Monday, January 30, 2012

MIA Monday

Holy Toledo, have I been MIA or what? Sure as heck have, and I apologize.  I wish I had some great, flashy excuse...that I was visiting a sandy beach, or was finishing up my thesis and couldn't tear myself away...nope, the truth is, I started swallowing daggers (got a sore throat) last Tuesday night and lost all motivation to do anything other than swallow without bursting into tears. 

I finally saw a Doc at an Urgent Care place here yesterday morning and sure enough, this lady has Strep Throat.  Is it beyond me why on God's Green Earth Adults can get such a dreadful bacteria, but at the same time, I find myself wishing I could take the pain away from my girls when they are sick, so maybe I caught this one so they could skate by Strep-Free...even if that isn't the case, I am going to choose to think about it that way, that this beyond obnoxious sore throat I have been suffering from wasn't for not, it was because I stripped the germs away from my beauties and took one for the team.

And of course, I had to get sick last week in the midst of a 60+ hour work week (no more on that later, I don't want to get into it, lets just say, while exciting and full of challenges, this new job is filled with long hours).  We also had company for the weekend, our good friend Rob and his 2 year old son Braeden.  It was great to spend time with them, but I felt like a dud all weekend.

So I don't have a great recipe to share with you, because I haven't whipped anything up in ages.  We had Chinese on Friday Night and Pizza Saturday Night and I have been avoiding food, outside of the Ice Cream Brad brought me last night and leftover Pork Fried Rice...I plan to get back on the meal making wagon STAT.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Home Tour Tuesday on Thursday: Girls Bathroom


As you come up the stairs, you make a right and head straight down the hall and you enter the girls bathroom. It sure is bright in there, isn't it? I purposely chose a wall color that was gender neutral just in case we ended up having a third that didn't share the same "southern parts" as the first two...I figured all the accents were no regret decisions, but I wanted to keep the paint gender neutral.  I can't say that I am madly in love with it, but for now it does the trick.  I think as they grow I will tone it down a bit, but its bright and cheery and sometimes during bath time I need a little warm and sunny to keep my patience in check.


The room was done in the Fall of 2009, so I guess we will leave it as is for a little while longer (I don't really have a choice - Brad would NEVER agree to changing it, he seems to think paint is one of those things you do and never look back on - boy oh boy is he in for a rude awakening, I am itching to paint several areas of our home). 


Even if we don't end up changing this rooms color palate around for a few more years I do plan to frame in the mirror over the sinks. Right now it is still the large, plain contractor mirror and I have seen a lot of tutorials online that give me inspiration on how to frame it up and make it look all snazzy. I can't wait. That shouldn't be too difficult and should be pretty affordable, so maybe that will even make it on the Spring Project List (wait, I need to make one of those!)


The little hook/photo thing is a bit too low now, but it was perfect for their baby towels, the challenge is, moving it up requires a significant patch job, because it is basically bolted into the wall. Not sure why they make the hanging contraptions so difficult for something so simple, I guess they need to be prepared for you to hang your 35lb child from it and it needs to be secure enough to hold it (kidding of course)

Next Up for the Home Tour is likely the Guest Bedroom...Stay Tuned.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Monday: Mocha Truffle Cake


I snagged this recipe from the February 2012 All You Magazine and it looks fan-tas-tic, and I can't wait to whip it up. My plan is to make it the weekend before Valentine's Day.  Brad and I are going to attempt to kick the sweets, so the cabinets are going to be sweet free, so this will be a deliberate sweet cheat, and I am already drooling thinking about it.

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


  • Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment. Butter parchment.

    2. Combine chocolate, sugar and espresso powder in bowl of a food processor. Process until chocolate is finely ground, about 30 seconds. With blades in motion, pour in 3/4 cup boiling water. Process until chocolate has melted, about 20 seconds. Add butter, eggs and vanilla. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix into a thin batter.

    3. Pour batter into springform

    4. Place cake on a serving plate and let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Just before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over cake. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
     
    You can find the recipe here at MyRecipes.com

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Gooooo Toommmmm Brrrraaaaddddyyy

    Isn't he just fantastic?



    I am thrilled the Pats pulled it out this evening, but I am not going to lie, I was a nervous wreck, I wasn't sure they were going to pull it out, it feels wrong to admit that, but Brian and I were on the edge of our seats, actually that isn't true, he was standing up! Come on folks, I grew up in New England, I am a NE Sports Fan through and through...Go Pats, Go Sox, Go Bruins, Go Celts - Make us proud!!!

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Five on Friday: Things I miss when I eat well

    I started eating better again on January 2nd, with the rest of the free world, and I don't immediately feel better, in fact I end up just feeling bad for myself and missing the things that I have set out to not eat...but I know the feeling better piece is just around the corner, I need to stick with it...but until then, I thought I would share the top 5 things that I am missing right now...

    1) Doritos - I couldn't love them more. I would marry them if I could. Nacho or Cool Ranch, doesn't matter to me, love them both, could eat them night or day, and by the truck full. 


    2) Mexican Food - I could eat it day or night, I could eat it 7 days a week, I could eat a taco, an enchilada or a burrito, and of course I could eat my weight in chips & salsa and don't forget about the Guac.


    3) Cheese & Crackers - and mass quantities of it. Big blocks of sharp cheddar paired with oodles of wheat thins...I could eat cheese and crackers for dinner, I love it that much.


    4) Pizza - this is a family favorite and we were eating it probably once a week, maybe not quite that often, but the Turner family loves them some pizza. If given the choice I would sit down and eat a NY Style with Pepperoni and Mushroom and life would be good.


    5) Ice Cream - this quite possibly is my favorite food. I eat it all year round, but during the summer months when Brad is traveling sometimes it is dinner for the girls and I. I love all flavors, soft serve too. And the Peanut Butter sauce from Friendly's is to die for!!

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Olivia at 4.5 Years Old


    Here is our beauty - all 4.5 years of her...and how about you settle in and get to know who she is now in this moment for just a second.

    I stole this idea from Pinterest and then my friend Rachel reminded me of it when she did it for her son's 3rd Birthday (which btw, his answers were hilarious), so I thought I would conduct this interview with both beauties on both their half birthdays and their full birthdays, so here you have Olivia's answers at 4.5 years old.

    1. What is your favorite color? Orange

    2. What is your favorite toy? Baby Dolls

    3. What is your favorite fruit? Peaches

    4. What is your favorite tv show? Jake & the Neverland Pirates

    5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Bologna Sandwich

    6. What is your favorite outfit? A dress

    7. What is your favorite game? Bingo

    8. What is your favorite snack? Peanut Butter Crackers

    9. What is your favorite animal? My Heart Doggy (Stuffed) - Elephant & Zebra (real ones that move around in a zoo)

    10. What is your favorite song? "I don't have a favorite song"

    11. What is your favorite book? "I don't have a favorite book"

    12. Who is your best friend? Johanna

    13. What is your favorite cereal? "Snow Flakes" aka Frosted Flakes

    14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swing

    15. What is your favorite drink? Water & Apple Juice

    16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas & Halloween

    17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Books to look at

    18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes

    19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Mexican

    20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor & a teacher "I can be both"

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Almost 5...

    When you ask Olivia how old she is, sometimes you get "Almost Five" or sometimes we say "Four and a half", but either way you slice it, this beauty of ours is growing up.  Today we celebrated her half birthday and we are doing it in style, style chosen by the queen Olivia herself. I made some cupcakes and we dined at Don Pepe...her favorite.

    Shame on me for not getting a single photo of her today - bad Mommy!

    Home Tour Tuesday: Hallway Edition

    I don't suspect this one is going to knock any ones socks off and frankly the photo quality is abysmal, I don't have an ounce of natural lighting since I am snapping these photos at 8:30pm, so bare with me.  I wanted to wrap up the first floor so that next week we could head upstairs, so this is a look into our hallways and foyer area.

    Foyer Area 2005 - quite possibly the day we moved in, notice the box on the bottom right  

    Going up the stairs - July 2005
    We haven't made any radical changes to the hallways outside of adding some paint to the walls, which at this moment in time I would love to change, but of course since it was just completed about 2 years ago I can't imagine it will be changing anytime soon, especially since it is an open 2 story foyer, so it isn't a job we can tackle on our own.


    This is the view when you walk in the front door of our house.  The bench houses the girls shoes, they each have their own basket and for the most part their shoes stay in their baskets, and then of course I dump my work bag and purse on or near the bench as well.


    If I come in the front door and swing into the home office and look out into the foyer this is what I see. The same piece of furniture, the same coat rack, just about everything is the same, outside of the fact that my Grandmother's Christmas Cactus is now taking up residence on the sideboard table, it looks about the same.  The wreath is a holiday decoration that needs to come down, most of the year that mirror is empty.


    Here is a view from the bench area, this gives you a look into the "nook" area and shows you the size of the wall.  I would love to add some bead board or board and batten on that wall and brighten it up a bit - it needs something. The little toy bucket of Riley's is look pretty pathetic right there, but just wait for a close up one of these days, it was a super quick (and cute) Silhouette project. 


    Boring view of the landing as we go up the stairs...nothing too exiting is going to happen on this set of stairs or landing in the medium term, but I would love to pull up the carpet and finish the stairs, paint the banister white and freshen it all up just a bit, but I would have nightmares about the girls slipping down the stairs in their socks if they were wood, so until those nightmares lessen, the stairs will be staying just the way they are. 

    And instead of going upstairs, you make your way towards the garage and the half bath you will find this hallway, with a small little welcome center, where the girls hang up their coats and we hang our keys. And don't forget the Dora Umbrella, that thing has been hanging there since the day Olivia got it, I don't know why I don't put it in the coat closet. (Which will be a post soon since I have a small project planned for it).

    And this is the view if you are coming in the door from the garage - notice Riley's little tush made the photo. He was glued to me tonight, our little Velcro pooch. Adding board and batten in this hallway is a priority for 2012, it was on my 2011 list, but didn't happen, so it WILL happen this year. At a minimum we will be moving the girls hooks up and adding at least a piece of molding, taking down the "welcome center" and adding some white to this area, it is too dark for my liking, and the little memo board will likely be sprayed a pleasant shade of white.  If we do the board & batten high enough, I might tackle painting this area on my own to brighten it up a bit, I am over this dark putty color, too bad it is EVERYWHERE in our house. 

    If you have any suggestions on how to brighten up the sideboard area or the hallways, please, let the ideas flow, I would love to hear all about them.  And I can imagine you now have an extra pair of socks on, because this post had the opposite affect of knocking them off, it was so boring you had time to read this and put another pair on - goodness gracious. Next week's Home Tour Tuesday Post will be a tad more interesting, but not much, as it will likely be our Guest Bedroom.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Welcome to The World Baby Joshua

    Jeni Dwyer Creative
    My dear friend Lisa and her amazing husband Dan, along with her adorable son Owen, welcomed Baby Joshua Graham to the world today, 3 weeks early, weighing in at 9lbs 4oz. 

    Jeni Dwyer Creative
    You might recall that Owen has another baby brother too, Elliott, but he was born sleeping in November 2010, so now Owen is blessed with two brothers, one here to be his constant playmate, and one in heaven to watch over them.

    Jeni Dwyer Creative
    My gal pal Jeni was fortunate enough to fly out to Seattle over the weekend, spend a few days with Lisa & Family and was there to photograph and witness Joshua's Birth, talk about an amazing experience.  Heck, I thought meeting Lisa in December of 2010 was life changing, but watching her bring a baby into this world probably tops the charts.

    Jeni Dwyer Creative
    To steal a word from my girl Sarina, I am elated for Lisa and her Mudgett Men.  She is now the lady of the house (she always has been, but you know what I mean), and I know that those boys are going to steal her heart over and over again. She is a fantastic mother to Owen and I just know that Joshua was made just for her heart, to help her heal, his precious little face has some miraculous healing powers and I am just looking at photographs from 3,000 miles away. I can't imagine the powers he has when you smell his skin and those tiny little hands grip your finger. 

    Jeni Dwyer Creative
    I was on pins and needles all day, waiting for the news that the lungs were ready and it was time to meet this sweet baby. The gender was a surprise and while that is generally enough to keep me glued to my phone in this case I could have cared less, I just wanted the news that he/she was here and he/she was screaming their little lungs out, and by the looks of that first breath catching photograph above, it was a perfect moment.

    Jeni Dwyer Creative

    And how about a standing ovation for Jeni, she captured the moments of the day just perfectly. There are tons of other photos that make my heart soar, I could look at them all night long.  I was joking with Jeni and Brad that her skills might be reason enough to have another baby...it just wouldn't be fair to keep her talents from the world, its is my duty to help her show them off...right? I don't think Brad bought it, but it was worth a try.

    All is right with the world...and welcome to it, Joshua Graham.

    Menu Monday: Shortcut Garlic Bread

    So today I thought I would share another menu shortcut favorite of mine. This one is straight from my Mom's kitchen. I can remember growing up, flying down to Florida to visit my cousins (3 boys) and they would beg my Mom to make her famous Garlic Bread, and you bet your bottom dollar I didn't protest, I loved it! It wasn't until I grew up a bit did I realize just how easy this hot, buttery, goodness was to prepare. My Mom should have thrown flour on her face and huffed and puffed as she prepared this to get some extra credit for just how amazing this Garlic Bread recipe really is.



    Ingredients: 
    1 Packet Good Seasoning Dressing Mix
    1 Stick Butter or Margarine
    Bread of your choice (Sometimes Crusty French/Italian,  and sometimes a package of English Muffins)

    What you do: 
    1) Prepare to have your world rocked by the best darn garlic bread your taste buds have come into contact with.

    2) Soften Butter - but really that means just leave it out on the counter for a few hours, do NOT melt it in the microwave, you don't want a puddle of butter, you want the consistency of the soft spreadable butter than comes in the tubs

    3) Pour Seasoning Packet over butter in an air tight (can be stored in the fridge type bowl), and mix together really well until its a seasoning-buttery spread

    4) Use a knife to spread the "butter" over English Muffins or on a loaf of fresh bread (French or Italian).  If using English Muffins, broil them. If using a loaf of bread, wrap in tin foil and place in the oven on 350 for 20 minutes or so, basically until the butter is nice and melted and the bread is crusty and warm.

    5) Enjoy and don't give a second thought to the fact that you used an entire stick of butter...

    This really is one of my favorites, and I happen to have another favorite Garlic Bubble Loaf I just might share with you in one of the upcoming weeks...I have a thing for Garlic Bread...I would marry it if I could. And I have to admit, I think using the English Muffins is PURE GENIUS. The butter just fills up those precious nooks & crannies, it is full stick of butter good!

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Adults Only...for a Night

    Brad and I dropped the girls with my Parents on Saturday Morning and jumped on 64 East to meet up with our dear friends for a night oceanfront in Virginia Beach.  We arrived just in time to join the crew for lunch at Waterman's, where I enjoyed my very first Ruby Red Crush (they are famous for their Orange Crush drink) 

    I dined on some rather delicious She Crap Soup and Brad devoured a Crab Cake Sandwich, I love me some seafood!!! The rest of the crew also enjoyed their meals, heck, we were a party of 6, and did I mention all 6 of us were adults? What isn't to love about that? I could have been eating cardboard and it would have been heavenly.

    The girls and I spent the afternoon being pampered at the Founders Inn & Spa...while the boys bar hopped like frat boys.


    Needless to say, the girls and I enjoyed a relaxing dinner at Mahi Mah's and then met up with the boys for a quick drink at Catch 31, which is a snazzy little spot located Oceanfront in the Hilton, which I believe happens to be the nicest accommodations in Virginia Beach. I have never been a huge fan of Virginia Beach, (I am an Outer Banks girl) but having the ocean 2 hours away is pretty great, we hope to make a few day trips with the girls this summer, or even grab a room for a night.

    It was nice to have a break, but I missed the girls terribly...of course when we arrived at my Parents house to pick them up, they wanted nothing to do with us and were asking to eat and take their naps at my Parents house - clearly they didn't miss us the way we missed them....on one hand it makes me sad, but at the end of the day it makes me feel pretty darn good that they have such a good time with my Parents. (Thanks Mom & Dad).

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Five on Friday: Favorite Movies

    I thought I would kick of 2012 with a light topic like movies, but of course, just when I think it will be light, I realize that some of my favorite movies aren't so light, but don't fool yourself, some are VERY light...beyond light, actually....



    1) Shawshank Redemption -  can you believe this movie was released in 1994? Talk about making me feel old? Good Grief! This movie just frosts the cake for me, I love it, everything about it, and its hard to put into words what I love about it, but trust me, its THAT good. And according to IMDB it is #1, which surprises me since I usually like all the movies that the critics hate...



    2) Cinderella Man - I have only seen this movie once, and I saw it on a plane to Vegas so take my review with a grain of salt, but from what I remember I fell madly in love with this movie, I was cheering out loud and making a complete fool of myself on the plain and I was sobbing like sometime had just told me my dog died (like in Marley in Me...holy smokes, total tearjerker). I think what really locked this one for me was how committed Russell Crow was to being a father, he gave the shirt off his back and the last bite on his plate to his starving children...maybe I should watch this one again, but from what I remember, I loved it.



    3) 13 Going On 30....changing gears just a bit, this one isn't winning any awards but I just love it, I don't know why, and people expect me to be embarrassed by how awful this movie is, but honestly I have no shame in my game, I just love it. I wish I could learn the thriller dance just like Jennifer Garner's character....in fact, maybe that should go on my February Goal list....not a bad idea...



    4) The American President - again, hard to put into words, but I just love it, I love all the witty lines that Michael Douglas delivers, and I love to imagine that our Presidents are really as down to Earth as he is. I love it when she storms into the White House bedroom and slams all the drawers looking for the sweater she left there...can you imagine doing the walk of shame from The White House...holy smokes.



    5) Sweet Home Alabama - couldn't love it more. I even love her rental car choice when she goes back to her hometown, and some of the quotes, like "You can't ride two horses with one ass, sugarbean". I love romantic comedies, I can't get enough of them, and I love happy endings, in fact my blood starts to boil when they don't end in happy endings..."You're the first boy I ever kissed Jake, and I want you to be the last" - how precious is that? If you are a romantic, this movie is for you, how could it NOT be? And there is a bloodhound in this movie, I love bloodhounds, and Patrick Dempsey is McDreamy...DUH.



    And I should note that The Help is up there, but I have only seen it once (I know, I know, I have only seen Cinderella Man once as well, but it left a huge impression)...I can imagine The Help once I see it again will break into the top 5...I mean how can you not love a movie that quotes "You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important"...tears just thinking about it.

    Next Friday: 5 Things I miss while trying to eat healthy...

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Two Of Three...


    Two of my loves...

    I miss the Thankful Thursday posts, and while I don't want to over-theme my week by having something set out to do every single day, I do want to make sure that I reflect during the week on what I am thankful for, so that I can look back and remember that I did take a pause every now and then to remember why I am here and why I am thankful to be here.

    Here are some random happenings from our life, that remind me that, the moments when I sit down to reflect on what I want to share, it ends up being the sweet, funny moments I generally want to push out to the world, so you can share in my joy, or laugh with me, however at times, you bet your bottom dollar it is also therapeutic to share the chaos that is our lives, and lets be honest, most of the time I am laughing about that too, humor is a good thing to keep around. 

    Olivia is growing up, the girl's vocabulary is out of this world, she amazes me every single day with the things that come out of her mouth, I can imagine I am in for a wild ride when this beauty hits the teen years. While not quite as entertaining without her mannerisms and inflection I thought I would share with you one of her recent remarks...

    Setting: Kitchen & Riley has just passed gas...
    Olivia: "Oh for the love of God, what is that horrible smell? Oh barnacles! It must be stinky Riley"

    I love Olivia's hand on Avery's shoulder...
     Avery is Avery... she is our spunky little girl, full of energy, passion and convictions, we never know what we are going to get with Avery, but lately she has started to pick up some new strategic skills, the most recent being: manipulation flattery.

    Setting: Kitchen & she wants some candy
    Avery: "Mommy, me want some candy"
    Me: "Avery, it isn't time to have candy, I am making dinner honey"
    Avery: "Mommy me love you, now me have some candy?"
    Me: "I love you too, and no, it isn't time for candy honey"
    Avery: "Mommy, you the best Mommy EVER, candy time, me have some?"

    She learned from the best - Olivia loves to use the "You are the best Mommy ever" or "Mommy I love your shirt" just before she is going to ask for something she fears I might turn down.

    It is easy for me, too easy, I am ashamed to admit, to get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle, whether it be of the holidays, or just the daily routine, which around here tends to be a little hectic, I need nights like last night to remind me what types of memories I hope the girls share with their little ones someday. We usually give the girls a bath every single night, we usually skip Friday nights, but during the week they get baths every single night, but last night Brad and I were freezing and Olivia suggested that to get warm we all snuggle, so I took her idea and ran with it, made the executive decision to skip baths, we all quickly got in our PJ's and by 6:50pm we were all snuggled in our bed watching TV together. I love nights like that, it energizes me as a parent to throw routine out the window, live for the moment and just hang out with the girls, I need to do it more often (then the control freak in me, might have a coronary, but we can give it a shot, we can ease our way into more spontaneous family time). So tonight I am thankful that last night we threw caution to the wind, skipped baths and just snuggled as a family...

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Wordy Wednesday: Strong

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Home Tour Tuesday: Morning Room

    Morning Room July 2005 - just after we moved in, great photo isn't it?
    This room was a huge selling point for us when we walked the model home prior to singing our contract. We just loved it. We loved how versatile the room is...a perfect spot to read the paper and sip coffee (if you drink coffee), the perfect spot to banish your children and their toys to, the perfect home for your pet's home away from home,  the perfect spot for your family meals...the list goes on and on. I just love it.But mercy me, the lighting is simply awful.  We have the same model home as Brian & Molly (neighbors & pals) and yet, they have recessed lights in the Morning Room, and we do not - how unfair is that?
    Morning Room - December 2005 (that crate is about half the size of his current crate)


    This room has been through many changes in the 6 years we have lived in this house.  It started as the room that housed Riley's crate and our cafe table, that was basically only used when we entertained. Brad and I never sat there.  I ended up selling that table on Craig's List when Olivia was born and we moved to a normal height table, simply because I was terrified that the girls needed to be closer to the ground should they fall out of their chair...logical right?

    January 2010, look at Avery...she is almost 1 in this photo.
    This is also our second shade of red...and it is on its way out.  I am over the red. The first shade looked like a tomato, I hated it. It was Brad's idea, he thought the current red was too dark on the paint chip color thingy, but after just a few weeks of the tomato red, we were calling our trusty painter back to darken it up a bit. And now, we are calling him to lighten it up a TON...final color is still TBD, but I want to lighten it up BIG TIME.

    January 2010
    January 2010


    And just for fun, here is Brad & Avery in the Morning Room - January 2010
    And of course, now we have the girls toys, and Riley's crate has been banished to the Home Office...and I just removed the rug a few weeks ago, I really like the bare floor look in here, but not sure if that is the smartest move for the floors, we shall see, either way, it would be a light rug, if I added one back at all. And sorry to say it, but not a sisal one, it is nearly impossible to vacuum up couscous from that genre of rugs - nightmare.

    Current - view from the Family Room Opening...
     I have high hopes for this room, some will become a reality in a few short months and others likely are 2013+. First order of business will be add some more light to the space, by way of two swag lights near the girls table.  Second, move the newly refinished armoire into its spot.  Third, pick a paint color and kick that red to the curb.  Fourth, refinish the table, likely a shade of white/gray, do something about the black cabinet in the corner, either refinish or move it out of the space, and lastly finish the new Ikea Rast Dresser. And of course, when all of those big things are done, then I will work on the decor.

    View from French Doors that lead out to the deck
     And notice the table needs some love, its already started to show some wear & tear...


    The kitchen has been moved around several times, and it doesn't fit all that well on this wall, but I like that it fits snug, and doesn't swim on the other wall.  If we end up using Bedroom #4 as a joint playroom/study room for the girls down in a year or so I can imagine if they are still playing with this then it will find itself relocated to the playroom.


    This is a view from the girls table area, the armoire is going to go where the blue mirror is currently hung, not sure if the mirror will be able to stay around or not, we haven't measured, but we are certain the cheapo black drawer storage thingy will have to hit the road. I have already emptied it out and it is just waiting to be relocated.  The sad wine fridge in the left corner sounds like its on its last leg, so I guess we have some wine to drink.


    New Ikea shelves and dresser are now in place, we just need to pick a color and finish the dresser and use some organizational techniques to freshen up the shelves.


    This black cabinet from Crate and Barrell circa 2005, is oh so very functional, it holds a ton of the girls books, art supplies and puzzles right now and I can't imagine not having it around, but since the room is going through a de-black-a-fying phase, I am not sure what we will do with it, likely refinish it if it turns out we need the storage, and we likely will.


    And toy overload. I do love that the kitchen holds a ton of stuff, and those baskets are full of random toys, actually the non-canvas one is full of baby dolls and baby doll clothes, ideally those will go in the dresser, we haven't actually started using the dresser for storage just yet, other than 2 puzzles, that happen to take up an entire drawer (probably not smart), so that basket might not end up looking quite so scary after I put the dresser to use.

    I hope you too can see that this room has a ton of potential, but that I am far from reaching it or I should say, this room is far from its end state, but for now it works and it is helpful to have the girls toys out of our main living areas. What would ya'll do about window treatments? I have been stumped about how to handle these windows since we moved in...the blinds just look so cold, but I can't quite figure out what I would do...any suggestions?