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made in earlysville: November 2011

made in earlysville

our family, our home, our food, our life.. all made in earlysville

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Holiday Card Time!

So it's that time of year again and it makes me so excited! I love getting all of the holiday cards from friends and seeing the sweet pictures of their family and all of their kiddos. Everyone looks so happy and they all have such beautiful families, it's truly awesome. We used to display them on our fridge but since we're high rollers now (ha) and have a non-magnetic stainless steel fridge  (the neat-freak in me is squealing with delight, sorry kiddos!) I'll have to come up with something new, maybe like these

I wish I could show you our last years card from Tiny Prints, it was awesome, but I can't get my scanner to work. And to be honest that bottle of wine in the fridge is calling my name hard tonight so please don't blame me for giving up quickly...

I have narrowed our card down to four (from 52 favorites might I add, so indecisive but can you blame me when they're all SO CUTE!?!). Maybe you can help me decide? 

I love the colors and designs on this one, plus like the hubby pointed it out it offers lots of space on the front for multiple pictures. And it has super cute return address labels that are just begging to be purchased...

This one comes in red:

 Or green (which, as no surprise, I think I like better), also with lots of photo space:

This is Andy's favorite and I love, love, love the return address labels for these too:

And this last one you really have to see the back as well, how cute is that?

So any thoughts or favorites? I am supposed to be getting the link for our family pictures this evening from our photographer so I'm planning on ordering ASAP to get them in time for the holidays. Oh, and is it tacky to have them addressed and mailed out ? Do holiday cards require handwriting? 

Soooo excited!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Money Saving Mom

Money Saving Mom is a blog that a friend of a friend recommend I check out about 6 month ago. I coupon and so did she and she said it would change my life. I thought I was doing pretty well on my own but I figured why not. Well, let's just say that the girl knew what she was talking about. Money Saving Mom is not just a site for couponers, it's a site for saving money in every aspect of your family life. From freezer cooking to the drugstore game (I love CVS!), I have learned many valuable things over the past few months and have been inspired by many of her posts. I love the recipes that she posts and that she includes instructions on freezing just about all of them. I have recommended her site to just about anyone who would listen. Maybe I'm crazy, maybe not. But I have definitely saved way more money this year than any year before and I'm loving it!

Crystal Paine, the writer behind Money Saving Mom, has written a book called The Money Saving Mom's Budget. I have every intention of reading this book cover to cover and saving even more money this year. I hope you check it out too!


As promised...

Pictures of the house! I only have interior photos since every time I plan to go outside and take pictures it keeps raining. I'll work on that next, but fair warning, it's not pretty! We still haven't landscaped the yard any further than putting down grass seed so there isn't a large mud pit. It's on the list!

This is the new living/family room. Mostly finished but a few bare walls that really need some love.

The stone fire place is actually not real stone, but a far lighter (an less expensive) material fabricated to look like real stone. The only options for a mantel were a piece of wood matched to either the floor or the shelves on either side or a big piece of stone similar to what is on the raised hearth. Since we didn't like either option (not even remotely), Mrs. 5C helped me find what she knew I would love, no mantel at all! It's hard to see in this picture but all we did is make a step above the fire place and just had the "rock" put on as evenly there as possible so it would be straight and relatively flat. We basically have a non-mantle. If that makes any sense? You can't really put anything on it but we didn't want that always. You know he had to have his big ole TV mounted...

Yet another bare wall needing love. I'm dying to make (or convince Andy to make) this for this space. I think it would be perfect and when you make it yourself you can pick whatever color works for your space. I was thinking a gray/brown tone? Not 100% on that though. 

Look, a non-bare wall! I have one... Andy says those are my grandma chairs but I love them! They're actually really comfortable too.

This is the one thing I splurged on. I know I could have made one but really, I had a baby like right before this and I so did not have time. I could not be happier with it. LOVE IT.

View into our bedroom from the hallway. My dad (who did all of our fancy wiring/lighting) insisted that we have the same ceiling in our bedroom that we had in the living room. Me, being the cheap one, said we didn't need it but when it came back cheaper than the normal flat ceiling, who was I to argue? I think we got super lucky because I hear that's not usually the case. But I'll take it!
(Notice the Cozy Coupe peeking out from behind the door...)

And more empty walls... 

I have envisioned a faux fireplace between these 2 windows. My plan is to buy a mantle and paint it white to match our existing trim. I was thinking that I'd either get some brick wall paper (maybe this or this) and put that on the back or maybe just paint it? I haven't really full developed this idea. I'd really also like to put a big blown up version of one of our wedding pictures above it. Did I also mention I have no window treatments? Good thing we have no neighbors!

We had some dead space behind what was originally going to be an HVAC chase so Andy decided to make me some built ins. I personally think every room should have built ins. I wonder if he knows what he's started?

Our master bath (sorry, should have turned off the vanity lights). I absolutely love this space but I despise the mirror. Somehow "we" got our measurements wrong and it just looks funky. It was also supposed to be antique silver, not gold. It's way too much for the space and it needs to be replaced. It's on the list too...

Another view into the bath. Don't you love our mismatched rugs? I was supposed to buy new ones months ago, ha. There are more empty walls in here too. And did you notice we have no pulls on the drawers and cabinets? I was supposed to get those too... But boy do I love having a TV in the bathroom! When I get up before the kids do I get to watch big girl shows like the news while I get ready. It's fabulous! 

Speaking of the kids... I thought this was MY bathtub?

Our shower was inspired by this one. I wish I could take better pictures of it but it's hard with the angle of the door. I love taking a shower in here every day. Our entire family fits in there with room to spare and they love it! It's usually full of toys too...

The glass tile is from Home Depot, as is the white subway tile. We found it all on a super black Friday sale last year. I stressed for months over what I wanted and looked and looked for glass tile that I liked and found nothing. And randomly we find it in the aisle at Home Depot, it was meant to be! The floor tile is a non-skid version from Lowes. It ended up matching really well and so far it's holding up nicely. I don't think it was marketed as non-skid but it certainly is and it was really inexpensive. If you search for non-skid shower tile online you will be amazed at the prices. I was psyched to find this!

This is a view into the dining room (former living room) from our bedroom as well as some more bare walls...

Here is an area where I am having some issues. This is our dining room and it's very open to our kitchen (to the right) as well as our entry (to the left). You walk directly in here from the front door and it's difficult to create a space that works with an entry like that. Everyone is always in our kitchen (as I'm sure they are at your house too) and what I am trying to accomplish here is a "keeping room" of sorts. I need a space where people can be in the kitchen without actually being in the kitchen. I also need some barstools but that's another story (working on those). So I followed Nate's advice and "shopped my house" to create a new space. I took this couch out of the play room and moved the little table from next to the front door. Since I took this picture I've added pillows and a throw to tie in the wall colors (pretend you see them), also shopped from my house. Can it work? We're living with it for a few weeks to see how it feels and how it works for us. So far it's actually be a really used seat, especially with little kids running laps around the house. I just don't want to have it feel awkward when you walk into our house. 

This is the view from the dining room into the new living room. It was also where we entered the new side of the house during construction (can you imagine the dust?), it was crazy! And more bare walls. I'm hoping to get a big buffet/hutch for the wall to the right and then some kind of art or mirror to go over the little dresser to the left. There's also a big window to the right on the front of the house that I forgot to take a picture of, it needs window treatments badly! On the list too...

And our kitchen with the lovely non-painted drywall patch. I guess it's better than hole we were living with for months. That used to be a window before we added on but it's now the back of a closet in our bedroom. Envision an open shelving unit above the sink, staggered height with the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. That's the plan anyhow. We just need to figure out what to do with the light above the sink. We're also planning on ripping off the huge ugly formica backsplash and putting up either white subway tile or white bead board. I have a hate relationship with that backsplash and I've been wanting to kick it out since we moved in. We've toyed around with the idea of replacing our countertops and having a counter height bar but I think we'll shelve that for now. It's hard not to want it all right now!

Our kitchen island is one of those put together 300 pieces yourself islands from Home Depot. It's done the job but it needs a little updating. It came with those ugly black rolling feet which we immediately threw out so the plan is for Andy to build some kid of furniture looking feet to raise it up a bit to counter height. I was thinking of paint it green like these cabinets and cleaning up and sealing the butcher block top. We were going to invest in a new island with actual cabinets but I think this will do in the meantime and will allow us to save for something better.

And then we have the table in the kitchen where the kids eat. This is a crappy old table that has been passed down through many of our family members and has really seen better days. It's on the list of things to refinish. It might just get replaced with something better and end up in my office as a craft table. 

So there you have it, all of our new spaces and some of our old. It's still a very big work in progress and it's still keeping us very busy. We have a lot left to do but we are taking our time and trying to spend our money wisely. I'm so not a fan of wasting money on something I don't love. We'll get there eventually!

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Tiny Prints Talent Search

It's that time of year again and I'm thinking about our holiday cards, are you?

We always order our holiday cards from Tiny Prints and have been really happy with them. I even ordered baby shower invites this year for a friend and not only were they super cute, they were really nice quality. AND they even addressed and shipped them for me! How awesome is that? I cannot say enough great things about Tiny Prints.

I love, love, LOVE Tiny Prints and I wanted to let you know about something exciting going on right now. They are having their 3rd annual Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest!

You can enter for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash, plus a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate, who wouldn't want that? SO awesome!

Here are the categories in which you can enter:

Cutest Baby (0-24 mo)
Cutest Kid (25 mo - 10 years)
Cutest Family
Cutest Couple
Cutest Pet & Owner

The entry period is going on now through November 21. After that you will have the opportunity to vote on your favorites and help determine the winners! So head on over to Tiny Prints and enter! Make sure you tell everyone you know to vote for you!

Good luck!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where have I been?

A lot has changed since I posted last... we've had our 2nd baby, Ellorie, who is turning a year old next month and we've also finished (mostly) and are living in our addition. It's been a crazy busy year for us and I can tell you I definitely don't recommend doing those at the same time or you, too, may fall off of the face of the earth... I'm starting to get the hang of being a Mom of two but really, I have a long way to go. It's been a wild ride so far for sure!

My goal (starting now, screw waiting for New Years) is to spend less time cleaning my house (yes, I can be a bit obsessive in that department...) and more time doing things that make me happy, like blogging! So I'll be changing things up a bit and doing my best to post about what's going on in our life. And I promise to post more pictures of Ellorie, she really does exist, really, as well as our completed addition. Soon, very soon!