Monday, December 30, 2013

BLUE MONDAYS


This room is just too gorgeous. It has everything I love: gray walls, light, white trim, black French doors, wood floors, touches of leather, awesome chandelier, and big bold patch of blue... GORGEOUS. PERFECT. A+++
Uh... It's Monday, right?  It's funny how the days of the week don't matter when you're on holiday break. Even though we don't have the normal return to work and routines that usually give us the blues, there's a little cloud hanging over us today.

While the three of us shared a beautiful, peaceful Christmas Day together--full of present-opening fun, delicious home-cooked meals, and a holiday movie binge with cookies, the natural give and take of life's master plan was following us.

On Christmas evening, my father-in-law was unexpectedly taken from us at the age of 74. Today at services in Minnesota, this loss will be felt by his entire community, his wife, his 6 children, his 12 grandchildren,  7 great-grandchildren and even his annoying little dog.

Some beautiful blues in honor of a wonderful man...


With a little green?



Lively prints?





This one that looks a lot like my own living room, except, you know, classier.


And one that isn't blue at all. My father-in-law and little Rubes.

My husband posted this beautiful piece on Facebook. I think this sums it up.

"I will miss my dad, who died this Christmas, so much. He was one of the kindest, most caring people I have ever met. He could fix anything with tape and a Swiss army knife, which he always had in his pocket. He loved his family, friends and strangers without reserve. He was the guy who would pull over on a dark night and help you on the side of the road. When I was little he would look over the top of his glasses and I knew I crossed the line. He helped me make chocolate milkshakes before bed and always read me stories. When I was older he helped me build Pinewood Derby cars and took me on adventures in the Canadian wilderness I will never forget. He taught me what it meant to love and how to be a father. And now, when I hold my little girl I am a better man because of it."

We'll miss you Grandpa Larry.

Rachel
PS All images can be sourced here.



Friday, December 20, 2013

MORE LIGHT AND SPACE


I made it! Holiday break officially begins tonight! Shopping is done, the house is decorated and Daddy will be home for two and a half weeks. I'll be spending the next week, wrapping presents for Ruby, washing baby goods and continuing my search for Zen in our humble abode. 

I have a few (million) more little organization projects I'd like to complete and the quest for light and space continues. I find myself obsessively pinning images of clean, white spaces, donating bags of tired goods, and putting away clutter. 


I even bought white dishtowels as I've decided we aren't having any more linens in this house that can't be bleached. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. That's my mantra. And speaking of clean, beautiful linens, Serena and Lily has 70% their sale items today. We are in desperate need of new sheets and I have lusted after their simple, high quality styles since the day they opened. I got this gorgeous set for $60. Sick. I am so excited. Their stuff is usually way out of my price range. 

More images that have inspired me. 










And after seeing these images:






I have been obsessing over painting our thrift-store dining room table. One, it is orangey soft pine and shows the tiniest of scratches, and two, it has this crevice where food and naste tends to accumulate after every use. I am planning to spackle it and put a fresh coat of surprise surprise white paint over it in the hopes that the sunshine reflecting into my Cheerios will energize me on tired mama mornings. 



Stay tuned. 

Hope your holiday season finds you filled with gratitude, contentment, and simplicity. 

Rachel 
All images can be sourced here

Thursday, December 19, 2013

FEELING RRAAAANNDY

Being pregnant just gives me ENDLESS writing material.  At 37 weeks I'm more or less in the clear to go into labor. As you can imagine the sheer belly size of third trimester makes any kind of physical intimacy with my hubby an act of creativity and physics, usually resulting in just a nice moment of cuddling. 


Oh Charlie Hunnam...please find a less violent show soon so we can be together.

This last week, however, I'm experiencing a surge of hormones that has me looking at my husband like a big cartoon ham. He's been growing his beard out too. 

In short, I'm a little boy crazy. This post is dedicated to all the men making me swoon. In the event my juicy ham is reading this, don't be jealous, sweetie. . . I assure you this is going to work out in your favor. 

George. Long-haired hippies, please apply


 Weirdies who shred on guitar. Yes, yes. 


Colin Kaepernick. Tattooed pipes. Go niners. 


Boys who rock buns. Hawt.


Tattoo'd super dads. Mmmhmm.


Ragnar Lothbrok...you and your savage ways. Quit looking at me like that. (And bring your brother). 


Johnny. Always and forever. 


Fifty is my new age ceiling. Happy Birthday, Brad. 


Adorable nerds. Yep. 



Jack and Sawyer. Oh Kate, boohoo, poor you. 



Oh Donny...so damaged. Just this once. 


Okay maybe one more time. 

Enjoy.
Rrrrrachel 
PS. All image sources except the ham can be found here

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PANTRY ATTACK

Next up on mama's list: The pantry. Probably the second most used area in our house next to the Playroom which I made over last week. Can you hear the buzz of nesting coming through your computer?

Don't think me ungrateful. At least I HAVE a pantry, right? I remember the day of city living when my pantry was a plastic bin on a shelf mounted over the stove. The next house, we had homemade shelves over the back door. It's gets better each time we move.

Challenges:
1. Two foodies, one toddler, one dog and limited space.
2. Whoever built this architectural gem didn't take into account heights of common goods but rather just spaced the shelving at will.
3. I do the majority of cooking and pantry usage and my husband does the majority of grocery shopping. My system makes sense to me but when the food gets put away, it gets all wonky. And then it looks like this:





Oh the humanity.

First I took everything out and threw out all skank, expired product, crappy jars and containers that have long lost their lids. I combined boxes and bags of things that we had multiples of. I donated a few things that we haven't used in the last year (uh horse shaped cookie cutter???) It got worse before it got better. 

I made a quick list of some things that could make the system better: taller bins to make better use of vertical space, can organizers, some pretty labels, and containers to store raw goods. I perused the Pinternet for inspiration and ideas. 




One of things that really creases me when I see pictures like these, is that this is not "real people food." Who has 5 cans of matching tall corn? What about the random pack of rice noodles for spring rolls or the packets of taco bell sauce that you save for condiment emergencies.  These groceries were purchased to style up the pictures but its not how real people live. And the containers!! If I had five hundred bucks to spend on matching jars or ELFA systems, I wouldn't be sitting here blawgin' would I?  Plus, I need to be able to read my nutritional info or cooking directions on the package. This is a sham.

So here's what I got: 5 ice bucket containers from Target (because they were tall and cheapish), 6 plastic canisters from Dollar Tree for raw goods and 2 packs of fancy labels. 

Here's what I did: I popped out the shelves and quick rolled over them with some leftover blue paint, as they were filthy and stained. Me and sticky products like contact paper and cling wrap just don't mix. Plus, I don't "measure stuff," and the paint was free.  
I moved cardboard canisters, oils and vinegar and some taller stuff to the door to maximize the vertical space. I labeled it for hubby.

Here's how much it cost: ice buckets $3.99 X 5,  canisters: $1X6, labels: $2.89X 2= $32 TOTAL. That is more my budget. Oh and this big-ass possum decided to cruise my backyard fence sending my dog into a tizzy during this process. 

And here's the purty finished product. 



Exhale. Okay almost ready to have a baby..but not quite. I have some more drawers and closets that need attention. Gestational OCD..It's real. Tomorrow I'll be painting more stuff white. 

Cheers!
Rachel