Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!!!

I'm going to make BLOGGING one of my new year's resolutions!  :)  As I head out of the office until Jan 3rd (woo hoo!), just wanted to wish y'all a Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It's what I call her EVERYday.... so might as well sit her in one, right?!

Blogging.... Wish I could find more time for it!  But right now, being mommy to 3 and working full time is just keeping me TOO busy!  I will tell you this... for the first time EVAH, I'm hosting the entire family for Thanksgiving!  So... I'll try to find a little time to be creative and show y'all how it went.  (And if all else fails, I'll just show you Punkin's nursery - I know I STILL haven't done that and it's too cute not to share!)


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Semi-Homemade Bedrooms: Big Boy's Vintage Trucks

I'm finally sharing Gman's big boy room with y'all!  And I'll let you in on a secret... his room was the first one done in the new house...  and has actually BEEN done (all but switching out a chest of drawers for a black bookcase) for months... Pictures taken... Complete.  But I didn't LOVE the pics, so I kept thinking I'd retake them (because I can be a perfectionist like that).  But you know what?  Life with 3 kids and a more.than.fulltime job is crazy.  I'll never retake those pics.  So... here you go, imperfection and all!

The idea:  Vintage Trucks

The inspiration:  Gman's love of all things with wheels, but especially trucks.  This boy is ALL boy.  Except that he tells me he's not a boy, but a man.  A BIG man.  His words... ;)  So babyish themes with cartoonish vehicles was not gonna work for my lil - err - BIG!! man.

The sentimental touch (and focal point!):  The old truck of mr. fix-it's dad, aka Papa.  This old truck is now solely used on their farm and goes literally only yards in a day.  Papa loves that truck... it's a reminder of a simpler time.... and, to the kids, it's part of who Papa is.

Last June, I took several pics of Papa's truck. I took them with this room in mind (three of them hang over Gman's bed and are the focal point of the room), but I also ended up using them for Gman's Semi-Homemade Vintage Truck Birthday Party last summer.

The fun touches:  There are vintage trucks throughout the room, of course!  This one happens to be a fire truck....

My sister Ellen got Gman these vintage truck pillow cases last summer for his birthday.  I had found them on Etsy (of course!) and they are just too, too perfect!  Love 'em!  They go perfectly with the bedding I (finally!!) found him (it's Tommy Hilfiger from, and I love the bold colors of the set, and the stars on the pillowcases!)

Remember back when we lived in the Summer House last year?  Um, yeah, I've mostly blocked it... but while we lived there, I found 2 of these great metal wall hanging on super low clearance at Hobby Lobby.  Each one has 3 vintage vehicles on it, and they're hanging on either side of his red (super cheap - $10!!) curtains.

The color scheme:  Gman's Semi-Homemade Pirate Nursery was - and maybe still is! - my favorite of all the kids' rooms I had designed at that point.  So I decided to keep the elements I loved in that room (the navy blue paint - Pittsburgh's Star Spangled - and the white beadboard) and throw in red to go for an Americana feel... to pull in the patriotism and wholesome feel of the time when Papa's truck was new.

I love the canvas hanging over this dresser.  (This dresser will soon be moved to another bedroom and replaced with a black bookshelf.  When we went shopping for Gman's big boy furniture, we found that we were drawn to black furniture.... again... somewhat similar to Sissy's... what can I say?  We're consistent.)  :)

I love this license plate frame (HL again!!) and a few more metal vintage trucks (yes, HL.  I know, I have a problem.  But the frame, and the trucks... each item was under $10!) 

And the license plate frame ties in to the picture of the US by license plate... which is hanging over the vintage red chair I found on one of my trips to Canton with Mrs. Everything.  That chair was.... are you ready?  $22.  Amazing, I know.  And I took some navy blue vinyl and put Gman's name on it - he loves that!  Lastly, the clock hanging over the door reminded me of a hubcap... and was a $12 clearance item at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I love it when a ton of clearance buys come together! 

Ahhh, looking at that last picture, with that tiny baby in the doorway.... I took these pics during my maternity leave.  Can I go back?  ;)

Happy weekend, y'all!  Next up.... the Semi-Homemade Modern Black and White Safari Nursery!

4 months!

My sweet baby girl is almost 5 months... but since I scheduled this to go back on Aug 20... and it clearly didn't... (grrrr!)  Here's what was going on almost a month ago! 

Punkin was 4 months old yesterday... and today I finished c25k!!   My goal was to complete it by Labor day weekend and I'm so happy I finished 2 weeks ahead of time!  Um, and good thing I was 2 wks early... because right after I finished it, I ended up with bronchitis and didn't run for 2 1/2 wks.  Seriously...

Here's a few pictures of my sweet punkin...

Her bow is only as big as her smile, hee hee!

 She's starting to push up and roll over... the last 2 mornings, I've found her on her belly in her crib.  I think she likes it, at first... ;)

Hope you're lovin the weekend as much as we are!  At least this still makes since, seeing that it's weekend again and all.... ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

School starts TOMORROW!

Gasp!  How did this happen?  Sissy starts KINDERGARTEN tomorrow!  She went to bed tonight, like a kid on Christmas Eve - she can't wait!  And that makes me so happy...

Friday night was Meet the Teacher, and I was in my typical mode... I didn't want us to show up empty handed, but I've been even more swamped (overwhelmed?) than ever.  So... mr. fix-it was on popcorn duty (that guy is THE sweetest... ran out last second and got the cutest popcorn gifts in these little teacher gift boxes - I was so crazy I didn't even get a picture, but they were super cute.  Way to go, dad!!)

Anyway, the night before, I had Sissy write both her teachers (her English teacher and Spanish teacher - she's in the Dual Language program!) notes about how excited she is for the school year.  I found these from Cut & Create and they were PERFECT!

Gotta run - my chocolate chip cookies are done in the oven and I'm writing more thank yous to the little kids' teachers.  This is their LAST WEEK at the school we've been at for 4 years - and the only school the little kids have ever known!  We're moving them to the same town where Sissy's elementary school is (and where we moved in December).  I've got alot of love to put into these cards!

Happy Back-to-School, y'all!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Meet the Teacher(s)!!

We are so lucky to live in a town that's entering it's 7th year of a Dual Language program.  And Sissy got in!  They put all the 5 year olds through a 45 minute interview, basically... then they fill 2 kindergarten classes with a combo of native Spanish speakers and English speakers.

Here is Sissy with her homeroom teacher, which is also her Spanish teacher.  She'll spend the other half of her day with her English speaking teacher.  School starts Monday - I can't believe I have a kiddo in elementary school!  (I did super easy teacher gifts for tonight... will try to get them up here this weekend!)

Happy weekend and Happy Back-to-School everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Giving up Dairy

Hi, y'all!!  Remember me?  :)  Another "meet someone I think is funny/cool/sassy" post to tide you over until actual blogging occurs over here again.

Remember when I had to give up dairy when I was nursing G-man?  And it was so awful, all I wanted to do was complain... and share the precious few recipes I had that my whole family loved... and then complain again?  Well, we're at it again (so this is the 3rd time I've had to give up dairy... out of 3 babies, for those of you keeping score at home!)  This punkin fooled us and kept her symptoms away until she was 7 weeks!  Sigh....

Anyway, to cope this time around, I've done 2 things:

Started reading this blog.  MODG. 

Omg... she is toooo hilarious.  I've had to walk away from my desk at work because I was laughing so hard that I feared I might snort or choke on my (soy) starbucks or something.  Today, she's talking about giving up dairy, too... Hello again food, you dirty dirty lady.  I was first introduced to her by a friend who also has a newborn....and this post totally describes my maternity leave:  10 things about boob feeding that only I'm going to tell you

You're welcome.  ;)

The other thing I did.... I ordered this cookbook from Amazon:  Go Dairy Free. 

I hate that the only thing I've cooked from it so far was some yummy cinnamon bread.  (I might have woken up on a Sunday morning.. after a Saturday evening out without kids!.... and needed something yummy and carby.)  Anyway, my menu planning has been totally a low priority lately, so I keep going with my dairy-free standbys:  chili, BBQ chicken, grilled chicken, fish.... But as soon as I try some, I'll be sure to pass them on!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mabel's House

Do y'all know Liz at Mabel's House?  She's witty, spunky, and recently became a (working) mom.  Oh, and she's hilarious and a great writer. 

Which is why.... while you wait (and wait... and wait...) for all the great things I'm going to tell you just as SOON as I get a minute to blog... I want you to go meet her.  Today her blog  reached out and grabbed me.  In The Silver Linings of Working Moms, Daycare & Beano she describes the life of a working mom in a way that I think any working mom can relate.  From the paralyzing sadness (so glad I'm not the only one!!) to the special, really ordinary moments you might take for granted otherwise.  I totally agree when she says it's not the mommy guilt that gets you.  Sure, there's some of that... but it's that sadness that gets to her, and I'm on the same page.

G-man turns 3 this weekend, so for now, I'm eyeball deep in some last second party planning.  Which I'll share before he turns 4, I promise. 


Sunday, July 10, 2011


Well.... it's Back-to-Work Eve.... and I was planning to share with y'all the fun things I did during my leave... the sweet acts of kindness shown to me by friends and family.... the semi-homemade projects I worked on at my house.

But this is what I've got.  Instead of doing all that, I'm spending time with this sweet thing.

And entertaining this guy.  mr. fix-it's college roommate... even I've known him for 12+ yrs - he was in our wedding over 9 years ago.  And he stopped in for dinner tonight on his way from OK to LA for business.  The trips we took down memory lane were just what I needed to keep my mind off leaving my sweet punkin tomorrow. 

But I WILL share with you the fun things I did during my leave... the sweet acts of kindness shown to me by friends and family.... the semi-homemade projects I worked on at my house.  I've got G-man's room all ready to show you.  And once I get a couple of decals delivered for the girls' rooms, those will be ready, too.  Can't wait!  :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

God Bless America!

Have a safe holiday!  From the Semi-Homemades

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Return to C25K

I've got a strict deadline when it comes to fitting back into my work pants!  SO... Here's my view from the treadmill these days:

Sweet baby Punkin (I've GOT to get around to giving her a blog name!) is 10 weeks old and tomorrow I'll finish week 3 of C25K...   I've learned that it's definitely easier to run when she's sleeping.  BUT.. I don't always get that luxury (I'm trying to cram every dentist/doctor/hair appt - you name it! - into the last couple weeks of my maternity leave!)  So... sometimes I have to resort to running & entertaining - at the same time.  See my headphones in the picture below?  Sweet baby is rocking out to some Girl Talk. ;)

I'd forgotten how running keeps me SANE!  (Or at least more sane than I'd be if I wasn't running!)  ;)

My work out plan the last several weeks and until I return to work (I have only one more wk off - yikes!) has included:
3 (or more) c25k runs
3 (or more) Buff Brides strength work outs
and TONS of lugging around that sweet baby.  Who was a teeny 7% at her 2 wk appt, but came in at 94% by her 2 month appt!  (What can I say?  I've been working hard at that!)  :)

What is Buff Brides? 

A super easy, super quick workout...
perfect for busy moms like me (you don't have to be a bride, clearly... although my sister started doing this workout 10 yrs ago when she was engaged, so it's a classic!)... 
using mostly stuff I already had (I bought an $8 exercise ball and that's it!)...
and it can even be done while you're catching up on tv (damn this maternity leave for getting me addicted to all sorts of shows I've never had time for!) 
Score your Buff Brides on Amazon for cheap!

And when Sweet Pea isn't helping me with my workout... she's usually sitting pretty in one of her girly girl outfits.  I just can't help myself - I love the bows, the ruffles, the tutus.... watch her turn out to be a tom boy! ;)

11 days til I return to work... I'll let ya know how those pants fit!  ;)


Saturday, June 25, 2011

SUPER Semi-Homemade Cooking

Have y'all seen these?  It does NOT get easier than this!

The directions are simple:
Buy this packet (it's with the spices in your grocery store)
Buy some chicken, some potatoes (the back of this packet has a recipe card for you to keep)
You'll need a few things you already have at home (like olive oil and salt)
Chop the potatoes, mix everything together
Roast for 30 minutes (it's not just easy, it's FAST!)

This is so good that both my kids and the hubby love it.... I've used the recipe at least 6 times since I bought it, and changed it up in subtle ways.  I love to use sweet potatoes instead of the red potatoes it calls for.  And I love, love using fresh rosemary (which has to be one of the most amazing scents EVER) instead of the dried...

There's also several other choices (I keep meaning to try a few, like Garlic Lime Fajitas!)  Click here to get a full list (I haven't seen all of these in my store, but I might have to start looking around!)

This may be some of my most semi-homemade cooking yet... :) 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trade Days Treasures

Wow, it's been a month since mr. fix-it and I loaded up all 3 kids (lil Punkin wasn't even a month old yet!) and headed to the Trade Days in the  This isn't the big Trade Days that Mrs. Everything and I try to go to a couple times a year... but it's MUCH closer, smaller (in a good way) and the weather that day was PERFECT.  And here are a few things I found:

I *think* I'm going to hang this in the wet bar off the living room.  When I know... I'll show you.  ;)  (OH, and for the record... we scored this at the same place we got the MASSIVE piece for our entry way.  We were able to negotiate and got them for a steal.  Literally, it was like we stole them.)  ;)

Okay, this is standing on it's side... and since I can't figure out how to turn the pic horizontally... just bend your left ear to your left shoulder.  Got it?  Okay... it's the sillhouette of cowboys.  It matches the ones hanging everywhere in our college football stadium.  And when I'm done with it, it'll be black and hanging (horizontally, of course!) in our media room.  Or man cave.  Whatever.

This is for the nursery and it, too, will be getting a few coats of spray paint.  It'll be part of a collage... you'll see!  :)

These projects are FINALLY coming together - can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Y'all Come In!

My 2 big kids are gone for a few days - making memories with mr. fix-it's parents - so I'm trying to finish as many half.done projects as possible.  First one done:  entryway. 

I never liked the way it was decorated in the last house (below).  So we'd been searching for the perfect oversized something to hang on that wall.  And I wanted to hang crosses around whatever IT was to make the look even bigger.  And I love it!

Next on the list:  working on some projects for each of the girls' rooms today, then finishing up Gman's room this evening when mr. fix-it gets home.  Stay tuned for more semi-homemade decorating!  :)
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