A Special Birthday Celebration!!

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Last night we celebrated a very special birthday at our house.  It was baby Ariel’s first birthday!  My middle daughter wanted this baby Ariel doll so badly for Christmas and she has kept her at her side since Christmas morning.  E has been planning Ariel’s birthday for quite some time.  However, she kept changing when her birthday actually was.  Well, yesterday E informed me that I needed to make a cake or brownies or something because Ariel was turning one.  We compromised with an ice cream birthday celebration.  So, mid-super bowl we gathered around the table and sang happy birthday to Ariel and watched as she “blew” out her candle,  “ate” her ice cream, and “opened” her gift.  E  gave Ariel a super sweet gift of jewelry and shoes!

Such super great memories made with a simple make-believe birthday party!  Isn’t the excitement of a child a most beautiful thing!!  Throw an impromptu doll or stuffed animal birthday party one of these days – they are amazingly stress free!!  And so much fun!!

Jaimi

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This facinating lady is my “neighbor” and I love reading her entries! Her daughter in laws are special people in my life and I have a huge soft spot for many of her grandchildren! She is a fantastic cook — so I knew I just had to reblog this cornbread recipe! I also love her inside the cabinet storage tips!!
I asked her if I didn’t have a cast iron skillet (because I don’t) if this recipe would work — she said yes, you could use a regular round iron skillet or a 9×12 pan, but it won’t be as crunchy.
Hope you enjoy her post as much as I!
Jaimi

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life

Cornbread is easy and fast.  And really good!  We practically lived on it during the kid raising years.  Big Boss loved (and still does), my cornbread. Years ago, his grandparents came down to visit us in Texas, so I made cornbread for supper one night.  Oh man did it smell good! It was passed around and everyone was digging in except for Gramps.  Big Boss asked him if he didn’t want any cornbread.  Gramps smiled and said, “When I was growing up with 11 brothers and sisters, we had cornbread for breakfast, lunch and supper.  Every day.  I swore I’d never eat cornbread again and I haven’t.”  I didn’t make cornbread for him again!!

One of my oldest and dearest recipes is my cornbread recipe! Can’t remember for sure where I got it though…maybe   I cannot survive without it!  I’ve had panic attacks in the past when I’m frantically searching for it, so now…

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Paint…Before and After…

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I told you of our painting marathon.  Thought you might want to see pictures!  Although, I have to warn you, as much as I want a magazine ready home, I do not actually have one!

Let’s start with the girls’ room.  Here is the before –you know, one of those plastic bag paint treatments…in nursery colors…maybe not a good idea!  (But at the time it was such a great change from the dark brown paneling.)

After promising my middle daughter we would make a super cool print of this quote to frame for their “new room” so she would quite crying we chuckled as we painted over it about hand cutting the stencil — it was before the days of vinyl rub ons and the Cricut.

The purple covers where the quote used to be.

This is the opposite side of the room. We painted the face of the eaves surrounding the window purple.

Pink Pink Pink!!  Did I mention how terrible this paneling is to paint??!!  It will stay these colors for quite some time!  I had visions of making some new ultra fab curtains, but after putting these up they helped the walls so much they just might stay!

Ready for the bathroom??!!!  I went looking for a “before” picture and we painted it so long ago I would have had to scan in the picture!  So, I went with this one instead!  This bathroom is towards the top of our to do list, which is the only way I can handle it!

This is my oldest daughter practicing her "shaving" like daddy. Cute, huh?! But can you picture the yellow on 3 of the bathroom walls?! Definitely time for an update!

And now, the AFTER!!

All the walls and ceiling are covered with this ugly, slick, hard to paint wall board stuff.  Terrible.  But looking better with each coat of paint!  The red paint was left over from our kitchen.  Maybe wouldn’t have been my first choice, but okay with the result.  Only one wall is red, we painted the rest of the walls white.  I don’t usually love white, but it helps this small space!

Storage is a BIG issue in our bathroom, so my sister and I ran to a flea market and found this cute cabinet!  We will add doors and it will be perfect! It does dominate our small bathroom – but totally worth it!  Because we live so far from town I can’t just run to the store to buy cute containers for hair bands, head bands, lip gloss, sunglasses, etc.  so I am just using containers we already have for now.

OH!  I have to tell you about this awesome clearance find!  I found a clear shower curtain with mesh pockets all over it.  I hung it on the inside of the white shower curtain and filled the pockets with bath toys!  I am totally in love with it!  I have already decided I will be making a new one when this one wears out!

I tried to take a picture of our new warm beige colored hallway, but it was a bit difficult!  My husband installed a new light fixture in the hallway as well — amazing what a change that makes!!  I am ready to hang decorations, but so unsure of what I want to hang!  For me the hallway has always been a tough area to decorate!

As for the completely redone bathroom — I am hoping for a full reveal sometime soon!!

Do you have any great paint transformation stories?!  (Sometime I will tell you about our stairwell painting adventures…or nightmares…lol!)

Jaimi

Painting Marathon!!

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Phewww!  What a week!  We have been home improving this week!  My very awesome hubby has been mudding and sanding new walls in our extremely improved bathroom.  Bleck.  (Only blecking the mudding and sanding!  Yay happy dance to the extremely improved bathroom!)  Then my sister and I spent two days painting – we painted 4 areas…quite impressive if you ask me!  And we live in an old farmhouse mind you, so painting isn’t such an easy chore!  First off – plaster and lathe *shudder*, weird slick wall board covering ceiling and walls in bathroom *super shudder*, and ridiculous paneling in my girls’ room *make me want to never paint again shudder*.

Want to hear about our amazing changes??!!

We painted our seriously in need of updating bathroom white with one wall deep red.  It spent about ten years being white and rubber duck blinding yellow.  TIME FOR A CHANGE!!!  (Why did I ever think that was a neat color?)  So bye bye duckies, hello way better!  Because all of the bathroom stuff is now all over the living room I am excited to re-organize the bathroom!  I do love to organize!!  And this room is in dire need of help!  3 girls and 1 mom who all love “accessories” equals a ton of stuff in the bathroom!!  The only thing possible to make me more excited than organizing this room is tearing down the walls and starting from scratch!

We painted the only walls in our entire house which have not been painted since we moved in.  A hallway was instantly transformed from boring white to a rich welcoming beige/tan.  My daughter likes to call it “boring beige” and gets tired of me always painting things “boring beige”.  But, I do like boring beige!  (Trust me we have enough color going on the walls NEED to be beige!)

We literally spent an entire day in the girls’ bedroom trying to change the walls from nursery green and yellow to bubble gum pink and k-state purple.  Amazing transformation…exhausting day!  Paneling.  That says it all!  When we finished we were a bit bummed because the seemingly bright beautiful pink dried to a not so cute coral pink.  Seriously, 7 hours for not so cute coral pink…  And a beautiful purple accent color which ended up not matching the pink so much…  Guess what??  Not changing the color now!  We will live with this until I forget again how much work it takes to paint the dreaded paneling!  (Took about 7 years to forget the pain of painting it nursery colors…How long do you think it will take this time??!!)

Drum roll please…the most exciting painting of all took place in our “new” and improved laundry room/bathroom!  About four years ago, before my dad was diagnosed with cancer, he helped us move our washer and dryer and expand a bathroom only big enough for a teeny tiny shower and toilet-with one step between the two.  (My dad made custom cabinet doors for a living, but had been a contractor for many years.  He was our resident handyman!)  We were relying on him heavily.  We tore down plaster and lathe, pulled up the floor, built some new walls…then our work came to an instant halt.  Well after working on it not much since then my hubby and I finally put on our big girl panties (Sorry Ryan) and decided we could do it!  We can finish this project!!  (I’m the resident cheerleader!)  So finally the new walls are finished and I am headed to put the last coat of paint on before I go to bed tonight this morning.  Tomorrow we embark on the laying tile adventure!! Oh, can you guess what color??  You got it!  Boring beige!  (A little different shade though!)

(I didn’t intend to get so windy – just stopped in to write a quick paragraph…  So if you made it all the way through this – THANK YOU!!)

Happy Painting!

Jaimi

Great Advice

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Last night my husband and I enjoyed a date night with friends.  As much as we love our children it is great to go out without them once in a while.  Some of the best advice I was ever given was from our doctor.  Shortly after we had our first child he told us to go on a date once a month to remember we were a couple before we were parents.  What an idea!  Now we are the parents of three girls and it is even more important for our relationship to have some adult time.  We definitely have not had a date once a month, not even every six months, but just the overall philosophy has helped remind us we are Ryan and Jaimi, not just dad and mom.

Jaimi

Hair Anxiety

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I kept telling myself – what’s the worst that can happen?!  It’s just hair.  But I shudder as I think of all the bad hair I have had over the years!  Eeks!  I really am not even exaggerating!

I had finally found a beautician I loved-she could cut my hair so it looked great and I she is my friend.  Perfect!  Too bad she traded in her scissors to be a stay at home mom.  Yay!  So happy for her, so sad for my hair!  Now I have to start over in the beautician world.  So I’ve put off getting my hair cut waaaayyyy too long because I have hair anxiety!  I don’t want to go to someone new.  I have crazy hair and what if she can’t make it look decent?!  I know, I know, the problems of the world right here!

Well, I finally have had enough and made an appointment!  I went armed with my picture from…yup, you guessed it…Pinterest!  *Imagine my husband rolling his eyes here!*  I came home with short straight hair.  Today I have short curly hair!  (Beauticians seem to love straightening my hair – maybe they are trying to tell me something…hmmm…)  It’s been over 12 years since I have had such short hair so it is quite an adjustment, but it is growing on me.  Ha!  Catch the pun there?  I wasn’t even trying!  (Maybe it’s time for me to go to bed if I find that funny!)

My new short hair!

So, YAY!  No bad hair cut!

(I can’t be the only one this is important to can I???) 🙂

Jaimi

One Person’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

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I absolutely love to “upcycle”!  It’s so fun to transform something from just okay to fab!

I had to pick these outdated, ugly bill organizers up at a second hand store. They brought back memories of my Auntie Ellen’s house.  She had a bill organizer like this full of envelopes and hanging tons of keys.   I had grand plans to transform them into stylish bill organizers!  I am totally in love with the way they turned out!  Makes me want to organize some bills…kinda…

Have any great trash to treasure projects you love?

Jaimi