holiday card

We had a lovely time over Thanksgiving at my parents house. And as it has become a new Thanksgiving tradition, we take a big family shot… When I say big, I mean extended because let’s face it, my side of the family is pretty small. It’s just me and my parents. So now with the addition of G and the kids we’ve doubled. If you’ve taken pictures with toddlers, you know that you don’t get very long and you also don’t keep them all clean for very long either.

Sure enough, as soon as we opened the door to head out into the backyard, D tripped and got a nice grass stain on his knee. E was soon to follow. We needed to go and we needed to go quick. After getting our immediate family it was time to start arranging the larger group shot. My mom wanted some of just them and the kids…. shockingly the kids cooperated.

But we still had our fun:

Shoot me now

Shoot me now

Pretty much everything about this picture cracks me up. And yes, my parents have a very good sense of humor so they were laughing too when they saw it.

I have been feeling a bit behind with everything, so when we got home that night, i uploaded the pictures and went to my go to site (Shutterfly) to create the card. Normally we just send out one with the kids on it, but my mom did such a nice job with a family picture that we put all four of us on it.

And here are the results… coming to a mailbox near you (if you’re on “the list”)

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.
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It’s an Elf-tastrophie!

Last Seen… some time over the Summer!!!

The other day I realized that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, as in on THURSDAY! That means that our friend the Elf (aka the best thing to happen to discipline in the last 20 years) is going to arrive from the North Pole to watch over The Big and Little One and report back to Santa.

Here’s the problem… I’m pretty sure our Polar Express got derailed sometime over the summer. I remember putting Super Why (yup that’s his name) back in his box, and I put the box back way up on the shelf… but then we packed everything away and thought we’d be back in the house in September.

Hubby is going to look sometime this week, I’ve looked over the weekend and again at lunchtime today. But no luck. I’m sure he’s tucked away all cozy and warm, dreaming of sugar plumbs and fairies. But see that doesn’t help me one little bit.

I’m hoping that he’s found, but if not then I’ll have to write Santa and get another one… or you know go to the store and buy him. I was hoping I could do it without buying the whole set but the single elves aren’t the same as the one that comes in the box.

And while I’m on that…. how come none of the kids I know question where the elf is from when they see him on display in EVERY TOY and BOOK STORE?!?!?! I digress.

Cross your fingers that we find him. And Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Miss Princess Boobah

Someday my prince will come
Someday we’ll meet again
And away to his castle we’ll go
To be happy forever I know
Someday when spring is here
We’ll find our love anew
And the birds will sing and weddingbells will ring
Someday when my dreams come true

My little girl is a full on princess. To the point where when asked what her name was, she’d say princess… granted she was just learning her name but you get my point. IN fact the other day, she told me she was going to live in a castle. I asked her who she was going to live with and she pointed to her friend Bobby and said… with BOBBY, he’s my prince.  Poor Bobby, didn’t even see it coming.

Since it became a reality that my kids would actually get their own rooms and therefore I would have to decorate a GIRLS room I started Pinning like CRAZY.

At first, I was thinking super girlie:

Source: bhg.com via Debbie on Pinterest

Then I got my PotteryBarn Kids catalog:

Then she started taking ballet, and I remembered my own love of impressionists and Degas:

Source: art.com via Debbie on Pinterest

And my inspiration started…. What goes with black and white charcoal????? Why Tiffany Blue of course?!

Do you know HOW many different Tiffany Blues there are out there?  A LOT! And of course none of them are CALLED Tiffany Blue, they are all more Robins Egg. Then do you want to go more teal, more bright, more blue, subtle, green-ish, etc etc etc.
G was ready to kill me because I was so scared to pull the trigger.  After two trips to two paint stores, plus ENDLESS hours on the internet. I settled on Benjamin Moore, Spectra Blue.

Benjamin Moore, Spectra Blue

Gorge, right?
She is keeping all the furniture from her and her brother’s room. So the crib and dresser that match, both are a deep mahogany almost espresso color.  She’ll also have the Cameron Bookshelves from PBK… We have two of the cubbies, I haven’t decided if I’m going to stack them or get the drawer base for extra storage. Or if D will get them after all; that will be a decision for after we move in anyway.

I also went ahead and ordered some prints for the walls… I.AM.SO.EXCITED about them I think they are just LOVELY. And I know she is going to love them too.

Edgar Degas, Dancers in Blue

Seated Dancer Adjusting Her Shoes

A Dancer Seen in Profile

Three Dancers

None of the prints are huge, so I will have to decide how to group them, as well as what color frames, etc. LOVE IT

What i REALLY love is the light we got for her room. It is SO PRINCESS!!!!  But a cool princess, not a fru-fru princess.

DISCO

Can you believe that is from Home Depot?! It’s not super big, it’s more on the precious side. Just lovely.

I have also been toying with the idea of a stencil on one of the walls to break up the blue. What do you think? Maybe something like…..

Trellis – either in white or a darker shade of blue

More graphic… again tone on tone or white.

or maybe something more magical….

Such as Castles or Fairies

 

So what do you think of Little Miss Princess Boobah’s room?  I can’t wait to show everyone the AFTER, not just the mood boards for all these rooms. We’re getting to the finish line. Hopefully only another month of the “summer” rental.

A little more YUM!

I love quick easy meals.  I love yummy meals.  I love sharing them with you!

Last night was chicken night. It was too cold to grill so I went through my spice rack and remembered this YUMMY garlic pesto that I had from Tastefully Simple.

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A little EVOO and some water and you get this potent paste (it smelled SO FORKIN’ GOOD)

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yummo x10

Then I sauteed some chicken, cut it down so it would cook faster. As well, we had some left over sweet potato fries. So those went into the oven.

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check out that golden brown

And then it all comes together…….

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and yes, it was that good.

 

Ohhhh Sandy

Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh, love me tonight and I promise I’ll love you forever
Oh, I mean it, Sandy, girl
My, my, my, my, my baby
Yeah, I promise, Sandy, girl
Sha, la, la, la, la, baby

Unless you were living under a rock, you would know that there was this big ole storm named Sandy that rolled through my home state of New Jersey. It was an interesting week and I have to say what an amazing man my husband is. He totally kept us together and sane.

Before I get into the drama that Sandy caused, let me take you down memory lane to Hurricane Irene. When Irene was on it’s way, my husband was in denial of it’s ferocity. Our friend who is a Florida native came out to our house because Hoboken, where she lives, was under mandatory evacuation. After arriving at our house, she was soooooo disappointed in our preparedness, so we made a trip to Walmart with the big guy and bought as many supplies as we could.

We were fine, until around 3am when a transformer blew around the corner from our house and the sump pump stopped working. Who knew that thing needed power?! So after that happened…. this is what we woke up to:

In some parts of the basement there were up to 5″ of water, most of the rest had 3″. Either way a LOT of water and a LOT of damage.

This was a few months after we had redone our basement, so we were pretty upset, as was D about losing so many of his toys. But we rebuilt and moved on. When it came time to renovate, we talked about getting one of those generators that automatically turn on if the power goes out. But it was REALLY expensive. Then we talked about getting a generator, but oh wise and powerful me said “What are the chances of us getting a storm like that EVER again.” So we settled for a battery backup that gives us 12 hours of power after the electricity goes out.

When Sandy was forecasted, G and I switched places. I was in denial and he was über prepared. We were kicking ourselves for not getting the generator, but we weren’t really sure which house we would have used it on anyway.

I had our pantry stocked….

My pantry, lots of non-perishables

The kids were prepped, and we were all home on Monday in anticipation. As the winds picked up we had our eye on this ONE tree.

the source of angst

That branch was entwined with the wires that went only to OUR house. With our luck, we were certain that we would be the only ones that lost power.  As it turns out that didn’t happen. We lost power around 7:45pm. The kids and I huddled in one bed until E got sick of it and wanted to sleep in her own crib. D had no such problem.

G on the otherhand was a superstar. He ran back and forth from the rental to the house at least 4 times. Mostly making sure that the sump pump was still working/dry and then also to check on any possible damages. We did a good job tarping the dumpster and putting everything else away. As dawn came, we woke to learn that we were very fortunate. No trees down, no damage to either house or car. Most of our friends were as fortunate, but I know of two that lost swing sets and fences. My parents lost a few trees, but again no major damage.

Then it was waiting for power to come back on…. and waiting…. and waiting.  Did I mention that my cell service was spotty at best? Did I mention that we had NO connection with the outside world. This not only made it difficult to contact my loved ones, but also to put anything into context.

It didn’t however stop us from having some serious fun!

The kids went full on WWE on Daddy

I was serenaded by Rock Star Minnie!

Of course there were superheroes as well… In fact, E wouldn’t take hers off when we went on a walk around the block.

We also played LOTS of board games and completed all of our puzzles. We were also able to get the kids to bed by around 7pm every night because they had no idea what time it actually was!

After Irene, power came back on within 48 hours. I didn’t understand why that wasn’t the case. After 72 hours, we gave up. It was starting to get VERY cold in the house. And it was Halloween, and the kids were antsy. So we packed up to my father-in-law’s in the country….

Yup… there are cows… and horses and right by their house there’s an exotic animal refuge so there are also zebra and camels. SO RANDOM

While being displaced for the remainder of the week was disruptive to everyone. It was great to see my kids playing so much with their cousins. Even though we live only an hour away, we only really see them a handful of times a year. With the exception of G and his brother, the rest of the family lives very close by each other so they get together all the time. D had such a BALL hanging with the “big kids” and going trick-or-treating with them.

cousins

His favorite part was the post trick-or-treating, trading.

checking the loot

By Friday we were getting a little desperate so we went to the bastion of all suburban entertainment…. yup, the mall.

D got a haircut, they rode rides, and had Frosties in the food court.

We got power back on Saturday, it was AWESOME! While there was so much damage in the area and so many of our friends didn’t get power back until just a few days ago we were truly blessed by our family and friends and it was certainly a memorable experience.

 

and the moral of the story…… we’ll be investing in a generator pronto!

Paralyzed

I’m trying to speak but girl you got me tongue-tied
I’m trying to breathe but I’m f-f-f-frozen inside
I’m trying to move but I’m stuck in my shoes
You got me paralyzed, paralyzed, p-p-p-paralyzed
I see you walking, but all you do is pass me by
Can’t even talk, cause words don’t fall into my mind
I’d make a move if I had the guts to
But I’m paralyzed, paralyzed, p-p-p-paralyzed

So whenever I work on a large personal project I get to a point where I feel absolutely paralyzed.

Why? I’m not sure.

Maybe it’s because it’s coming to a close and I don’t want it to. Maybe it’s nerves that all my planning was for naught. I don’t know, but I’ve always been that way. From my senior art show in high school, to graduating college, to our wedding, to closing on the house. It’s very odd considering how decisive I am and how well I plan things. I’m sure that at some point I will get what I have referred to as “wedding day zen.” That feeling the morning of the wedding when you know that all your hard work is going to come to fruition and whatever happens, happens. There is nothing you can do to change it at that point. And no matter what, it will be perfect because it is yours.

I have been delaying even posting because I want each of these to be “perfect synopsis” of whatever I’m thinking or doing. I want the pictures to be perfect, organized, show a clear story, etc. But that’s just it. the story isn’t always clear and concise and i don’t have to be either.

So as we start down the final stretch I’ll be posting fast and furious. I hope.

xo

If it looks like a duck… and walks like a duck…

Yeah yeah yeah, it’s probably a duck….

And all that is true, except when you’re talking about a house under construction. Right now if you drove by our house you’d probably say to yourself, it looks like a house, must be a house…. You’d be partially right.

It does indeed look like a house!

Check it:

our HOUSE!

Love the detail up on the top, we chose a little darker shingling, that’s a word right?

So inviting! Wait ’til you see it with the shutters. they POP

Back right corner

Back left corner, SO happy I put those additional two windows in across the back. I think the house would have looked a little empty without them

 

Of course the inside is a whole other matter, but it’s coming along. I’ll be taking you room by room, so stay tuned!

You Got Me

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what Im doin, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

You know what really stinks, is that there aren’t more hours in a day. Things are moving so quickly and I have been so busy at my day job that I haven’t had any time to update you on what has been happening here at Casa de Chaos (©RBec Reeves).

First off, the winner of the kids sink race (if you can call it that) is…..

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

with a plain white china top. Simple easy and will look great.

I’ve been working with the contractor on about a thousand different things. He and I spent some significant time in the master bathroom to come up with the optimum floor plan in the bathroom. The original plan that the architect had designed had a very small shower, and not for nothing, G and I are more shower people than bath people. We contemplated taking out the bathtub all together but know that is a resale mistake (no we’re not going anywhere, ever, but just in case). If you remember we added a window to the bathroom and that is what started the whole chain reaction. However the final plan is AWESOME!!!! The shower and tub are in the same place, but since we opted for a smaller tub (still a deep soak but it’s not a drop in and it’s only 6′) we could increase the size of the shower. We also switched the vanity and the toilet which allowed for us to put in a linen closet IN the bathroom. HOLLAR!!!

It’s hard to tell in these pictures because there are no walls… but here’s a few views of our bathroom:

Here’s the shower. On the right will be the double vanity and to the left the tub.

And here is the added window, plus the linen closet and where the toilet will be.

The rough plumbing has passed inspection, WOOT WOOT. And the electric is next up on the list. Once that is done then they can start the insulation. Then the dry wall goes up, then we’re on our way to the finish line

This means that I have been FREAKING out about floor plans and color schemes. But I am pretty sure I have some good ideas for D and E’s rooms. D’s definitely…. E’s I keep going back and forth on….. Stay Tuned!

 

You’re so vain-ity

Well, last time, we went over the tile situation. After hubs and I picked out the tiles, the next weekend we went vanity/fixture shopping. It was eye opening. I have always enjoyed looking at furniture and bathroom set ups. I go gaga over super modern spaces, especially in hotels and in magazines. However, I also don’t find these to be very practical and livable.

G and I have a similar aesthetic. We appreciate the super modern but want the traditional. I’ve discovered it’s called transitional. We headed to the lovely Lily at Kitchen & Bathworks in North Plainfield. She had been recommended to us by Maria at Garden State Tile as well as our contractor, architect, and neighbors. That’s pretty solid if you ask me. She let us wander the showroom for a bit then get down to it. I will be honest, as much research as I’d done. I had NO frame of reference for what these things cost.

We started with our bathroom vanity. G and I knew we wanted to try to get a double vanity in the space. We had about 60″ to work with. We walked in with some pictures as well, this was the one we liked the most so walked around looking to see something similar.

Source: overstock.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

We ended up with this awesome vanity from Vanico. It’s called Tradition. We might add the above toilet cabinet at some point but our builder and I reconfigured the bathroom so we’re going to have an awesome built-in linen closet. So happy!

 

We really wanted an Espresso wood, we thought it would play against the sand colored tile so nicely. Second most important was storage. Third was quality/price. This covered all three. Solidly manufactured and gorgeous wood, plenty of storage. WHEEEE And for the price, we got the vanity top and mirrors thrown in. Which covers value. NICE.

When it came to the faucets and shower head it had to be Moen… G kept quoting some Howard Stern call in or Larry David or something, I can’t remember but he just kept muttering “It’s Moen, bitch.” So of course now that’s all I can think of when I hear it. Cracks me up.

Source: moen.com via Debbie on Pinterest

Source: moen.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

So that is our bathroom.

 


 

The kids bathroom is another story. We have their tub, and their faucets all set… the vanity is a whole other story.

The fixtures are all going to be chromed out. Which rocks. THEN we have some decisions to make for the vanity. We decided that we were going to just go Home Depot, nothing fancy, something that could get beat up because lets face it. They are 5 and 2 there is a lot of maturing that needs to happen before an expensive vanity goes in there. So we were originally going to get this:

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

But then I was poking around online and didn’t love it as much.

So I found these couple:

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

 

But then I also happened upon this one:

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

Source: homedepot.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

Clearly a completely different scheme. Now if you remember, the game plan for their bathroom was white on white and classic. Subway tiles in the tub area, hex tiles on the floor, wainscoting on the walls. I was trying to convince myself that the tempured glass would look fine with the white, but it wouldn’t. And I also tried to convince myself that the lines of the espresso vanity would look fine with the wainscoting, but I don’t think it will.

So now the question is do we go for modern or traditional?

Any thoughts???? Please feel free to share.