WOW

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write. The last six months have been challenging and wonderful and full, very full. I haven’t had time to do a lot of things, like personal time, exercise, or blog. Thank you friends for being patient with me.  Tomorrow, Colette turns 6 months old.  How can she already be half a year old?   There were so many things that I thought would be easy, but honestly they haven’t been.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I had dreamed that maybe life wouldn’t be so drastically different. And, you know, that’s ok.   So… here we are.  An update and some cute pictures from our recent session with sweetmint.   More to come hopefully sooner rather than later. 

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Large Family Nesting/Organizing

Monday, May 09, 2016

When you have 6, almost 7, people living under one roof things can get out of control in a hot minute. When everyone leaves out just 2 or 3 things that leaves ME tracking down 21 items that need to be put away. I think my children will one day taunt me with phrases I’ve been known to say on a daily basis. Such as, “WHY AM I THE ONE PICKING THIS MESS UP, IT’S NOT EVEN MY STUFF!”. Do you ever get that feeling when you look around your house, and feel like every single room and closet is just full of STUFF?!  It’s suffocating. The thought of another child’s things, and babies do have a lot of things, leaves me with no small amount of heart palpitations.  Just kidding. Kind of. 

My kids are actually very well trained and they do their fair share of helping out. Still, it’s necessary to have some systems in place that make life easier.  Some organizing rules that help us:

1. Touch it once. If it comes in the house deal with it then. Don’t put it in a pile to be dealt with later.

2. Everything has a home. I hate the feeling of shoving things into places they aren’t permanently going to remain. 

3. Be responsible for your own things. Everyone from 4 to 40 needs to take care of their own stuff. 

So, here are a few ways we actually maintain order.

KIDS BATHROOM

I’ve been wanting to do a refresh in their bathroom for awhile, so one Saturday prior to bed rest I raided a couple closets and 15 minutes later (plus a couple Target trips afterwards) they got a mini makeover. Some day, we will tear out the linoleum and dated light fixture but for now, things look better. 

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Here is the before in case you were wondering

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The green is gone and I went all white.  Now, I know white everything is kinda trendy right now and might not seem like a practical solution for 5 kids, but here are my thoughts on that.

1. Everyone in the house now has a white towel. There is no distinction between our 3.5 bathrooms. 

2. White towels are easy to bleach. There is a reason hotels use white towels too.

3. When it comes down to laundry day (more on that later) it’s easier putting things away. All the towels can be done at once, there is no white/dark loads.

4. For the most part, as long as I keep up on laundry it helps things look “clean”.

The boys towels are on the towel rack and they girls towels are hanging behind the door in case anyone was counting. 

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Next, the tooth brush drawer. I can’t tell you how gross it is to open a drawer and see toothpaste and dried spit x’s 4 crusted on every surface.

It also gave my germaphobic self some fear to know that their toothbrushes were all intermingling amongst each other. 

So, here you go. Everyone has their own box with fresh from the dentist supplies. Even Colette, who technically doesn’t even have teeth yet, has their own place. Hopefully, this will result in not only a cleaner more organized system but better oral hygiene as well. One can pray.

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LAUNDRY ROOM

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Thankfully, laundry has never really been that big of a headache for us, because we’ve put some good systems in place.

1. Everyone has their own basket. From Brian to Colette, we each have our own “bag” and it’s easy to tell when someone needs to do their laundry.

2. Each person is basically assigned a laundry day. Mondays- R&L. Tuesday/Wednesday- Brooklyn or Ella depending on if they need it. Friday- usually Brian or I and/or towels, etc.

3. Everyone, yes EVERYONE is responsible for their own laundry. Both the girls do their own laundry from start to finish. The boys help me with theirs and they do their own sorting/help with putting it away.

4. Sheets are washed at the beginning of every month. Please don’t judge me too harshly on that. If they are dirty they get washed more frequently.

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KITCHEN

Some of my kids aren’t tall enough to reach the sink and the water dispenser on the refrigerator makes a mess, so as seen in a previous post we keep water out on the counter. Next to that is this handy six slot caddy that holds everyone’s cup.  Each of us gets one cup (well not exactly true for Brian &I) for the day. The kids all know where their slot is and are responsible for putting their cup back in it’s place. This saves us a lot of extra dishes and random cups laying around that who knows, who it belongs too. Maybe it’s my my germaphobe personality but I don’t like the kids sharing cups.  

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I probably could go on about kids’ rooms, shoes, memory boxes, photos, etc.  Maybe, I’ll save that for another post!

Pregnancy Thus Far | 34 Weeks

Sunday, May 01, 2016

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this post will be worth at least a million!  I went through my iPhoto library and pulled a bunch of pictures that I might add to her baby book, should I actually get started on it. This is an unedited authentic look at these past 8 months. These past 34 weeks have been an interesting emotional journey and I can say with certainty we are ready for our little Colette and looking forward to the addition she’s going to be to our family. 

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A surprise Paris trip in September leads to an even bigger surprise a few weeks later.

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We chose to reveal the news to the kids on a special bench where we’ve launched butterflies and started many many walks from. 

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Brooklyn is in shock (like us!) and Ella cried tears of joy.

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After some early bleeding we were happy to see her on our first early ultrasound.

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The perfect gift and maternity shirt from a friend.

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The 20 weeks ultrasound revealed a healthy (thank you Lord) little girl. 

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Brian has a 21 days around the world trip in February.  

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Not your typical before/after shot. Ha ha.

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A sweet Parisian style lunch with my sisters.

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One of my last 7 mile hikes. Holy contractions on those hills!

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Colette’s is almost ready for her arrival. 

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Easter Sunday

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Feeling so sick and awful after hour one of the three hour glucose test. 

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Blood Sugar monitoring (again) Dang!

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A very unexpected hospital stay after preterm labor and bleeding.

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A sweet bonus was getting an ultrasound and seeing Colette’s chubby cheeks. 

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After 4 days we were released to come home on bed rest.

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Not the “baby” for much longer, I think Lawson missed me! I’ll take every snuggle I can get before my boys all the sudden seem so big and grown up.

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Beautiful, thoughtful, humbling, gracious meals from friends. I had thought I could do this whole pregnancy and recovery on my own this time, after needing so much help with the boys’. 

What’s coming up? I have some additional testing and monitoring in the next few weeks that may determine an earlier due date for baby. Until then, we are hanging here at home!

Homemade Parmesean Herb Butter

Saturday, April 23, 2016

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I’m totally cheating and reposting a recipe I came across on IG because:

1. I don’t want to forget the recipe

2. It’s so insanely good you’re gonna want to make it too. 

Excuse the poor picture. I had hoped to take another pic later, but then I kinda got knocked off my feet and out of the kitchen. Boo!

 

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For The Love Of Candles

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It’s true I love a good candle. I don’t think I’ve ever bought much of anything else from Anthropologie, to me it’s a candle store that sells other cute stuff.  This post is dedicated to a few of my all time favorite candles and some that are on my “bucket list”.  What?! You’ve never heard of a candle bucket list?  LOL.  This is what happens when you spent 99% of your time between the hospital, couch, and doctor’s offices. 

Capri Blue Big Candle

Capri Blue Iridescent Jar Candle

 I’ve had varying forms of this candle for years.  The fragrance fills the house like no other candle and the burn time is worth the money. About twice a year, Anthropologie will give an extra 20% percent off coupon and I used it this year on the second-to-largest size.  To date, I think this is the most I’ve ever spent on a candle, but it was totally worth it. 

 

Voluspa Cut Glass Candle

Voluspa Cut Glass Jar Candle

Another Anthropologie favorite although Voluspa is available at many other boutiques and stores as well. I’m currently burning the white Mokara: orchid, white lily, and spring moss. I don’t like fruity or overall really florally scents and this brand does a nice job of mixing sweet and spicy.  I like to burn candles seasonally and these cut glass jars come in a variety of beautiful colors that match any season or mood. I gave my sister-in-law the dark purple Santiago Huckleberry for her birthday last year and it is really gorgeous. I’ve even saved the empty jars and used them as flower vases. 

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Aquiesse Candles

I’ve been given these candles as a gift and I love the woodsy, almost manly smell of them. I also appreciate that they aren’t too girly and work in spaces like my master bedroom. They also have an extremely long burn rate. 

 

Eucalyptus and violet scented candle

Crate and Barrel Scented Candles

Crate and Barrel just came out with these candles about a month ago. I love the clean lines and variety of smells. I picked up the Eucalyptus & Violet because it reminds me of Palm Springs.

 

Pottery Barn Lanterns

 

Candles aren’t just for the inside!  I have loved the look of these Pottery Barn lanterns for years. The extra large size is beautiful but sadly beyond my backyard budget.

Homedepot lantern

 

Thankfully, good style is usually knocked off somewhere else and Home Depot came out with these lanterns this year. I’ve look everywhere and you can’t beat the size and price of these guys. Even better, they were actually cheaper in store than online!  I love the faux candles you can also purchase because a: they don’t melt in the summer sun, and b: they have a built in timer that turns them off and on each night. 

 

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30” Galvanized Metal Lantern

20” Galvanized Metal Lantern

Indoor/Outdoor LED Timer Candle 

 

Joe Malone

 

Jo Malone Candles

I don’t have a Jo Malone candle.  Even for me, the price point has put them out of my comfortable, how can I justify this, range. I have visited the Jo Malone store in Las Vegas, I’ve smelled every scent at Nordstrom, but I’ve yet to pull the trigger. Perhaps one day I will save up and buy the large size or receive it as a gift (hint).  

 

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Diptyque 

Another one of those luxury candles that I have smelled a dozen or more times, but never purchased. I kicked myself for not buying one in Paris, where the brand originates. I don’t know if I ever did buy one if I would be able to burn it. 

 

Do you have a candle you love? 

 

Kitchen Gadgets Are My Love Language

Monday, April 18, 2016

Some girls get really excited about makeup, clothes, shoes, and jewelry, and I do too, but I guess kitchen gadgets would be right up there too. Since I’ve been banned from cooking at the moment, the best I can do now is blog about my new kitchen small appliances. 

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All-Clad Gourmet Slow Cooker with All-In One Browning- 7qt. 

My slow cooker has been been falling apart for awhile and I’ve been on the lookout for a multi cooker for some time.  One of the keys to make a crock pot meal not taste like… well, a crockpot meal is browning the protein beforehand.  In all honesty, I normally just can’t be bothered with this step, because isn’t the point of a crockpot not making a big kitchen mess?  Well, this little beauty not only slow cooks, it also browns, sautes, and even cooks rice. I got it on sale with an additional 20% off which helped with the price…it’s on the expensive side but I’ve been really pleased.  The only draw back is making sure the insert’s coating doesn’t get scratched by metal utensils or abrasive cleaners. 

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 Smeg Tea Kettle

The cutest little electric kettle that you ever did see was my Valentines day present.  We make hot water several times a day, so this is not only cute it’s actually very practical in our household.  This little Italian vintage inspired pot makes hot water very quickly and it seems to keep it hot much longer then my previous kettle.  We love it and I love seeing it on my kitchen counter. 

 

Dash rapid egg cooker

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

 Honestly, this is something I’d heard about and thought… really?!  Why would I need another appliance for hard boiled eggs? It seems superfluous even for me.  But, if I’m honest for some reason I just can’t seem to perfect a good hard boiled egg.  The shells don’t peel perfectly and I just don’t make them as often as my family would like.  After being diagnosed with gestational diabetes I was looking for quick protein sources and hard boiled eggs just sounded good.  Cue a trip to Bridgeport and the overwhelming praise from the sales people at Crate & Barrel.  They kept going on and on about it being their most favorite thing in the entire store.  And, at only $19.99 it wasn’t a big splurge. This little guy is easy enough for my 9 year old to use and it turns out the most perfect peel-able eggs in under 15 minutes. There are also trays for poaching and making omelettes. 

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Breville Milk Cafe Electric Frother

I’ve had this machine for a couple years and I might have even blogged about it before. When we aren’t drinking hot water from the Smeg we are frothing milk for lattes and hot chocolates. I especially like this frother because we can make 2-3 drinks at a time. It also has temperature control that allows you to make anything from iced cold drinks to extra hot (my personal preference). This guy gets used daily around here.

 

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Nespresso Espresso Maker

My Nespresso maker is a few years old and there has hardly been a day that goes by when we haven’t used it.  The Brits have “tea time” and the Everett’s have afternoon “nespresso time”.  I rarely ever buy a coffee outside the house anymore (unless I’m away and can’t make a drink myself).  This has been one of my all time favorite addition to the kitchen. 

 

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Mason Jar Water Dispenser and Galvanized Stand

I’m not good at drinking plain ole water. I can easily drink coffee till noon, switch to a cup of hot water around lunch, and then have a latte in the afternoon, and more hot water in the evening.  Clearly, this isn’t a good plan even when you’re not pregnant. To remind us to drink more water I have a large water dispenser out on the counter that is easily accessible even to the kids.  Somedays if we are feeling fancy I’ll throw in some fresh mint or lemon balm, along with lemons and limes, even cucumbers.  It helps keep us more hydrated and it also looks pretty.

 

 

 

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