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Cars 4 Heroes

One of the best things about being an Air Force Reservist in the Airmen and Family Readiness Office is that we get to do good things and meet neat people. I built up a relationship with Chris over at over the past couple of years. This is an amazing organization that gives individuals associated with the military that are in need the opportunity to receive transportation for free. All they have to do is apply.


The other day, I got a call from Chris asking if there was anyone at Whiteman AFB in the need of a car. I sent out an email to everyone I knew that would know of an Airmen. Unfortunately, nobody had anyone they could think of, so I told Chris that nothing was turning up.

Until our UTA weekend. That’s when one of our unit members came up and mentioned a fellow Airmen that worked for him. She was beyond the perfect candidate, so I had her meet me in my office, showed her the application and she sat down and applied. It couldn’t have been better timing on everyone’s part, because she was in need right at that moment. Her car had broken down and she had been borrowing her father’s to get to work, but he was going to start needing it again.

Check out her story here:

cars 4 heroes

Photo is by Sue Sterling :: Star-Journal from

I had a tiny role in it all and I couldn’t be more proud and excited for this individual. I can’t begin to thank enough, but for one last time…


Back to School Blues

It is happening tomorrow unfortunately and I wish I could hold it off, but the girls are headed back to school. The kids actually seem excited, but I enjoyed having them home this summer. Some of those reasons are selfish (easy to pop out of bed and head to work), but I also loved having them around all the time. It seemed like the summer flew by and I am barely prepared for the new school year. At least the girls are organized and ready to go.

Here is our checklist of everything we did prior this weekend to prepare:

  • Back to School Clothes Shopping :: Maren counted down the days for this and she ended up getting the least!
  • School Supply Shopping :: This year Alexa has a locker for the first time, so I let her get some extra special locker items. Maren’s special item was her backpack. At the last second her dad ran her to a store to get one. We made her sign a contract that she won’t get a new one until high school, because she had to have a Vera Bradley backpack. I usually allow the girls to get a new backpack every two years, but this one will need to last at least 4 due to its price.
  • Labeling of All Items :: We brought our good ‘ole Sharpie out and labeled everything in sight and the girls organized them all. I remember as a little girl spending hours organizing and re-organizing all my new supplies.
  • Lunch and Snacks :: Jay ran to the store to get lunches and snacks for this week. It’s only a 4 day week, so we didn’t have to buy too much.
  • Closing of Summer :: We ended our summer with a nice weekend at the lake with the cousins.
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    One thing I regret not doing are haircuts, but the girls aren’t complaining. The hate their haircut! They both want super long hair.

    What are your back to school traditions?

    I am still a little in shock that I have a middle schooler. Can I really be that old already? She is officially in 7th grade! I still can’t get over it. She is half way through her school years already, which worries me that she will be off to college before I know it. My husband teases me about how crazy I will be when that happens and how I need to start preparing now.

    Did I mention that my kids will never again attend the same school?

    Maren got one of the teacher she wanted (she really wanted a new teacher that played professional soccer) this year and actually got some of her friends in her class. The past couple of years she has only had one or two in her class, so I think this is going to be a fun year for her.

    I also made bag tags using a word business card template (Avery 15671) for the girls for a first day of school surprise. Their bags had a card holder, but FedEx/Kinkos has bag tags at their stores that you can laminate your tags and buy there.
    bag tags

    Ottoman Overload

    I popped out of bed last Saturday morning excited to do what I thought would be a quick ottoman recover and a few new pillows.

    Of course it never goes as fast as I picture it in my mind, but I am so glad I did it. I had just an hour where Jay and Maren were at the farmers market and Alexa and Coen were still fast asleep to attempt to do the recover. Of course half way through, everyone came home or woke up. Coen still managed to entertain himself by crawling all over the upside down ottoman, while I made sure my scissors and staple gun were completely out of his way.

    The whole reason why I decided to recover wasn’t because I hated the fabric, but because our house colors are more cooler tones. This ottoman just didn’t fit in that well. Plus my sister-in-law loaned us the ottoman and couch while they moved to San Francisco for the time being. By recovering it, it kept the underneath material safe, so it will be brand new (or at least closer to it) when they ask for it back.

    Old LIving Room 2 Old Living Room

    Knowing this was a temporary cover, I had to do a few workarounds. For instance, I didn’t remove the feet or staple anywhere on the fabric itself. I just stapled around on the underneath of the ottoman where the other staples lived. I also had to do quick corners that are “ok,” but I ordinarily wouldn’t have been satisfied.

    I started out with a $70 fabric that I found at Calico Corners. I started having buyers remorse, so I quickly took that back and turned to my fabric drawer. Crazy as luck would have it, I had bought a cloth table cloth from Target’s Christmas section last year for $7 and threw it in my fabric section. The colors worked perfectly with the couch and wall color.

    The new pillow fabric was from Calico Corners. It was from a left over sample and was only $10 for a yard of material. I thought it worked well into the other colors of the room. The dark gray ones are from a curtain I found at Target. I was going to use it for another project, but didn’t so I had it just lying around as well.
    New Ottoman 4

    New Ottoman 5

    How do you like it? My choice must be right since the tag on the table cloth has the same wall color.
    dining pic

    Poppin’ Tags

    I did a really bad thing. I went to a thrift store with out my girls. As soon as I brought my finds in, I heard an earful. It wasn’t my fault. I had to do an errand at lunch time at work and there happened to be a thrift store next to it, so I had to go in.

    Check out my finds…

    Mean Owl

    This mean looking mercury owl was only $2.98. I thought he would be awesome for our Halloween décor. Right now I am just having him hang out on my front room fireplace.
    Mean Owl 2

    Wire Basket

    You can’t tell by the pictures, but this is a super heavy basket. Just like Mr. mean owl, it will be perfect to hold all of our mini pumpkins. Plus it was only $3.98.
    Wire Bowl

    Porcelain Doll

    This little girl was there a week ago with another one. I kept thinking about how cute she would have looked in Maren’s room, so when I was there I grabbed her for $2.00. Unfortunately, her sister was already sold.

    Large Wooden Tray

    Sorta wooden at least. It is plastic, but no one would be the wiser. It was only $5, so I had to have it. I am in love with the edging on it and it had a little label that said it could be top dishwasher safe.
    Large Wooden Tray 3

    Large Wooden Tray 4

    White Plate

    This little plate is going to be perfect for Coen’s birthday cake smash session. It was only $3!
    White Plate

    Small Wooden Tray

    It was only $1 for this little golden footed tray. I think I am going to paint it a cobalt blue or another fun color.
    Front Wooden Tray Gold Feet

    Wooden Tray Gold Feet

    Who else has had fun finds?

    Maren’s New Shades in a Day

    So I am getting much faster at doing Roman Shades. Although it is time consuming and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to plan an entire day, it can be done. It would require you to be up from 8 in the morning until 11 at night taking small breaks throughout the day.

    Windows Full Open

    I mentioned where I found the best instructions ever over at Brown Paper Packages on Coen’s Shade Blog, but I figured I would post it again:

    You can check out Coen’s Nursery Roman Shades here:

    I was hoping that it would keep my little middle one in bed until at least 8AM (she is a super early riser), but it failed. Even though it was completely blacked out, she was still up and about at 7:30AM. I guess that’s a good trait to have in life. I wish I could hop out of bed that early to start my day without fighting sleep.

    Full Room

    If anything could go wrong during this project – it did. My poor sewing machine was hating me during this project. Threads kept breaking, it kept jamming and for whatever reason, the lengths of the stitch kept messing up. I think I used almost every swear word in my vocabulary at one point during the day. Plus what made it worse was that I had a sensee of urgency to get it done, since I pulled my sewing machine out of my sewing room and onto my kitchen counters (it helped with the length.)

    Right Window Opened and Closed

    Again, the issues had caused me to take breaks to keep from going insane. I could have gotten these done so much faster if my machine liked me. I even ended up sewing a set of pillows half way through just to make sure my sewing machine wasn’t ruined. I think the type of material made a difference and I tried resolving it by increasing the tension (which helped a little).

    Left Window Open and Closed

    Overall, I think they turned out fine. Not the most professional looking, but perfect for an 8 year old’s room. Thanks to JoAnne’s Fabric for having an adorable pink fabric. I shopped everywehre before I finally found this one.

    Look who we found thrifting

    These guys were only $1.98 and as soon as I spotted them I knew they had to be mine. (Luckily I grabbed them. While I was checking out, the lady behind me said that she almost bought them too.)

    before and after owl picmonkey

    All I did was repaint them using my favorite kind of spray paint :: Rust-oleum Ultra Cover 2x Satin Spray. It has never let me down and I only needed to do two quick coats to get the job done. This by far was one of the quickest projects I have completed to date.
    (They did not ask me to post this. These are just my honest thoughts. I pretty much only use this paint.)

    Owl Being Painted

    I did play with the idea of doing a different color than white, but I thought white would give me the flexibility of moving them to any room.

    I sat them by the front door to be our new look outs for now. They are also right next to another thrift find we found that day for only $6 (the lamp to the right). I loved the white base of the lamp. I added the gray lampshade from Target for $16.99. One day I will do the front entry way and add some long overdue art!

    owl staged

    What color would you of picked out for these little guys?

    Living Room :: 2014

    I thought I would give a quick update on our Living Room progress. We still need curtains, but the room is almost complete.

    LIving Room 5

    Check this link out for our living room before we did our rebuild: The size of this room stayed the same, but we opened it up to the dining room more, which caused the room to lose a window. It still gets plenty of light coming in from the dining room though.

    LIving Room 2

    Living Room 3
    We redid the fireplace and bookcase completely. It wasn’t originally planned that way, but after we started in on the rebuild it somehow happened :).

    Living Room 4
    We also pulled up the carpet and to our surprise, found that some of the room had wood flooring already. The builders added in the additional flooring.

    LIving Room 6

    LIving Room

    Ottoman Overload

    Two project posts in one week. When the husband is away the wife will play!

    Anyway, this weekend I was set out to find an ottoman to redo. I had been scouring Craigslist for months and couldn’t find any online, so I turned to Garage Sales and Thrift Stores. Saturday the girls, baby Coen and I set out early morning to find one. I not only failed on the ottoman portion, but I didn’t find really anything exciting. Bummed, I thought I had given up for the weekend, until Sunday evening around 4:00PM. My sister and I were sitting around that afternoon and the girls mentioned how we went thrifting the day before. She said she would love to join next time, so I looked up some more stores and their hours and we hit the road. We have a street with three back-to-back stores and the girls and I found a ton of treasures to redo. Maren loved looking at clothes and Alexa found gadgets to redo. My sister found a vintage camera and I found my ottoman!!! I was so happy. I went back and forth about getting it, b/c I kept picturing two square ottomans in my mind. I figured for $12 it was all worth it.

    before and after


    It was all torn up on the top, but I figured I would redo the entire thing so it didn’t matter. This was pretty ugly, right? Except for the baby. He makes my pics extra cute!

    Ottoman 2


    Maren and I got it home and instantly set to work cutting off the leather fabric on top. She was so eager to help, so I couldn’t turn her down. This little lady has the DIY bug for sure. For once, a project went a lot better then I could have imagined. We took all the fabric off and then we stapled the new one over the padding. The nice part is that I could staple right under the inside lining, so I didn’t even have to redo that.


    final room
    After looking at this I decided only to redo the top and leave the base since it was in almost perfect condition. For the top I did it in a Nate Berkus fabric I found at Calico Corners for 75% off making it $13. It was super thick and would be perfect for how rough we are with furniture. The total price for my new ottoman
    $11.98 Ottoman
    $13.13 Fabric
    (I had the rest of the items (staple and glue gun)
    For a total of $25.11.

    The crazy part is that when I flipped the ottoman upside down it had a price tag of $299.99 from Kohl’s. Maren and I still can’t get over that price!

    Maren my helper

    Not bad for this little ottoman. Plus, I now have storage for his baby toys.

    ottoman with toys

    Wooden Bead Necklace

    The supplies for this necklace were under $5! Plus my girls and I can make any color we want as long as we can find a stretchy, thin knit. It needs to be thin in order to get the really tight knots. See below for the rest of the instructions.

    Necklace resized

    Make two, three or 4 strands for this necklace!

    Supplies Cloth and Beads resized

    Supplies Glue Gun and Scissors resized

    Step 1 Cut Fabric Resized

    40″ in length will give you plenty of room to tie. Once the necklace is complete, you can cut off the excess.

    Step 2 Tie Knot in Middle - Copy

    Start with a knot in the center of your fabric.

    Step 3 Fold over fabric - Copy

    Open the fabric up and fold it over the knot evenly.

    Step 4 Add Dot of Glue - Copy

    This step is optional, but I added a drop of glue to the fabric to hold the bead in place.

    Step 5 Put Wood bead on top - Copy

    Place your bead on top of the glue. I made sure that the hole was on the knot. If not, it may show through the fabric.

    Step 6 Fold fabric over bead

    After placing the bead, fold the fabric back over it fully covering the bead.

    Step 7 Tie Tight Knot resized

    Tie a really tight knot near the top of the bead. If for any reason the fabric doesn’t fully wrap around the bead, you can add a drop of glue and squish the fabric together. I did 16 beads for the first necklace and the reduced each additional strand by 2.

    Step 8a Tie Stands together with knot

    Step 9 Tie Stands together with knot

    Tie the strands together by lining up the last bead on each strand and tying near the base. If you have three or more strands you can braid them together and tie a knot at the top.

    Let me know what your ideas are! I can imagine this with big giant beads for little ones or brighter colors.

    Alexa’s Room :: 2014

    It’s been awhile since I’ve shown updates on the house, so I thought I would start giving a weekly update with one room featured. The first one is Alexa’s room.

    Check out her before pictures here:

    Alexa wanted to keep her walls grey so that she could easily switch out her bedspread to update her room. Last time we had pink walls (we finally painted blue) and a green ceiling, so it prevented her from easily updating. The overall colors is something that will work as she becomes a teenager (not quite there yet.)

    I decided to do white curtains for now and maybe put a band of coral in it for a touch of color one of these days. I bought her bedspread from Pottery Barn Teen, along with her gray pillow, but I made all of her coral pillows. Overall, I think her room turned out great.

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    A Food Review from a Non-Foodie – Thomas

    I was thinking about what Jay and I do the most and I would say eating is way up there. Jay can cook really well, but I can’t at all. This leaves us many nights of eating out around Kansas City. I may not be a good cook, but I know what I like.


    Tonight we went to Thomas, which is a little place located near KU Medical on 39th that we don’t hear much about. Every time we have went, we have been very pleased with the food, service and atmosphere. We’be gone in the middle of the week and on weekends when it was busier. They will sometimes have someone playing on the piano, which he will also take requests from the patrons.

    Tonight was the last night that we could use our Groupon for Thomas, so we made reservations and headed that way. We started off our meal with calamari. I usually won’t order calamari from places if it has banana peppers in it, but the pieces are big enough that I can eat around it.

    For our entrée, we ordered the Buttermilk Cider Chicken and Pan Seared Duck Breast. We both agreed that it was a pretty good meal and will for sure go back.

    Don’t forget to grab a drink while you are there. Their Banana Nut Bread martini tasted just like the name.

    Messy Meal Times

    Happy 4th of July from the Adams Family!!!!

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    With all our busy time at the Lake of the Ozarks, I was still able to work in a small project.

    Coen is getting to the age where he is eating messier food and he is starting to think it’s funny tossing it over his high chair. Most of it gets in his mouth, but some of it finds its way to the floor. Rollie our dog doesn’t mind at all, but my newly bought rug does. In order to preserve it a little, I decided to make a drop cloth.

    I found my vinyl material on by Michel Miller called Laminated Cameras Jewel for $16.98 a yard. Since I bought other material the shipping was free. I also only needed a yard.

    Michael Miller Cameras Jewel

    I found the backing at Joanne’s fabric. It’s called a Tablepad White Tablecloth padding that has felt in the middle to make it soft.

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    Amy Adams and I Have 2 Things in Common….

    The obvious on is our name and the second one is that we both gave up a first class seat to someone.

    Here is Amy Adams’s story if you haven’t heard yet.


    Here is my story.

    I was running late to my Sunday night flight to get me to my soldering school for the Air Force Reserves (jealous already, right?). When I got there the airline told me that even though the flight hadn’t even arrived to pick us up that they could not allow me to be on the flight. It was right after 9-11, so everyone was really touchy still and rules where in a lock down. After a few exchanged words between each other (which most likely was the reason I wound up on the no fly list) it was decided that the flight would leave without me once it came. After sitting there watching the plane arrive, load and take-off, the airline gave me the option to standby on the next flight. The trick was that the flight wasn’t full leaving Kansas City, but it looked packed on my connecting flight. I had no choice but to risk it.

    I was able to make my Kansas City flight, so I ran to the Customer Service desk to see where I was at on the stand-by list. They said unfortunately it didn’t look very good and to top it all, it was the last flight for the night. Not only did I not know where I would stay that night, but I was also upset b/c this would cause me to be late to my class the next day. Not good. Being late for anything for the military is never a good thing. So my only option was to beg and plead to be on the next flight. I even offered to do the jump seat or fly in the cargo area. The guy thought I was pretty funny (or desperate) and said that he hoped that I made it on, but couldn’t promise me anything.

    Did that guy deliver? Not only did I get on the next flight, but I also had a first class ticket. Whew. I made it. I was sitting in my first class seat 100% relieved from this horrible day event when a lady sat down beside me. She had the same expressions I had, so I started a conversation with her. Basically she said that she had waited over 12 hours on stand-by and finally got on. She was happy about that, but unfortunately her 75 year old mother didn’t make it. Since she had to work the next day, they had decided that she would go first and her mom would fly out the next day.

    Eventually, everyone loaded the plane. Then all of a sudden this old lady walked on who seemed very excited. As she approached I realized that the old lady was the women beside me’s mom. As she started to pass, I realized that these two should sit together and relax in first class. I knew they had a hard day and they both deserved it. Plus, I was truly happy to just be on the flight and I really didn’t care where to sit. Instantly, I told her to take my seat and I would take hers in coach. Both ladies were so sweet and thanked me over and over as I gathered my stuff to head to the back of the plane.

    I finally got to the back and took my seat. As I was sitting there a stewardess came up to me and said in a very stern voice that I needed to come to the back of the plane. I instantly thought the lady I exchanged words with in the beginning of this day in Kansas City, somehow contacted her and that she was either going to jump me with the other stewardess friends or kick me off the plane. I just knew I was in trouble again…
    As I headed to the back of the plane, the ladies back there basically started asking me a million questions as to why I would possibly give up my first class seat to this lady. They were convinced that the old lady forced me too. I kept apologizing and saying that I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do that and that I just wanted to stay on the flight. I explained the whole story to them and they all started laughing. They said I wasn’t in trouble and one stewardess said that in 20 years she had never witnessed someone giving up their first class seat voluntarily. They promised from that moment on that they would treat me as if I was still in first class.

    As I took my seat, so the plane could take off, they all kept coming up to me asking me if I need anything and giving me drinks and magazines. They even offered to package up a bottle of wine for the road, which I turned down. The couple next to me turned to me and asked if I was famous or something? I just said no and that I simply did something nice.

    Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

    Good News :: we went on a fun vacation to Laguna Beach / Disneyland. Hence the Go-go song title. It was a short notice vacation since I combined an Air Force Reserve job and our vacation together, but we had a blast. If you’ve never been to Laguna, you should go out there. They have a great beach, cute shops and gelato. We LOVED their gelato. The beach was the first portion of our trip, which was very relaxing and prepared us for the last part of the trip – Disneyland fiasco. Believe it or not we did survive our trip with an almost eight month old being out of his element. He is such an easy baby! (Plus he is a pro now. He received his first Disney World princess’s kiss at only eight weeks old.)

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    Bad News :: I dropped my camera lens. I had a bad feeling that would happen and of course it was prior to my family photo with Mickey in Disneyland. Major bummer, but at least I had my video camera that also takes still shots. Not as good as my camera, (I am very spoiled now) but it worked. Plus we have Amazon Prime, so I could ship my new lens to our next hotel just in time for two of our days at Disney.

    At least my Disney photos came out fine.

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    More Bad News :: Our shipment was delayed… so delayed that I had to cancel the order since I would already be home by the time it arrived to the hotel. Amazon was nice enough to attempt to reroute it, but it logistically didn’t work out.

    As soon as I broke my lens, Jay and I both hopped on to Amazon to figure out if I should buy a replacement lens that was identical to the one I dropped or get a different one. I had a 18-55mm one. We went back and forth with whether I should get a 70-300mm instead. Both came in around the same price range ($100 – $130 on Amazon.) I don’t claim to be a photographer, but anyone with a fancy camera understands that the lens range makes a huge impact on your photos. I do more close-up portrait shots (18-55m), where my husband thought it would be nice to get a better zoom capability.

    In the end, we decided that it would be best to just get an identical replacement lens for the camera and maybe in a little while splurge on a different type. New item to add to my Christmas list!

    Nikon 18-55mm

    Nikon 70-300mm

    Heads-up :: This post contains affiliate links. Village Cape Cod will receive commission if a purchase is made using these links.

    Curtains for Coen (Roman Shades)

    I finally finished the roman shades for Coen’s room and let me tell you – it was not easy. It was mainly because I had to purchase a ton of different things to make it and they weren’t from the same stores. By the end I went to Lowe’s 2 times, JoAnn’s 3 times and Hobby Lobby once. Even with some of the mistakes, I loved how they turned out and I owe it all to this site:

    She does an amazing job at explaining everything step by step to guide you through the process. I also love that these have wood dowels to make the curtain lay flat when it is raised. I had a pair my mother-in-law made for us that didn’t and they would squish up weird.

    Here are some tips to share prior to you starting in at doing your own (if you choose to use Brown Paper Package’s instructions.)

    1. Use blackout material for the backing. It costs just as much as any other backing (around $6.99 a yard) and it works really well. Coen never wakes up due to the sun now and his day naps go so much smoother.

    2. I read several blogs about how to make roman shades prior to doing this project and this one showed me Roman Shade Tube Tape to use instead of the ring tape.

    Roman Shade Tube Tape

    3. This is not going to be done in an hour. It takes a little bit, but well worth it. I know that the next one I make will go super fast. I already have plans for Maren’s room and the Living Room.

    4. Use a countersink when hanging your curtains. This was my favorite part, because I got to learn something new. I never had used or owned a countersink, but I bought one for $3.50 at Lowe’s and it makes it look a little more professional. Basically it is used to not only pre-drill the hole, but it also will indent it a little so the screw doesn’t stick out.


    5. Buy enough of the Roman Shade cord. It’s only $.99, so you might as well pickup a lot of it. It will run throughout the shade so I always load up on it.

    6. Buy these little guys to control the cord. Not only can you lock your shades in place, but you don’t have to put more screws in your wood by putting a cord anchor on the side of your window.

    I learned a lot and made a few mistakes, but overall I loved how they turned out.

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    20X20 Felt Pillow Instructions :: Part 2

    Check out my earlier post about how to make the pillow:

    This is the fun part for us. We both picked out a pattern we liked, grabbed some felt from Hobby Lobby and started cutting.

    Items Needed:

  • floss
  • different colors of felt
  • felt
  • needle
  • pencil

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    Just a quick example of our zipper. The last post explained how to do it.

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    Here is shot of everything needed for this project.

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    We found an image of this owl when doing a google search. We thought it was cute, so we modeled ours after it.

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    We picked arrows that would match Coen’s room.

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    Maren enjoyed making the pillows, but burnt out half way through. I had to finish them both up, but it was well worth it. I think they turned out great.

    20 X 20 Pillow Instructions :: Part 1

    I wanted to do a fun project with the girls this weekend. Alexa ended up going to spend the night at her friend’s house, so it was just a Maren and Me project. I created two 20X20 pillows. One for each of us.

    Items Needed:

  • fabric
  • 12 – 14″ invisible zipper
  • matching thread
  • pillow insert

  • Step 1: Measure out your fabric :: Believe it or not, for a 20X20 pillow, you only need to cut two 20X20 pieces of fabric. You can even do 19X19 if you want an extra plump pillow. You want it a little tight for your pillow, so that it looks really full. I choose a duck cloth, which I got on sale for 4.89 a yard.

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    Step 2: Zipper placement :: This part is tricky. You want to place the invisible zipper face down on the right side of your fabric. I put an “x” mark on the wrong side of my fabric, since mine is white to keep it straight.

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    Step 3: Sewing the zipper :: I don’t have a zipper foot, but if you do – put it on now. I just use my regular foot and get as close as I can. In between sewing the two different sides, unzip it to make sure none of the thread got in the way of the zipper keeping it from unzipping. I use my seam ripper if it did to cut through the few threads.

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    Step 4: Sew the pillow :: Unzip the zipper and then sew all the sides, just don’t sew where the zipper is.

    Step 5: Cut the corners :: Cut the corners to let it lay flat and then flip inside out. Stuff the pillow and you are done!

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    I bought my pillow inserts at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. They are well worth the costs. They will last you for years, where other ones I’ve had are done and flat in six months.

    Village Art Fair + Weekend Garage Saling = Perfect Weekend

    Our family always looks forward to our town’s yearly art fair. We love it because its in walking distance of our house, so we can go down daily. It’s a good time hanging out with friends and running into neighbors.

    Check out for info on the Village Art Fair:

    The other favorite part of this weekend are the garage sales! We have a neighborhood garage sale during this time and it is amazing. Maren and I could last for hours upon hours searching for our fun bargains and this year Jay and one of Maren’s friends joined us. Jay quickly burned out, but Maren and her friend tagged along all day. I gave them $5 each to spend and it was fun watching how they spent their money.

    Here are some of my awesome finds that I already put to use:

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    I’ve been looking for a fruit bowl for a little while now, so I snatched this little find up for $2.

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    A new restaurant moved in down the street from us a few years ago named “Tavern in the Village.” Maren thought it was called “Tarzan” for along time, so that’s how “Tarzan’s Kitchen” was born. On weekends, Maren and Jay will setup a menu for Alexa and I to select from. Maren is the server and Jay is the cook. Now she will have a special place to put her menu in and all other times I will have a place to put their daily chore assignments in during the summer. It was a little nicked up, but I cleaned it up with a black sharpie. For only $2, this guy was a steal.

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    This find was my best priced find, running at $10, but my favorite. I am restraining myself from sanding it down and restaining. I may eventually do that, but I thought I would leave it as is for now. I bought it from a neighbor’s garage sale and she mentioned that it came from William Jewel, which is a private college in my Dad’s town. It does have a few carvings in the arm and gum stuck under the chair, but I still like the character the wear on the chair gives it.

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    Alexa wanted a new Kate Spade bag this year.. Luckily I didn’t break down and buy her a new one, because I found this bag plus a cell phone holder and wallet at a ladie’s garage sale that worked at a place that sold them. She had so much Kate Spade merchandise. I had a little self control and only spent $25 for the set. Now Alexa has her new bag for middle school.

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    This was my best buy. It was free. The guy said he was done selling and he thought the canisters were bad b/c they didn’t have lids. I instantly thought to use them as planters. Maren helped pick out the red petunias and I now have 3 new pots.

    I did buy a couple of other items, like a George Brett Nesting Dolls for $1, a mini Radio Flyer for Coen for $2 and a new necklace for $3.



    Happy Tree in PV

    Right across from our house is a little triangle where all the streets intersect nicknamed “the fountain.” Prairie Village made it a nice place by decorating it with trees, benches and a fountain the kids can play in. On a typical day you can see tons of children running around on the triangle with their parents relaxing on a bench after a long day of work. (usually with a beer or wine in hand to help relax – no judging going on here)

    The other day my daughters came home from the fountain after playing with their friends. They were excited to tell me about the happy tree that someone made on our special island. The happy tree had a bag of tags, a sharpie and a sign instructing everyone to write what makes them happy:

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    Our girls wrote their special message. Maren wrote that she was happy for World’s of Fun while Alexa put that she was happy for her brother and sister. Our favorite silly one came from one of Alexa’s BFFs:

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    This happy little tree made the

    Plus we woke up this morning to see the KMBC news van parked at the island too. Kansas City news:

    Nobody knows who created this happy tree still today. This just goes to show how special our little neighborhood is and another strong reason why we rebuilt instead of moved.

    forgive the iPhone pics

    Mommy Day Must Haves from Etsy

    I’ve been a mom for 12 years now and the time has flown by, but I will always remember my first one. I was still going to college when I had Alexa so Jay got me school supplies. Some might have thought it was silly, but I loved it. It just proved to me that he supported me in completing school still.

    Now fast forwarding to today my mommy needs have fully changed. Here are a few of this year’s must haves that I have found on Etsy.

    Follow Niki Adams’s board Mommy must haves on Pinterest.

    Check out my whole board for more items.

    The New Front of the Cape Cod

    Two times this week I was asked what color my outside paint on my house was. What a compliment! It’s everyone’s reaction to say that they won’t copy it, but I honestly don’t mind at all.

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    My Benjamin Moore Storm house.

    It’s very similar to our old house color, but not quite the same. Here is a shot of our old house prior to the renovation.
    Old House Front

    We talked about our outside house colors in these blog posts:

  • Exterior PaintBody and Trim – Benjamin Moore Storm Cloud Grey and Winter White

    Front Door Paint ColorFront Door – Caliente AF-290 (Benjamin Moore)

    It’s been awhile since I shot the outside of my house. To be honest I was hoping to shoot when I had a beautiful green lawn. I have a feeling it won’t happen until next year though. So much so, we decided to forego flowers this year, which hurts a little. I love going flower shopping. I always stop the oldest lady at Lowe’s and ask her what flowers they would recommend. I figured they’ve been doing flowers every year at their house and they would know a thing or two about them. It never fails and they help me select the best ones possible.

    I did “sneak” some perennial jade flowers in the house though. I used them as my Easter center pieces and I am going to plant them in the side yard one of these days.

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    Losing the Baby Weight

    I am back in my non-maternity pants!!!! They are a little tight (still counts, right?) and it took six months but I am finally there. Anyone that has had a baby understands what a big deal this is. While pregnant and shortly after it seems like this would be an impossible feat.

    I still have a couple of slacks that aren’t cooperating, but now I am encouraged to keep going until I can fit in those.

    I wish I could say it was from diligently working out, but let’s face it. Being a new mom with a busy work schedule, I have no time to devote to working out everyday.

    Eventually I will drop the 10 extra pounds and I will be happily in my pre-baby size.

    Here is cute shot of the littles that are more than worth the weight – pun intended.
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    Cloche / Glass Terrarium

    I have had this glass dome on my kitchen counter since Christmas time that I have been trying to figure out what to do with. I did a quick search on Pinterest and saw some neat ideas on what to do, but I wanted something really simple. Here where some of my favorites:

    Cloche of Thread | Pinterest

    Privet Shrub Cloche | Pinterest

    Plant Succulents | Pinterest

    Glass Dome; Ikea Plant | Pinterest

    Island Cottage Glass Dome | Pinterest

    I finally decided I would try out a terrarium. The thought of bringing a plant into my house is intimidating considering that I can kill cacti within a month of getting them, but from what I read the glass dome helps to keep the plant moist.

    I ended up going to Lowe’s and for $3.98 minus my 10% discount, I was able to get a pretty neat indoor Jade Plant. I know nothing about this plant, but I liked how the leaves looked.

    Next I went to Hobby Lobby and grabbed a pot at 30% off making it $4.00.

    I stuck it in my glass dome and hopefully it survives the Adams’s house.
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    Next I need to work on the table itself. I really need to add a picture or something to the wall. Slowly the house will get decorated.

    IKEA is coming to Kansas

    You either love or hate their meatballs, but nobody can deny the fact that Ikea is the bomb. Let me explain why to those that have never stepped out of KC and made it to one.

    Ikea has fun, trendy items at such a lower cost than other places. If you are an organizational junkie like me, you will love this place. Just check out their website: The downfall is that they don’t offer everything online that they have in their stores. Throughout the years they slowly have added inventory, but it’s still not everything.

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    Years ago I emailed IKEA a request to build one in Kansas City. It was followed up with a really nice email saying that we just don’t have the population to justify an IKEA. What? Do they not realize that there isn’t one near us that isn’t at least six hours away?

    Apparently others felt the same way because soon after my email pleading for a new IKEA, Facebook petitions popped up asking for IKEA to come into our town.

    Not only did IKEA deliver. They plopped it down basically in my own backyard. It’s about a 3 mile hike north of me, no highways needed. Talk about answering my wishes. I will no longer need to make my out of town relatives drive me to their IKEA or mail me whatever fun thing I want from there. I can run right after work.

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    My poor family may never see me again after the opening this fall of 2014. Go Merriam, KS

    I am still pretty sure that this was all due to my persuasive email.


    Maren ironically had to make a hate for her school’s hat parade. Her country was Sweden. I kept asking her to add the fact that Ikea came from Sweden, but she couldn’t be pressured. We stuck with the following facts:

  • Sweden is known for their iconic meatballs.
  • Sweden is the third largest exporter of music
  • Princess cake is a well-known cake in Sweden.
  • The moose crossing sign is one of the best souvenirs, so much so that hundreds are stolen each year from the side of the road.
  • Sweden is comprised of 50% forest.
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    Stencil Ideas

    I am craving to do a stencil somewhere in my house. Now that I am past the “No holes, paints or touching of any kind to the house” phase, I am ready to do it. Plus stencils are close enough to wallpaper without the full on commitment.

    I figured there are two good room candidates for a stencil. Maren’s room b/c she has that huge wall and / or the laundry room mainly b/c I wouldn’t have to fight Jay much since this is my room.

    Here are some potential ideas for Maren’s room:

    This one is from

    Flower StencilI love the leaves for her wall in maybe hot pink and light pink leaves. I found this one here on


    I have narrowed it down to these two for my laundry room:

    Laundry Room

    This is by cutestencils on

    And this one is another one that could possibly see on my wall.
    Front Room Stencil

    Which is by