Posted by: Kara | September 28, 2009

$2 Coffee Table and a Home for the Mirror!

For quite some time we’ve been working on rearranging our living room/dining room. When baby #2 arrived we were in desperate need of more space so (stay with me here….) the Office became Noah’s Room, Noah’s room became Reagan’s room, the Dining Room became the Family Room which also became the Art/Music Room, the Office moved into the Master Bedroom, and the Living Room then merged with the Dining Room, whew, got that? Ok, so in my quest to make a nice little formal living room when you first walk in I decided we were going to need two nice sitting chairs to accompany our beauty of a bench. And so began my new pastime of chair collecting. I sort of couldn’t stop. I kept finding “good finds” and chairs that I liked better than the last thinking that I would magically paint and recover them and before  I knew it, we had six different chairs in our tiny living room and absolutely no room to walk. Take a gander:


chairs 2

My living room makeover was turning into a nightmare as “chairs” slowly took over our house until one day my Mom was up for a visit and both her and Dave could take no more. The deal was get rid of all the $5 chairs that I had time to recover only in a fantasy world and I would then be permitted to go buy two new chairs.  I certainly couldn’t pass that up and so I said goodbye to my 6 four legged friends and made a trip to IKEA. I did however still get to do some refurbishing in the coffee table department. Check out this dirty square thing I found at the UNT Surplus store for a whopping 2 bucks!

coffee table

And after a fresh coat of paint, voila – a gorgeous, mod coffee table.


And here it is happily living in our living room with our new IKEA chairs (and some special rubber protectors on the corners of the table to keep Reagan’s eyeballs in tact).

living room 1

Our overpriced Craigslist mirror also finally found a home hanging above the dining table. Though it was originally meant for the Master Bedroom, we decided it fit much better here.

dining room 1

I’m very happy with how it all turned out and am so glad people finally have a place to sit when they walk in to the house :). Small homes require a little innovation but that’s what makes it fun, it’s kind of like living in a jigsaw puzzle. Let me know what you think!

Posted by: Kara | August 25, 2009

Pottery Barn, Shmottery Barn

♫  And now I’m back, from outerspace…So I had to take a much needed hiatus from blogging and break my goal of blogging 100 straight days in a row. I realized those were rather lofty ambitions for a girl averaging 2-4 hours of sleep per night so I’m now just going to update as I can and maybe one day waaaaaay down the road I’ll make my goal :). Of course a blogging hiatus does not mean I went on a project hiatus. My latest endeavor was something that’s been on the “to-do-list” for quite some time: making some cute wall hangings for the impending arrival of my niece. (She’s here by the way and the cutest thing ever!) She and her big sis share a room and have super cute bird bedding so I knew I wanted to do something with a birdie and had seen something I liked in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Ideas are generally the only thing Pottery Barn is good for because they are typically SO ridiculously overpriced and almost anything in there can be bought somewhere else or duplicated yourself for so much cheaper. Now I’ll admit there are some things in there that are worth splurging on but certainly not their wall art. Ok, so here’s the pic from the catalog that I liked:

bird cropped small


It looked simple enough so I headed off to JoAnn’s and got my supplies, light pink fabric, some flannel, felt, and canvas material, wooden letters for their names, and I was ready to go. I made my bird a little more modern to match the girls bedding and I made my flowers out of tissue paper. Once I got everything cut out I just used staples, fabric glue, and hot glue, and voila my very own Pottery Barn Kids wall art was complete!


Now if you want to get really serious about outsmarting the coniving Pottery Barn powers that be, you can do some serious do-it-yourselfing like our friend “If you can dream it, he can make it,” T-Rice. His wife had been eyein’ this adorable doll house book shelf but was not too keen on the $400 price tag.


So she put the hubby to work and some hours and some $40 later, they had this little beauty for their oldest daughter’s bedroom:


Not too shabby eh? So do you have an amazing rip-off, er I mean “inspirational” project from a magazine or store that you’ve done? I hope that if some Pottery Barn exec reads this they remember that imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Posted by: Kara | August 13, 2009

Can Sleep Deprivation Kill You?

This was my latest google search as I’ve recently become concerned with the toll that the last 6 months of sleep deprivation has taken on my body. Seriously, I’m so stinking tired that sometimes I feel like I’m just going to keel over. So can it really kill you? Apparently, the answer is…maybe. Though there is no record of any human ever dying from sleep deprivation, there was a study done in the 1980’s where they kept some rats constantly awake and after 32 days they were ALL dead! You can read the full article on lack of sleep here: Ok, so I’m probably not going to die from it since I’m not a rat, so I guess I will just continue walking around like a half functioning zombie attempting to coexist with humanity and cling to the hope that one day I will sleep again.


Posted by: Kara | August 12, 2009

My favorite mail day

When life’s got you down, you haven’t had a shower in a few days, and you’re eating chex mix for at least 2 out of 3 meals,  there’s nothing to get you smiling like a good mail day. My good mail day comes once a week when the Kroger insert arrives. It instantly elevates my mood as I lay it out on the dining table and carefully examine each page like a 4 year old going through the Toys ‘R Us Christmas catalog.

“oooh, ground turkey is on sale 2 for $6…nice”

“2 for $5 strawberries, come on Kroger, they were 2 for $4 last week, don’t try to act like I’m gettin’ a deal”

“yay, salmon’s on sale, nevermind – farm raised…”

I give it a good look over at least 3 times to make sure I didn’t miss anything and begin to plan out my grocery list. I tell ya’ for me, it’s like a little piece of heaven. Wow, before you know it, I’ll be eating dinner at Luby’s and calling it a night at 6 p.m.

scan0001 (2)

They say “it’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” I wonder if that applies to Kroger inserts.

But seriously, if you scope out the good deals at your local grocery store and make your meal plans accordingly, you can save some serious dough. Combine that with manufacturer’s coupons and now you’re playing with the big boys. (Check out or for more info). I had to abandon couponing however because all the paper was making me crazy and I couldn’t pass up a good deal so we ended up eating a lot of junk. Who can refuse Pillsbury cinnamon rolls when you’re paying like 10 cents a can?? So what are some of your grocery saving secrets?

Posted by: Kara | August 11, 2009

Moments that make your heart melt

So yesterday was one doosey of a day though nothing too atypical for the Brown household. After being up with baby at 9 p.m., 11 p.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m., and 6 a.m. and starting the day officially at 6:30 a.m. my eyeballs were burning but kids were beckoning and so began our Monday. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • breakfast meltdown from Noah – all because of my heinous crime of being out of orange juice
  • diaper explosion by Reagan – I decide I’m no longer hungry for my breakfast
  • catch Noah peeing on my computer chair – bust out the Lysol all purpose cleaner early
  • take Noah to toilet to pee where he misses and saturates 4 rolls of toilet paper on toilet paper holder along with floor – add more Lysol all purpose cleaner to grocery list
  • take Reagan to doctor for 6 month check up & while trying to have conversation with doc notice a strange look on her face and realize Noah has taken off his pants – decide it’s time to start making him wear pants at home
  • within minutes of arrival home from Dr.’s office find massive puddle of pee in kitchen with Noah’s toothbrush sitting in the middle – really Noah? really?
  • attempt to nurse Reagan to sleep – plans are thwarted after Noah comes raiding into room, meat thermometer in hand ready to scourge
  • receive phone call from husband letting me know he’s got a late meeting and will be delayed – of course you will honey, of course you will
  • Dave arrives home and even with 2 adults in the house Noah manages to get into the carpet cleaner and douse himself from head to toe in white, sudsy toxins
  • leave Noah and Reagan in room together for a few seconds only to return to a crying baby with a bloody lip and a guilty looking toddler

And those were just a few of the moments of our frenzied day. So Dave gets Reagan to sleep and I’m on Noah duty helping him get his teeth brushed, jammies on, and room cleaned. We say his prayers and he asks if  I’ll stay in his room to rub his back. While my little monkey is actually laying still and I’m holding him in my arms, stroking his blond hair he grabs my arm and whispers, “Momma, I luv you so much.” And those, my friends, are the moments that make all the pee-pee cleaning, perpetual clamor, and pandemonium all completely worth it.


I heart my little mess.

Posted by: Kara | August 10, 2009

Judging a Book by it’s Color

While at my sister-in-law’s this weekend for the garage sale, I was inside taking care of the kiddos. As I was rocking Reagan and staring at Kim’s bookshelves, the OCD in me started twitching and whispering in my ear…”must color coordinate…must sort and organize.” Here are the  bookshelves that were stirring up all the emotion:


They didn’t look bad, I’m just a big fan of organizing books according to the color of their binder rather than their subject matter. I’m the dewey decimal system’s worst nightmare. So I asked Kim if she would allow me to reorganize and she agreed but set up some boundaries. I was not to remove any books from the shelf on which they lived (since they were arranged according to topic). “Ah, pleeeeease Kim, I promise you’ll start recognizing them by their binder and they’ll be easy to find.” But she insisted that some type of rational order remain and so I complied to her rule. Oh left brained people and their “rules.”

So I got to work and in a quick skip, hop, and a jiffy, the shelves had a little mini makeover. Here is the after:


And so my organizing itch was satisfied…for at least a few hours, until I got home and me and the medicine cabinet had a throw down.

Posted by: Kara | August 9, 2009

Garage Sale’in It

Yesterday in the midst of Kennedy-Gate, we were also having a garage sale over at the sister-in-law’s to try and make some extra cash so we can finish up our bedroom. I always have visions of grandeur when it comes to setting up a garage sale. You see I love “setting things up.” When I was little my absolute favorite part of playing Barbie and My Little Pony was trying to make their play area look like the dream land that they showed in all the commercials (blasted advertising). In my head our garage sale was to look something like this: multiple tables with everything arranged according to category and priced ahead of time. The clothes displayed on an easily accessible clothing rack with perhaps a mannequin showcasing one of the more attractive outifts. Soft music playing in the background and a table with free coffee, and finally a nice little area with electronics and an extension cord so people can test out their items before buying. I’m sure you can all guess how those visions of sugar plums turned out. Here is an actual photo of what everything looked like:


Niiiiiice right? One day I’ll fulfill my garage sale dream. We did make enough to get the rest of the items for our bedroom though so hopefully we’ll be finishing that up soon. Pictures to come!

Posted by: Kara | August 8, 2009

He’s Home

Update on Kennedy:

After posting a few signs around the neighborhood and at the local gas station, I received a phone call from a lady who found Kennedy wandering on the road dodging cars like the little squirrel that he is. She took him home where he made acquaintances with her other 4 dogs (including 1 pit bull) and he is now safely reunited with his family much to the chagrin of my mother. Welcome home Ken-dog, Charlie just didn’t know what to do without you.

Snuggle Buddies 2

Posted by: Kara | August 8, 2009

Missing In Action

Some of you know about the love/hate relationship we have going on with one of our dogs, Kennedy. Well I’m sad to report that he has gone missing. He apparently got out of the backyard early this morning but we didn’t notice until around noon that he was gone. He doesn’t have his collar on so I guess I’m going to go put some signs out. I just hope he’s ok out there in this dreadful heat.

random noah pics 059

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, I miss the little booger.

Posted by: Kara | August 7, 2009

Another day, another dollah’


So today’s the day, the big 2-9, wowsa. It seems like just yesterday that I was playing “I’m Just a Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus on repeat in my room on the eve of my 20th birthday. I figured it was the last time that I could really sing that song with the angst of an actual teen’s emotion behind it. I remember thinking how 20 seemed oh so old and that I could at least rest in the fact that I was long away from 30. My how time flies. And my what a difference a decade makes. A husband, a house, two dogs, and two kids later let’s take a look at what’s out and what’s in, in the life of an aging generation “Y’er”:

out – low rise jeans

in – official mom jeans to hold in the pooch

out – watching MTV, VH1, or “E”

in – all PBS, all the time (Hip, hip, hooray, the Super Readers saved the daaaaay)

out – dinner and a movie date followed by romantic evening stroll

in – drive thru at Mickey D’s followed by an evening of lawn mowing

out – gym memberships

in – Jazzercise

out – talking about the latest book I’m reading

in – talking about the color of my baby’s last poopie diaper

out– sleeping in till noon

in – not sleeping ever

Life may look a little different now, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am immensely blessed and thankful for each day that God has given me. So here’s to my last year in the 20’s and hoping I make it count. And my big wish when I blew out my candles this year – a whole heck of a lot more of this:

kara toddler 3

Oh to be four again.

Posted by: Kara | August 6, 2009

Jumping off moving trains in foreign lands

I’ve experienced some rather interesting things during my 29 years on this planet and thought my blog would be a great forum to occasionally share some of those crazy tales. Today’s story happened 9 years ago somewhere near Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was on my very first mission trip with College Life through Denton Bible Church. We’d been doing work in the small town of Merlot but on this particular day had traveled to the big city of Buenos Aires to do some sight seeing. After checking out the scenes, we enjoyed some traditional Argentine cuisine (McDonald’s) and went to the massive train station so that we could catch a ride to the smaller town of City Bell. Here’s a shot of the crazy place:


Now the local Argentine missionary had warned us that these train stops happened very quickly. When they announced your stop, you needed to get up and get off the train. No problemo right? And so we’re all sitting there on our train, chatting and having a good time. The train makes a few stops and I guess within about an hour or two our leader announces, “Here’s our stop guys, let’s go!” I see my group in front of me stepping off the train one by one and I head to the door to follow. I’m carrying my trusty and over sized Jansport backpack that weighed about half of what I do, when I suddenly get the feeling that I left something behind on my seat. I quickly turn around and check under my seat but I apparently for once, actually had all my stuff. I go back towards the exit door when I realize that the train is moving, the doors are closing, and there is loud unintelligible Spanish being spoken over the loud speaker.

I start moving faster as images of me being stuck in some town hundreds of miles away from my team, with no idea how to use an Argentine telephone and Spanish speaking skills that could at best direct me to a bathroom, loom in my head. I make it to the doors which are now closing on top of me and have my backpack wedged in between them. I look off to the right at my fellow teammates standing there with their jaws dropped wondering what in the heck my plan is, now that I am completely stuck. And there I stood…wondering the same thing.

Moment of  truth, do I risk staying on the train and getting totally separated from my group or do I make a jump for it and risk getting trampled by a train? The answer seems pretty clear in hindsight but I was a young and naive little whipper snapper. I see the moving ground beneath my feet and the cement slab in front of me and decide to go for it. One, two, three – straight up James Bond style. I even had a nice roll maneuver. Aside from a little bruise and some soreness the next day I managed to escape unscathed. One of my group leaders, Jenn, later told me that as she stood there watching me make that jump, she was silently wondering how she was going to make the call to my parents to inform them their daughter had just jumped off a train and been run over. Clearly, we’re all glad no one had to make that phone call :).

And here’s a shot of a shaken, more solemn, and hopefully wiser Kara, with one my teammates Jimmy, after it’s all said and done:


Ahh, buenas epocas…

Posted by: Kara | August 5, 2009

Wheelin’ & Dealin’ Lesson #1

So yesterday as soon as Dave arrived home from work we more or less threw the children in the car, swung by the bank, and headed out to Flower Mound to pick up my sweet mirror (see yesterdays post). Now remember, I was already getting a deal at $125 since the mirror I was looking at online was $169 + tax + shipping, but I still wanted to try and see if the seller would take $100, after all this is Craigslist and rarely is the listing price the lowest they will go. So after we’d been driving 20 minutes down I-35, I realize the directions to the sellers house are still sitting on top of our computer desk at home. And so I rely on my trusty GPS system (that would be a quick phone call to little brother Dallas and his IPhone), and we finally pull in to the house.

Dave usually handles these kinds of transactions but he looked at me with a sparkle in his eye as if he were allowing a 14 year old their first drive behind the wheel, and said “Go for it honey, you got this one.” I felt like a little girl walking into her first day of Kindergarten, butterflies in my stomach and all. I’ve haggled before but I really wanted this mirror and knew that I would probably go up in the price if they asked, desperate I know. Ok, so here’s how it all went down:


Dogs barking…

Door opens.

Mirror lady – “Oh, hi you must be here about the mirror, which one were you wanting to see?”

Me – “Hi, yes I was coming to look at the round one.”

Mirror Lady – “Oh, ok, it’s right here. It’s really very nice and in great condition.”

Me – pretend to be doing a careful inspection of the mirror trying to make myself appear less than satisfied, “Hmm, would you be willing to take $100 for it?”

Mirror Lady – “Oh, I really can’t,  I’d go down to $120 though.”

Me – “okay.”

And so we take it out to the car, load it up and I announce to Dave my big $5 discount hoping I’ve made Daddy proud. After a quick pizza dinner and 30 minutes of Reagan shrieking non-stop, we arrive home. Dave unloads the mirror and brings it into the bedroom though I was too tired to have him hang it up. After a quick glance over of the mirror, Master Splinter Dave informs me, “Babe, next time you ask someone if they’ll take $100 for the mirror and they say no, go ahead and point out the $99 price tag they left on the back when they bought it brand new.”


Oy, vey. At least I still got it cheaper than the Z Gallerie one though right?!

Posted by: Kara | August 4, 2009

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…hopefully

So by now it should be obvious that I’m a bargain hunter and like to save money, but there are certain things that I don’t mind splurging on. For instance I’ve been stalking this Z Gallerie Devon mirror for weeks now, knowing that it would make the absolute perfect centerpiece on our bedroom wall between our new built in closets:


It’s $169 (plus loads of shipping if I order online) and tax and all that, so it would end up costing me well over $200. I’ve been calling the Z Gallerie stores in Dallas every week to see if they have it in stock (I’m pretty sure ‘ol Brian the manager lets out a disgruntled groan every time the annoying girl calls again about the mirror), but they have just not been getting any in. So I began innocently perusing Craigslist just to see if anything similar was out there. I really didn’t want to settle for something that I didn’t LOVE, but lookie what I happened to stumble upon:


It’s not exactly the same but it is pretty darn close and would definitely give me the look I’m going for, and it’s listed at $125! The seller posted it on the 31st of July and I just sent an inquiry to them today, so here is hoping it’s still available and will soon be mine. I’ll keep you posted and will most certainly post pics if it indeed ends up in my own bedroom. So even when you’re willing to splurge, there may still be a great deal out there just waiting to find you!


Just wanted to let everyone know that victory is mine. We picked up the mirror tonight and it will soon be hanging above my bed. Yaaay!

Posted by: Kara | August 3, 2009

Oops I Did it Again

Saturday morning as I forced myself out of bed after the sorriest excuse for a good night’s sleep from Noah’s all night escapades, I was desperate to get out of the house and regroup. For weeks now I’ve been wanting to make a trip to Walmart to return something and just walk up and down the aisles – it’s really sad when the unruliness of Walmart suddenly becomes a peaceful and relaxing get-a-way. Dave readily volunteered to watch the kiddos and sent me on my way. To my dismay our local Walmart was undergoing some major rennovations so it took me about 4 times as long to find simple items like baby food, but I managed. I called Dave after about an hour to make sure he was doing ok. I’ve ususally received a phone call from him by now that goes something like this, “The baby won’t stop crying, Noah just peed all over the dogs, and I’m starving, when are you coming home?” But surprisingly, he told me all was good on the home front and that I could take my time but to be sure to be back by noon so we could go meet up with his parents and sister for lunch. Wow, I thought, Dave’s really beginning to get a hold of this 2 kid parenting thing. Little did I know he was just trying to keep me far away so that I didn’t catch him in all of his scheming splendor.

So I mosey on home in my grungy green tinted t-shirt that I accidentally washed with some green sheets, b-ball shorts, hat and no makeup and we load up the kids to head to Kim’s. Noah excitedly knocks on the front door and my sweet mother in law is there to greet me with a big Happy Birthday sign overhead and presents below. “Oh you guys, that’s so sweet, I didn’t know we were celebrating my…” cue 16 other people suddenly emerging from hallway with a collective “Surprise, Happy Birthday!!!”  First thought, “Unbelievable, I’ve done it again, I’ve managed to come to my own surprise party looking like a complete hobo as cameras snap away and visions of fugly party pics mock me on facebook tags.” This happened just months ago at my surprise baby shower. Observe evidence A)

baby shower pic

Notice the ever so stylish gaucho pants, unkempt hair, and oh yeah, the Saturn sized baby bump.

May I present this Saturday’s evidence B):

surprise party

As you can see aforementioned t-shirt, hat hiding my oily hair, no makeup, etc. I promise I clean up well people.

Ok, ok, so aside from my initial vain concerns about my appearance the party was absolutely marvelous. My sweet hubby had apparently been going all double-07 on me the last 4 weeks arranging this little shindig and I wholeheartedly had NO CLUE or any kind of suspicion of a party. I think in part because once you reach Mommyhood and you daily operate on 3 hours of sleep, your own birthday becomes somewhat of an afterthought, so it was very touching that so many of my friends and family were there to shower me with their love :).

And one of the coolest parts of the whole thing were the special birthday videos that my husband arranged from my brother, and some friends of ours in Argentina, and China. Facebook friends you can view the fun there. So I just wanted to give a super big shout out and thank you to my wonderful family and friends and especially hubby who all went out of their way to make me feel so special. THAAAAAAAAAAANK YOU EVERYONE, I LOVE YOU!

And of course what party would be complete without a little spewage. My sweet Reagan didn’t have any gifts to offer so he decided to projectile vomit about a liter worth of who knows what all over my pretty little party outfit. Thanks sweetie- it’s the thought that counts.

kara mess 001

Yeah, we’re talking saturation there. That’s ok though, cause then I got to change into a differnt t-shirt and some sweet Umbro shorts circa 1991 thanks to my sis-in-law. Seriously Kim, it’s time for us to do some shopping together (says the girl in the stained green t-shirt).

Posted by: Kara | August 2, 2009

Off Your Rocker

I’ve always really wanted a cute porch swing out front to just sit and swing and relax but for some reason Dave has been hesitant (perhaps it’s because of our little monkey children that would no doubt find new uses for it other than gently swinging) so we compromised on a nice little double rocking chair.


Cute enough, but out in front of our white house it really blended in with everything. So we decided it needed some “sprucing” and went out looking for a bright, fun color. We settled on this beachy sea breeze blue from Vaslpar and now it stands out great from the rest of the house.


Yay, I love bright colors! It took about 2 & 1/2 coats and we used an outdoor semi-gloss finish. I’m purty pleased and have some of the blue paint left so I’m now on the hunt for something else to spruce.

Posted by: Kara | August 1, 2009

Excuses, excuses…

So my 6 month old finally decides to have a good night’s sleep, only waking twice, at 2:30 and 5:30 a.m. for a feeding (go Reagan, go Reagan, go-go, go Reagan) and what does my 2 & 1/2 year old decide to do? Wake up like every stinking 20 minutes ALL night long…grrrr. He didn’t even fall asleep until 10:30 (even though he’d been in his bed since 8:30) and around 11:15 p.m. the party began. “Mommy, I need to go pee-pee,” “Mommy, I need more ice” (he’s an ice snob like me and has trouble drinking a cup with just straight up water in it, but at 2 in the morning does it really matter dude?) “Mommy, I can’t find my bear,” and my favorite, “Mommy, whatch’a doin’?” At one point in the night he came in with one of his excuses and awoke me from a dream I was having about spanking him for not staying in his bed. In my dream though, I was so tired that I couldn’t even lift my hand to give him a little swat. So even my actual sleep was tainted with his constant waking. And now for the proof that he had a really bad night:

baby monitor

That would be Mr. Noah still sleeping in his bed at 8:50 a.m. He’s usually a 6 a.m. riser so if he’s still in bed now, you know Squirt’s got to be tired. And of course within seconds of writing that sentence he is now up and at ’em. In fact, I hear him in the background ordering my husband to “Take the baby away, take it to Momma…” Ahh, brotherly love. So I guess that’s my cue. Happy day everyone.

Posted by: Kara | July 31, 2009

Toothbrush in the Toilet

“How many times has this happened to you?” is the opening line of many a great infomercial. This is the question I hear in my head as I view my toothbrush floating aimlessly in the toilet, wondering how I could let this happen again and pondering what great invention could prevent this frequent mishap.


Alas the answer is simple and the invention has already been invented – the toothbrush holder. But nooooo, that would be way too easy and so I continue to tempt fate by dangerously placing Mr. Toothbrush on the shelf directly above the toilet. And there he sits, sweating it out, wondering if today will be his last as he gazes upon the unfriendly waters below. One day I will learn Mr. Toothbrush…one day.

Posted by: Kara | July 31, 2009

Cover Your Seat

I found this amazing bench at where else, the UNT Surplus store, a few weeks ago and fell in love. I was even more in love with the price tag at get this – $10!!! The bright orange color, though kind of cool and retro, was in some nasty condition so a cushion recovering was definitely in order.


I headed out to JoAnn’s Fabric and began browsing through all the fabrics and came across a gorgeous black and white lattice print that was in the “special order” department in the back. I took it up to the cashier to inquire about the shipping time and the price. She said I could take the small square swatch home for $5 and that if I wanted to place an order it could take up to 6 weeks. Hmmm, I thought, it’s really cute but do I want to wait that long? Then she told me, “oh, and the price is on the back.” That very special price was $45…a yard. Yikes, hello people, I only paid $10 for my bench, I wasn’t about to fork over $135 just for fabric! So my decision then became pretty easy. I put the swatch back and found an equally appealing black and white houndstooth fabric that was on sale for $7.99 a yard – much more manageable. Dave and I got to work on our first reupholstering project and were mighty pleased with the results. I had thought about painting the bench but we ended up really liking the natural looking finish on the wood so we stayed with it. Let us know what you think!


Posted by: Kara | July 30, 2009

The Lion, the Witch, and Our Homemade Wardrobe’s

I’m still running on about 3 hours of sleep per night here, due to Reagan’s penchant for frequent night-time nursing but we’re still managing to make progress on our current bedroom project. Albeit not without a little marital discord and child chastisement but sanctification is ongoing right? So our house was built in the 1950’s back when the ladies used to wear like 3 outfits and alternate a few aprons and long before the days of  closets the size of a McDonald’s restaurant. So with my plentiful wardrobe collection, and Dave’s massive sports collection, we’ve been falling pretty short on closet space since we moved in. My awesome “can build absolutely anything” Father-in-law did install these sweet closet doors for us from Home Depot in order to try and generate some more space:


But that whole closet is full of only my clothes. Dave’s clothes are living in Noah’s closet, Noah’s clothes are living in Reagan’s closet, and Reagan’s clothes are overflowing out of his dresser drawers. So you can imagine my utter enthusiasm when I stumbled upon Young House Love’s brilliant idea of built in wardrobes on either side of the bed to create extra storage. Behold their genius in full glory:


They bought some pretty sweet wardrobes from IKEA that cost about $400 buckaroos but we didn’t have that kind of cash to spend right now so we were planning on just building them ourselves, and by ourselves I of course mean with the help of aforementioned “can build absolutely anything” Father-in-law. So Dave began dumpster diving in all of the local home development construction sites collecting wood, but lo and behold the behemoth’s I happened upon while perusing the amazing UNT Surplus Store (a whole post will most certainly be devoted to that gem of a place in the near future).

wardrobe's before

I was told they once lived in the Chemistry building of UNT and here they are laying on their sides covering up our entire front room window. I felt like a vampire for a few weeks until we actually got them into the bedroom. These little, or rather massive, beauties cost us only a cool $30 each, and we knew with a little love and paint they would be perfect for our side bed wardrobes and would save my overworked Father-in-law some blood, sweat, and tears.

After many failed attempts of moving the mammoths into the bedroom, Dave finally had to bite the bullet and take them apart and reassemble them inside the bedroom. Here they are flanking the bed. Dave’s Dad didn’t escape this project completely as he did end up shaving a few inches off the bottom of them and put on a few coats of black paint for us. Thanks Pops!

wardrobes in bedroom before gray

And here is what I accomplished today, a fresh coat of gray paint on the interior so that Dave will actually be able to see his clothes in those caves.

wardrobes after gray

Next on the list is painting the shelves that go inside and getting Dave’s stuff in there. Then we’ll move on to buying and hanging the curtains to go in front of them and building the panel to make them look like built ins. So I will definitely keep you posted. Oh, we also have some sweet new bedding that will brighten up the joint but we’re waiting to get the wardrobes completely done before busting it out of the packaging. That’s all for today, so here’s hoping for maybe 4 to 6 hours of sleep tonight!

Posted by: Kara | July 28, 2009

Poor Man’s Potty Scotty

The potty training process has been a long and slow one with my 2 &1/2 year old son. He did great at the beginning but soon became deathly afraid of all things toilet related, and every mention of potty time ensued in a catastrophic melt down. He then defiantly began finding new and unique places to do his poopy business each day, like his blue toy box, our futon couch, and numerous offenses on the area rug. I was beginning to get down right angry, which certainly wasn’t helping the situation. So with one last attempt at success, I decided to try one more strategy I had read about: Potty Scotty.


Yes, it’s the doll that does it all, and supposedly teaches your little one how to potty. I looked him up online and was abhorred by the $50 price tag. I knew my frugal hubby would NEVER go for a $50 defecating doll, especially for his boy, so I had to get a little resourceful. Meet my very first Cabbage Patch Doll Ainsley Dale:

Cabbage Patch

With a little duct tape, an empty Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo bottle, and water dyed with yellow food coloring, Ainsley miraculously transformed into…


Poor Man’s Potty Scotty!! If you’re wondering about how we got this little doll to do his #2’s the answer is simple, melted hershey’s kisses slyly dropped into the potty by Mommy while holding Scotty above the toilet. I began taking “Scotty” to the potty every hour on Friday and going crazy with praise every time he pottied. I gave him a sticker on his chart and he even got M&M’s! Noah was looking at me as if he had finally pushed me over the edge and I had completely lost my mind but in due time the competitive Brown nature came out in him and he was ready to outdo Scotty on the sticker chart. This may all seem a little ridiculous but may I proudly present Noah’s sticker chart since incorporating this technique that I had so easily brushed aside before:


Taa-Daa!!! He’s doing so good and it has been SUCH a relief to not have to clean up his messes throughout the house all day. So thank you to my 24 year old Cabbage Doll for helping my son to meet such an important toddler milestone!!

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