Home Sweet Home: The Bedroom

Hi folks, I'm Amanda and I'm a DIY-aholic.

I've noticed a nerdy trend over the past couple of years. It seems whenever there's school vacation I tend to become completely immersed in home improvement projects. Whether it's sprucing up old dressers and desks or making a new marble chip walkway out front; I'm almost certainly covered in dirt or paint. I think it's my teacher mind seeking a creative and expressive outlet. Well, that and a sick obsession with Pinterest. So, of course, this school vacation was no different. I took to Pinterest on Sunday evening in hopes of some inspiration to spruce up our bedroom and then this happened.

Everyone, say hello to my February Break project! 

Isn't it amazing how much of an impact a cheap shelf from Lowe's, a few brackets and some happy smiley family pictures can make? 

Last Mother's Day Carl surprised my picture obsessed ass and got me a really nice Canon camera. Since then I've been snapping pictures left, right and center and over the last year I've accumulated a few really nice ones. Really nice ones that have been sitting in a neatly organized folder on our computer. Crying. Waiting to see the light of day. Waiting for an ornate picture frame. It was sad. But then I spotted the idea to add a shelf above the headboard and thought it would be a fantastic home for some of our favorite photos. It's an abundance of sweet Olivia of course, as well as our fur baby Treacle Kitty, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Waking up each morning to see my lovies smiling at me is special and rewarding. It makes me want to yell "LOOK WHAT I DID!" like a 3 year old who finally pooped on the potty. I think, deep down, my February break happy family shelf is making up for that nonexistent trophy shelf from high school. It's marvelous and I am in love.

Thanks again, Pinterest, for that DIY kick up the pants my sweet husband doesn't understand or appreciate.  



Our lives have been a chaotic and exciting mess of fun over the past few months. For weeks I've been meaning to sit down and compose categorized and specific blog posts, but instead I've spent my evenings doing PiYo and binge watching Parenthood on Netflix. So here I am, lazily mushing it all into one big random post about any and everything that's happened since Olivia's 1st birthday. 

Christmas this year was by far the most magical, exhausting, hilarious and full of love yet. It's true when they say (whoever they are), that having a child amps up the warm tingly feels of the holidays tenfold. It's as if you see everything from their eyes and the magic and excitement is infectious. Olivia had a tiny glimpse of opening presents on her 1st birthday this past Thanksgiving and was officially a pro come Christmas. Girlfriend threw that wrapping paper behind her like she was digging in a gold mine of cheddar bunnies. We were lucky in that we were able to host my Dad's side of the families Christmas Eve get together in our new house. My Grandpa Cousino has been diagnosed with Alzheimers so we cherish memories made with him as we know there will be a time when he no longer remembers who we are. But for the time being we smile big toothy grins when he instantly walks in our front door and yells "where's pooper?!" searching for Olivia. We got some wonderful pictures of Grandpa and his wife Sandy with Livie. I plan to frame them and hang them next to an old picture my mother gave me for my 27th birthday of my Grandma Cousino and I when I was Olivia's age. I miss her all the time and it's important to me that Olivia grow up knowing who she was and how much she would have loved to see her. 

Since Christmas we've been busy working around the house. Our fixer upper is coming right along. The kitchen has gobbled up most of our attention as of late. My Dad owns his own carpentry business and since we've bought the house we have been incredibly blessed with his time, talent and kindness. Before we moved in he and Uncle Franky removed the wall from the kitchen to dining room, installed a new support beam, laid all of our hardwood floors, installed our new island (Dad got my beloved butchers block counter top from an old job he'd done last year), changed out the old back door for a newer one and put up my special open-pantry shelves to my exact pain in the ass measurements that specifically accommodate my giant glass jars. Since then Carl and I have painted, stained and installed new cabinet hardware. Last weekend Carl and I embarked on a new adventure that my Dad said "even a monkey could do" and installed a new chandelier light fixture over the island. I don't think we'll ever do that again. What a cluster of foul language, random useless old wires and dead falling-asleep arms. In fact, it was that craptastic that after it was finally done I shared on Facebook that I'd "rather eat a booger off of a sumo wrestlers sweaty ass cheek than install a chandelier ever again." That statement is still true a week later. Nevertheless, it's done and we are in love. I think my next DIY project will be a tin tile backsplash, although that won't happen anytime soon as the chandelier experience almost sent me to therapy. 
A couple of weeks ago we purchased a new (to us) car to replace our "Old Grey" Equinox that wouldn't pass inspection and was falling apart. Everyone, meet Marshmallow. My Dad says now that we have two white vehicles we're official 'lazy car people' who apparently opt for white cars because they require less cleaning. I always thought it was the other way around and white cars showed allllll the dirt? But either way my OCD brain isn't complaining about having matching cars. Holla!

Olivia is and always has been obsessed with tubby time. She would laugh and splash and suck on rubber ducks and wet wash clothes until the cows come home if we let her. It dawned on me the other night as we chucked at her in the bath that I haven't taken a single bath picture since she was 5 months old. This poor kid. When I was pregnant I'd planned in my mind this gorgeous baby book filled to the brim with stunning pictures and little notes written in different colored gel pens. It would have fancy stickers and tell all about her favorite foods each week, the exact date her first tooth popped through, even when she first farted. Everything. It was going to be marvelous. And then real life smacked me in the face and I'm lucky if I remember to leave the house with make up on in the morning (No, I'm serious. I drove all the way to work a few weeks ago and realized as I closed the sun visor that I hadn't done my hair or put any make up on. Can you imagine the fear those poor children at school would have felt had I not noticed at all?)

Here are few of my favs from Livie's recent tubby times.

So much fun. So much love.

Happy Valentine's Day!