Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf On a Shelf, Don't You Understand I'm Busy Enough?!

After I put the three little ones to bed, I was beginning to unwind by scrolling mindlessly through facebook, when I noticed Kalista standing behind me.  I turned to see her sweet face, and I noticed her little chin was trembling.  She quickly blurted out, "Can we get an elf?"  A little confused I asked her what she meant by that.  She took a deep breath as to hold back her tears and said, "you can buy a little elf at the store, and he is real, and will move around and do fun things at night while you are sleeping."  Aaaaaahhhh one of those I thought.  My impressionable little girl has somehow come to know the ever popular and somewhat annoying fad of Elf On a Shelf.

Then all at once she gazed up at the ceiling as tears started rolling down her cheeks.  I pulled my girl in to my arms and asked her to tell me what was the matter and what this little elf had to do with it.  Apparently, her group of friends at school assemble every morning and trade stories about what their little elf did through the night.  It usually involves finding them on toilets, or baking cookies, or making messes, and many other elaborate mischievous elf scenarios.  What broke her almost eight year old heart was that, in her words, she had nothing to add.  No fun stories.  No elves visiting our house.  Nothing.  The feeling of being left out of fun conversations and forgotten by a little elf was too much pain for her tender heart to handle. I held her as her tears flowed while I contemplated what I could say that would ease her sadness.

{Kalista at 3 years old}

I thought I might get away from having to give in to this demanding production of thinking of new activities for a little doll to get into trouble every night.  Didn't I have enough to worry about already?  I mean, Christmas is only a few weeks away and between getting all their gifts bought and wrapped, Christmas parties, putting a tree up, decorating inside and outside, going to see the lights, holiday baking, and many of the other wonderful yet time consuming things that go along with this time of year, I'm not sure how much more I can take.  Now, little elf, you are telling me now I have to add coming up with unique activities for you to do nightly on my never ending list of things that need to get done?!  Don't you understand that I have a hard enough time just keeping up with my laundry and reminding my kids to brush their teeth?  Let alone the already long to-do list that goes with this wonderful time of the year.

I'm really not a Grinch or a Scrooge either; I actually love Christmas.  I love to make special memories with my family, and to see my kids' imaginations broaden with all the wonderment of a magical Santa.  But I didn't want to expand the Christmas season to include this little bothersome elf.

So in-between sobs, she asked if we could please get an elf.  The thing with Kalista you have to know, is that she doesn't want or ask for much.  Her Christmas list this year consists of 7 things total.  They were all very reasonable things too!  Like, skinny jeans, a math book, duct tape, and a Monster High Doll.  She has saved her birthday money for the last 3 years.  She also rarely asks for things in the store.  So the desperation of wanting the joy and fun that comes with this mischievous little elf was genuine for her, and not just for theatrics.  So after a short pause, and annoyed as I am with this little elf, I responded with, "I'll see what I can do."  That seemed to do the trick.  Her waterworks ceased, she wrapped her arms around my neck, looked up at me with her tear filled eyes and exclaimed, "thank you Mom!"  Then she crawled out of my lap and wandered back to bed.

Uh oh, what did I get myself in to?? And how much do those stupid elves cost again?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Few of My Faves

So I know I haven't posted much beauty related here on the blog, but I thought it might be fun to let everyone know a few of my current favorite beauty items.  I have been interested in makeup for as early as I can remember.  I have been doing friends and family's makeup for special events like dances, pictures, and even weddings for years.  I even thought I wanted to go to Cosmetology school for a while.  But where my real passion is makeup, I didn't care to mess with hair cuts, colors, perms, and nails.  If I could ever afford it to stock up on a decent makeup kit, I would do freelance makeup artistry.  But for now, I just do it for fun.

The first couple of my faves, is from Tarte Cosmetics-

Amazonian clay full coverage
airbrush foundation

Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation -

I'm seriously in love with this stuff.  It goes on so smooth, and does really well with my sensitive skin.  Since it is a full coverage foundation, it covers my blemishes really well without being too cakey.  It is also very fine that it almost feels creamy going on.  The price tag is a bit steep considering I'm used to buying drug store makeup, but the quality is so much better than the L'Oreal mineral foundation I have been using for years. I also think it will last much longer because I don't have to use as much. My only wish is that the airbuki bamboo powder foundation makeup brush that is supposed to go with it wouldn't be so expensive.  After spending almost $40 on foundation, spending another $26 on the brush is way too steep for me.

Next is the-

Amazonian clay finishing powder

smooth operator™ micronized clay finishing powder with PM20™

I got a sample of this when I purchased the Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation.  I wasn't too excited about it, and waited a few weeks of having it before I even tried it.  I'm only glad I waited that long because it means it will last me that much longer before I have to buy more!  This stuff is am-a-zing.  It goes over your makeup and holds it in place so that your foundation lasts all day.  My favorite part about it is putting it over your under eye concealer instead of a regular pressed powder.  It doesn't crease, and all fine lines are blurred, and concealer stays in place all day.  I also got a BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer as a sample and am really loving that as well to put under the Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation.  This is my first experience with Tarte Cosmetics, and I'm really impressed with their products.  I just wish my budget would allow to try some more.

The next couple of my favorites are much more wallet friendly.  First there is the e.l.f. Essentials Eyelid Primer-

This was SUPER reasonable at only $1.25 at my local grocery store.  But don't let the price tag fool you.  This product does everything you would expect an eye shadow primer to do.  After using this, and wearing it all day, my eye shadow stays in place and doesn't crease at all.  I would highly recommend this product especially to people with combination to oily skin.

I also am loving the e.l.f. Essential Waterproof Eyeliner pen right now. 
 eyeliner, eye liner, eye makeup, makeup pen, eye pen, eyeliner pen
It was the same price as eyelid primer, and it is a great pigmented eyeliner.  I really like the way it feels like a fine-tip marker which makes application much easier for those who have a hard time with liquid eyeliner. The only issue is that it is not what I would consider waterproof.  Maybe only smudge proof.

My last two favorites are products from Sally's Beauty Supply. The first is Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist-

A product thumbnail of Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist 5 oz.

I have really long hair that I rarely trim which makes it easy to get split ends.  But the last 5 months I have been using this product every time after I wash my hair and I have seen a good difference in the amount of breakage I experience.  For anyone that is trying to grow their hair out and wants to avoid damaged ends, this is a great product.  Plus, it smells so yummy and costs under $14!

Last but not least is the Sally's Brand Meta Grip Premium Bobby Pins-

A product thumbnail of Premium Bob Pins
The price tag on these are $8 for 300.  They are seriously the best bobby pins ever.  You will never going back to using any other brand after trying these.  They never slip out, rust, get stretched apart, and they don't have the rubber ends that can be pulled off.  Everything that you don't like about bobby pins is solved with these.  I have had the same ones for over 2 years now, and they are exactly the same as when I bought them.

Well, there is a round-up of some of my favorite beauty products!  I would love to hear of any products you guys would recommend.  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rash Update and Randomness

So, I am a terrible blogger.  I mean, I haven't posted in FOREVER.  This is even the case after I said I would post more often.  What the heck is wrong with me?? haha  Hope you can forgive me ;)

Anyways, I thought I would revisit Kason's crazy rash he got this time last year, and give an update.  It all started  in this post when he looked like this-

We were finally able to get it calmed down after numerous doctor visits, medications, creams, and then finally referred to a dermatologist.  The dermatologist was just as confused by this weird rash though, that after a scraping and ultimately a biopsy on his inner thigh (where the rash was also present), there was still no clear diagnosis.  I'm still a bit traumatized to be honest by watching the doctor cut a chunk out of my baby's rolly thigh with a little circle razor-sharp cookie-cutter.  Lots of stuff was ruled out, but there was nothing that you could pin point what exactly his ailment was.  His face, up into his eyes was covered in this rash that made his skin red and raw.  It was also covering his whole diaper area and down his thighs.  Then it showed up on his just-learned-to-crawl knees.  I was told it just must be an irregular presentation of Eczema.  We tried a few more creams and after a nightmare three months it cleared up.

The rash was gone for a few months after that until some little tiny bumps and redness started showing up around Kason's mouth around Valentine's Day.  They weren't too bad at first.  They would even come and go.  But before long, his face started looking like this-

I tried using the stuff prescribed for him earlier, but it was all to no avail.  It seemed no matter what I did, it just got worse.  Just like the previous rash.  But this one was obviously different.  It looked different, acted different, and needed to be treated different.

We took a few more trips to the doctor and I voiced my frustration for not knowing how to treat my poor sensitive-skinned baby's face.  I was FINALLY referred to the only pediatric dermatologist in the great state of Utah.  The only problem was that I would have to travel to Salt Lake City which is a couple hour drive, and that she is usually booked out about four months.  The drive didn't really bother me, but 4 months is a long time to wait to treat such an uncomfortable rash on my sweet baby!  Luckily the nurse understood my urgency and was able to squeeze us into a cancellation for two months out.

All summer long Kason struggled with this bumpy, red, and itchy face.  Then, when August rolled around, we made the trek to Salt Lake to Primary Children's Medical Center.  It took the doctor there only about three seconds after getting his history and seeing pictures of his previous rash to make a diagnosis on both.  His first rash was in fact an irregular presentation of Eczema.  The current rash is a condition known as Perioral Dermatitis.  It is a common skin problem that mostly affects young women.  Although it can occasionally effect both men and children.  Just like it did with my Kason.  It is known by its redness, small red bumps or pus bumps, and mild peeling.  There is no known cause although it's believed strong corticosteroid creams applied to the face can cause it.  It's thought that it will make it go away temporarily only to come back worse once treatment is stopped.  I made sure to bring in my big bag of creams and ointments Kason had been previously prescribed to show the pediatric dermatologist.  She told me not to use any of them and that most of them would make his face much worse.

After using his new prescribed ointment for a few weeks, his face cleared up completely!

 I am so happy and relieved.  My poor baby has had quite the year with these not fun skin conditions, and it has been both heartbreaking and frustrating.  Two months after our first visit with Pediatric Dermatologist extraordinaire Dr. VanDerhooft, we had a follow-up appointment to see how Kason's skin was doing.  So with a husband who took the day off and three kids in tow, we headed back down to Salt Lake.

Dr. VanDerhooft didn't seem surprised by how well his skin looked and gave him the thumbs up to not have to come back unless he starts having issues again.  I'm so glad that his skin is better and that I can caress his baby soft skin again!

With Rhett off work for the day and kids out of school, we decided to make the most out of our trip to Salt Lake and spend the day taking in Temple Square, and trying out one of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives visited restaruants and go to The Red Iguana.  The food was awesome!  And going to Temple Square in the middle of the week was good because there weren't many people there. In fact, we were the only people in the visitor's center theater to watch Legacy. Haha  It made for good quiet time for the kids and I have always loved that movie.  Please tell me I'm not the only one!  Rhett said it's not so bad even though he thought it was so boring as a kid.

Speaking of olden day movies, I stayed up until 12:30 the other night watching Gone With The Wind.  That movie goes on forever!  I was definitely dragging the next day, but I felt obligated to watch it knowing that's where Rhett got his name from.  But I couldn't help but becoming so engrossed in the story, wondering what was going to happen next, and falling in love with the costumes.  I also couldn't help but falling for the handsome Rhett Butler.  He was definitely a charismatic, witty character and I have a new appreciation for my cute hubby's name.  I was also waiting and wondering all the way through the three-and-a-half hour movie for the famous line Rhett Butler gives to Scarlet- "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."  As luck would have it, it ended up being in the last three minutes.

This post started about a persistent rash and ended with Gone With The Wind.  I'm totally random I know.

Has anyone else experienced anything like what we went through with Kason's skin issues?  Also, do I have any fellow really old "boring" movie lovers out there??  Like to the point that my sisters and I watched Seven Brides For Seven Brothers on repeat so many times that we picked out and assigned which character each of us were, and knew every song and almost every line by heart until we annoyed my Mom enough to hide the movie?

*crickets chirping*

 Oh, so it's just me? ...well and maybe my 3 sisters ;)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cake Smash!

It's not too late to blog about Kason's first birthday pictures photo-shoot is it?  Even though it was almost three months ago? It's not? Ok, so glad I got that out of the way.  Anyway, have you heard of a "cake smash" photo-shoot?   If not, that's ok, you aren't the only one.  But when my super cool photographer sister explained to me what it was, I was all in!  I promise, you will not regret doing these pictures for your little one's very special first birthday.  I know I don't!

First though, I whipped up this cute and simple birthday invite to send to his birthday guests.  

Then, early morning on Kason's birthday, we loaded up our balloons, cake, and of course Kason for this sweet occasion.

"Kason's Cake Smash Photo-Shoot"

[Disclamer: If you want your baby to eat any birthday cake at his party, don't load him up on it just hours before.]

[Second Disclaimer: Don't take his cake away too early.  You know, like when he is really digging in and then trying to decorate the house/studio with it.  Otherwise there may be tears.  But at least you will get some cute "tears in the tub" shot.

[Oh and last but not least, throw in a few "bear" bum shots.] 

A very very special thank you to my awesome Photographer Sister Rebecca for this sweet photo session.  I'm in love with them and am convinced now that everybody should get treated to smashing their own cake for their birthday.  Ok, ok, maybe it is only cute when you are under three feet tall.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Have you seen the show "Chopped" on the Food Network?  Well, if you haven't you should.  It's about a cooking competition where there are mystery ingredients and all sorts of puns about who's going to be the one on the chopping block.  Great Entertainment!  Anywho, this post isn't really about reality shows with bad puns.  It's more about what we did to our sweet Kalista this week...

We may be smiling in these pictures, but we were both definitely choking back some tears.  Her hair was sooooo long!

Doesn't it look like she aged a few years in just a matter of hours??  Just writing about it is making the waterworks start again.  But then I remind myself why she did this.  More like why she reasoned with me to cut it and why I agreed.  Because, you see, this was the last time she got a hair cut.

She was only two and wasn't too happy about it.  Although I'm sure it had much more to do with being two and not wanting to sit still.

But about a year and a half ago when she was just five, she told me she wanted to donate her hair to little kids who lost their hair to cancer.  I'm not sure if she heard about it somewhere or thought of it in her own sweet mind, but she was adamant about cutting it for just that reason.   Which surprised me, because she was her hair to an extent.  She loved being called Rapunzel, loved brushing it at night, loved twirling it, and loved the reaction of people who saw such a little girl with so much hair.  But she assured me, "Mom, it is just hair, and it will grow back."  

So even though that was the plan for this long, I just could not make the appointment and go through with it.  I think I had almost grown more attached to her hair than her.  And she was pretty attached!  It felt like cutting her hair would be like letting a part of my little girl grow up.  That is a tough thing to do.  But in reality, the length of her hair has nothing to do with her growing up or not. Only time does, and we all know I can't stop that.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Instability and Insecurities

So it's been over three months since I last blogged.  Three months way too long.  I've tried numerous times to start a post and have about three drafts waiting to be posted.   But then I just never go through with it.  I'm not exactly sure why, although I know it is a mix of being depressed, anxious, and overall defeated.

The last three months have not been easy, and as I'm struggling to dig myself out of this dark hole, I know going through with continuing to blog will help.  It is kind of ironic that my last blog post was about staying positive.  I think I wrote that to remind myself more than anything.

The reasoning on why I would never hit publish on my posts is mainly because I felt like it would be pointless because no one would want to read it.  Self-doubt can be my biggest vice.

Another source of my depression was situational.  My husband was laid off from his dream employer the last day of June.  The worst part about it was, it was the 5th job loss and layoff my husband has gone through in just the last 5 years.  No joke.  It felt like ground hog day.  And NO, that's not something you get used to.  He is our only source of income right now being as I'm a stay-at-home Mom.  So getting excited or thinking about different projects I want to get started on my house seemed so stupid. Every time I would start to think about our plans I would tell myself, "You idiot!  How can you get excited about that stuff?  You will be lucky if you are able to even keep your house!".

All five of the lay-offs, were just pure bad luck and bad timing.  Would you like to hear the condensed, but still very long version of the last five years and struggles with employment?  If not, I guess you can just skim through the pictures ;)  It's kind of personal, but maybe others have experienced similar circumstances and can relate.

I'll start with the first lay-off from La-Z-Boy.  It was 2008 and they shut down all production and moved to Mexico.  It sucked pretty bad at the time because I was NINE months pregnant and it was awesome money.  I had to beg my doctor to induce me a week early with Keegan because his due date was just 2 days after Rhett's last day which was also the last day for our medical insurance.  I assume the Doc wanted to get paid, because he agreed once I told him the reason.

Being laid off from La-Z-Boy turned into not being such a bad thing because since they moved production out of the country, there were grants available for Rhett to go to school to the Police Academy and get paid by the state at the same time.   That was the career he has wanted for as long as I've known him, and it turned out to be a good opportunity.

Once he graduation from the Academy, although he wasn't able to find full-time work in law enforcement, he did get offered a part-time reserve position at a local police department.

  He also started full time at a local production plant working with steel parts.  Although he hated that job, it paid the bills.  But, not for long.  He was laid off from that job too once the slow season started.  We were realizing that getting a job in law enforcement wasn't going to be easy either.

Rhett applied and tested multiple times for all the various law enforcement jobs here in the Valley and although he passed the required tests, and had all of the needed certifications, he was passed by for somebody else every single time. It was also becoming abundantly clear that the department he was reserving for wasn't going to turn into anything more.  So we decided he needed quit there and focus on looking for a full time law enforcement job elsewhere.  We ended up going ALL OVER the state of Utah.  From Kanab (Kane county, Southern Utah), to Provo (Utah County, Central Utah), to Morgan County, to Duchesne County (Eastern Utah), to Box Elder County (Western Utah), and probably some others I'm forgetting. So yes, we went ALL OVER.  He would pass their written and physical tests just like all the departments here in Cache Valley, but for some reason he was never the chosen one to be hired.

Things were getting discouraging and unemployment was running out.  None of it was making any sense.  Rhett had a good work history, good references, and was always a hard dedicated worker.  But it seemed like he couldn't pay for a job.  Finally, a job in upholstery had opened up at a small local upholstery shop here in Cache Valley.  Rhett knew the manager so he started working there while he continued to try to find work in his chosen profession.  That job soon proved to be the worst job yet.  There were no benefits, no vacation or sick pay, lowest wages to date, and he wasn't paid on time most of the time and shortchanged half the time.  He desperately applied for anything and everything.  The job market was horrible though and no one was hiring.  After working there about nine months, things were so slow there that he was once again laid off.  It only lasted about a couple of months though, and he was back to making hardly any money from a boss that couldn't manage his finances.

We continued to barely get by and Rhett continued to apply for Law Enforcement jobs as well as anything else.  The uncertainty of if we were going to get paid or if his pay check was going to bounce again was agonizing.  After getting shorted on his paycheck once again, Rhett told his boss he was not going to come in to work until he had the rest of his paycheck.  Long story short, that was the end of that job.

So here we are, over the course of 4 years, 4 job losses, hundreds of applications, and lots of struggles.  We have no job, and since Rhett wasn't able to secure a law enforcement job his certifications had expired, all the while we were half-way through building our home through a low income program.

About two days after the last job loss, the Sheriff's Office called and offered Rhett a job in a civilian position at the jail until he would re-certify.  Our prayers were answered!  We couldn't believe it, after everything we had been through.  THIS was the place he had dreamed of working at since he was a little kid.  The only catch was that he needed to go to the Academy in Salt Lake and re-certify by retaking the written and physical tests to become an actual Deputy.  But he actually liked the job he was in and he had time. Or so we thought...

January of this year they announced the civilian position he was working in was going to be turned into a certified deputy position and if you weren't certified by June 30th then you would be laid off.  So in February Rhett headed down and tested.  He passed all the written and all of the physical testing except the very last thing. The mile and a half run.  He was too slow by a couple of minutes.  So he came home, practiced, and went down again in March.  Failed the run again.  Came home, practiced some more, cut out soda, and changed his diet.  Went down again in May, and failed the run again.  June testing was coming up and knowing this was his last and final chance before having to retake the entire academy he decided he didn't want to risk it.  Even if it meant being laid off.  He knew he would be ready by July but wasn't quite there yet in June.

So on June 29th he handed in his uniforms and decided to get an exercise in to get ready for his upcoming test.  He was doing an exercise when something went wrong and he hurt his back.  He came home in sooo much pain.  Couldn't walk, hardly move, and not sure what had exactly happened.  We went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't a spinal injury.  Thank goodness it wasn't, but he did tear a muscle in his lower back.  It was bruised and he was in extreme pain.  This extremely important test was in less than a week and a half and not only could he not run or do any of the other exercises, but he could hardly even walk.  Perfect timing.  The prospect of getting his job back seemed to be dimming.  And it seemed as though some of my faith was as well.  What were we going to do now?

The power of prayer is real.  Although he was still in pain, each day he made a huge improvement.  By testing day he felt like he could do it.  He had lost over 30 pounds so far!  So he went to Salt Lake, re-took the test, and PASSED!  With 40 seconds to spare. :)  He was offered his job back that same day, but this time he's referred to as Deputy Garr!  It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?  And I can't help that I'm a sucker for a man in uniform. ;)

He has been back to work for three days now and I feel like I can finally take a sigh of relief.  I know nothing in this life is certain, but I'm hoping we can put all of these employment problems behind us for now. Having three little ones and being not quite sure how you are going to provide for them is scary. My lack of education and trying to take care of three small children doesn't help the situation for me to be able to take a load of the financial burden on.  But that is probably another post for another time.  I think I've been vulnerable and open enough for the interweb today ;)  If you are still reading, congratulations!  This is a long freaking post!  I promise to try my best to post more often, and I want to thank those who prayed for us, let me spill my guts, vent, and have a shoulder to cry on these past few months.  You don't know how much it has meant to me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

One Of *Those* Days

Have you ever had one of those days where it is just one thing after another?  It can be so frustrating!  I'm convinced I'm bound to have one of those days at least once a week.  When you have three kids, a husband, and other responsibilities things can't always go right, or as planned.  There are just too many variables.

I had some paint color-matched so that I would have some touch-up paint for my trim and walls.  I touched up a couple places on my dining room wall.  When it dried it was totally off-colored.  What a waste of money!  So I put the paint can in the mud room.

  A couple hours later Rhett and I were hanging out in the kitchen and I see his face turn towards the mud room and his jaw drops to the floor.  He slowly says, "Oh. My. Gosh."  I ran over to him and see the paint bucket had tipped on it's side and half of the paint in the can had spilled all over the linoleum floor.  My first reaction was, "Well I don't care for the linoleum too much anyways, lets just paint the rest of it white!" 

That was soon followed by laughing while mopping up lots of white paint and throwing away a pair of flip-flops.  Because well, who would only throw away the ruined one? haha

This whole paint fiasco was just after finding out that 4 full gallons of paint that was meant for my living room and bedroom got ruined while freezing in sub-zero temperatures out in my garage over the winter.

I guess my point is, when things just seem to just be getting worse and worse, sometimes your attitude is the only thing you can control.  I know these are piddly little problems or hiccups, but if you can't laugh at those- then when much bigger issues arise, you will have an even harder time looking for the positive.  

None of us can escape from hardships in life either.  They are inevitable.  But so are good times.  I would much rather go through this life seeing the positive sides of things rather than just focus on the negative   I'm definitely not perfect either, but I'm trying every day to be a happier more positive person all around.

I couldn't put it any more eloquently than that of what President Gordon B. Hinckley said.


Here is the link to that article. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From Boring to Beautiful

I wonder why they don't install thermostats in more inconspicuous places.  You know, like in a closet, or even next to a outlet or light switch.  But no, mine is smack dab in the middle of my hallway.  I'm sure there are good reasons to put them in such obvious places, but it doesn't change the fact that they are not pretty and well... an eyesore.  So what can you do, except ignore that ugly eye sore unless you need it?  

Make it pretty!

I found this cute frame from where else then a thrift store for two bucks!  Here it is in it's original glory.

Bye bye creepy owl picture!  

All I did was pop out the maniacal owl picture and glass, then spray painted the frame with Rust-Oleum's heirloom white in satin.  It is the perfect creamy white color.  In only two light and even coats it covered the brassy and black frame completely, which was awesome.

Then, I decided I wanted the frame easily removable so that I can easily take it off if I need to mess with the thermostat.  The problem was that I didn't have anywhere to nail in a picture hook because the frame is plastic.  So I ran to Lowe's and picked up the 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips.  I had never used these, but they seemed to fit the bill for what I needed.  I LOVE these.  Seriously.  I never want to nail a hole in my wall again!

These could really come in handy with what I want to do with this hallway...

I would love to do a beautiful, interesting gallery hallway. Like this one at Young House Love:

{Image Via: Young House Love}

Or this one from 4 Men 1 Lady:

{Image Via: 4Men1Lady}

I love the interest that both of these bring to an otherwise uninteresting space.  In the meantime though, I'm just happy to have dressed up my thermostat...
I never knew that sentence would come out of my mouth! haha!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Finally got a handle on it!

I love my espresso, knotty alder, shaker style kitchen cabinets.  Like, love love!  But there was something missing.  Both visually and functionally.

Cabinet Pulls!

So we set out for the home improvement store to see what we could find.  We found these awesome contemporary style cabinet pulls that I remember seeing in a kitchen from the Parade of Homes last year.

{Picture taken during the 2012 Cache Valley Parade of Homes}

I loved this kitchen, and that is where my inspiration for what I wanted my cabinets to look like came from.  So we bought (32!) cabinet pulls and went home and got to work!
Here is what we did-

The small print on the pictures are: 
1. Make a template for your handle so you know where to mark the holes.
2. Use a nail set to make an indentation.
3. Now you know where to drill!
4. Use a drill to make the hole and make sure to keep it straight and not on an angle.
5. Tighten the screw on top and bottom through the hole and into the handle.
~Repeat 32 times!~

The end result after attaching THIRTY-TWO cabinet handles/pulls was this!

I couldn't be happier with the them!
But our cabinets aren't finished yet.  We bought some crown molding to attach to the top of the cupboards to give them a more upgraded, less builder-grade look!

So stay tuned for that!  

Also, we have started a painting project in our Boys' room that I'm hoping to get finished up this week.  Here is a little sneak peak!