Saturday, March 16, 2013

b's have bellies, & d's...

Last month Lena was working on learning the letter 'D', and was struggling to tell the difference between the lowercase 'd' and the lowercase 'b," as is common in preschool I'm sure.  As I searched around Pinterest, I came across this...

"b's have bellies, & d's don't!"

I'll admit, I wasn't so sure about the picture myself, but thought I'd give it a try.  It sounded like people had had good success with it.  So I drew this amazing picture on our white board...

 I brought Lena over and enthusiastically explained to her that she could tell the difference between the two letters by remembering that "b's have bellies, and d's don't!"  She looked up at the board and very matter-of-factly said to me, "That looks like a butt."  And...  we both erupted into a flurry of giggles!  She said exactly what I was thinking.  I mean, seriously, who doesn't see a big ole' booty when they look at that?!  And how helpful is this gonna be?  If a 'd' has a butt...  that starts with 'b' too!  And so does booty, which of course I mentioned and was rewarded with even more laughter!  So what we learned was that "b's have bellies, and d's have butts."  That's some solid homeschooling right there.  ;-)  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

About Me

Check it out, I figured out how to make an About Me page!  Seriously, go check it out.  I'm pretty proud of myself. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Office Rearranged

I'm sure you have all (my thousands of readers) been anxiously awaiting an update on our office, ever since this post way back in January.  I wish I had a post for you full of gorgeous, magazine worthy reveal photos, showing a beautifully decorated office, full of DIY projects and smart organization...  Maybe someday.  But the truth is, we spent a good part of a Saturday tidying up and rearranging, and another Saturday sorting through papers from our file cabinet and shredding most of it.  And then moved on to other things!  If IKEA weren't two hours away, I may have more to show, as I have lots of ideas swimming around in my head, but would need a trip to the land of Swedish meatballs to make them happen.  I'm also hoping to paint, but haven't settled on the color yet.  And if we're being completely honest, it most definitely doesn't look this way any more...  The pack n play got set back up, and the desk is a disaster, but it's better than before.  :)

So here's what we did, with before pictures on the left and after on the right....

We basically flipped the room completely around, the desk went to the opposite corner and the dresser went to the opposite wall.

We removed that old swivel rocker.  I hate that hideous thing, but it works great for rocking babies in the middle of the night!

We also removed that cheap bookshelf.  It is currently functioning as a nightstand in our bedroom, until we find something else.

Some of that junk pile got moved out to the garage, the rest is in a pile in the opposite corner!

 We took the pack n play down for a while, but since the little guy hasn't been sleeping the best, and he shares a room with his big brother, a lot of nights he ends up in the office at some point.

So, not the most thrilling post, but it is progress.  I have been using the office a lot more, and it feels so good to have my files in order again!  I'm hoping to add another desk or work area of some kind, as well as more storage, shelving, art...  Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Snow Day

It hasn't snowed much around these parts this winter, or last winter either, so when we got several inches earlier this week, we had to take advantage.  Mommy and all three kids donned our snow gear, and headed outside.  This was Koen's first time ever playing in the snow!  He loved being pulled around the yard in the sled with his big sister.  Eli and Lena had filled our plastic wagon with snow, so he also had fun standing at that, playing in the snow with our beach toys.  Koen and I didn't stay out long, but the big kids enjoyed playing out there for a good hour and a half.  It's raining today, melting it all away, so we'll probably (hopefully!) have to wait until next winter for another snow day.

P.S.  Tough guys wear pink snow boots.  ;-)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Box of Goodness

Thanks to our tax return, I was able to order a few things that have been on my Amazon wish list for a while, and a box of goodness arrived on my doorstep yesterday!  Woohoo!

First up, a 2013 wall calendar.  It's about time, huh?!  Better than last year... I never got one at all!  So sorry if I missed your birthday!  ;-)  This year I went with a Charley Harper calendar.  I had one for 2011, and  I love the colorful artwork!  The best part of buying calendars full of amazing art is that you can frame your favorites later on for some cheap wall art!  We used three pages from a Georgia O'Keefe calendar to decorate the dining room of our first house.  And I'm considering  using some pages from our 2011 Charley Harper calendar in our current living room...

I FINALLY got my very own copy of the Young House Love book!  I was sort of hoping that I would get it for Christmas or my birthday, but nope.  So I bought it for myself.  I can't wait to spend some quality time with it.  I've been following the Young House Love blog for a few years, and John and Sherry are amazing, so I am confident that this book will not disappoint!

And now a few things to use in our home school!  Lena, our four year old, is doing preschool this year.  Her main focus is learning her letters and numbers, and it's been challenging.  The girl is just NOT detail oriented...  And she just doesn't really care!  I had heard of the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD a couple years ago while doing preschool with Eli, but he caught on so quickly with what we were doing that I never bothered to buy it.  But Lena needs all the help she can get!  Hopefully this DVD will trick her into learning something!

Eli, our six year old, is in kindergarten this year, and learning how to read!  I had heard great things about BOB books way back when, too, but never bought them.  Recently, my cousin's wife Cami suggested them as a good way to encourage Eli to read.  I'm excited to hear him read them!  I got this one, this one, and this one to start with!

Super frustrated that this picture won't post the right way!  Grrr!

One area where our homeschool has been lacking lately is in science, which is silly, because science is my faaaavorite!  We have a few Magic School Bus books, and have checked out a few DVDs from the library, so when I saw the complete series for a great price, I just had to snatch it up!  I haven't had a chance yet to look at what all 52 episodes are about, but I'm hoping to start watching them and doing activities to go along with each one.  I think all of us are going to love it!

Have you ordered yourself anything fun lately??

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I'm excited!  I'm making some changes around this here blog.  And tonight I imported all of my posts from my other blog (These Moments), so everything is now in one place!  Yay!  If you're interested, feel free to check out my older posts.  There's some good stuff back there.  ;-)  These Moments was intended to be a family/personal blog, and Pretty & Mine was to be more of a home/DIY blog...  I decided to combine it all into one, so you can enjoy all of my randomness right here!  :-)

{Update: I didn't feel right not saying THANK YOU to Katie for helping me make this decision!  Thanks girly!}  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pretty Planner

I am on a quest for organization.  And I realized that there is one thing that could be considered central to organizing my life that I have been neglecting.  Using my planner.  A couple years ago, I started using a small 3-ring binder as a planner, with different tabs for different categories.  It was one place that I could jot down anything and everything.  I actually used it a lot, until the front cover fell off...  Eventually I bought a new, sturdier binder, shoved everything inside, and it's only been minimally used ever since.  And it needed a makeover!

I decided to start out with a little update to the exterior.  Maybe if it's cute, I'll use it more?!  :)  

So I gathered a few supplies:  scrapbook paper, stickers, and a paper cutter.

The process was pretty simple...  measure the areas where I would be inserting the paper, cut the chosen papers to size, add stickers, insert the prettiness into the appropriate places.  Tada!

I wiped it down, too.  Not sure what the nastiness was that was splattered all over it...  :-S  She sure is pretty now, though, huh?

How about a couple detail shots... taken with my new camera that I barely know how to use.

The Before & After:

 A little bit of pretty can make a big difference.  :)  I love my "new" planner.  Now I need to overhaul the inside...

p.s.  My binder is this one from Staples.  There are a variety of colors available in store.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mount & Float

Hey there!  I haven't been blogging much, because I'm contemplating making some changes, and I'm not sure how I'll be moving forward...  but I wanted to share this little update we did in the living room this weekend.  Nothing huge, but a step towards making things feel more finished around here.  So this is where we started...

Wow, that TV is dirty!

I always felt like our black TV on our black TV stand, just looked like a big black blob.  And I didn't like it.  So first things first, mount the TV on the wall!  This breaks up the black some, since the wall color shows in between.  And without the TV sitting on the stand, it's now an open area for me to add pretties to.  And bonus, it gets the TV farther away from all the little hands around here!  

TV break for the kiddos!

I have also gone back and forth and up and down on what to do on the wall behind and above the TV.  The clock that's there was just thrown up there one day when I got sick of not knowing what time it was when I was in the living room!  My original idea was to put a larger round clock up there, but I wasn't completely set on it.  I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I had the idea to put up a shelf first, or if I got the idea from this image I found on Pinterest...

Sorry, I don't know the original source.

Either way, I was (p)inspired!  :-)  I actually bought this floating shelf from IKEA when we were up in the cities celebrating our anniversary 7 weeks ago!  The poor thing has been hiding away in the closet, waiting for us to get around to mounting the TV, so we would know where to hang the shelf!

All done!  And clean!

Now I need to decide what, if anything, I will be doing to the wall, and how I want to decorate the shelf.  Or maybe I want to add one or two more shelves, like the inspiration photo...?  Knowing me, it will probably look just like this for a few more months...