Monday, April 20, 2015

for the birds

Growing up in southern California, birds were pretty much just seen as a nuisance. I mean, we had a pool, and flocking birds=bird poop in the pool. At our high school, we had no covered area for eating so it was practically a guarantee that you would get pooped on sometime during your four years there (I never did, but probably about 80% of graduating seniors could declare that they'd had the honor of a seagull pooping on them).
Then we moved to other places, with pretty birds other than seagulls and pigeons and I came to appreciate them a little bit. I guess they're not all bad.

Mike and I were Cub Scout leaders when we lived in Lubbock and one of the activities that we did with the boys was make little bird feeders from a pre-assembled kit. Once we opened the boxes we discovered they were pretty cheapo, the nails included with it were teeny tiny and a lot of them bent as we pounded them in. But still, the boys had fun and  I must have had some sentimental attachment to it because somehow it followed us to San Antonio, then our rental house here in California, and finally this house. Uncharacteristic of me to hold on to something that we don't use and is falling apart, but it was in a box with some other items in the garage and I didn't really think about it.

In my attempt to #finishallthethings before baby comes (nesting, plus Spring fever have collided into the perfect storm), I've been going through things in the garage with my husband and I came across our little, sad bird feeder once again.
You can see in the picture that some of the nails were popping out, it really wasn't very sturdy and the bottom felt like it might fall off at any moment. Plus the wood was pretty grungy. I almost just tossed it in the trash, but then I though, eh, why not just hang it in a tree, kids might get a kick out of it.
I like to give my kids a thrill.

Three coats of Rust-Oleum's colonial red (which I already had on hand, and yes, it took three coats to cover up all the wood grain and everything) and a couple of extra nails for security and that bad boy went up in a tree to attract all the flying poopers in the neighborhood.
And yes, I realize that it's supposed to have birdseed in it. I'll get there, one thing at a time people, one thing at a time.

Friday, April 17, 2015

picking the perfect paint color

Don't get me wrong, I love painting. Or at least, I use to; but I guess there's just something about painting the whole interior of your house by yourself (and now one of those rooms twice) that makes you never really want to paint again.
So, needless to say, I am very happy that I'm done painting for awhile (eventually I'll need to paint all the ceilings... but that's not happening any time soon), and I'm even more thrilled that I finally found the perfect gray paint color for my girls' room!
I've picked out plenty a paint color in my day, and usually pretty successfully, but if you've ever tried to work with gray you know that it can be a tricky color.

By the way, even though I'm American I always really want to spell it grey, I don't know why. I mean, I know it's not technically wrong, and it's just an American vs. elsewhere spelling, but I really have to force myself to spell it with an "a".
Anyway, I digress.

So here are some quick tips for picking the perfect paint color that I've used over the years, including the easy, "duh" moment secret that finally helped me pick the perfect gray color!

//Live with some swatches.//
This is probably one you've done a million times, but go down to your local hardware or paint store and pick up some swatches, pick a bunch. Have a good variety of different tints, shades, and tones in the color family you're looking for. Go home and tape them up in the room you're planning to paint. Sometimes getting multiple swatches of the same color is a good idea because then you can put them in different areas of the room that get different light. Then live with them for a couple days, be patient, see what they look like in early morning, bright afternoon sunlight, at night under your light bulbs. Make sure you see it against the trim in your room too, whether it's white or wood tone or whatever, you want to make sure you'll like it with what's already in the space. If swatches aren't enough for you then once you narrow it down to two or three, buy some sample jars.

//Take a picture.//
I was surprised when I shared this photo on Instagram how different the gray colors translated on a screen. As soon as I saw this picture I could see that three of them were not what I was going for at all.

//Go online.//
Oh my gosh, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of this sooner. I mean, I had consulted my favorite blogs and Pinterest for opinions on the perfect gray, I'd looked for colors in the past before too. But what I hadn't done is simply Google the colors I was already considering to see it in a variety of settings and lighting! I had two colors I couldn't choose between so I searched them and found tons of different pictures with different lighting... and then I found some rooms with another paint from a swatch that I had already nixed. And I fell in love. I searched that color and adored every room that is was used in, and what really sealed the deal was when one person said this particular gray was "the perfect gray, with no undertones of blue or purple in it." That was exactly what I was looking for!

Just remember, don't get discouraged. If you end up choosing a paint you don't love, or it wasn't really what you'd had in mind, then live with it for a little bit. If it doesn't grow on you, it's just paint. You can paint again. Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to make a huge impact in a room. It's worth it.

So, are you curious what the perfect light gray paint color is? A gray that is somehow warm and inviting, with no weird undertones in it? A gray that looks gorgeous against white trim and with dark toned furniture as well? A gray that covered beautifully with two coats of paint?

Dolphin Fin by Behr.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

spreading the love & I need your help

You might remember that back at the beginning of January I posted my goal to complete 30 random acts of kindness by my 30th birthday.

It has been harder than I would have thought.
I've been keeping track on Instagram using the hashtag, #30raok2015, so you can see I still have a long way to go in less than four months.
I think I've realized that being a stay at home mom, who literally stays at home most of the time and doesn't have a lot of interaction with other people, makes it a harder to complete random acts of kindness than it might be for others.
Several weeks ago I even took extra change with me when I knew I'd have to park at parking meters, then I walked around looking for someone who had less than 10 minutes on their meter.
No dice.
Dang people, stop being so responsible! I'm trying to complete some random, freakin' acts of kindness over here!!

So, on another note (but don't worry, I'll circle back), since finding out that we'll be having three little girls sharing one room, I've been working on going through stuff. I mean, I'm pretty good about not hoarding things anyway, and going through things periodically, but I knew we'd need to make some more space in the girls' room if we wanted to make room for another human being.
Thanks to the loving generosity of friends over the years, we have way too many baby clothes. I mean, that's just my opinion, but... I had everything sorted by size in large bins and they were overflowing. And I was like, "if it doesn't fit, we're getting rid of it!" And hubby was like, "I don't think you should get rid of anything until we know we're done having kids. We can buy another bin." Um, hon, the point is to make room, not to bring more stuff into the house. So I didn't say anything else, but continued to sort through clothing and ended up with a small pile of girls clothing and a small pile of boys clothing to get rid of. And the next time I brought it up he just said, "as long as you don't have to buy something to replace it in the future."
Fair enough, fair enough.

So I have a small pile of boy clothing, all in great shape, stain and rip free, some practically like new. And I have a small pile of girl clothing, also in great shape free from tears and stains. There's also some blankets and some bibs in there. There's maybe like, 10 outfits of each, so not a ton. Mostly newborn-6 months size, although there are some bigger clothes, especially in the boy box.
Normally I would donate my items to Deseret Industries (kind of like Goodwill), but I really want to just give these to someone. I know how hard it can be to have a new baby and feel overwhelmed with trying to provide for all of its needs when you're on a strict budget, not to mention all the things you just want... why is baby stuff so cute?!

So here's where you come in, if you or someone you know is pregnant, or recently had a baby, and going through a tough time and could truly use some gently loved baby clothing, please, please email me ( and give me the information. Remember, I have a box of boy stuff, and one of girl stuff to send off to two mommas who need it much more than I do.
Not only am I clearing things out, but I'm also spreading some love, and hopefully fulfilling two more ROAK.
I'm anxiously awaiting your emails!

"...with win/win/win, we all win. Me too."
Name that show. :)