2.12.2015

Worried Sick


It's been one month to the day that my 12-year-old son came home sick from school.  He wasn't getting better so since that time, we have been to the pediatrician's office four times, the urgent care twice and to the ER once.  He has seen five doctors, a PA and a CNP.  He had a CT scan, blood work, an MRI and was referred to a neurologist, but still none of the doctors he saw could figure out what was wrong with him.  He was misdiagnosed three times. So, it was a lot of, "Try this and wait x number of days, then come back if he's still not better."

As I'm sure you can imagine, I have been worried sick, stressed and anxious, and unable to focus on anything else but trying to figure out what was going on with my sweet boy and how to get him the help he needed.

There is no more hopeless feeling in the world than seeing your child sick, and getting worse, and no one can figure out what is wrong with him.

We finally got an accurate diagnosis and he's seen the right specialist.  He's now getting the medication he needs and, hopefully, he's on the road to recovery.  What complicates things is that it's an autoimmune disease.  So, right now, my time and attention are focused on getting him better. 

1.20.2015

Rug Pad USA Review


Yay for long weekends!  Hope you had a good one? We had gorgeous spring-like weather and were able to get outside and enjoy it.

But, I am not here today to about the weather, I'm here today to talk rug pads! I know, not the most glamorous or exciting thing in the world to talk about, but if you do think about it, rug pads are like your house's foundation, when it's poor quality, it's a pain and you have issues, but when your house is built on a solid foundation it's sturdy and solid and you just know that you're comfortable and you don't think twice about it. 

While I do love our jute chenile herringbone rug for the warmth and texture it brings to our living room, it's not exactly the most comfy or cushy thing in the world.
We only have one living area, and we do a lot of living in here, including some picnic style dinners on our coffee table while sitting on the floor and watching our favorite TV shows (does anyone know when Agents of Shield comes back on?) or playing board games here.
I've often thought about upgrading the rug pad underneath our carpet to make it more comfortable and inviting, but it was always something that I put on the back burner.  So, I was thrilled when Rug Pad USA contacted me to see if I would do a review of one of their rug pads.

http://rugpadusa.com/shopall.html 
Rug Pad USA is a rug pad retailer based outside of the greater New York area and they specialize in making higher end, eco-friendly rug pads made right here in the USA. It's important to me to support companies that manufacture products nationally and create jobs. Rug Pad USA offers an alternative product compared to the typical imported pvc rug pad, that can be toxic to your home environment and are what you'll usually find being sold by big box retailers. Of course, like most moms, I'm all about keeping our home toxin free and buying eco-friendly products!  They also offer free shipping and hassle free returns within 30 days of purchase if you're not happy with your rug pad.

When I got our old rug pad, I didn't give it much thought and just bought the least expensive one I could find, primarily to keep the rug from moving around.
 
our old rug pad

It was super thin rubber and would frequently get bunched up in areas and we could feel the lumps underfoot which was annoying and uncomfortable.  Then, I'd have to move furniture to lift up the rug to try to straighten it out.  No fun!

What I liked about ordering from the Rug Pad USA site was that they make it easy to find exactly what you need, based on your flooring, your carpet, and your price point.  I ordered the Premium-Lock Felt + Rubber Rug Pad because I wanted a rug pad that would hold our rug in place, was eco-friendly, and would also provide a lot of cushion. 
Premium-Lock Felt + Rubber Rug Pad
The Premium-Lock rug pad has a natural rubber back, not synthetic latex, so it will last longer and not disintegrate into dust after a few years. The top of the rug pad is felt and it's designed to grip your rug so that it doesn't shift. I also really appreciate that Rug Pad USA guarantees that their rug pads will never strip, discolor or damage your floor and they come with a 15-20 year guarantee!
We've had the rug pad down for about a week now and there has been no shifting at all. But the thing we love the most about our new rug pad is that our rug is soooo cushy now!  We've had a few rugs in our living room, including some pretty thick wool rugs and the Premium-Lock rug pad gives our jute chenile rug the feel of a cushy wool rug. Our rug is so much more comfortable to walk on and sit on now.  My only regret is that I waited so long to upgrade our rug pad!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great day!


*Rug Pad USA provided me with the rug pad to review for this post, but all opinions are 100% mine!

1.15.2015

10 Free 2015 Printable Calendars Roundup


This weekend, I'm hoping to get my office area cleaned up and organized in preparation of the dreaded tax season.  Somehow, a pretty and organized space makes the thought of doing my taxes a little less painful.  I've been in search of a pretty printable monthly calendar so I thought I'd share with you a few that I rounded up off the www from some generous bloggers who are sharing their creative talents.  Just click on the name of the blog below each picture to take you directly to the link for a free downloadable 2015 calendar.

1)
Via - Botanical Paperworks
2)
Via - The Handmade Home

3)
Via - Just a Girl and Her Blog
 4)
Via - Oh So Lovely!
5)
Via - Landeelu
6)
Via - Simple As That
7)
Via - Delineate Your Dwelling
8)
Via - Shining Mom
9)
Via - Scattered Squirrel
10)
Via - Creative Mamma
I'm torn between #1 and #7, which is your favorite?

Have a great weekend!

1.13.2015

DIY Pin Board Command Center


One of my "goals" that I wrote about at the beginning of last year in this post, was to improve our family command center.  I called it a "goal" instead of a New Year's resolution because we all know what happens to New Year's resolutions, right?  Well, I should have just called it a resolution because short of making the rustic framed chalkboard wall to write out our weekly dinner menu on, that was about all I did for our family command center.

I'm still not setting any New Year's resolutions this year, but I do like the clean slate that a new year gives me.  I like starting off with a clear calendar, a fresh start, an opportunity to reflect on the year past and maybe do some things a little better than I did last year.  So, in an effort to be more organized this year, I decided that one of my first projects of the year would be...TA-DA!  Our family command center!
Our command center is in the kitchen/dining area which is open to the living room so, I wanted it to be pretty, as well as functional.  Which is always the best of both worlds if you ask me. ;)
For our command center, of course, we have to have a calendar.  A place to keep track of all of our appointments, school schedules, important events, holidays, and birthdays.  I found this one at Target, of course!  I swear, I'm there so often that some of the cashiers have started to recognize me.  I loved the blue and white and it was the perfect size, which I don't even remember what that is now?  Size perfect.
I also wanted a place to keep school papers, like the kids' class syllabuses, and other school forms that usually end up in a pile on the table until I've filled them out.  I had this file sorter already so I just primed it and spray painted it a glossy white.  I'm going to be adding in a menu planner to keep in here too.
I also got a large pin board at Target, for cheap.  I used some off-white linen that I already had, I ironed it within an inch of its life, then I sprayed the pin board and the frame with a ton of spray adhesive to make sure it's not going come off.  I smoothed it out with an old gift card.
Then, I flipped it over and stapled the fabric to the back of the frame.  I didn't use any particular method on the corners, just made sure it looked good from the front before I stapled it down.
I also used some fabric tacks from JoAnn's that cost something like $2.00 for 24.  I got two boxes because I wasn't sure how many I would use and it turned out to be perfect.  I wound up using the extra tacks on the board to attach the calendar and the file.


I just guestimated the spacing of the fabric tacks.  I positioned them all around the frame to get and idea of how far apart I wanted them spaced.  I just eyeballed it to make sure they were spaced out evenly.  Then, I used my tape measure to see how far apart they were and used it when I actually went around to hammer them in.
I didn't hammer the tacks all the way down, until I was sure the spacing was good.
I didn't have a rubber mallet, just a small hammer, but I wasn't too worried because I had gotten the gold tacks that were textured and not smooth so, I figured a few more bangs in them wasn't going to matter.  It worked out fine.
I did have a few casualties though...
The tacks aren't spaced out perfectly, but if I worried about any of my projects being perfect, I'd never do anything.  I used some blue file folders that I already had, to hold all of our papers.  I may switch them out or add in another color later on and use my label maker, which I didn't have time to do. 
 I love the combo of dark blue, linen and gold accents!
For our "To Do" lists, I used my color copier to copy the border of the calendar, then, with my computer, I made a simple lined list with each of our names on them. I taped the border to the top of the list, then I laminated them so that they're reusable with a dry erase marker that we keep in a nearby drawer (that's currently a hot mess and needs to be cleaned out).
I also made a list that I attached to the front of the file for us to write down things that we need to buy.  I have a small notebook that I use to keep all of my shopping lists on in my purse, but that's hanging in the hallway.  This way, we can write everything onto this list and I can transfer it into my notebook before I go shopping.
I love the way this turned out even if it did take me over a year to finally get around to doing it!
I'm hoping this project is going to set the trend for me to do more organizing this year!  What about you?  Does January get you motivated to organize?

Thanks for reading today!








Linking this project up at these great blogs:
Serenity Now
DIY Show Off
Love Grows Wild 
Tiny Side Kick 
Link Party Palooza
The Crafted Sparrow  
Reasons to Skip the Housework


1.06.2015

A Look Back at 2014


Happy New Year!  I hope that 2015 has gotten off to a good start for you?  So far, I've burned out the motor on our blender. ;)   I've also been busy helping my kids get their rooms cleaned and organized before they had to head back to school.  It's nice to be able to see the tops of their desks again! 

I don't know about you, but I always feel like no matter how much I'm able to get done, I'm still thinking about all of the projects that I want to do (or that need to be done but I'm avoiding).  So, it's nice to take a look back at what I was actually able to accomplish, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite projects, posts and recipes with you from the past year.

One ~ Rustic Framed Chalkboard Wall


Two ~ Sugar Cookie Recipe

Three ~ Paint Chip Valentine Bookmark

Four ~ Aspargus Gruyere Tart

Five ~ Ironing Board Holder 

Six ~ Laundry Room Makeover


Seven ~ Tomato Basil Toasties
Eight ~ Peeking Mummy Wreath

Nine ~ Dining Chair Makeover
Ten ~ Falling Leaves Art Work


Eleven ~ Guest post at the Tiny Prints blog


Twelve ~ Leopard Print Placemats

Well, that about wraps up some of my favorite posts!  Thank you so much for following along and for all of your encouraging comments and emails!  I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.

Wishing you all the best in 2015!



12.31.2014

New Year's Eve at Home


Happy New Year!  We spent the day cleaning up and decorating our house to get ready to host our family New Year's Eve party.
We've been celebrating New Year's Eve at our house since my kids were little.  We keep it pretty simple and low key.  With lots of sparkling apple cider and some easy pre-made appetizers that I just have to heat up and put on some plates before everyone gets here.

This year, I used the same picture frame that I used for my falling leaves artwork, and just taped some wrapping paper onto it and then stenciled "cheers!" onto it with a gold Sharpie paint pen.
It was very easy to make and cheap since I was able to use stuff I already had on hand.
I also got a little carried away with the gold glitter and sprayed some adhesive onto the sparkling apple cider bottles and sprinkled it on.  We've been mesmerized by their sparklyness all day.
To keep track of everyones' cups, I bought some mini clothes pins that were already glittered and some chalkboard labels to put onto the plastic cups.
I really regret not getting any fresh flowers when I was at Trader Joe's because they would have been the perfect addition to our New Year's display.  Oh well, too late to go to back so this will just have to do.
I bought some little lemon cakes from Costco (at Jacob's request) then, I piped some store bought vanilla frosting onto the top to make them look a little more special.  I also put out some leftover Christmas cookies.

We always have a hot chocolate bar on New Year's Eve and we're really going to appreciate it tonight because yesterday, we were hit with a freezing cold front, and it is so cold!
We keep it simple with some mini-marshmallows, chocolate chips, mint candies, chocolate covered mint marshmallows, and whipped cream, of course.

My white carafe was a Goodwill find from a few years ago.

We keep it comfy and casual with PJ's and sweats being the favorite attire.
There are lots soft pillows and snuggly blankets to keep us warm and cozy.
And, one soft snuggly pup who also keeps us warm and cozy.
We eat appetizers, guzzle sparkling apple cider, play board games, and maybe a little Just Dance on the Wii, if we're up for it.  Then, when it gets close to midnight, we turn on the TV and count down to the new year and watch the ball drop in Times Square.  I also made this chalk board banner so, I'll be sharing that with you soon in a future post.
Having a family New Year's Eve party has really become such a fun tradition and we can't think of a better way to ring in the New Year than with the people we love the most!

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year!