Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday: Favorite Room in the House

I came across Momfessionals Show and Tell Tuesdays.  I have missed the first ones of the year but thought today would be a good time to jump in!  

Today's Show and Tell is Favorite Room in the House.  As I sit down to think about which room is my favorite, I find myself debating over this room or that.  However today I have chosen to share our craft room.  I picked this room because of the fun that I have there and the memories that are being created there!  When we built the house we chose to add this room to the floor plan.  We had accumulated quite a bit of crafting things over the years and we wanted a place where Winston and I could be creative together.  It's a long room with three windows giving it a lot of natural light.

This room is special to me because it is where Winston knows he can color, paint, play with Play-Doh and stickers, glue, imagine and create almost anything.  Last Christmas we did every single one of our Truth in the Tinsel lessons in the room.  We are doing our Lent projects in this room.  He is not only learning how to express himself through creativity but he is learning that God loves him here.  My heart loves to hear him yell, "Craft room!" as he takes off running into this space that is ours.

While the house was being built, we created a Pinterest board for the new house and started pinning like crazy!  One of the pins was a dot wall created by Oh Happy Day.  We knew that the craft room would be the perfect place for a wall like this!

Last summer we decided it was time to tackle this project.  Benjamin helped me create the dot grid and create the dot outlines.  Then the painting was left to me!
Painting the dots was the perfect activity for me to do during nap times.  It took me about 20 minutes a color.  I used a rounded brush, lots of colors and two stepping stools.  It was fun and satisfying to see the wall come together color by color!  You can read all about how we created our dot wall.
We purchased this desk for Benjamin when he was in Dental school.  It is long and wide perfect for almost any project.  In this house we have a study so it was only fitting that it found its place in our craft room!  It holds my Silhouette, our pom-poms jars and all projects that we are in the middle of working on!
My desk is not normally this clean.  In fact, most days it looks something like this...
I try to clean it off at the end of every weekend.  It helps having everything in its place at the start of the week so that we can continue to create without too much hassle of looking for this or that.

The wall just opposite of the dot wall is completely covered in cork.  We wanted a spot where Winston could display his works of art and little creations.  During one of our dreaming sessions, Benjamin said, "We could make the entire wall cork!"  And so we did!  I will tell you it took four adults and one little person to adhere the cork to the wall.  We ordered a bulk roll of cork and the glue we used is the same adhesive to lay hardwood floors.  So... there is no way that stuff is coming down.  And I'm okay with that!  
Winston enjoys making, stamping, gluing, or painting artwork to put on our board.  He will come home from school and depending what it is he has made for craft he will tell me, "On the wall!"  Up we go, we get a push pin and either he hangs it himself or points to where he wants it to stay.  We have rotated quite a bit of our artwork around to make spots for new creations.  However, he is very particular about what stays and goes!
All of our craft supplies are housed in some Elfa shelving units we purchased years ago.  Elfa never goes out of style and can always be used! We have everything from paints to pipe cleaners to sticky foam to stamps to wrapping paper accessories to blank canvases waiting to become something unique!
Winston and I made the pom-pom letters together!  I picked a font, hubby cut them out of foam board, I spray painted them yellow and then together Winston and I glued the pom-pons on.  It was a quick and easy way to add some color to the wall.

Across from the Elfa shelving is Winston's very own desk.  We had seen the super cute drawing desk at Container Store and thought it would be perfect for him to call his own.  Then we remembered we had two small shelving units and with the purchase of some roller racks and wood we could could make our own for a fraction of the cost!
We allow Winston to keep whatever he would like in the drawers.  Currently there are tons of stickers, construction paper, markers, letter stamps and crayons.  It's a perfect space for him to create or to play with Play-Doh or even the trains make it in here every once in a while! 
I love this room because of the special times that Winston and I have together in there.  Benjamin gets in on the crafty action too from time to time, but it mostly is our little space.  We have so much fun getting messy, painting our hands, laughing and learning together.   I cherish the time we spend in there and look forward to seeing what other projects we do together as the years go by!

What is your favorite room in your house?  I'd love to know!

For other little sneak peaks around the house:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meal Planning in Reverse.8

Happy New Week to you all!  I hope that you were able to enjoy the weekend whatever it was you were doing!  There were lots of people enjoying snow but down here in South Texas we just had cold and rain.  Everyone in our house is a little under the weather so here's hoping we all turn a corner soon!

For the life of me, I cannot remember what we ate on Monday.  I know I cooked but I cannot remember what it was!  C'est la vie!

Dinner out with friends

Pork chops, cous cous and broccoli

Spaghetti Squares


Chicken Parm Sloppy Joe's and veggies

Tortellini and breadsticks

Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday: 2.27

{one} I downloaded Party Girl onto my Kindle on Monday.  By Wednesday afternoon I had read that entire book, stalked Rachel Hollis' website thechicsite.com, downloaded and finished The Party Girl's First Date.  To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement!  If you enjoy girly novels written in a clever, clean and classy style, this book is for you!  Both of the books are easy, engaging reads in which I found myself wanting to meet Landon and her friends for lunch!  Rachel has also written another book in this series called Sweet Girl that releases in May.  I may or may not have pre-ordered this book.... Okay, you got me!  I did pre-order the book!  I could go on and on about how much I like this author and these books, but I'll refrain and tell you again to get them for yourself!
{two} This week our downstairs was taken over with friends and their sweet kiddos.  A total of sixteen bodies gathered together in a cacophony of fun, toys and noise.  I loved every minute of it!!  The Mommas came in with blank canvases and left with worn out kiddos and pieces of artwork.  Winston and I had a fun time hosting our friends for the morning.  And we created our springtime canvas for the kitchen!  
{three} Little Bug's school encouraged all of the kiddos to wear their best western outfit in celebration of Go Texan Day!  Since Winston had grown out of his cowboy boots, Thomas was the footwear of choice for visiting the animals that came to the school for a visit.  The kids did a great job brushing and chasing around goats, sheep, a donkey and a tiny pig!  Winston loved brushing the pig.  I used this fact as leverage to convince Benjamin we need a teacup pig but.... he wasn't having any of it!  
{four} I wore my Skinny Shirt for the first time this week and fell in love with it!  If you are a fan of the collared shirt under the sweater look, you should probably take a look at investing in one of these shirts.  They will change your life.  
{five} I ordered Winston Little Praise Party: Taste and See for his Easter basket.  Well, it arrived this week and I just couldn't keep it until then.  I mean, Easter is still over a month away!!  I popped the DVD into the laptop while I was cooking dinner.  Winston was immediately captivated by the colorful music videos and catchy tunes of the songs.  He was bee-boppin' and clapping his hands along to the music.  Have you heard of Yancy, not Nancy?  I highly recommend checking her out.  Her songs are perfect for kiddos of any age {big and small!} with catchy songs that will have them singing Scripture and wonderful truths of God!  Plus, they are great songs to have suck in your head!  

This weekend one of the major roads out of our development is closed so we are going to have to get creative on how to get here and there!  What are you doing?  Any big plans or no plans?  :)  Wishing you a wonderful weekend whatever you are getting up to!

Linking up today with 5 on Friday: DarciAprilChristina + Natasha | Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm + The Farmer's Wife


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Skinny Shirt

We are avid Shark Tank watchers in my family.  My parents watch it.  My brother and sister-in-law watch it.  We watch it.  Each Christmas we normally get at least one or two items that have been on Shark Tank.  Simple Sugarspaint brush keepers, the Spatty Daddy and cleaning supplies are just a few!

This season there were two ladies who came on with their product Skinny Shirt.  It is the perfect shirt to wear beneath a sweater without looking all bunchy and awkward.  I remember telling Benjamin that I would totally buy one because who doesn't like to look sleek when wearing a collared shirt/sweater combo?
Weeks later, my Mom was wearing a cute sweater with a collared shirt under it.  She said, "Did you see the Shark Tank episode with Skinny Shirts?"  And we launched into a discussion about how much she loved them!  The body of the shirt is made with a stretchy lycra material that hugs the body preventing that bulky look that normally happens with a shirt/sweater combo.  The shirt adds a layer of warmth without being too warm when indoors.

This week the weather in Houston has actually felt like winter is supposed to feel, so I wore and sweater and my Skinny Shirt for the very first time.  I can't tell you how much I love it!  It totally works!  Sometimes I get skeptical that the item they are showing you on TV cannot be as good in person.  This was not the case!  I didn't feel bulky or unkempt.  I liked having the extra layer under my sweater but was still comfortable to move around and be on the floor to play with Winston.
Skinny Shirt offers sleeveless and long sleeve versions, rounded or pointed collars, and comes in a variety of color options.  While $70 a shirt it may seem a bit excessive, I promise you will love it and get your wears worth out of it!  

{This post was not sponsored.  I just really liked this shirt and thought everyone needed to know about it!}

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meal Planning in Reverse.7

Ranch Chicken Pockets with crumbed green beans
{This was the second time to make these pockets and they were delicious!  I didn't put the broccoli inside since we were having veggies as a side.  I also just squeeze enough ranch into the chicken to make it mix together.  It still gives the ranch flavor without being overpowering!  These pockets are easy to make and delicious even as warm-ups!}

Baked Parmesan Pork Chops, Trader Joe's fettuccine alfredo and baked zucchini
{These pork chops were delicious!  The flavor was intense and tasty!  The outside was nice and crisp with the pork chop remaining tender and juicy.  A definite keeper!}

Fish sticks, mac & cheese and corn

Pasta and broccoli


Date night at Houston's

Hodge podge of this and that!

Another good weekend in the books!  Benjamin came home from traveling for a conference, we had a date night out on the town, Winston played to his heart's content with our sweet babysitter, and we had a lovely day on Sunday consisting of fried rice and family nap time!  How was your weekend?  What are you looking forward to most this week?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five on Friday: 2.20

This week was the start of Lent and I have intentionally set aside time in my day to kneel at the feet of Jesus in preparation of Easter.  I have been a Christian for many years but this is the first year to actively participate in Lent.  Do you participating in Lent?

My buddy and I eat froyo once a week.  When Winston started school last fall he was pretty well potty trained.  Froyo was one of our ways to celebrate an accident free day at school.  And then it just turned into our Tuesday thing.  I walk into his class, get a very big hug and the next thing I know I have two small hands on my cheeks and his sweet little voice whispers, "Froyo Mommy?"  Of course!  We have gone so often he now gives me directions from the school parking lot.  Winston takes his frozen yogurt with strawberries, sprinkles, M&M's and gummy bears!  Normally we have the place to ourselves.  We talk about what he did at school that day and what he learned.  I am thankful for our froyo dates and wish them to never end!

This is the swimsuit I used all of last summer and I loved it!  It washed well and wore well too.  It was a great style for swimming with a little person who was learning his way around the water!  It is from Kingdom and State.  Have you heard of them?
I can't quite remember how I came to find out about them I am just glad that I did!  I ordered my second swimsuit from them this week and I am looking forward to receiving it in the mail!  

#gorillaart is taking over Houston in preparation for the arrival of seven gorillas in May!

We really had another decent week of weather.  It was a little on the chilly side but compared to what folks are experiencing up North, we had nothing to complain about!  Forecast is showing that we will have no sunny skies for the next five days as the rain and cold are coming back.  Thank goodness we got some outside play time in before winter says its final goodbye!

Linking up today with 5 on Friday: Darci, April, Christina + Natasha | Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm + The Farmer's Wife

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent: Preparing for Easter

Growing up, the Baptist churches I attended did not put a large emphasis on Lent.  The emphasis was always on Holy week and the stations of the cross, walking through the death and resurrection of our Lord.  I remember my Catholic friends talking about Lent because they were required to give something up for 40 days.  I have always treated Easter and the days leading up to the celebration as a time to remember the sacrifice of love and the miracle of the resurrection.  Easter for me is the reason I believe.  My God loved me so much that he sent his only Son to walk on the earth, die for my sins, and to conquer death so that I may live a life rooted in Him! 
Since one of my personal goals is to be more intentional in spending time in the Word, I felt an interest in participating in Lent.  This year I am excited to be participating in the Naptime Diaries Lent devotional, Follow.  It is a forty day study designed to guide the reader through Lent in preparation of the celebration of Easter.  There are eight sections each with a devotional and Scripture to read and meditate on throughout the week.  

Through Instagram I found out about the Children's Lenten Guide designed by OodlesDoodles Print Shop.  Complete with coloring sheets and accompanying Scripture, the downloadable files also come with memorization cards.  While Winston is a bit small for the memorization and will more than likely not quite understand the full meaning of Lent and Easter, I am excited to spend time telling him the story of Jesus and the wonderful gift he so freely gives.  I feel that it is a great time to be intentional about speaking these truths into his little life.  My goal is for us to do the color sheets and one craft that ties in each week.  

But more important than my goals, is my prayer is that this season will be a special time of worship for my family as we intentionally focus on the life and ministry of Jesus, the road to His death on the cross, and His miraculous resurrection from the grave triumphant over death.  I pray that Winston's heart will be soft to the Scriptures that we will read and that our conversations would be on a level that he can start to understand.  

Since Lent starts today, you are not too late to jump into a study.  You can purchase {for $12} the PDF version of Naptime Diaries study here or you can participate {for free!} in the She Reads Truth study through their website, app on your phone or iPad.  And for your kiddos, check out OodlesDoodles for your own copy of the Children's Lenten Guide.  

I'd love to know if you are participating in a study and if so, which one.  Also, share if you are doing anything intentional with your kiddos in the weeks to come!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

#gorillaart in Houston

Have you heard that the Houston Zoo is getting gorillas?!  It happens in May and we are super pumped about it!  To raise awareness of the arrival of these awesome apes, Houston Zoo partnered with five artists to take it to the stress guerrilla style!  Painted all around Houston, the murals depict beautiful pictures of gorillas.  

Starting at the beginning of February, I kept seeing these beautiful in progress photos of the murals going up around town on my Instagram news feed.  I mentioned it to Benjamin and he thought they were neat as well.  Since we think it's important for Winston to have an appreciation of art and of the city we live in, on Saturday morning we loaded in the car and headed downtown on a scouting trip!
Since we were scouting these out on a Saturday, there were cars parked directly in front of the murals.  If you went on a week day in the middle of the week you probably would be able to get a picture of the walls in their full glory.  This particular mural is done by Mr. D.  The artistry and detail of the gorilla is amazing.  His eyes are stunning and my favorite part of the piece.  You may recognize the texturing as Mr. D is the same artist who did The Biscuit Paint Wall.  Yes, this one!
Next on our list was this mural depicting a gorilla family.
The little baby was my favorite thing about this mural.  Winston was super cute about seeing the walls!  We told him we were going to see gorilla art and he exclaimed, "APES!"  We explained to him that these pieces of art were in preparation of the gorillas arriving at the zoo in a few months!  We are now pumped and ready to welcome the seven gorillas to the largest gorilla habitat in the United States, their new home in Houston!

We plan to see the remaining three murals once they are all complete!

For a list of the murals and their locations, please click here.

Hall Around Texas

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meal Planning in Reverse.6

I hope that you had the best time celebrating Valentine's Day with your favorite people!  We had a fun day of exploring Houston, napping and being moors at home.  A wonderful way to spend the day!  Wishing you a wonderful week!
Pei Wei Take Out

Udi's Lasagna, honey cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes, and garlic bread
{I really like sweet potatoes.  Winston really likes sweet potatoes.  Benjamin...not so much.  Imagine my delight when I came across this recipe!  I figured it would be a win with ingredients like honey and cinnamon.  Sure enough, I was told they were yummy and I could add them into the mix of side dishes!  Hooray!  The recipe is quick, easy and delicious!}

Trader Joe's Halibut, Buffalo macaroni and cheese, broccoli

Chicken Fries, chips and fruit

Foundation Class Social - Potluck
Winston and I made Chocolate Covered Wafer Cookies.  He was aces as being my sprinkle dipper and making them reminded me how much I love a fresh wafer cookie!

Heart shaped pizza from Papa John's!

Breakfast for Dinner
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