’ve hung this decorative, distressed wall hanging. It looks old and I find that charming, but really it would go in contemporary decor as well. And if you have a Home Goods near your house they had a TON of these at mine and they’re only $40. Bonus is that it’s HUGE so it covers a lot of wall space for not a lot of money and would go with any color scheme you happen to have in your home. Plus, it draws your eye up to the ceiling which I think makes the room feel larger.

Home Goods Wall Hanging
Home Goods Wall Hanging
Wall Art from Home Goods
Wall Art from Home Goods

The two smaller frames are also from Home Goods. The matting is mirror which reflects all of the light from our doorwall throughout the room. I absolutely ADORE the fact that they have French writing on them because I took French in High School and fell in love with it. Even more so, I love that it translates to “The House of the Beautiful Gardener,” as I’ve been doing a lot of work in the garden with this house and my Grandmother spent alot of time in her garden which makes me think of her. Not to mention they have birds on them which also make me think of my Grandmother (she’s no longer with me) and they make me smile. DSC_0636

Continuing left,

Hobby Lobby Candlesticks
Hobby Lobby Candlesticks
I spent $6 on the small black wood floor candlestick from my neighbor Paige’s garage sale. She happened to have the same exact candle sticks as me and her large one broke and my small one broke so she was selling her small one since she no longer had the set. So it was a victory for me because that little baby retails for $40 at Hobby Lobby 🙂 Thanks Paige!

I almost always have fresh flowers in my house.

Island Centerpiece
Island Centerpiece
Both my husband and myself make it a point to buy them which is nice. These are from Costco. I love Costco roses because they’re almost always beautiful and you get two dozen for around $16. I also frequently buy flowers from the Kroger near me. I can get three bunches of Alstromeria for $12 and Alstromeria will last around 3 weeks in a vase.

Next to my stove I’m using a large soup tureen to hold my kitchen utensils.

Meijer Soup Tureen
Meijer Soup Tureen
I find the holders that are actually MEANT for kitchen utensils are too small to hold much and are usually really basic in their styling. I liked the shape and creamy color of this one (it came with a lid that I’m just storing). The opening is super wide and holds a TON of utensils. It’s from the same line that I bought the cream vase in my entry way so when I move that vase into the kitchen they coordinate.

To the left of my stove I have an antique iron candle holder that I bought at an antique store awhile ago. It’s been painted with a cream paint and some of the paint wiped away so the natural iron shows through. It’s SUPER HEAVY but gorgeous. Then I have some flowers from the flower arrangement that used to be on the island but most of the flowers were dying and these were the few that remained so I just made a smaller arrangement for the sink area.

Antique Iron Candle Holder
Antique Iron Candle Holder

This beautiful wash basin is an antique I inherited from my Aunt Jan who passed away this year. It’s China that dates back to the 1800s and is in excellent condition. I had almost bought one just like this that came with a black metal stand at an antique store but didn’t end up buying it and then I saw this when we were going through her house. Now I have something beautiful that I would have bought anyway and is so much more special and meaningful because it reminds me of her. I just think they’re beautiful and classic and they’re stunning on their own or filled with flowers.

Antique China Wash Basin
Antique China Wash Basin

This area next to my doorwall has all items from Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby Decor
Hobby Lobby Decor
Click on the images to see them larger. I believe the candlesticks were around $150 for the pair. I have them out all year and just replace the filler around the candles. I used moss here from Michael’s. The picture on the wall I actually thought was on sale when I bought it for $15 but it turns out it wasn’t and I didn’t realize until I got home and looked at my receipt that I paid full price. I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t think it was on sale but the black brings out the black in the other accents around the room and the base of my tressle table.

Overall, not bad for the only new things in the room being the moss, woven placemats, limes, flowers and cloth napkins 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

–Robin

Why I Haven’t Posted Lately…Losing My Son

It’s been a long time since I’ve last posted and I’ve had ALOT going on. First there was Christmas (obviously everyone is super busy during that time). Then, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child in January. It was an unplanned but very welcome pregnancy. In April we went on a family vacation in Florida and May we found out the gender of our sweet baby. We went to the gender reveal ultrasound and told the technician NOT to tell us the gender but rather write it down in a sealed envelope. I gave the sealed envelope (without looking at it) to my neighbor Paige who filled a box up with balloons that would correspond to the baby’s gender (pink for girl, blue for boy). Here are some pictures from the party…

Hair Bows or Bow Ties?
Hair Bows or Bow Ties?
It's a Boy!!!All Smiles :)
It’s a BOOOOOOYY!!! I was betting that it was a boy and my husband was convinced it was a girl. Mama’s always right 🙂
That day was one of the happiest in my entire life. We were surrounded by family and friends and lots of love. After everyone had left, late that night was the first time I felt the baby kick (with my hand) laying on my stomach. I remember being really excited for that because if Mike had his hand on my stomach at the right moment he would be able to feel our son finally.

Our party was on a Friday night and the following Thursday we had another ultrasound that basically took all of our hopes and dreams for the future and crushed them. We were sent to a specialist that told us our son was very sick and basically every system in his entire body was effected. Something went wrong very early on in the pregnancy and was not a result of anything my husband and I did. The baby was missing organs, some organs were connected to one another, some organs were weeks behind in development, many were malformed and basically the baby was not going to live.

I was 20 weeks pregnant when I was officially put on “high risk” status and I left work and stayed home. We had 2 more ultrasounds before we lost the baby when I was 22 weeks. Between 19 and 22 weeks was the most stressful time in my life. There was many ups and downs, hope that maybe things would turn around, quickly followed by another ultrasound that took the hope away. Each ultrasound we received news worse than the information we had before it, until May 25th, when Luca went back to God.

My husband and I still wanted to honor our son and remember him so we decided to name him Luca Michael. We will make sure any future children we have know about their big brother and just how much love and happiness he brought to our lives. This is my last picture with my son and I absolutely cherish it. 22 weeks
I am a spiritual person and do believe in signs that our loved ones are still with us. After we lost our son we went into a “show house” (which was very high end and completely furnished and decorated.) We walked through the entire house and went into the last bedroom which was decorated for a boy. In large letters on the wall was the name LUCA. For mother’s day this year my husband gave me yellow roses (2 bouquets of them). I’ve always loved yellow roses. After we lost Luca I told my husband I wanted to plant some yellow roses in the garden in honor of Luca. Just today he told me he went into a client’s office and they asked how I was and how the baby was (they didn’t know we lost him). Mike explained that we lost the baby and for some reason mentioned the yellow roses he gave me for Mother’s Day. The woman he was speaking to said, “That’s so funny that you mentioned yellow roses. Just today we got a delivery by mistake of yellow roses and we weren’t able to catch the delivery driver before he drove off.” So, I still talk to baby Luca and tell him in my head how much I love and miss him and maybe these things are his way of saying he loves us back.

It has now been a little over 2 weeks since we lost Luca and I still cry almost every day. I’ve been trying to stay busy and keep my mind occupied. I’ve spent alot of time in the garden and I’ll post some pictures of that soon. We started the front landscaping and that’s almost complete as well so I’ll post that. And as soon as I get around to cleaning the basement I’ll post the pictures of that because it’s basically complete. But anyhow, that’s what I’ve been up to and now that some time is passed I’m ready to get back into some of the things that bring happiness to my life which includes blogging and working on my house.