Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Weekend of Organization

After a lot of hard work and a very productive weekend, I am happy to say that I have thrown out 50 things!! Woohoo! But before I share my list, I want to introduce you to another AWESOME organizational book called "Unclutter Your Life in One Week". My Mom gave me this book to read a few weeks ago (when I was still in my newborn haze) and I finally managed to read it this weekend and I thought it was fantastic. The author still follows the same concept of purging to make peace in your life, but she does it with a lot more helpful information and advice on how to do this. 


I used this book as a guide during my weekend purge and if you're planning to start a purge of your own and only want to buy one book, I would honestly chose this one over "Throw Out Fifty Things". I thought both books were excellent, but this one just had more of the information and guidance I was looking for.

Now, I would love to type out my list of 50 tonight, but I am VERY tired and since this little peanut is sound asleep...


I think I better take advantage :-) I hope you all had a fun and productive weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Throw Out 50 Things: The First 5

"Throw Out Fifty Things" arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I used my nightly nursing sessions to get started on the first few chapters. And let me just say...the author is hilarious!! She not only talks about the things she is throwing away, but also tells stories about why she keeps them, why she can't part with them, etc. and they are so funny and so true!!


So...I have decided to tackle my new book...and my home...chapter by chapter. Chapter 1 starts in the bedroom and that is where I began this morning. I was only in there an hour while Blake slept and Addie helped me empty a few drawers, and I already have my first 5 list items!! Here they are in no particular order:

1.) Old Lingerie
I suppose this sounds a little disgusting..."old" lingerie, but that is exactly what it is. Bras that are two sizes to small and undies that have passed their prime. I know most of us are guilty of this, but my drawers were pathetic. I had bras in the back of my drawer that were not only two sizes to small, but purchased when I was a freshman in college 10 YEARS AGO! I have absolutely no idea why I kept them or what I was thinking, but they are now in the Goodwill bag. I also pitched all undies that have either passed their prime, or don't fit my lifestyle anymore...if you know what I'm sayin...

2.) Partner-less Socks
I have a wicker basket in my closet where I keep all mismatched socks in the hopes that I will one day find their partner. But thanks to the support and encouragement of Gail (the book's author)...I let them go today. But, before I threw them out, I went through the basket and was actually able to make 7 pairs!!! That just goes to show you how long it has been since I went through that basket. So I gained 7 pairs of nice socks and cleared out a pretty basket I will use somewhere else in the house :-)

3.) Too-short Comfy Pants
I know everyone says that being long legged is a good thing and I suppose to some extent it is. But when it comes to pants...being long legged is not fun because you can never buy regular length pants. And if you can find the occasional pair of comfy pants that are long enough, you have to be careful not to dry them. Well, I have accidentally dried countless pairs in my lifetime and today I found 10 pairs off too-short comfy pants taking up space in my closet. I won't even make excuses for why I kept them...I just did. But today, they are in a bag for my sister-in-law Diana because she has the opposite problem in length :-)

4.) Out of Style Jewelry
Now don't worry...I am not getting rid of any of my nice jewelry or any pieces that have special sentimental value. But...I did think it was time to part with the 3 chocker necklaces I have had since high school. I am also getting rid of the 2 or 3 hemp necklaces with beads I have from college. Even if that style came back, I don't think it would go with my mommy wardrobe. And finally, I bid farewell to the wooden parrot earrings my grandma gave me when she was cleaning out her jewelry box. I took them because I felt bad, and I have kept them all these years for the same reason. But honestly...they are hideous and they have to go. Maybe they will make some little old lady's day at Goodwill :-)

5.) Old Sneakers
I have absolutely NO idea why I have kept 4 pairs of worn out sneakers in the back of my closet. And the worst part is that these shoes have made two moves over the past 5 years! I guess it's like anything I keep...I worry that I will need it later. Like...what if I am painting or helping Eric outside and need a pair of crappy shoes so I don't ruin my good ones? Seems logical right? But really...do I need 4 crappy pairs to chose from? I think not. So they are being sent to Nike's sneaker recycling program :-)

It is amazing how much I was able to throw out in just one hour today! It felt good tackling the bedroom first, since there are so many things in there I couldn't bear to part with for so long. I see a few things of Eric's too that might need to head to the Goodwill bin, but I will have to wait for him to get home. He might need to say his last goodbyes :-)

I am really looking forward to Chapter 2 because I know I am going to add at least 10 or more items to my list. Chapter 2 is tackling the BATHROOM! AH!!! This is one of my favorite chapters so far because the bathroom may be one of the WORST places for hoarding! And she has some awesome tips about what to get rid of in your shower, medicine cabinet, make-up bag, etc. I will share as soon as I have time to get in there.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blake is 1 Month Old!!

How is it even possible that my baby boy is already a month old!!! I guess it is true what they say...time flies when you are having fun! Here is a picture of my little man sporting his cowboy outfit from Auntie Tara (check out the little cowboy boots. Precious!)


Blake had his one month doctors appointment today and the doc said he looks fantastic!! He also said that Blake looks like "one healthy little eater". I guess that had something to do with the fact that he weighed 10 lbs, 3 ozs today!!!! He was born weighing 7.11 so he has gained almost 3 pounds since birth!!! Craziness :-) Looks like he is going to be a little meatloaf like his big sister was as a baby. Ha! 

Here is what else is going on in Blake's world these days...

Eating
As I said above, Blake is one hearty little eater. He eats ALL THE TIME!!! But I guess that is a good thing because nursing is really helping me shed the pounds :-)

Sleeping
We are still working on this one. I know he is only a month old, so I am not expecting him to sleep much at night. Most nights he is still up every 2 hours to eat, but last night we did a 3 hour stretch, which was wonderful for me. But the good news is that the doc said because he is eating so much and growing so quickly, he will most likely be sleeping much better in the coming weeks. He even said...dare I say it...that he could be sleeping the night by 2-3 months instead of 4-5 months. AHH! Wouldn't that be fantastic? I am not counting on it...but a girl can dream :-)

Growing
In a mere 4 weeks, my baby boy has put on almost 3 pounds and 2 inches!! He has already grown out of newborn diapers AND his newborn sleepers :-( My baby is growing too fast!!! But I love that he is so healthy and plus...he has a lot of cute 3 month outfits I can't wait for him to wear. Ha!

Playing
I am not 100% sure, but I may have seen my first smile today!! He was looking at me and I made a silly face and kissed his nose. It could have been gas, but he flashed me this huge smile! I am very excited for the month ahead because baby smiles are just about the cutest thing ever. 

Anyway, that is Blake's one month recap! He is cute as a button and healthy as can be. I am so blessed :-)

* On a totally unrelated side note, I would just like you to know that my friend Andrea, who started her Hair Bows & More business, is giving away a FREE hair bow to the first 5 followers on her site!! Be sure to stop by today!! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Cupid is Bringing Me

Okay...I know I am the last person to own one of these...but that doesn't make me any less excited!!!

 Cupid (a.k.a. Eric) confirmed that for Valentines Day, we will grab a nice dinner and take a trip to the Apple store so I can get my iPhone!!!! I have wanted one for so long but I wasn't willing to pay $400 when they first came out and when the price did finally drop....I was locked into a contract. But the good news is that my contract is up the end of February!! Woohoo!

Now...I have two very important questions for all you iPhone users out there:

1) I am thinking about getting the 8GB because it is only $99. I don't plan on uploading a ton of songs, pictures, movies, etc. so I am not sure if I need more than 8GB. But...for those of you who have it...is it worth spending the extra $100 to get the 16GB?

2) What do you love/hate most about your iPhone? What are your favorite Apps or features? I am pretty sold on getting one, but I still like knowing all the pros and cons :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Throw Out Fifty Things

When it comes to organizing...I really like a challenge. I like when someone else tells me how to organize my things and gives me instructions on how to achieve organizational bliss. So, when I saw this book, Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life...I was intrigued.


The goal here is to do just what the title suggests...throw out fifty things. Now, I know 50 things doesn't seem like a lot, but when you really start trying to list the things you are willing to part with, it is a TON! Just looking at the list of things on the cover of this book makes me laugh because we all commit the same hoarding crimes. I mean...how many of us are holding onto random keys that we have no idea what they open? I know I am guilty of this. And really...why do we hold on to them? Is it in the off chance that we might find some random treasure chest in our house that is missing a key? When you think about it...it does seem silly that we keep things like this!!

Anyway, I just placed an order for this book from Barnes and Noble and I can't wait to get started! I noticed that there is a workbook that goes along with this plan and you can download it here. At the beginning of the workbook, the author explains that there are 4 rules to follow before you get started with the challenge. They are called the "Rules of Disengagement".

#1. If it—the thing, the belief or conviction, the memory, the job, even 

the person—weighs you down, clogs you up, or just plain makes you 

feel bad about yourself, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, 

move on. 


#2. If it (see above!) just sits there, taking up room and contributing 

nothing positive to your life, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it 

go, move on.  If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving 

backward.  Throwing out what’s negative helps you rediscover 

what’s positive. 


#3. Don’t make the decision—whether to toss or keep it—a hard one. 

If you have to weigh the pros and cons for too long or agonize about 

the right thing to do, throw it out.

 

#4. Don’t be afraid.  This is your life we’re talking about.  The only 

one you’ve got for sure.  You don’t have the time, energy or room for 

physical or psychic waste. 


Pretty good rules if you ask me :-) Now, this little project may take me some time since my window of "free time" is very small these days. But in support of my mission to simplify my life, I will throw out (or giveaway, donate, etc.) 50 things...or more! I will definitely share my list when it is complete. Anyone else want to make a list and share it?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Looking For the Best Carpenter in the Chicagoland Area?

Well, then you're in luck! My Dad is for hire and he is by far the best carpenter in world :-) But then again...you probably already know that from the millions of posts I have written about him and his handy work. In fact, ever since I started this blog, I have put my Dad to work MANY times. Lets take a look back at his amazing work shall we?

For starters, here is the beautiful fireplace mantel he built for us last year... 


He also built me my Pottery Barn Look-A-Like bench...


And shelf...


He also designed and built Addie's first sled (which will soon be Blake's :-)


Addie and Blake have both spent many nights in this beautiful Bassinet...


He also decked out both kids rooms, like Blake's Gas Pump bookshelf...


And Addie's built-in wall units and shelves...


And today, my Dad delivered his latest project. When I asked him to fix the wobbly leg on the garage sale table Addie was using for coloring and crafts...he decided he would rather spend his time building her something bigger and better. What did he come up with? Well...take a look!


I keep the craft table in my kitchen so he wanted to stick with the "kitchen" theme and built her this gorgeous little booth!!! Now Addie (and one day Blake) can sit and eat snacks, color, play with playdough, etc. and not have to worry about sitting on a booster chair at the big table!! I think Addie looks like one happy customer don't you?


Ever since I started posting about my Dad's work, I have received a few inquiries from friends wanting to know what my Dad charges, if he is for hire, etc. So, I thought it was time to share some of his info in case you have some questions of your own!!

My Dad's business is called J&M Construction and you can contact him at jmuel5@excite.com. As you can see, he does amazing custom work. I am only showing pictures of some of the smaller projects my Dad has done for me, but he also does full scale remodeling and countertops. Honestly...there isn't much this man can't do! He is incredibly creative and talented and I am so lucky to have him as my own personal carpenter :-)

So, if you live in the Chicagoland area and have been looking for a great carpenter to build you a bookshelf or remodel your kitchen...my Dad is your man!! He gives free estimates so if you are curious about a project, be sure to e-mail him today!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hair Bows & More

My good friend Andrea just started a fabulous new business...Hair Bows and More. She is just getting her blog/website up and running, but I wanted to pass along her address so you can check it out for the little lady in your life. She also takes custom orders, so be sure to e-mail her if you are looking for the perfect bow :-) Here is a sneak peak at some of the great bows she has to offer.



Happy Saturday everyone!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

3 People Wet Their Pants Today

After a couple of cooped up weeks in the house, my mom and I decided to take the kiddies to the mall today. We got lunch, had some frozen yogurt, I found some post-baby shirts that are super cute (and way under $45 :-) and then we headed home in time for naps.

Addie looked a little sleepy as we were loading her into the car. And let me just tell you one thing about Addie...if she naps for even one minute in the car, she will not nap at home. And this mama NEEDS nap time :-) So I asked my mom if she would hop in the back to seat to keep Addie entertained until we got home.

Now, when I asked my mom to "hop" into the backseat, I really meant for her to carefully climb. But somehow, mamacita lost her footing and literally fell into the backseat. Legs in the air, crooked glasses, the whole nine yards. Just see for yourself...


Addie thought this was just about the most hilarious thing she had ever seen. That made me start laughing. Hard. Which then made my mom start laughing. Hard. So hard, in fact, that a third person wet their pants today. And I will give you a hint...It wasn't me :-)

Favorite Facial Cleansers

I am still mourning the loss of my favorite facial cleanser...Origins Get Down Deep-Pore Clay Cleaner. I guess Origins discontinued it some time ago but I have managed to still find a tube or two from random websites like drugstore.com. Well, when I went to drugstore.com today I saw what I have been dreading for months. NO LONGER AVAILABLE. AHH!!! I am just so sad. I am very picky about the type of face wash I use and I have absolutely loved this cleaner and my skin has never looked clearer. 


What I liked best about this cleanser was the feeling of clay, and there was a slight cool tingle after rinsing it off that made my face feel fresh. It also didn't over dry my skin, which was an added bonus. I haven't done much research yet, but I am on the hunt for a new cleanser that will accomplish the same things. I have combination dry/oily skin and I do break out from time to time so I like pore cleaners because they get down deep. I am not apposed to paying a little more for a good cleanser, especially if I know it works. Plus, I always ask for Macy's gift cards so I can stock up on my fancy beauty products :-)

So...the question of the day is, what facial cleanser do you use? Have you used it long? What do you like best about it? I am willing to give anything a try at this point so I can find my new favorite :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Because 1 Isn't Enough

When the Bella Baby photographer told me that I would get birth announcements in our picture package, I was sort of relieved to know I wouldn't have to create ones on my own. And, because they had such adorable templates to chose from, I knew I would be happy with whatever I picked out. This is the card I selected...


Cute right? I just received these in the mail last week and they are even cuter in person!  

BUT...even though I love these cards, I still couldn't resist creating one on my own when I saw the pics my brother took of Addie and Blake together. I KNOW! But look how cute this card turned out too?


So now I have plenty of announcements and LOTS of addressing to do. I have been slowly distributing these to visitors and I realized today that I better get the rest out soon, especially since Blake will already be a month old NEXT WEEK!!! Where is the time going?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Be Thankful

Today...I am reminded once again how short life is. My cousin Diane sent a very sad e-mail this morning. Her cousin Kevin has been helping his beautiful wife Deanne fight cancer for quite some time (they are pictured below). We have all been praying and hoping that things would turn around but sadly...God had other plans for this wonderful woman. She passed away last night and I have been thinking of them ever since. Kevin and Deanne were just married this summer and they should be spending their days planning their future, not planning a funeral. My heart is so heavy for Kevin, my cousin Diane and their entire family.


My cousin has always described Deanne as a positive, happy, strong woman who always saw the bright side of everything. I am sure she is in heaven right now, smiling down on all of us. But even the knowledge of that can't take away the sadness everyone feels right now. So I ask...if you have a moment tonight...please say a prayer for Kevin and the rest of his family as they prepare for the hardest week of their life. And while you are at it, take a moment to be thankful for all that you have in your life. Give your significant other a big kiss, hug your kiddies extra tight, call your mom and dad and just be thankful. Good night friends.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Visit with Gracie and The Twinies

Today, my cousin Kris brought Gracie and the Twins over to meet Mr. Blake. I haven't seen the twins since they were born and I could not BELIEVE how much they have grown. Just look at Presley (the baby in the middle)! He is already over 13 pounds and growing by the day! I just can't get over how cute these little kiddies are!


During our visit, Kris and I started comparing notes about being mommies of 2 (or in her case 3). I have been pretty tired lately since Blake is still waking up every 2 hours to eat and at one point I said "I have never been so tired in my life!" As soon as the words left my mouth, I looked over at Kris who was feeding one baby and passing another off to her mom. How could I even say that to a mom of twins! She of course just smiled and said "Me too!" Bless her heart :-)

I know it was no easy task, so thanks for packing the kiddies up and coming out for a visit Kris!! It was great seeing all of you and I really hope we can do it again soon. Love ya and keep up the great work mama!!! 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Recap

It was another fun, relaxing weekend around the Davis household. I accomplished some much needed cleaning while Addie got some much needed playtime with Nia.

Here are the girls enjoying a cinnamon roll (compliments of Daddy) and some juice. VERY nutritious breakfast :-)


And to thank Daddy (a.k.a. Uncle Eric), the girls ran right to him for a big hug! I would hug him too for a cinnamon roll. Ha!


The girls played SO good with each other this weekend. Usually, Addie isn't big on hand holding. Poor Nia always tries to hold Addie's hand but she never lets her. So I am sure you can imagine Nia's surprise when Addie reached for HER hand!


And she didn't let go. She led Nia all over the house and finally ended up in her favorite spot...


Her comfy chair. The girls sat here watching cartoons for about 5 minutes before they discovered a new activity...


Dress up!!!!! This might be my favorite picture of all time!! So freaking cute!!


And speaking of cute, here is my little man waving for the camera. Isn't he getting so big?!!! Time needs to slow down.


We also did lots of lounging this weekend. Here are the kiddies cuddling on the couch after bath time. Can you tell Blake loves his big sister?


And boy does she love him! She never wants to give him up!


And really...can you blame her?


Now that Addie is in bed for the night, I think I am going to hop off and cuddle with this little cutie. I hope you all had a great weekend. I know we did!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Cute Weekend Flick

If any of you are looking for a cute flick to watch this weekend, I highly recommend checking out "Julie & Julia".


I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about this movie, but I personally thought it was great! It made me want to eat the whole time...but I do that anyway :-) Eric thinks the reason I loved the movie so much is because it is about blogging. Ha! And I guess he is partially right. There are several funny scenes about readers, comments, etc. that are totally relatable if you are a blogger. One of Julie's first comments is from her mom so she says it doesn't count. If you scroll back to some of my first posts, my mom was the only one commenting on my blog too. Haha! Anyway, I suppose that is why I loved the movie so much...it was totally relatable. Well that, and the fact that she is a writer :-) Oh...and did I mention the food?

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Boys Finally Meet

Even though Eric's cousin Katie and I were both due with our little boys on New Years Eve...little Cole decided to surprise everyone and show up on Christmas day! And since Blake arrived 3 days later, we weren't able to get together to meet the little man before we headed to the hospital.

Katie and I have been talking for weeks now trying to get these boys together but between busy schedules and the flu...we weren't able to make it happen until today!! And I have to say...Cole is even cuter in person!!! Here are the boys hanging out together on the couch.


They pretty much slept through their playdate but that's okay because their big sisters had enough fun for the both of them.


Big Sis Audrey was ALL about playing dress-up.


Whereas Addie was ALL about trashing the living room. I guess she just wanted to show Audrey all of her toys at once :-)


It is amazing to think that only two short years ago, Addie and Audrey were the two little newborns laying on the couch. And now they are such big girls! I hope that Blake and Cole have as much fun together as our girls do. Although, I am pretty sure they will be bonding over tools and trucks instead of necklaces and tea sets :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Hope It's Hereditary

I don't know when I became an official "clean freak", but I do know it started when I was a little girl. Dare I say...I actually liked cleaning my room as a kid! And I always helped my mom with the rest of the house too, which is why I think she misses me living at home. Ha! And judging by these pictures, I think it is safe to say that Addie may be turning into my little helper!



I gotta tell ya...clean freak or not...I could certainly use the help around the house. I really hope it's hereditary :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Fabulous Valentine's Day Gift Idea

For Christmas, my SIL Dana got me the most BEAUTIFUL necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs...


I have been wanting to post about it for a while but I kept forgetting to take pics of my actual necklace. She personalized one side with Addie and Blake's names...


And the other side with Eric and I's names...


I can't tell you how many compliments I get every time I wear this necklace. It is just beautiful and I can't take it off because it is just so special to me :-) My mom even started hinting around about wanting a grandma necklace of her own. Hmmm...

And since Valentine's Day is only a month away, I thought I would share this designer with all of you in case you are looking for ideas to give your hubby or boyfriend. Lisa has TONS of beautiful designs and I highly recommend checking out her site (and blog) when you have time.

************

And even though this picture has nothing to do with this post, I thought I would share it anyway because it made me laugh so hard today. Here is Addie...minus her jammies...reading Blake US Weekly. So random, but oh so cute :-)


Monday, January 11, 2010

The Party Planning Begins...

I find it hard to believe that my little baby girl is going to be 2 years old!!!!!! How and when did this happen? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was planning her first birthday.

Last year, her party was all about what I wanted. The decorations, the favors, the activities, etc. But this year, I want Addie's party to be all about what she wants. And, since my girl LOVES to jump and bounce around, I thought a party at a bouncy house would be right up her alley!


There is a great bouncey house near us that lets you book private parties which means that Addie and her friends will have the whole place to themselves! Perfect. They also...

* Cater in pizza
* Set up and clean up your party
* Hang decorations and balloons
* Cut and serve your cake

So basically, my only job will be to make invites and put together goodie bags! Pretty sweet deal if you ask me :-) But with only a month and a half until the big day, I guess I better get started on invites since it will probably take me that long to find the time with these two rascals :-) 

Happy Monday Everyone!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When is it Okay to Spend $45 on a T-Shirt?

That is the question of the day my friends. I have come to accept the fact that my fitted t-shirts will not be making their debut for several months (thanks to post-baby chub) but in the meantime, I need to find some loose fitting tees to camouflage my mid section. Well, I came across these adorable slub cotton tees at JCrew and they are exactly what I am looking for.


So what's the problem you ask? Well...they are $45 each!! I know to some that isn't a lot of money for a top but for me (a girl who is serious about budgeting this year) it is. I would want at least two, and that is almost $100 for two freaking t-shirts!!! I just can't do it. Or at least I don't think I can. HA! So what I want to know is...do any of you have a favorite t-shirt that might meet my needs right now? Where did you get it and what was the price tag? Would you be able to justify $45 for a tee if it was really, really cute? 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Uncle Ryan Works His Magic Once Again

The day after we got home from the hospital, Uncle Ryan was nice enough to come over and take some newborn shots of Addie and Blake. He took a ton for me, but I thought I would just post my favorites.

This is a pic you have already seen, but I just had to post it again because it is so darn precious!


Here is the full color version. What I wouldn't give for skin like Addie or Blake's!


I absolutely LOVE this picture!!! I love that Blake is touching Addie's face and I love her little super model expression. Thanks for the photo idea Aunt Dana :-)


We have about 80 shots of Addie looking down at Blake. She just couldn't take her eyes off him.


But luckily, Uncle Ryan got her to look up and give a big cheesy grin :-)


My grandma crocheted the blanket Blake is wrapped in and I think she is going to love this pic.


Our family shots didn't go well because Blake was hungry and Addie was antsy. But here are two of the cutest ones we could get.



Thanks again for taking such great pictures Uncle Ryan!!! They are beautiful as always :-)