Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tis the Season...

We are at the final countdown.  I am done shopping, wrapping & preparing.  Now I can sit back & enjoy...I think. 

I finished wrapping last night, my house is cleaned & back to being organized.  We go to my in-laws (Nanny & Grandpa) every Christmas Eve.  We usually do a nice but low key dinner.  We let the kids open presents & then the adults.  We stopped buying for every adult a couple of years ago.  We started doing a Secret Santa which has always been fun.  We draw names & know who we have prior to the day.  This year we are playing real Secret Santa...no names drawn.  We bring a $25 wrapped gift, put numbers in a bucket, pick a # & then it's go time.  Mine well...I will have to show you later...not sure who is reading this should they have time :)

We will be doing Christmas dinner at our house with my parents and Nanny & Grandpa.  Homemade lasagna, sauce and meatballs with a salad and garlic bread....yummy!! 

One thing I am so going to miss about living here is the Fire Dept bringing Santa around to the neighborhood usually the Sunday before Christmas.  They sound the sirens, pull up & sing carols.  Santa gets out and comes to each house to see the kids.  Katie loves it so much!  Shea well not so much.  She is still not a fan of the jolly big guy so we let her skip.

Katie & cousin Gabby!!


Katie loves Santa so very much!!


I made a little Plumeria Sugar Scrub for all the ladies in the family.  I added some pretty ribbon, a jingle bell & on top a little label.  Beer for the guys...I bought them the 12 beer of winter from Samuel Adams...



I had made the ballet teachers mugs (like the school teachers) with ballet shoes & it says Just Dance.  I put spa socks & tea bags in them.  They really turned out super cute. 

I am no artist but thought I did pretty good :)


I had shown you the deck at night but here it is during the day. 



Almost finished & then the railings will go up.  I probably won't be back over until the weekend.  We are planning to take a trip to Atlantic City with my nephew, his wife & my parents.  A much needed trip away.  When I get back some of the tiling will be complete, the granite will be going in on the 4th, and the floors down on the 14th...WOW.  Then it's all crunch time.  Guess I should be working on those vanities that will be going in our bathrooms... 

Much love, peace & happiness....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Appreciation

Today as I drove over to the new house my mind had wondered off to the recent events in Newtown, CT.  I've turned off my TV because I just don't want to see it, hear about it, etc anymore.  I will never forget the tragedy that struck, but I have heard enough.  It just really hurts to keep seeing it so much.

On my Facebook feed this morning a person that I've always respected as a photographer in the media posted something I was feeling.  He shared this -
http://erin-thatsamorey.blogspot.com/2012/12/two-requests-from-newtown.html?spref=fb

And, then he respectively asked to please let the parents & people grieve in private!  Well said Eric!

Shea & I were in the car and she asked me "Mommy are you happy?"  I said "yes, are you?".  She perked right up & said yes.  I asked her what makes her happy and without hesitation she said sissy (these two have a strong bond that I hope stays strong)!  Oh my heart just melted.

Later as I was baking goodies for the teachers & the men that have been working at the house the song For the Sake of Our Brother by the Trans Siberian Orchestra was playing.  These lyrics -

In a Stable
In a Manager
In the cold winter's air
In the arms of his mother
A child's lying there

My heart stopped!  I thought of mine & Shea's earlier conversation and then these lyrics.  Last Friday a mom and/or dad will no longer have their child in their arms to hold.  Or a brother or sister can no longer say that their sister or brother make them happy.  I weep for you Newtown in so many ways. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Onward & forward...it's hard to do when seeing so many suffer, but we Ferns have so very much to be thankful for!! Look at this amazing view at night looking out onto our deck - 

I should've turned off the lights but the guys wouldn't have been happy with me. The river is out there with the lights shining around it.  It is beautiful!


My hardwood floor sample...

5 1/2 inch wide plank...LOVE!!


My oven is installed....oh la la I can't wait to bake in it!!



I made Apple Dumplings for the men at the house, Apple Dumplings & chocolate covered pretzels for the teachers.  I had made mugs that say "A teacher holds a hand, opens a mind & touches a heart" with a fern leaf for each of the girls teachers.  I put the pretzels in a cute snowman box & wrapped up for them.  I think it all came out super cute.  The top of the dumplings I made instructions for heating with our Christmas card on the bottom.  ***Disclaimer*** If you haven't tried these dumplings before..YOU must!  They are so good & easy to make!  I had made an extra batch for us.  My hubby was going across to his parents & I scooped 2 out for him to take to his dad....before he made it out of there house his dad was digging in!!!  Could be that I am just an amazing cook :)  You can find the recipe here (and please do not hate me for sharing...they are seriously so very good) -


The beginning!
 And now that I look at this picture and see the mounds of butter sitting there...it should tell you how stinkin yummy they are!!
Fresh out of the oven




And the final product...



So now I am exhausted...headed to bed as I have a full day tomorrow!!

Much love, peace & happiness!!

Only time...

Oh I've tried not to get stressed during this holiday season.  I've wanted to enjoy every last ounce of it, but it is/has been tough to do.

I've taking on the painting the entire interior of the house minus the ceiling & trim since they need to be caulked....leave that to the pros.  It's a lot to take on when you have Christmas right around the corner.  But, it's done & only touch ups & a final coat which won't be done until the very end.  I am loving every single color I picked out.

The stair rails were installed on Monday.


The granite guys came out to do template on Monday as well.
This is my granite sample.  You can also see in this picture the color of the sink.  It is called black and tan.  


The hardwood floors are being delivered today.  I dropped off all of the light fixtures yesterday.  Electrician is working on putting the oven & cooktop range in today.  Sink was put in place.  Tiling will be started Wednesday after Christmas.

The guys working at the house so deserve the next few days off.  They've really been working hard & it's been cold & rainy out.  Hmmm think I will make them some goodies to take home...

It's really only a matter of time now.  I need to start thinking about packing up again...UGH!

Our family wishes you a very Merry Christmas!  And, if you don't celebrate Christmas - Happy Holidays from our family to yours!!

Much love, peace & happiness!

Monday, December 17, 2012

What to say?

I've had a hard time focusing the last couple of days..  Let's get real - I think most everyone has had a hard time.  A very tragic event has struck our country and left us all saying WHY?  I think like many, I held my kids tight & hugged them for no reason (I do that often anyway but more lately).  My stomach was in knots this morning as I dropped Katie at school.  Lots of tears have been shed.  Each time I've seen the pictures, names & stories my heart sinks.  It hurts!

There have been many debates & strong opinions floating around.  I am keeping mine to myself for the time.

I am & have been sad since Friday morning.  Thinking of each live that was lost & the family, friends, loved ones, etc that it is directly impacting right now.  My mind can't wrap itself around it...I don't understand.  So I engulfed myself this weekend with other things.  I left the TV off, didn't read the news...I just couldn't anymore.  My mind & heart are with those, but I just was mentally drained from it.

I read this story on one of the blogs I follow about her story of mental illness.  Read if you'd like, it's definitely enlightening.  http://www.myshineproject.com/2012/12/for-leslie-my-only-experience-with.html

I hung out with my girls on Saturday & then took my Katie to watch her cousins in the Nutcracker.  She sat for the entire 2 hours & barely moved.  She was in complete awe...she clapped & smiled when the Sugar Plum Fairy was lifted high in the air.  She told me on the way home that she wants to be the Sugar Plum Fairy one day.  We left the girls to a sleepover with Nanny & Grandpa after to meet our dear friends 40th birthday dinner.  We went to Farm to Table Bistro & I will say I was super impressed.  The service was outstanding & the food was exceptional.  When we got home & I looked down the hall to their empty room...I missed my girls.  I wanted to hold them.

Sunday I got up & had some work to do.  I needed to go finish up on painting.  I gathered my things, stopped to grab a breakfast wrap & cup of coffee and away to the house I went.

My sink is in and I love it.  The stair rails are up (forgot to take a picture - boo!) & the granite template has been done.  They started on the sub floor for the bathroom tile.




I can't believe next week is Christmas.  My shopping is done but wrapping is not...I really don't like to wrap...AT ALL.

I will have more pictures tomorrow but will not be posting until Wednesday.  I will be following the blog day of silence.

Much love, peace & happiness to all.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh you know what I did...

I took my mom to Ikea today.  We left early & drove 45 minutes to Ikea.  I just found way too many things, but we had a great time.  I did come home with a few things for the new house, cinnamon rolls & Swedish meatballs..

Then we headed over to the Short Hills Mall to Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel & Pottery Barn.  I had gift cards to all 3.  I am beyond exhausted...  My mom also bought some really nice clothes for herself.

I will be back with lots of pictures & to show off a recent project using my La Craie paint...

Until then... Much love, peace & happiness!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

OH give me a paint brush...

And chances are I will go to town.  I got my paint on this weekend.

As my Facebook status said...Give a girl a paint brush, a monster drink, an iPod full of music (mostly Christmas), and 9 hours...it will get a mostly painted interior house.  I will not lie...I was exhausted & my body hurt.  But, I just love it.  I love taking a paint brush in hand and watch the walls come alive.  Going from stark white to a nice rich color change.

With each paint stroke I could see the transformation taking place.  I am loving every color I picked out.   Tomorrow I will go in & finish the last 2 rooms of the 8 rooms I painted plus the living room, dining room & kitchen is complete.  Not sure if you count them as 3 rooms in 1.

Our carpenter was there on Saturday starting to work on the trim.  Hence why I wanted to start on the paint...before he put it up so I won't have to do as much cutting in.  I felt bad that I was rocking out to some heavy duty Christmas tunes...lucky he's a nice guy & just went with it.

Upstairs bathroom (girls bathroom). Color is Sierra Ridge

Common Area (and our bathroom are the same color).  Color - Shabby Chic

Our room.  Color - Mushroom Bisque

Girls room. Dormers will have ballet shoes painted on them. Color - Lily Lavender


I am loving how the kitchen is turning out.  Well to be honest..I am loving how the entire house is turning out.  I think when all said & done it will be obvious that lots of thought, love & hard work has gone into this beauty.

Kitchen.  Color is Basketry. 

On Saturday night as I laid down to go to sleep, anxiety flooded over me.  It made me nervous..my heart sank & I just lay there worried.  I got up Sunday early to go get more painting completed.  Again exhausted I laid down to go to sleep.  Anxiety...big time.  I realize that I am starting to put my own hands to work on this house, it has sucked me back in....I am very emotionally in love with our home. I am scared that I am going to drive up & it's going to be gone again.  I am guessing this is normal.

The front of the house has been finished with the stone.  It looks real purrrtty..




I just purchased the outside lights... Here is the stock photo.  I think they will look nice.






And, two of these for our downstairs bath with the vintage crane pedestal sink.


Ahh the finishing touches.

Much love, peace & happiness!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh looky...

It is official... Katie will be having her tonsils & adenoids removed.  We could do it next week, but if anything should happen then she'd be miserable for Christmas.  I don't feel that is fair to her.  So we opted for the 2nd week of January.  Ugh I am little nervous but totally know it's for the best.  We ended up in the ER back in March because we couldn't get her fever to break & she threw up all night because we couldn't get it down.  So no medicine we were giving her was staying down.  Cold compress, cool baths...nothing broke it below 103 & at one point we were sitting close to 105..I packed her up & we went to the ER.  She was so dehydrated & just miserable.  Her white blood count  was really high.  They put her on an IV (which she didn't even squawk at), we got her hydrated, tylenol down her & camped out for a few hours.  And, all of this because of tonsillitis.  She was a great sport, but I don't want to do that again. Once again in late October we were facing the same problem, but this time I was able to get things under control, but not before she threw up all over the waiting room at her doctor, and then again at Target while waiting for her medicine.  We had 2 or 3 more episodes in January & February...so once we hit winter we are doomed! Her ENT agreed that having anywhere from 4 - 5 cases of tonsillitis in a year (she is basically having it once a month in winter) is just too much for one & especially one that always spikes high fevers.  

We met her daddy & Shea for lunch after.  Daddy had the pleasure of taking Zuzu to ballet class...he was so delighted with this task today :)  

But...check it out.  The garage stone is complete and we think it looks sharp!!  The bathroom tile was delivered today.  


And, the kitchen cabinets arrived and was started to be installed :)  


It's hard to see the detail but it's a distressed look in vintage linen.  I will get better pictures when we have lights up & with my camera not my phone


Pam if you are reading.... See this blue door?  It is for the pantry right behind it...and right above is where (wanna know her name?) NELLIE will reside.  Katie picked Nellie for her & I think it fits :)

The doorway will have an arch built into it.


I painted the girls faces today...oh just because.  Katie missed getting her face painted when she went to see Santa.  Being the good mommy I am I painted it myself.  It's ok..more practice & it'll become much better.  I free handed it & with 2 littles that move around so much, well let's say not an easy task.  Bad phone pics...but they wouldn't stand still....
I love this picture...

But then this one...Zuzu's face...priceless

And, then this one...so innocent!
Much love, peace & happiness!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Moving right along...

Ahh today was a day with mostly ups & downs!  I put Katie to bed last night worried she was going to wake up with a fever & really sick....not just a cold sick.  Luck was on my side - she woke up with a runny nose but no fever.  So off to school we went.  She did complain that she had a headache.  I had a parent/teacher conference for 12:30 so I told her if she still felt bad she could leave with me.

Reverse a couple of days.  Katie was having a few rough days of losing her listening ears (they broke).  Twinkle the elf has flown back to the North Pole to have a meeting with Santa due to Katie's bad behavior.  Something has been off with her.  All of sudden 3 nights in a row she has cried out in her sleep with a hoarse voice.

Today after an AMAZING conference with her teacher (MIND you I am one proud momma).  She is 100% ready for her next educational stage in life.  She can write her full name (1st, middle, & last), knows her #s up to 30 by recognition, knows sounds of the letters...  They have truly challenged her to see where she is & she is doing AWESOME.  She even can do simple subtraction & addition...  She was commended on how her manners are top notch!  I say this calls for a special day with mommy once she feels better.

Oh back to after the conference...sorry got a little side tracked.  So I let her come with me.  She felt warm & I notice white spots on her throat :( Oh boo....  Now the last week makes complete sense, she always acts out when she's starting to get sick.  I knew she most likely had tonsillitis! I called her doctor...ran her over & sure enough it is!  3 times in less than 9 months :(  We are headed to the ENT in the morning to determine our next plan of action.  She snores & there is some bit of sleep apnea going on.  That was our down for the day.

But we had lots of ups.  The parent/teacher conference - A+!!

The decking material has been delivered.  The rain escapes is being done so we can use the outdoor space below the deck.



The fireplace is being installed!



The entire house is primed!

Stone work has been started....




Kacey came home & said the garage is completed & the kitchen cabinets have also been delivered!!

And.. I just ordered her...  A little gift to myself :)

What should I name her?  Bessie is taken already :)  She is soooo pretty & I love her!  She will reside above that beautiful new door that will be leading into the pantry...  She will no doubt have the best view looking out of the two sliding doors in the dining room, a view of the fireplace & will look over any & everyone who comes to enjoy our home!  Thank you Pam...I can't wait to show her her new home!



And I leave you with this....my girls school picture!!  Love those faces!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Our love for reindeer & Santa...

We are trying to get some things finished on the outside of the house prior to winter hitting hard.  The stone around the front door, garage, and the back of the house.  We had the stone delivered on Friday only to not have the trim.  There was some sort of communication breakdown between us & the guy when ordering it.  Not sure what happened because it was directly spoken about.  It should be delivered on Monday.

The fireplace has been picked up & dropped off at the house.  The tile will be delivered on Wednesday.  We could have had the tile tomorrow, but they will be starting the priming tomorrow so we wanted to wait.  We will move all of the appliances in on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  I need them out of my garage here so I can start working on vanities for bathrooms.  Plus we are running out of space down there ;(  It doesn't help that I am continuously bringing home more furniture...oops.  

I went to pick up the dresser to be turned into vanity on Thursday and ended up finding this cool double folding wooden chair & church pew to be turned into a cool sitting area.  Our poor garage is packed to the ceiling.




We have double window in our living room - this will fit perfect right under them with a nice cushion :)



Kacey needs to finish the shed as much as possible before winter sets in.  He's been spending lots of days over there especially weekends.  It just seems things keep going on that he only gets a few hours here & there...  Yesterday was no different.  I had to have him help me go pick up the dresser & pew with the trailer.  The place I bought them closes for the winter.  This is her last weekend so I had to get it picked up.
This will be turned into a vanity for our bathroom!!


And, then we had to go to Adams Faircare Market to go see Santa!  We had been building Shea up for the last couple of weeks & of course it failed.  She had a death grip on me & said she is afraid of Santa :(  I guess this to shall pass.  Kacey took her to grab a few groceries while Katie & stood in line.  She loves the reindeer & had a nice lengthy conversation with Santa.



























They had these cool little stuffed animals that looked real.  The puppy was super cute & Katie just loved it.  She wants a dog so very bad, but we just don't have the time for a pet right now.


This little girl is loving tap & ballet! Her teacher is awesome..





This one loves to watch sissy during tap & ballet!!!  She claps for her & gets excited to see her do her thing!!


The window is in front of her...she stared through watching Sissy for the entire hour!!

Enjoy your Sunday!! Much love, peace & happiness