Monday, January 30, 2012

Bye Bye Cute but Useless Kitchen Desk

Hello lovies! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are ready to start off a GREAT week...I only say that because it's my Birthday Week! Yay! Yes I said WEEK not day...I figure the older you get, the more you are entitled to so instead of having just one celebration on the actual day (tomorrow), I should get to celebrate all.week.long. Of course, my lover boy husband just shakes his head at me and laughs and says..."we'll see babe!" Haha, he's so funny and I fall more and more in love with him just for putting up with my craziness :)
We were busy little bees this weekend; we've had some projects just a brewin' for months and months now but being that we were on a very tight budget with the wedding and all, we had to put those ideas on pause but as soon as we got back from our honeymoon in mid September, the play button has been on full force! When we first moved into our little house, I loved the built-in kitchen desk because it was just so little and charming and cute but after living here for four years, it's become the gatherer of clutter and despite it's cuteness, it's really pretty useless. For wedding gifts, we got these beautiful new Caphlon pots and pans and as we were trying to put all of our new cookware away, I was like literally in tears because there just wasn't enough room for everything {insert panic attack} so my loving hubby just hugged me tight and sat on the kitchen floor with me with our pots and pans starring at us in the face and that is when our idea was born..."what if we took the desk out and added another custom-made cabinet?" We both LOVED this idea...panic attack over...we just crammed everything in the cabinets and started to focus less on the clutter and more on the solution! Luckily we know a guy who does cabinets so all we had to do was bring him the measurements for our new beauty and one of our cabinet doors so that everything could be matched...since we were getting a deal on it, we had to wait our turn which was no biggie since saving money was much more important to us than having it done ASAP...this little beauty was created and we brought her home late last week and installed it this weekend...I literally did the happy dance because of all of our new room for our pots and pans...this mama's kitchen is finally going to be organized! You can tell in some of the pics that the wood grain is a little didn't make me overly thrilled that it didn't match up 100% (because I'll admit, I'm a bit of a perfectionist) but I'll get over it. Chris thinks they used red oak versus the white oak that our existing cabinets are; our kitchen is full of custom-made cabinets that are rounded at the sides so we thought that might cause a bit of a problem as well but not at'd never know the difference and honestly, when we get our new counter-tops installed and the new tile back splash and new paint color goes up, you'll never know the difference...we're very happy with the results...and for $350.00 for the custom cabinet, including installation, who can complain?! Hope you guys like it as much as we do!
The cute, charming but useless desk:
 So cute but it just had to go!
 Buggy wanted in on all of the Saturday morning excitement so grandpa Jim put her in the cabinet! She thought it was so funny and was not a happy camper when we took her out!
 The new addition = LOVE :) Above this new addition, will be floating shelves that will be stained the same color as the cabinets; there will be three shelves that will have our white dishes on them, decorative stuff, etc. We didn't want to add an upper cabinet as it would close the kitchen off too much so open, floating shelves will be the perfect solution!
 Look at all that space!!!!! Hello organization!
So this is going to be the new's a glass tile back splash from LOWE'S as well as a solid, quartz counter-top from LOWE'S; it's the Allen Roth brand in the color Wheat; originally, we wanted to go with the concrete counter-top look but with the oak cabinets and the warm, wheat-y colored tile that we have for flooring, it just didn't look we continued on our search and then found and fell in love with this's going to be the perfect balance between warm and cool tones and being that the hubs won't let me paint our cabinets, we're limited with choices...he is totally on board with painting all the trim in the house white as it will brighten things up tremendously and we will accent the kitchen with fun colors...I'm thinking green but we will see! I'll keep ya posted as the kitchen projects continue on....thanks for stoppin' by!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Storage Room Built In's...A Success!

Hi guys! Happy Monday! I'm so excited to show you guys our fabulous storage room that is finally "pretty-much" finished in the basement. My request to my handsome builders (the hubs and his dad) was that the storage room be completed first so that way we could get all of our junk lovely belongings (that were already housed in totes) up off the ground and on the shelves that they were going to build; that way we could plastic off the storage room and the rest of the basement would be a clean slate for them to go to town on (A.K.A. get done A LOT faster than the rest of our basement projects have taken us thank GOD!) as promised from the very beginning of this wee-little blog, was to keep it real and so I am going to show you the frightening pictures of the "before" where all of our junk lovely belongings were stacked and crammed into what will someday be the family room downstairs...we had to obviously clean out the storage room completely so that Chris and his dad could go to work building the shelves. Yes, it is quite scary and I beg you to please not call me into that show Hoarders...I swear to you I'm not "that bad!" And yes, I fully admit I struggle with getting rid of some things but that's what ya get with being a sentimental's a work in progress :)
Before Pics:
(Yes, that's my lovely wedding dress hanging amidst all of the chaos...still have to get that baby cleaned...add to my "to-do" list...check!)
So there ya have it...A LOT of stuff I know (And it goes all the way back to that white wall...eek...and the sad thing is...this is the "after" pile meaning "after" we already went through it all and either brought stuff to Good Will or gave it to the garbage man! Like they say in giving anything day at a time ;) haha!
The step-by-step directions to building the shelves will be "guest posted" by the hubs (coming soon); he LOVES that we are doing this fun blog as a way to document all his hard work ;) Therefore, he is even willing to do some of the typing and blog entries so that if interested, you guys will have the directions for DIY built-in shelving units and all the fun DIY tricks we have up our sleeve!
Here's a few pics of Chris and his dad, Jim hard at work:
I know, "how rude?!" that they wouldn't even look and smile for the camera lady :) I'm always downstairs pestering them for pictures! So as you can see, we had to stud up the walls so that we could insulate (the most expensive portion of the project...jeeze, who knew insulation was so darn expensive :( Oh well, it was totally worth it as you walk into our new storage room and you can literally feel the warmth!) After the walls were studded and insulated, we (we?! who am I kidding, I'm pretty handy but I had nothing to do with this job was to keep buggy entertained upstairs and out of the sawdust!) put a layer of plastic over and then started building our beautiful shelves...can you tell I'm so excited?! :) It's kind of hard for me to explain it so I'll let Chris tell you guys all about the process as well as materials needed for this project.
Being that I was SO EXCITED {insert me running and jumping around like a kid in a candy shop when the hubs revealed my shelves and buggy laughing at mama while Miss Bella ran around after me because she thought I was playing with her! No lie.} I had a major brain fart and didn't take any of the after pictures without all my crap our belongings on their new home...sorry guys, I couldn't help it; as soon as Chris told me "honey, we're done," I was downstairs organizing immediately...and then we did more the next day while buggy was sleeping so that we could get the rest of the basement cleaned up as the walls are going in this week........................YAHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
The clutter organized (or at least organized "enough" for this mama!):
 So the shelf above is an old one that we purchased at Home Depot and used to house our totes, etc before the built-in's were born; it's a nice, sturdy shelf that we couldn't part with and because the storage room is kind of awkwardly shaped, we kept it and put it by the furnace and it's the new home for all of the hubs tools, paint, odds and ends for projects, worked out really well!
Everything is either in a color-coordinated tub or it is clearly labeled so that we all know where everything is. Everything has a home and it's SO refreshing to have it all cleaned and organized...look at all that baby stuff *sigh* It's just going SO FAST...can ya tell, getting major baby fever :) I think the time is getting close for another buggy boo!!! Wait...reality check...two in diapers = A LOT OF $$$ so maybe I'll keep working on potty training first ;) Who's all up to God anyways! Okay, sidetracked moment over!
So...what do you guys think?! Do you love? What do you do for organization at home?!
Okay, one more picture of Rylee...remember from last week when I told you guys that she was sick and had a sore bottom from the antibiotics?! We let her run around nakey the other night and she LOVED it (age appropriate or I'd be concerned ;) hehe!) Here's a picture of my little love muffin:

"Hey mama, stop taking pictures of my biscuits (what we call her little booty!)"
Well, that's all for today, gotta get my biscuits to work! Have a happy Monday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Buggy has a buggy :(

Hi guys! It's been over a week since my last post but this mama has been a BUSY mama running around taking care of my sick little buggy boo. Poor baby has a double ear infection and pink eye...I guess I can thank daycare for all the little buggies she brings home. I know that's just part of life with being a workin' mom and all but it is the worst thing in the world to feel so helpless when you're baby is sick. She had been tugging at her ears for a couple of days but she's just SUCH A HAPPY BABY that I chalked it up to teething and then finally when she was up every hour on the hour Saturday night, Chris and I took her into the ER first thing Sunday morning...she's allergic to some of the antibiotics so they have to use this one (brain fart with the name) that is a bit stronger and of course gives her the runs which then always leads to a sore again, I end up feeling so helpless as she is hurting all over :( Plus, now that she's walking, she thinks she should not only walk but RUN everywhere and she's still pretty wobbly on her feet so she keeps falling down and has bruises all's a good thing I work in child protection or I'd probably be getting social services called on me with how beat up she looks, my poor little bugs! We'll get through it like we always do but I long for the days of warmth in MN when getting sick is less likely because I just feel so bad when she's hurting...although I will admit that I LOVE how snugly she is with mama when she's not feeling well. She could literally sit in my lap, snuggled in, ALL.DAY.LONG!!! In addition to taking care of Rylee all weekend, the hubs and I got a lot done in the basement...the storage room is officially done with the built in shelves; everything is organized and put away and now we have a clean slate to work with in regards to finishing the rest of the basement...can I get an AMEN?!!! I seriously can't wait to get that baby done. We also tried out some new recipes over the weekend so I have a lot to share with you...that will all be coming this week!
I hope you all have a fabulous day closer to the weekend...yahoooooo!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Video of Rylee WALKING!!!

Okay guys, thanks to my friends Bridget and Lindsey, I think (key word being "I think!") I have the video of Rylee walking figured out!!! I had to upload it via You Tube and then share the link on this post...I really hope it works! Please ignore my terrible video taking skills, as well as my annoying voice...uggghhh, don't ya just hate how you sound on video or on voice's so strange just how different your voice sounds! Anywho, this is hilarious and you can really see buggy's personality just shining for the part (about half way through) when she litterally like jumps in the air and lands on her hands and knees...I may have had a slight heart attack until she started laughing which then made me laugh...It sounded SO painful but didn't let a little fall hold her back :) Enjoy the video!
The VERY proud mama, Amanda

Buggy is.......................WALKING!!!!!!!!!!

Good morning! I have really exciting news!!!! But first, let me recap; so our little buggy boo is what her pediatrician likes to call a "late bloomer" as she had ZERO interest in crawling...most babies start crawling anywhere from around 6-9 months Rylee did not start crawling until she was 13 months old!!! We were never worried as we knew that she would do it when she was good and ready and especially since she's our first, we are always carrying her around and just lovin' her up so she really had no reason to crawl :) Awww, it just makes me laugh to think about her little stubborn, hilarious personality! So anyways, here we are at the beginning of January 2012 and she is 16 months old (will be 17 months on the 21st!) and she has been taking steps here and there but it is only when people weren't watching...she just didn't quite have the confidence in herself that she could do it! Sometimes she would take a couple of steps on her own and then realize what she just did and sort of panic and then drop to the ground but last night, when I got home from work...she was walkin' the walk folks!!!!!!!! There was no stopping my little buggy...she was on a mission to walk and she was doing fabulous!
So this is what happened; I was in her bedroom (which is at the end of the hall) putting her things from daycare away and she was in the living room...all of the sudden I heard what I thought was her hands hitting the floor when she is "fast crawling" but for some reason, I just had a feeling it was MAYBE her little feet hitting the ground so I came out of her room and sure enough, there was Rylee just walking down the hallway towards me in her bedroom like it was no big deal! Of course I was hysterical (yes, you can laugh it up because those who know me are probably picturing me jumping up and down...which indeed I was!!) I was SO happy and SO proud of her...and then I grabbed my camera hoping that I could get her walking on video since daddy was at a meeting for the sheriff's department and I knew it would kill him if he missed it; Chris' mom and little sister were here to see it too and helped me encourage her to do it again...and so she did...again and again and again!!!! There is literally no stopping her now and that is what her pediatrician always told us...that one day she was just going to decide that it was her time to walk...and so I guessed she picked January 9th :) Random day but we'll take it...maybe she picked January because she knows it's mama's birthday month!?!?! Just kidding! Now it's time to REALLY baby proof this little house of ours!
******************************You guys, I've been trying to upload the video for over an hour and it's not working...boooo hoooooo :( I'll keep trying to figure out how to get it to work but for now, I have to get to work...just wanted to share the happy news! Have a good day!********************

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thank you Swivel Store!

Happy Monday everyone! So today's post is about my terribly messy spice shelf in my kitchen cupboard; it was one hot mess and I have been searching for the perfect solution. I usually don't buy into those "as seen on TV" products but because I had my spice mess on my mind, the "Swivel Store" caught my attention! I would say that Chris and I are "beginner level" cooks so we don't have a ton of spices on hand but it's just one of those things that seems impossible to keep organized and their home looked like this (please don't judge!):
So here's the long shot...the top shelf is the home to my beautiful Kitchen-Aid Mixer that was a gift from Chris' grandma Jane for my wedding shower (I know, how lucky am I?! She's the best!) It's what I call organized. Then the second shelf is the home to all of my baking supplies...again, a little cluttered but I can easily get to everything without supplies falling out on me...and then there's the terrible first shelf which is the home to spices, vitamins, etc...ONE HOT MESS :)
Here's a close's just in shambles and we often just shove things back in until they fit...don't lie, you've done it too ;) hehe!

So.......that's where the "Swivel Store" comes into play...found this baby at Wal-Mart yesterday...yes, I braved that God-awful store on a Sunday none-the-less but since we are trying so hard to save extra $$$ for the basement, I have been doing a little grocery shopping there lately and I needed wipes for little miss sugarplum..okay, there I go getting side-tracked again! Sorry, just felt the need to explain why I would be in Wal-Mart because I dread going there! Okay so anyways, this little contraption was $19.99 and although that might seem a little steep for a spice rack, it is a huge space-saver...see below!!!
 Awwww...organization at it's finest! And lots more room for more spices...that is, if the hubs and I ever learn how to cook a little better!
 This shows how the "Swivel Store" swivels out and turns so that you can have easy access to your spices! Such a good idea!
And since I'm a "bigger picture" type of gal, I wanted to include the bigger picture! I had to raise the middle shelf up one notch as the "Swivel Store" didn't quite fit with how the shelves were placed before and that meant that my oils and such were then too tall for the middle "baking supplies" shelf so I ended up having to re-organize everything but it all worked out in the end and if you ask me, it looks a hell of a lot better then it did before :) Yay...starting to cross more "to-do's" off my list!
So there ya have it...thank you "Swivel Store," for making the madness of my spices a little more organized!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

We're Havin' a Heat Wave!

I can hardly believe that today is January Minnesota none-the-less and it was 50 degrees today!!!! Can I get a whoop, whoop!!! The sun was shining all day long and it felt SO good, like spring time good and this mama was LOVIN' it :) I even left work early and snuck in a run with miss Bella...another fabulous day. Chris and I met with our new financial advisor today and we are very excited to be getting our investments in order as financial planning and saving has always been at the top of our priority list however things like a little buggy boo and a wedding took precedence, but now we are ready to take the leap and start investing our money for our sweet, beautiful year's resolutions are in full swing and it feels great! I hope you all had a great Thursday...yay, only one more day left to the work week and then it's time with the fam again...weekends are my FAV!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Hi guys! Happy 'hump day!' Half way through the week already...I could sure get used to these short weeks at work. I just LOVE being at home with my little buggy and the hubs. My dream is that someday, I can just make money from tending to this little blog of mine and be a stay-at-home mama...hey, everyone can dream right?!!! I'll keep dreamin' and maybe someday, it will come true!
So, I've given this year's resolutions a lot of thought as I didn't want to have the same ol' "lose weight, get healthier" ones that everyone has...I mean, no offense, they are GREAT resolutions but I feel like that's just part of having that healthy lifestyle that everyone should strive for. So this year, I really want to have more meaningful resolutions...2010 and 2011 were LIFE CHANGING years for me...I became a mommy in 2010 which was the best day of my life...feeling buggy grow and move inside of me was so amazing and I was head over heals in love with her from the moment we knew we were expecting her...actually, I think I loved her before she was even conceived...but the moment that my doctor laid her on my chest and our eyes met for the first time was seriously the greatest amount of love that I have ever felt in my entire life. I mean, don't get me wrong, Chris is the BEST, most AMAZING husband, friend, lover in the world and he makes my heart go pitter-pat still after 7.5 years but the love that you have for your child is just a different kind of love {insert tears rolling down my freckled cheeks!} And then every second/minute/day/month that went by, and continues to go by, I fall more and more in love with both Rylee and Chris! Okay, I'm getting side-tracked will get to know that about me...sorry, it's just how I roll :)
So forward to 2011...the year that my baby turned ONE and the year that I said "I do" in front of God and our family and friends! 9.10.11 was also the best day of my life; having Rylee Jane and marrying Chris are the two best things that I have ever two greatest accomplishments in life! Long story short...the last two years have been HUGE for me and have changed who I am...I only hope and pray that 2012 will bring as much excitement, happiness and love to my family and I as the last two have!! This year, I want to slow down and enjoy the little things...I've been so busy striving to be the perfect mom and partner that I feel like I've missed out on some of the fun things...I have learned the hard way, that sometimes in life, things just don't go as you have planned...I have been through so much heart ache and loss in my 27 years of life that I tend to grasp on to the things that I do actually have control over and sometimes that makes me a little crazy! I want to let things go a little...for example, I don't want to worry so much about Miss Bella leaving a trail of puppy hair on my floors (I'm literally 'that' girl that vacuums twice a day so that my floors stay clean...uggghhh, talk about OCD!) and I'm going to let Rylee get as messy as she wants because she's only a kid once and who the hell cares whether or not her little clothes, that she grows out of SO FAST, have stains on them! I am going to tap into my creativity as I have SO MANY ideas for our beautiful little house...we've been so busy ever since we've moved in that we have neglected decorating, painting, etc. 2012 is going to be a BIG YEAR for changes in our house...Chris and I are so excited we can hardly stand it for all the changes that are to come...we've been taking pictures like crazy so that we can share all our renovations, DIY stuff, craft projects, etc with you guys. I am going to spend less and save MORE! I am going to try really hard to not care so much what other people think, or what other people are doing and just go with what feels right...we're not the Jone's so we're not going to try to keep up with them either!! I'm just feeling so fresh and rejuvenated for 2012 to be a year about family and about getting our hands dirty and making our house more of a home...but all the while keeping in mind our budget as our goal is to save more money and invest it for our future. I'm really going to focus on not seeing other people's homes and wishing that I had what they had {admit it, we ALL do that on occasion} or wishing that I had more when I really have all that I beautiful family, my amazing friends, my health and our cute little home...that's going to become even more cute and homier as we complete all of our projects that we have brewing!! I can't wait to share with you all.
So, now that this has become really long-winded {hehe!} I'll end with this inspiration for 2012:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain
Have a good day...and thanks for stoppin' by!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope you all had a fabulous New Year's's always such a fun, special time to ring in the new year with those you love and adore! The last couple of years, Chris and I spent New Year's Eve snuggled in on the couch...barely making it till midnight as I was pregnant two years ago and last year, we had a 4 month old to tend to but this year, our friends Chris and Becky got married and it was such a fun way to spend New Year's Eve. Their wedding was held at the Mayo Civic Art Center which is a beautiful venue filled with floor to ceiling windows that overlooks downtown Rochester! It was beautiful! My SIL, Alyssa was one of the bridesmaids and she looked so gorg! They wore this little, cute and flirty black dress with red heels, red button earrings and they had red flowers; it was the perfect color combo for a New Year's wedding. As much fun as we were having, it started to sleet/snow and we didn't want to get stuck in the crappy weather so we snuck out just in time to get home, kick off the high heels and dress which was quickly exchanged for pj's and slippers...we parked it on the couch and rung in the New Year watching the ball drop in true Fordham Family fashion!! It was perfect, just the way I had hoped it would be. Our little buggy was with grandma and grandpa so it was just the hubs and I and it was just so special...awwww, I know, I'm kind of a sap!
Happy New Year's from the Mr. and Mrs. :)

You guys...remember from my last post when I was telling you about Rylee's new best friend, her larger than life monkey that remains un-named (for now anyways!) but if you look at these pictures, there he is, sitting next to her on the couch...she doesn't want to go anywhere without him!!! Can you imagine if she can't let this thing go, like even to quick trips to the store for example...I can just picture it now...Rylee AND the damn monkey sitting in the cart and me walking on my tippy toes to see over the monks! Hahaha! I will be THAT MOM ;) Oh geeze, the things you'll do for your babes! Okay, sorry, got a little side-tracked there but just had to point out her monkey friend!
And Happy New Year from little miss sugarplum :) When she got home this morning, she was obsessed with our lovely head-gear, if you will, from last night! Hey, even the little people get excited about New Year's! Anywho, Sunday's are always our family days so I should get back to playing with Rylee and watching the last Viking's game of the season becuase they suck they're not having the greatest season and today is their last hoo! Better luck next year Vikes! I'll be back tomorrow with some very carefully thought-out New Year's Resolutions (that I've been pondering for quite some time now) in addition to our 2011 Year in Review! If anyone is out there reading this, thanks for stopping by. I hope that 2012 brings lots more bloggin' fun because this is so much FUN :) I also hope that 2012 brings love and happiness to you and yours!