Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hi. My name is Jany.

Just thought I'd re-introduce myself since it's been a very, very long time since I last posted. Life is super busy for me nowadays. Cameron turned one two months ago so that has a lot to do with it. He's not walking yet but he sure is busy. He's all over the place exploring, opening, gnawing, slobbering, pointing and pounding on everything. He loves to point at things and say "What's this?" That's basically what we do all day, he points and I tell him what it is. I love to see him learning and understanding and love that he is so inquisitive.

Just as I had expected this blog has morphed into a full on Mommy blog. I tried to avoid it but it's just not possible when all I do all day everyday is baby related!  Oh well, such is life. I AM a mom, that's me... now.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Life Letters

Next week my baby is turning 10 months old! Last month I wrote another letter to him but never got around to posting it. There were far more changes within just the last month, from 9 to 10, than the last 6 combined! I'm sure I'll be writing another letter to document all those changes soon.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

3 years and 9 months

A few days ago, August 1, Dave and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary! How'd we celebrate? Well, we spent the day in Pittsburgh tracking down details of David's family history at town municipal buildings and the county courthouse. Might not sound fun to you but we love this kinda stuff! Then, as a treat to me since Dave HATES this place, we topped it all off with a visit to Ikea! Playing history detectives and shopping at Ikea- sounds like a perfect way to spend an anniversary to me! :) As for gifts... he got me a fab Dooney & Burke leather saddle bag and I got him his much coveted Zoku quick popsicle maker. Posts on these amaze balls items to follow soon!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Recap

Hello bloggy friends. I'm slowly working my way back into tip top blogging form. My short sabbatical has already somewhat re-generated my interest in blogging and has sprouted a few new ideas for posts.

Saturday the fam and I went on a bike ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We rented bikes and a trailer for the baby and had a great time just peddling down the beautiful Towpath Trail! The weather was perfect for it, overcast and much, much cooler than the 95 degrees that has been the norm the last few weeks.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Project: Pinterest

Like everyone else I love me some Pinterest! Unlike most people though, I don't let myself just pin away hoarding hundreds of crafts, design and fashion photos or recipes. No, my OCD nature won't let me just pin at random. I try to only pin things that I know I'll attempt to make or take inspiration from. I mean who needs just another list or "board" of things waiting to be done?

There are millions of recipes online that people pin and re-pin but how many people really make any of it? I see so many of those funny ecards that say things like "Honey, could you pick up a pizza for dinner? I'm too busy pinning recipes on Pinterest." My point exactly! Just because something looks yummy does not mean I'm pinning it. I actually look at the recipe and discern whether or not I'll  be able to or will want to go out of my way to make it.

So I've decided to start this series, Project Pinterest, to keep me on track and motivated to continue trying all those recipes and crafts that I pin. I even made a fancy schmancy logo for it. (Okay so it's not that fancy or schmancy but the fact that I actually took the time to put something together gets me an E for effort right?)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday's Letters

Today I'm combining a Friday's Letters post with another because well, I just wanna- so there! ;)


Dear Blog, I have been so uninspired lately that I have been ignoring you. No matter what I do I can't seem to get inspired and I hate to just post stuff just to post it, so that I have something posted for that day. Seems so beside the point of having a blog, having to torture myself to do posts or come up with material just to fill space on a daily basis. SO, I am slowly regenerating myself and will eventually return to you full force...

Dear Cameron, you are almost 9 months old and I just can't believe how fast you've grown, how much you change and grow every day right before my eyes and how much I enjoy watching you do it all. You're hilarious and it's freaky how much like me and your dad you are. Genes and the proliferation of them are such a weird thing!

Dear Boo Kitty, I loved you like a child before I had Cameron and I still love you but if you pee or poop in the living room one more time I'm really going to lose it!

Dear shoe and bag closet, Ha! I conquered you! Hopefully that will inspire me to keep going and organize the other closets in the house, eventually moving on to getting other more major projects done. For now I will flaunt you as my one victory so far during this lazy summer of mine....

And now... here's my post on the shoe/bag closet organization...

So I've been in a full funk for the last few weeks. Not sure what it is, probably just the mid-summer blues but whatever it is I just can't seem to get it in gear. In an attempt to get myself kick started again I decided to take on some organizational projects that I've been putting off since we moved in almost a year ago.

First up was getting all of my shoes and bags out of the Shoes Under bags that they've been stored in for the last few years and organizing them in one of the guest bedroom closets. The closet we have in our master bedroom is kind of small compared to the size of the room. Luckily, we have two extra bedrooms with big empty closets!

A side note about Shoes Under- they SUCK! I bought them when we lived in an apartment thinking they were perfect since they'd just easily slide in and out from under the bed. Well, like I said they suck. The compartments aren't sewn to the bottom of the bag so everything pretty much just ends up bunched together at the bottom of the bag. And the bottom and sides of the bag have no structure at all, it's all fabric so the bag is floppy so when you push or pull the handle the bag just collapses and doesn't move. I'm such a sucker for those darn As Seen On TV products! Hope that Yonanas machine I just ordered is as cool as it seemed on the commercial.

Ha! Just kidding... how completely ridiculous is that thing!

Here's my finished high heel and bag closet. My flats, flip flops, sneakers and boots are in my Master bedroom closet. I used skirt/pant hangers to hang the bags. I saw on Pinterest that someone else used S hooks which is a brilliant idea but I have no idea where to get some. I've looked around as I've been out and about and haven't seen anything even close to an S hook. Besides, I like to use what I have if possible and I had a stack of skirt hangers just hanging around looking for a job!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekend Update: Life's a party!

I'm linking up with Sami's Shenanigans for the Weekend Update!

There's been a lot of celebrating going on around here lately. Two weeks ago we celebrated my birthday, Saturday was Cameron's 8 Month birthday and yesterday was Father's Day!

For his 7 month birthday I let Cam pick out his cake. This month I decided to make a sort of mini cake out of cupcakes fashioned into the number 8.

Saturday we headed out to Put-in-Bay, one of three small islands located just off the shore from Sandusky, Ohio on Lake Erie. It's such a perfect day trip for those in the Cleveland area. "Day" trip is key here because at night the place (I hear) turns into the mid-west version of the Jersey Shore!

We got on the ferry at Port Clinton and took the 15 minute ride over to the island at 10 am. It was Cam's first ferry ride!

Downtown is lined with lots of touristy shops and bars/restaurants.We had lunch at the Boat House and then stopped at a shop where we picked up the cutest little Captains hat for Cameron.

 We stopped by Perry's Cave and bought a bag of dirt that we then took over to the miners sluice to pan for semi-precious stones. It was a lot of fun even though it was obvious that the semi-precious stones were just pre-mixed into a bunch of gravelly dirt. That didn't seem to ruin the fun for anyone though, there were a lot of very excited kids sluicing away. Soooo cute to see how excited they'd get when the gems and crystals would appear from the dirt, such a great activity for kids!

Here's the loot we panned out for Cameron.

Rose quartz, crystal, amethyst, peridot, sodalite, garnet, pyrite, obsidian are just some of the gems in our booty. The finders card also had ruby, sapphire and emerald on there but alas I don't think we have any of those in our little cache.

For Father's Day Cameron got Dada his much longed for bird feeder. (I think Cam's going to say Dada before he says Mama. He says Da, da, da, da all day long. Sigh. Oh well, hopefully Mama will be his 2nd word?) The previous owners of our house had a bird feeder right in the same spot in the back yard. I was glad when we moved in to see that they had taken it with them, Dave however was disappointed.

Since then he's been talking about getting one only to have me shoot down the idea. I've just never been a big bird person and thought that the feeder's location in the middle of the yard was too random. I also thought that kids, when running around back there, would accidentally plow into it. I finally changed my mind when I realized that we don't exactly have six kids running around back there all the time. Heck, we don't even have one that crawls yet! And because it really isn't that much in the way, there's still plenty of room for little ones to run wild.

And finally, here's a pic from my birthday featuring me in the Birthday Hat sitting on my gift- the Indonesian  Bench that I've been wanting from Cost Plus World Market! Love it so much and the pillows I purchased from Festive Home Decor on Etsy are so perfect on it. Now we're searching for complimenting chairs and a coffee table.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Current Crush

Current Crush ThursdaysToday I'm linking up with Framed Frosting for my Current Crush, a post where I showcase what I'm currently "crushing" on.

Right now I'm so into... BURLAP!  It's really inexpensive material that can be used in so many different ways plus it fits into that whole industrial/rustic look that I love and is really popular right now!

Here's my DIY version of the burlap pillow which I silkscreened and sewed myself. Read the post for that here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mom hair?

So I got my hair hacked off yesterday. I didn't plan on getting it this short- just thought I was cutting it to my usual point right above my shoulders but for some reason when I sat down in the chair I told her to cut it to my chin! I haven't had my hair this short in many, many years.

It's gonna take a little getting used to! I woke up this morning and was like "Whoa!".  I have ALOT of hair and it's very THICK so I looked like Carrot Top. I have to use a lot of product to keep this sucker slicked down! Anyhoo... my friend Paige says I look like I'm 12 years old which is a compliment at my age but I was thinking that I totally look old, that I just gave myself the "mom 'do". Ugh.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Such a super cute logo/sign and love the big colorful SALE sign
We have a bit of a local celebrity in our little town. Her name is Gina Bishop and she's known for re-purposing salvaged items into decorative pieces. She first garnered attention through her blog Homegirl, as well as her extremely popular barn sales where she sells her re-purposed and salvaged items. It has been her appearances on the Nate Berkus Show though that have really skyrocketed her into local celebrity and decorator guru status. In October she appeared on the show with her sister where she competed in a room makeover challenge. Since the show she  has also made a series of how-to videos for MSN and appeared with HGTV star Eric Stromer as the winner in GMC's Let's Trade Secrets Challenge.

I first learned about Gina through our local town newspaper where she was featured in an article. After Googling her I learned about an upcoming barn sale and then realized that she lived right around the corner from me! Last weekend she had another one of her famous sales. This one had to be the biggest and busiest one yet. The very first night the line of shoppers spilled down a good portion of her driveway. We went to check it out on Saturday after the fervor had subsided and were pleased to find that there were a lot of great things left. 

I really love her style which is similar to mine but just a touch more country. Like Gina, I love to find old, run down, out of date items and repaint or re-purpose them for my house. Most of the time when I see something at one of her barn sales I usually think "I can make that!" There's just something about having a piece of furniture or a decorative item that not everyone else has, a piece that you found in an out of the way random thrift shop or industrial yard. And of course there's the satisfaction of having given it a new look and new found life.  It's such a compliment when someone asks where you purchased a piece or when they say that it looks just like something they saw at one of the major home stores.

Anyways, back to Gina.... all I have left to say is You Go Homegirl! Love your style, love to shop your barn sales and I LOVE that you live in the same little town that I do.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Recap

Hey everyone! Had a great Memorial Day weekend. The weather was super hot and humid, a perfect kick off to summer. Of course our A/C decided to kick the bucket on Friday. Well, it didn't really completely die. It seems to kind of work a little, enough to keep downstairs a respectable temp. It's still warmer than we'd like but not so bad. Now upstairs is a different story. The A/C doesn't seem to work at all up there so it's been hot, hot, hot. Calling the repair people today!

Saturday we went to a birthday party in Pittsburgh. That night Dave and I went to dinner and a movie (the Avengers in 3D = 3 hours of non-stop explosions). It was our first "date night" and was a lot of fun. Cameron got up at his usual time (5 a.m.) so we watched the sun rise over downtown Pittsburgh. The view from my in-laws condo on top of Mount Washington is amazing!

Cameron basks in the glow of the morning sun.

On Monday we went to the Memorial Day parade. It was Cameron's first parade! I thought he'd be scared of the loud drums from the marching bands but he didn't bat an eye. The next three photos were taken by my mother-in-law.

 Cam made a new furry friend at the parade.

Our neighborhood pool opened this weekend so we checked that out for the first time after the parade. It was a lot of fun and not ridiculously crowded like we assumed it was going to be. I'm excited to have such easy access to a pool (right down the street from our house), especially for Cameron since he loves the water so much!

Cameron contemplates his attack on the kiddie pool.

 What kind of madness have you brought me into?

In between all of that Dave finished mulching the front yard (there were a few plant beds left), mulched around our mailbox and Cameron's playhouse and re-seeded a patch of grass. Phew! That's a lot of hard work in very humid, 90 degree weather! It all looks so, so, so nice though.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's OK Thursday!

Last week I gave Adventures of Newlyweds "Friday's Letters" a try and had a really good time reading and getting comments from other linkers. So this week I'm giving "It's OK Thursday" a spin!

"It's OK Thursday" is a feature that Amber from Brunch with Amber does every... you guessed it... Thursday! For those of you bloggers out there who have never linked up and done one of these- give it a try! It's fun to read others posts and I've noticed that I find a bunch of great blogs that I might not have otherwise come across and vice versa- they find mine! :)

It's OK... grab a toy off the shelf at Target, open it and give it to your screaming baby in order to be able to shop just a few minutes longer. scrub the spit up stain off your shirt with a wet wipe instead of changing your shirt even though it (and you) kinda smell like baby vom.

...that you go to Hot Yoga and think "Why do I put myself through this", "This sucks", "This is not relaxing" and "Really? Put my head where?" during the entire class instead of "clearing your mind" like you're instructed to.

...that you don't buy into the whole mind, body, spirit "thing" of yoga and just go to get limber and hopefully lose a few LB's because it's hotter (and smellier) than hell in there!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Mother of a weekend

We tackled a huge project last weekend- mulching the entire front yard. (I use "we" liberally, as always Dave did all of the heavy lifting, digging, raking and sweating.) For a few months now our yard has looked really shabby and I've been a little embarrassed especially since we're flanked by neighbors with yards that could be featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazines.

We started with quite an over grown mess. Instead of just hacking everything back and dealing with what we had we decided to pull everything out and start from scratch. So after mulching we're halfway there. Now it's just up to me to select the flowers, plants and shrubs- no small feat!

Here's the before...

And the after...

Yard work took up most of the weekend but there was also Cameron's weekly swimming lesson on Saturday and of course Mother's Day. I woke up to find a large gift waiting for me in our freshly painted sun room!

Dave finished the sun room the weekend  before. We eventually plan to replace the carpet with tile. The paint on the walls is Benjamin Moore Weston Flax HC-5, a really light, creamy yellow color.

Back to the important stuff... like my gift! As soon as I saw that it was from Don Drumm I had a good guess at what it could be...

A beautiful sun to grace the wall of our sun room! Love it so much! It's a perfect fit on the one wall we have in the room. Don Drumm is a well known Akron, OH based artist best known for his beautiful sun sculptures.

Of course I asked Dave to hang it up right then and there. While he got the tools he needed Cameron and Boo Kitty played with the ribbon. (Please don't write me... I know that it is not a good idea to give ribbon to babies but I was watching him the entire time and did not let him put it in his mouth nor did he ever attempt to wrap it around his neck. He mainly just looked at it and waved it around. And no, I won't ever assume that since he did not do any of that this time that he'll never do it another time.)