Friday, December 4, 2015

Lincoln is Two

Well hello there. I took an unexpected long blog hiatus. I got a little burnt out and ran out of things to talk about but I’m back today to share details of Lincoln’s second birthday. Having a toddler keeps me really busy these days. It’s hard to do much else besides entertaining him. Keeping off the electronics is key because he is already obsessed with computers and smart phones and will try to take over for me. I haven’t been doing much crocheting lately but am starting to introduce it when he goes to bed since the cold weather had me wanting to make some new hats.

Lincoln is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse now and loves to watch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. He learned all the names of the characters and loves to talk about them. The funniest one is Goofy because when he says the word it kind of sounds like coffee. Since Mickey is at the top of his list right now we decided to have a Mickey party for his birthday.


We had a much more low key party this year than last and kept it pretty simple at our house. My decorating didn’t include too much besides buying a blue plastic table cloth, red dinner plates with Mickey dessert plates and napkins. My big creative moment came in the form of Mickey cupcakes. I used a chocolate boxed cake mix and made homemade cream cheese frosting. I made Mickey ears out of mini oreos and used red polka dotted cupcake liners I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabrics. This was not an original idea by any means and I poured over Pinterest to find something simple but still captured the essence of Mickey. We set the cupcakes up on the cupcake stand I bought last year (also from Jo-Ann) and topped it off with the Mickey and Minnie Lincoln got as an early birthday gift.



We kept the food pretty simple too and made chili, mac and cheese and roasted broccoli, which are all some of Lincoln’s favorites. Everyone sang happy birthday and he blew out the candles on the first try. It was the cutest thing ever. Then he proceeded to devour his cupcake.




The whole thing was a big success. Lincoln got a present for his birthday which his new favorite character and that is Spiderman. He is super obsessed and it’s really funny. He talks about Spiderman all the time and wants to bring him everywhere.

Speaking of talking, this kid learns new words and phrases almost every day. He is a little parrot and is always repeating what we say. He is starting to get more clear with his words too and it’s becoming easier to understand. Lincoln is also so full of energy. He loves to run, jump and climb. We started him in a toddler gymnastics class to give him something to do now that it’s cold and dark at night. He loves the class but still needs to work on his listening skills a bit.

Christmas is coming soon and while he may not understand the concept he has figured out what Santa looks like and will call out any pictures or figurines that look like Santa. We are looking for something low key to bring him to meet Santa because his attention span is next to zero lately and he won’t do very well standing in a line to see Santa anywhere.

One more picture to share. I was so excited to get a nice family picture of the three of us since Lincoln has an uncanny knack for getting wiggly the second the camera is on us. He may not have a big smile on his face but he isn’t crying or trying to escape so I will take it as a win.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trip to Brandywine Falls

 

The other day Mike, Lincoln and I went to Brandywine Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There is a short walk down to the the falls on a boardwalk. Lincoln only did about half the walk on his own but loved watching the water.

I got to practice taking pictures of moving water and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. Maybe some art for the walls? I’m no pro but I finally figured out the settings for flowing water. A tripod is a must and not too much light. This location had the perfect amount of light. It’s a super popular spot for wedding pictures and we even saw the cutest couple getting theirs done.

We are really loving the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this summer. It’s so beautiful and we’ve spending as much time exploring as possible.

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to Update a Headboard

 

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We’ve been doing a little spruce up in our upstairs bedroom. We had a headboard for years that Mike has built but were feeling like it was time for a change. We wanted to update an older piece to make it more modern. It took a little bit of scouring at our local used furniture stores to come up with some that would work. Finding a queen headboard was harder than we originally thought. We found this headboard at out new favorite furniture thrift shop for $40. It was definitely feeling very dated but it was solid and had lots of potential.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We started by painting it with Annie Sloane Old White Paint. We weren’t trying for an exact perfect finish but did put two coats of paint on it over two days to allow for a good drying time. I actually kind of liked it like this but Mike had bigger plans for it.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

After the paint was dry, Mike lightly distressed it with fine grade sandpaper. He focused on the edges to give it a naturally worn look. Next, he wiped the piece down with a soft cloth to remove all the dust. To finish it off and seal in the chalk paint he went over the entire piece with Annie Sloane clear wax and then buffed it with a soft cloth.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

 

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We moved the headboard into the room and Mike screwed it into our existing metal bed frame with some large screws and washers to keep it secure to the bed.

It completely transformed the look of our room. I have to admit I was bit skeptical about how it would turn out but I really like it now. Another confession is that I am not 100% sold on the distressed look but Mike has been experimenting with it and has been having fun working with that paint technique so I don’t mind trying something new for a little while. The “farmhouse” style is so popular right now I do see ways in which I like it.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crochet Granny Square Blanket

 

IMG_9341

I actually completed a crochet project! It’s been way too long and it was really fun to get out my crochet hook again. Mike’s niece is having a baby in September and her shower was recently. I really wanted to make her a baby blanket but in my true fashion I started the project much later than I should. I had one week to be exact to get this blanket completely finished.

My first thought was to make a chevron baby blanket because that is my one my favorite patterns. The last time I made one though it took me two weeks of working my fingers to the bone and there just wasn’t enough time. I decided to go with this adorable granny square blanket from Daisy Cottage. I like it for two reasons, one I had seen it on another blog I love, Maybe Matilda and loved how it turned out. Two, it is square so I it would easy to stop when I ran out of time instead of being stuck with a strangely uneven rectangle.

This pattern turned out to be awesome since it worked up so quickly. It’s also super easy to make a granny square since it is just double crochet clusters. I opted to go with four colors to match a picture of the color scheme for the room. I ended up using Aqua in Vanna’s Choice, Navy in Vanna’s Choice, Radiant Lime in Vanna’s Choice and Pewter in Red Heart with Love. I already had the navy and grey at home so I only had to get two new colors. I could have gone with all Vanna’s Choice but I was trying to avoid buying more yarn and use some from my stash. I ended up needing one skin of navy, two of radiant lime and two of aqua and one of the grey. The grey skein was much larger than the other colors so if I had used Vanna’s choice I would have needed two.

I should have measured the size but I didn’t think about it until just now. I did have a little helper who thought this was a mighty fine “blankie” so you can kind of get an idea of how big it turned out. (He cried when I wouldn’t let him lay on the blanket when I was trying to take a picture.)

IMG_9337

I love how this color combination turned out and since I still have quite a bit of the yarn leftover maybe it will end up as a new hat. I won’t get ahead of myself though because this was a major feat to get something crocheted with a 20 month running around. I had a slight delay in the middle of crocheting to unravel a giant knot because Lincoln still thinks playing with a skein of yarn is too much fun.

IMG_9335

 

IMG_9341-001

Monday, August 10, 2015

June and July Garden Blooms

 

So these pictures are from June through the beginning of July. I haven’t taken any new pictures since then and these have been hanging out on my computer for a month. Even though July and August are one of the most brilliant times in the garden its due to the fact that the Black Eyed Susan and Purple Coneflower blooming for so long.

June is actually a really pretty month too and there is lots going on. We had tons of rain and cooler weather so everything was super happy to be soaking up the moisture. I also loved it for the fact that I didn’t have to water for weeks, although rain all the time did get a little old.

I think the rain and cooler weather slowed down the veggie garden because my tomatoes are just now getting ripe. We’ve had some zucchini and green beans already. Lincoln loves to go in the garden and pick the vegetables. My peppers have been really slow to grow too but they are finally starting to produce tons of baby peppers.

My Asiatic lilies didn’t do very well this year. The black eyed Susan was starting to choke them out so I had to do some pulling this spring. I still got a few blooms but not as many and not as big.

Asiatic lilies

I love these long blooming Stella D’Oro day lilies. They started blooming in June and I still have a couple of blooms in August.

Stella D’Oro day lily

My royal candles or Veronica always looks so pretty when it starts blooming but by the end it’s a dried up mess. I like to remember it this way.

royal candles or Veronica

I tried out petunias this year when we found a clearance deal at Lowe’s. I have had mixed results in the past but these ones have been amazing. I think they will make an appearance next year as well.

petunias

This astilbe looks so fuzzy and is very different from the white variety that blooms in May.

astilbe

My one lone hydrangea bloom. This winter was hard on the hydrangea plus we divided it last year so I wasn’t expecting too much.

hydrangea

Drumstick allium with coreopsis in the background.

Drumstick allium with coreopsis

A close up of the drumstick allium.

drumstick allium

My purple coneflower really took off this year. It’s much taller than ever before and has produced tons of blooms. This was the beginning of July and it’s still going strong.

purple coneflower

I saved the best for last as this is my favorite picture of the bunch and also the last one I took. This was either the first or second day of blooming for this day lily and it was really beautiful this year.

day lily

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