Monday, January 30, 2012

What a great Weekend!!! UPDATE!

It was a great weekend with amazing weather!  Friday I took the kids to a local sports center that does gymnastics, dance, and swim, all in the same center!  It takes about 20 minutes to get there, but I don't mind the drive.  Myah and Elijah were in separate classes, which proved great for Myah but Eli HATED it!  She was in a class with only 2 other kids, so she got lots of repetitions on the circuits they did and one on one attention!  Eli and I tried a Mommy and Me type of class...but all he wanted to do was stare at Myah and stand by her.  I tried to get him involved for the entire hour, but he ended up just crying.  Myah is definitely ready for the class, Eli might need a little more exposure to the idea of a class.  I signed her up for the rest of the session (4 classes) and after that we'll try a dance class!  When my parents come out they will be able to see her in a class!  So exciting!  I'm hoping after the 4 weeks, Eli will warm up to the idea...but we will see!
We went to IKEA on Saturday and bought some bookshelves!  Our books have been in storage since we put our house on 125th Terr on the market...March of 2010!!  While I wanted to buy the cheapest ones and add trim and fabric on the back panel, Brian won out and we bought the more expensive ones...but they look great!  We had to go back later in the day to buy fixtures to hook it to the wall (for safety) and I put the books up on Sunday!  It's still a work in progress....I'm not too happy with the way it looks now, but it will be fine for a little while!  I decided to group the books by color...what do you think?

Saturday evening we tried a new park out by was a gorgeous day and the kids had a great time...until Brian forced them to sit in a tree.   You can tell by the looks on their faces that they were NOT happy about this!
Random sighting of the day?  We saw a group of 30 or so kids (and a few adults) playing Dungeons and Dragons in the park.  I laughed...Brian wanted to join in and "show his skills" as he put it.

The last project I did was work on our family growth chart!  I saw this great picture on Pinterest and decided to do my own!  We bought a $6 pine board, Dark Walnut stain, metal numbers that you nail into the side of a house, and some clear spray paint!  I stained it first, then added lines every inch of the board (starting at 6 inches so I could hang on the wall).  Then I sprayed it with the clear coating to seal it and nailed on the numbers!  Super easy project!  I plan on marking their heights with a nail and glue a button on the nail with their age, weight, height, and date.  I've seen others use a sharpie, but I want to do something different.  I haven't worked out the kinks, yet...but when I start putting their heights on there I will post a picture!  I plan on going all the way back to their birth heights...super excited!!

This week will be all about finishing up projects and getting the house ready for baby!  My parents bought their tickets to come out here....I CAN'T WAIT!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm not new to psychology or research studies.  I read, a lot, because I enjoy it; and that includes more scientific based reads as well.  I've read some great books by Malcolm Gladwell (if you haven't read any of his stuff, you should...he's awesome!).  I have read tons of books on bringing up children, family ethics, religion, etc.  I just love to read!  My favorite book is still Matilda by Ronald Dahl...judge me if you must :).

I was on Pinterest the other day and came a blog that I started browsing through and she had mentioned this new book about parenting in the 21st century and how all of our instincts are wrong.  This really peaked my interest, so I logged in to my local library and placed a hold on the book.

It's called NutureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.  I've only made it through the first couple of chapters (it is VERY heavy in statistics and research) but it has really made me think!  Since I am a nerd and I love controversial topics with great discussions, I want to start discussing some of these chapters.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the research, findings, and what your opinions are...just remember: stay respectful!

Here are the topics from the book:

 1. The Inverse Power of Praise - Sure he's special.  But research shows that if you tell him that, you'll ruin him.  It's a neurobiological fact.

2. The Lost Hour - Around the world, children get an hour less sleep than they did 30 years ago.  The cost: IQ points, emotional well-being, ADHD, and obesity

3. Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race - Does teaching children about race and skin color make them better off, or worse?

4. Why Kids Lie - We may treasure honesty, but the research is clear.  Most classic strategies to promote truthfulness just encourage kids to be better liars.

5. The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten - Millions of kids are competing for seats in the gifted programs and private schools, admissions officers say it's an art: new science says they're wrong, 73% of the time.

6. The Sibling Effect - Freud was wrong. Shakespeare was right.  Why siblings really fight.

7. The Science of Teen Rebellion - Why, for adolescents, arguing with adults is a sign of respect, not disrespect - and arguing is constructive to the relationship, not destructive.

8. Can Self-Control Be Taught? - Developers of a new kind of preschool keep losing their grant money - the students are so successful they're no longer 'at-risk enough' to warrant further study.  What's their secret?

9. Plays Well With Others -  Why modern involved parenting has failed to produce a generation of angels.

10. Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn't - Despite scientists' admonitions, parents still spend billions every year on gimmicks and videos, hoping to jump-start infants' language skills.  What's the right way to accomplish this goal?

So...who wants to read this with me?!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is it Friday, yet?!

Every single morning I have woken up this week, I have thought it was Friday. When that trend starts on a makes for a LONG week.

To make matters a little more difficult, it's been an off week for Brian, too.  His bus takes off at 8am, which means we all pile in the car to drive him to his bus stop around 7:45 every morning.  Brian REFUSES to set an alarm clock; he says the kids will wake him up in enough time.  This was a great plan when the kids got up everyday during the 6 o'clock hour.  Unfortunately for him, 3 out of the 4 days this week that wasn't the case.  The kids decided to sleep in a little extra, and he started the day running late.  Luckily his hours are flexible and the bus has a stop at 8, 9, and 10 am so room for a little error is ok...but I am demanding he uses his alarm from now on.  I would rather wake up to kids screaming at each other than Brian rushing out of the shower saying that we HAVE TO LEAVE IN 5 MINUTES...I need more time than that to be ready to drive...

Anyway, I digress...maybe I'll just set an alarm for him and not give him a choice...guess Vera is kid #4, not #3 like I was thinking :).

Elijah has been having a hard time with his colors.  Brian, at one point, thought he might be color blind.  I, on the other hand, realized that Myah REFUSES to let the poor kid answer a single question!  She's so proud that she knows the answer that she just can't keep it to herself!  So, when my parents sent us a game called UNO Moo! we were a little weary that Elijah would not be able to play.  Let me tell you something....THIS GAME IS AWESOME!  He knows his colors now, including lots of different animals and the sounds that they make!  Both kids are learning rules and how to take's a lot of fun to watch, especially now that they have the hang of the game!  If you have a toddler who is having trouble with rules, colors, taking turns...this is a great teaching tool!  It also keeps the kids in line during the day!  I tell them that if they are good, we will play the game before dinner when Daddy gets 99% of the time!!

The weather has been really up and down out here.  They have had frost and ice in the mornings and temps in the high 50s during the day!  Lots of rain and cloudy days, too!  Since I lived in Kansas for 13 years, strange weather is no surprise to me...but it does make planning for the day a little more challenging!  Yesterday was GORGEOUS, though...still 59 degrees at 5:30pm.  However, we did see someone jogging with a winter jacket, mittens, scarf, and knitted hat was almost 60 DEGREES!  The people here crack me up!
I finished Lauren's blanket, yesterday!  It's not perfect, but it's soft and fun! I'm excited to send it to her!  Brian loves it so much he wants me to make one for Vera!  He's also been asking for a blanket for himself....maybe for Valentine's day?
VALENTINE'S DAY?!  Wait...does that mean it's almost February?!  Ho-ly Cow!!!  Where did January go?  Feb is a busy month for this small Relph family...lots to celebrate!  Feb. 1st is my mom's bday and the anniversary of Brian and I's first date (yes, we celebrate it!  Why not?!).  The 8th is the day we got engaged in 2006, the 14th is Valentine's day, and his 3 siblings were all born during this short month.  For these reasons alone I hope Vera can hold off until March...February is just too full!!

Speaking of which...I'm 33 weeks pregnant today!  We set a date for the Cesarean , March 8th, and my parents are planning on flying out on the 7th!  I am so excited to see my parents!  I highly doubt, with my birth track record, that Vera will wait until the scheduled date.  Myah and Elijah were both spontaneous labors 2 and 3 weeks early, respectively.  I don't think this one will be any different.  Brian's favorite part?  Vera will be here in time for March Madness, which means he gets to veg on the couch with a baby resting on him for a whole week while watching basketball!  

Brian is having a 'tough' day at work today.  He went in later than usual (alarm clock issue), he is going out to lunch with his team, then going to play mini golf, and then they are celebrating Nov, Dec, Jan birthdays...rough day!

I did get a chance to sign the kids up for a gymnastics class!  We are going tomorrow at 10:15am for a 'try-out' class, to make sure the kids like it.  It's at a place called the California Sports Center.  They offer gymnastics, dance, AND swim...really excited about this place!  It was clean and wasn't overwhelmed with people...I hope the kids like it!  Myah will be in class by herself, but Eli and I will be doing the class together...wish me luck!!  For the dance class, they both will be in separate classes, but it consists of ballet AND tap...I think they are going to love it!

I also found this cool website called and found a Christian SAHM group in San Jose.  They plan get togethers all year round and the kids are all 5 and under.  Since we haven't found a church home, yet, I've really been missing this fellowship.  I hope that it goes well!  I haven't RSVP'd to any get together yet, but will soon!

Hope you all are having a great day!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

UNO Moo!

The kids LOVE to play this game!! Thanks Grandpa and KeeKee!!


What a great weekend!  Sunday was full of football, food, and skyping with the grandparents (both sets!)

For those who were under a rock yesterday, THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!  Very exciting for this Pats fan!!  I was hoping we would play the 49ers...would make it MUCH more fun living out here to have that rivalry, but Eli Manning and the Giants pulled off the win, so it's a rematch of large proportions!  I hope the Pats CREAM the Giants!  (I'm not a Manning fan)

Brian decided, at the last minute, that he wanted snacks to watch the football game.  Since I know his shopping strategy (follow the stomach), I rushed to build a shopping list for him, instead.  I threw together a whole bunch of coupons and told him to only buy things on sale.  I made a joke that if I DIDN'T do that, he would spend $75 on 5 worthless things.  Well, he followed the list...and added some things that WEREN'T ON SALE (and STILL spent $75)!! was painful for me to look at the receipt!  With my help,  he did save $45 (38%)...but could have saved so much more if he didn't buy those things that weren't on sale.  Oh, well...he's a beginner...I'll cut him some slack (but just this once!!).

We decided to offer to host a Superbowl party for his coworkers and his friends that he has out here.  We'll see how many people are actually football fans at Google.  I am excited to host a party, though!  Hopefully we'll have a good turnout!

I worked more on Myah's kitchen throughout the day.  It's still not finished, but I don't have the supplies to finish it, so we brought it in so she can start playing!  So far, the only thing we have paid for is the primer, green paint, and paint supplies...not bad for a sturdy play kitchen!  I used leftover fabric from Vera's crib sheets for curtains and painted on some circles for a stove!  We still have to get some knobs for the stove, a faucet and bowl for the sink, and a few other accessories, and it will be finished! What do you think?  I had a door to make a fridge, but I measured wrong so no fridge...woops!  There are still two doors that go below the stove and sink that need to be put back on, but I couldn't figure out how to do it...will have to wait until Brian gets home!  Don't you LOVE that green color?!  I LOVE IT!!!!

I plan on painting a 'window' on the door below the stove to make it look like an oven.  I took out her tea set she got for Christmas and she's playing with it in her it! 

Today is going to be full of cleaning and research of dance/gymnastics places.  Hopefully I can find a place that has classes during the day for both of the kids...wish us luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Busy day...

Today was a really great day!  We worked on projects, spent quality time together, had great naps, went looking for a place for the kids to do dance/gymnastics, and watched the Jayhawks pull out a big win!  Saturday doesn't get much better than that!

I started on Myah's kitchen today and plan on finishing it tomorrow.  I found this AWESOME color at Home's one of my new favorite colors!  Check it out: after seeing this online, it does not do the color is so much brighter...almost like grass green.  And the fact that it's called Happy Camper is even better!  I was literally smiling as I was painting it!

When the kitchen is finished tomorrow, I will be sure to post pictures!

Best moment of the day?  While I was painting this evening, the kids and Brian were playing basketball on their Little Tykes Basketball goal and there was so much laughter!  It was a true "I am so blessed" moment.  While Myah was learning to pass and shoot the ball, Elijah was playing "keep away" from the other two...and he found it hilarious!  It really was a special day :).

I will say, trying to find a place for the kids to have activities is much harder that I thought it would made both of us miss Johnson County.  We got so spoiled living there with the high quality stores, activities, people, etc.  We went to the YMCA in Central San Jose today and we are just so disappointed in the condition the building was in.  I know we got really spoiled back in JOCO...everything out here just seems so run down.  BUT...we don't live in the JOCO bubble time to adjust!  We will be doing more research this weekend on places to take them too, and hopefully we can find a free class to take them to this week to make sure we like the place!  Wish us luck!

Tomorrow the Patriots play the Ravens to get into the Superbowl...and I WILL be wearing my jersey!!  Go Pats!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things I don't get...

I love Pinterest.  Love might even be an understatement.  But with the increased popularity comes increased pet are a few:

1. Mustaches...especially on nails, straws, cups, etc. (I still think they are disgusting)
2. Chuck Norris (This one has been around for a while, but I will never get it.)
i love chuck norris jokes!
3. Dr. Who (I looked this up on Wikipedia...still don't get the pull)
Doctor Who ♥ ♥ ♥
4. "Keep Calm and..." (I just find this really annoying)
Keep Calm
5. People having religious/philisophical/serious conversations on Pinterest (Start a blog...leave it off Pinterest)
Tim Tebow, God, losing weight,'s all been done.
6. Planking on random objects (Join a Yoga class)
7. Putting pictures of your kids (unless you are plugging a craft, blog, or amazing story, leave your pictures on Facebook.)
crazy kid!
8. Putting pictures of you and your best friend (again, NOT what the site is for)
Pinned Image
9. Real Estate Agents putting their properties as a pin (Seriously...not cool)
hey, that's my house! for sale!

I would put a 10th one, but then I'd be whining.  Yes, I know I could just stop going to the website...but the good DOES outweigh the bad!

Do you have any Pinterest Pet Peeves?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA and more

So, yesterday was "Internet Blackout Day".  If you visited my site, there was a pop-up that informed you about a legislation that is trying to be passed that allows SOPA to shut down any website with copyrighted material, without warning or even good cause.  This mean ALL TIME FAVORITE website would cease to exist. If I ever posted a picture of a lyric or a photo without permission, my blog would be shut down.  The internet would be a pretty ugly place.  Brian told me that the two main supporters of this legislation backed out yesterday after such an outpour of negative comments via Google, Wikipedia, and other major sites that participated in the 'blackout'.  I hope this is true.

Today, CNN Money came out with their top 100 places to work and guess who was #1?!  GOOGLE!!  Very exciting!  Brian told me that they are having a party to celebrate and wine and lots of toasts...sounds like a rough day at work :).  This did get me to look at their jobs available, though, and there are a few that look really fun!  Might have to start working on my resume...though they would have to pay me a small fortune to make childcare affordable!

For the past week, or so, I've been vegging out after the kids go to bed.  8:00 is bedtime for the kids and I've been loving going straight to bed as well!  Brian and I watch TV, play card games, and I've also been crocheting!  I started crocheting as a way to calm the mind down before bed and I ended up making a pretty cute blanket for Vera!  The lines aren't even, but the point of this blanket was to help me relax before bed, and for that reason alone I consider this a success!  However, I did tell Brian that since I finished the blanket I feel lazy/empty at night while lying in bed...I need a new project I can do while relaxing!

This weekend we will be tackling Myah's play kitchen.  My goal is to have it completely finished...I think we can do that in two day...right?!  I also have a blanket to make for my bestie. I saw the gorgeous blanket on Pinterest and will be following the on the photo to see the tutorial for yourself!  Don't be afraid to search her site, either...she has some AMAZING tutorials on there!


She used flannel shirts from the Goodwill to make her blanket, but Joann was having a 50% off sale on all I decided to go that route!  Here are the fabrics I'll be making it out of...kinda a hunter theme.  Great for a little boy, right?  I also used a dark brown for the swirly mink...I'm excited to put this together!  Another project for this weekend...I'll need someone to watch the kids so they don't distract me!

Brian and I were laying in bed last night and it hit just a few short weeks we will be new parents again...holy cow!  We still have a lot to do and buy!  We don't have a single newborn diaper in the house, our 2 year old is still not potty trained, we need a pack n play, swing, and we still have boxes full in this house...bah!  Time to get off the computer and start getting stuff done!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Long time no see...

So, I'm not doing so great on my resolution.  I do have reasons, though, that do not just include being lazy!  I have hit that 'wall' during this pregnancy, and with so much still to do around the house and with the kids, I am more exhausted now than I can ever remember being.  On top of that, this baby is GINORMOUS, and is making me sore...I'm very ready for the next 5-8 weeks to go by quickly :).

Since Wednesday, I've put up a few things on the wall in the living room so it looks like someone actually lives here!  These are all older pictures, so I will have some updating to do!  We still have about 20 boxes to unpack, but we are getting there!  Most of the boxes are books or craft supplies and for right now we don't have any bookshelves, so those will have to wait.

Thursday night we were invited to a new friend's house for dinner!  It was really great getting out of the house, having some adult time, and eating great food that I didn't have to cook or pay for!  We were there for a few hours and the kids got restless because there weren't any other kids there...but they did get to play on the Xbox for the first time!  Eli loved racing the cars but Myah got over it pretty quickly.  We met these people from renting out the house; he is the realtor and she is the landlord's daughter.  Both are incredibly nice and we had a great time getting to know them!  We invited them over for dinner...hopefully I can cook something as yummy as what they cooked!

Friday I was not feeling well, so we had a very lazy day.  We went up to Google to eat with Brian and I had some AMAZING chow mein!  The food choices here are simply incredible.  It's obvious the chef's here aren't just people who cook and truly care about what they are cooking...delicious!

The kiddos had a PB&J and some fries :)
Saturday we got up bright and early and went to Home Depot!  The bed has been on the floor this whole week (as opposed to the bed frame) and I was really excited to get my bed back!  We also got some supplies to do Myah's kitchen!  That will be my project this next week!  We also got to watch the Patriots win (WAHOO!!) and the Jayhawks pulled out a big "W" so it was a great day!
Love my parents!  Go Patriots!!
Sunday we worked on getting the house cleaned.  Brian worked on my craft room (too many things to do and I tend to just stare at it, so he took over) while I cleaned the bedroom.  All of my craft supplies are officially in the 'craft room' and Brian is more than ecstatic!  After naps, we all went to one of Brian's co-workers house and had a play date!  They have a daughter that is just a few months older than Myah and all three of the kids had a great time!  Again, we got some adult time meeting some new people and the icing is that the kids had someone to play with too!!  It reinforced in both of us that we HAVE to get these kids involved in a sport right now (probably gymnastics) before the baby is born...I know they miss their friends back home a lot and they need to make some new friends.
Brian found the "awesome" head lamp...
Myah rocked it all night!
Today is going to be a lazy day...just cleaning and watching sports.  Brian wants to go to a sports bar to watch the Jayhawks play tonight, so we will be hitting up Dave and Busters for dinner tonight!  I'm super excited...I love that place and I haven't had a philly in two months!
Coloring on the floor...

On Friday we got something fun in the mail...our ultrasound pictures!  This is the best's a picture of our newest princess!!!
Ms. Vera Grace!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So, Monday was a super productive day and I ended the day feeling ill. Tuesday the kids were atrocious and I didn't get a single thing done.  Today the kids were awesome and we spent some quality time together, but I still didn't get anything productive done.  I'm really hoping we find a happy medium as a family...and soon!  While I'm not one who enjoys cleaning (understatement of the century...) it's my job now and I need to do it.  If you have any tips on how to 'do it all'...I'm all ears :).

I've started the yarn letters for Vera's corner...and they might be the death of me.  I think my problem is that I chose yarn that is too smooth...not enough room for error.  Trying to get all of the sides covered with yarn in neat lines is SO HARD!  Since I tend to get sloppy when I get frustrated, I moved on to a more relaxing 'project'.  I put it in quotations because I don't really care if I ever finish this's really just relaxing.  I've taken extra yarn from the letters and other past projects and I am crocheting them together.  It is really relaxing, super repetitive, and you can completely zone out mentally while doing it.  Tonight I plan on watching mindless TV while I crochet and settle in for the night. :)  Really looking forward to it!

Update on the dinner I made last night:
The corn dogs tasted awesome!  I would totally recommend this recipe to anyone.  A word of warning, though...there is A LOT of cornbread around the hot dog.  Next time I'm going to add more hot dogs in the pan...we couldn't even finish one hot dog because it was so much food!

I also got a Moby Wrap in the mail from the In-Laws.  Super excited to be able to use it around the's going to be completely necessary with two toddlers to chase around!

I am super excited for Vera to get here, but I've also started to notice Elijah getting really needy.  Now let me preface it with this...I love his neediness.  He wants to kiss and hug me all the time, cuddle, help, etc.  I love all of it.  It makes me smile and fall in love with him all day long.  It also worries me, though. I'm worried how he will handle Vera needing me so much.  Luckily, I'm not doing this journey alone and Brian will be able to help with the transition, but this feels very different from when Eli came into the world.  Myah was still VERY young (13 months) when he was born and so the transition was very easy.  Eli is 2 1/2...and used to being the baby of the family.  I know I'm going to make a huge effort to make sure he feels included when Vera comes; that's my responsibility.  I also realistically know most of us have had siblings that came into the world after us and we all survived intact :).  All-in-all I know that as long as I continue to show him that I love him and he isn't being replaced, we should all be fine.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that ;).

Here are a few pictures of our day today:

Elijah makes this face ALL THE TIME!
It's hilarious!  Good thing he's MUCH cuter
than Macaulay Culkin!
Both kids make faces while watching movies...
these kids crack me up!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Full Disclosure...

Today has been a tough day.  The kids have been really rebellious...I've heard 'no' today more than the whole past week combined...grrrrrrrr.  There were a lot of timeouts taken today...really excited for my kids to be good again :).

I've spent a lot of time taking deep breaths and asking Him for help, today.  With the kids acting up, me being 8 months pregnant and cranky, and some bad news about a past client, it has been a tougher day than usual.  

Back in Kansas, I worked with a specific client for about a year.  It was a LONG year.  They were very demanding but I agreed to represent them both in the selling of their home and the buying of a new home so I sucked it up.  I made an agreement with them to sell their house commission free if they agreed to buy their new home with me.  An agreement was struck and I followed through on my end of the deal.  Unfortunately, they did not.  After selling their home (for free), they pretty much fell off the face of the planet and have since broken our agreement and bought a home with someone else.  I'm frustrated on many levels, but the main one is that I spent a lot of time and money on this client.  Thousands of dollars in gas, promotion materials, open houses, etc.  I was constantly on call for this client and would drop EVERYTHING to meet them to show them houses...for a year.  This client cried on my shoulder numerous times and called me a friend.  I guess I was too trusting and let myself be taken advantage of.  And now the challenge is letting it go.  I've been praying about this for a few months now (since I found out they broke our agreement and I wasn't getting paid), and I will continue to do so.

I know God has a plan for me and I truly believe everything happens for a reason.  It's not my job to try and figure out the reason things happen or don't happen.  It's just to trust that He's in charge and as long as I continue to put my faith and trust in Him, He will take care of me.  It's not my job to make sure justice is served and my efforts are better put towards making my family happy and healthy, and that's what I've decided to put my energy into.  So that has been my major challenge today...letting go and leaving it up to Him.

So, if you saw my previous post (in November) asking for prayers about a certain situation, there it is.  The whole story is a lot more messy (as it always is) but I'm not writing this blog as revenge or to call anyone out.  There's no need for names and more details.  I will just have to chalk this up to a learning experience...not sure yet what the lesson is but God will let me know when it is time.

On a lighter note....

We are having an awesome dinner tonight!  Homemade Corn Dogs and Sweet Potato Fries!  Really excited about it!  Want the recipe for the corn dogs?  Go to the link under the picture!

Sweet Potato Fries that I crinkle cut
using my Salad Shooter!
Homemade Corn Dogs!  Find the recipe HERE!
Vera's area is almost done...need to finish her yarn letters and her embroidered name thing...and then we will be ready for her to be here!

Getting closer to the finish line!!
Thank you all for your love and support :)  BTW...I get to see my parents in two months!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012



In case you haven't noticed (in which case you may want to go to the optometrist...) I'm reworking the look of the blog!  I am nowhere near finished and am not too impressed with the way it currently looks, but my skills are limited and my husband's aren't, so I will have to wait for him to come home :).

I've had some people ask how I made the tissue flowers for Vera's room.  You can find some great tutorials here, here, and here!

As for hanging it...that was pure trial and error.  I tried to tie them all to the same ribbon, but they didn't sit right and my arms got really tired keeping them in the air for a while.  What I settled on was hanging each flower individually and use the wall as an anchor.  It took too long and should I ever make another one I'll have to rethink the execution of hanging it.  However, it's still hanging and looking I'll call it a success!

Today I'm working on making more small flowers to put on the tree above the crib.  I also want to make another crib sheet or two, but threading the elastic through the casing might make me insane.  I have tried different ways that people online suggest, but nothing seems to make it any easier or faster....grrrrrr.

This morning I went to the grocery store with the kiddos and got some great deals!  Beef out here is RIDICULOUS!  It is sooooo expensive...and not very good.  Safeway had a great deal on a roast, one get one free!  So I got 5 pounds of roast for $14!  Not too bad!  We will be having shredded beef tacos later this week...yum!  Ok, so back to the shopping trip.  I have been sticking to my plan of using coupons and it has been paying off!  Today I saved over $100 on my trip...almost 40%!  Here's a great example: Poptarts (the 8 count) are usually $3.49 a piece.  They were having a sale 5/$10 which is a great deal anyway...but I had an additional coupon for $.51!  So, I got each box for $1.49!  Since we eat a lot of these, it is a great deal for the Relph family!  Barilla pasta is also another big saver...usually $1.79 and I get them for $.98!

There were a few kinks in the shopping trip, though.  VitaminWater was on sale 10/$10...great deal.  What makes it better is I had a coupon "Save $1 on 2 bottles".  That makes each bottle $.50 when it retails for $1.69!  However, Safeway makes it really hard to double check your coupon application.  So after I paid, I was looking through the receipt and noticed I got charged $1 a bottle...not cool.  I went to customer service and they refunded me $8...which is great.  BUT...when I got home I noticed $2 worth of coupons that weren't applied.  It may not seem like a HUGE deal, but every dollar counts when you have a budget.  So, Safeway didn't apply $10 worth of that IS an issue in my book.  I still have to go back to get my $2...but I think from now on I'll have to double check the receipt before I pay.
Add in the $10 I get back through the unapplied coupons...major savings!

Couponing does take time, patience, and planning.  I am no expert and there are a lot of people who are much better at this than I am.  But if a mom of two toddlers, and another on the way, can do can you.  It's not for 'crazy' people.  I saved over $100...wouldn't you like an extra $100 in your pocket?!

My list of projects keep expanding...poor Brian :).  Myah needs a place for all of her tea set pieces and I've been seeing these great upcycles of entertainment centers turned play kitchens like this one:

Pinned Image

There is an entertainment system for free on Craigslist that I'm going to pick up after Brian gets off work!

I think this posting during the day thing might actually work!  Hopefully the rest of the day is as productive as the morning as been!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Home Projects


So, I know that the past couple of days have been pretty much just pictures; and I have a reason why.  I have been waiting to do my blogs until the kids go to bed at night.  Not the best idea for me because I'm always exhausted by that point!  So, I've decided to try and find a new time in the day to blog!  Right now Eli is sleeping and Myah and Brian are watching football...I'd say now is as good a time as any!

Yesterday we broke up bright and early and went to the DeAnza Flea Market.  It is only once a month and is awesome!  Instead of the huge tents of manufactured furniture, rugs, and other goods that are sold in stores, this is like a massive garage sale with small businesses!  It was so fun!  Since the last time we went to a flea market the kids got bored in 3 seconds, we decided to bring the double stroller and the IPad!  I suggest doing made is SO much more fun for Brian and I!

It took us about 2 hours to walk through the whole thing, but we walked pretty quickly.  It would be VERY easy to stay there all day looking at everything!  We bought Myah a teapot and 6 teacups to complete her tea set (for $5!) and I bought some tissue paper to make Vera's mobile!  24 sheets for $2.50?  Don't mind if I do!  I had been looking everywhere for tissue paper that matched the color scheme and until yesterday couldn't find it!  I had to jump on the opportunity!! I will show pictures of the mobile at the end of this post :)

We got back just in time to watch the Jayhawks beat the Sooners...ROCK CHALK BABY!  After naps we decided to hang the light before the sun went down...always easier said than done.  First job...locating the electrical panel.  Now, Brian and I have owned 2 homes and lived in numerous ones growing up.  There are some typical places you will find an electrical panel.  Outside of the house in the front yard is not one of them. Yep...OUTSIDE!  So weird!  Since we OBVIOUSLY didn't look there first, it took us a good 30 minutes to find it.  Once we found it, though, our next challenge was to figure out which one powered the dining room; because, of course, it wasn't labeled :).  I'm pretty awesome, however, and got it on the first try!
It only took about 20 minutes to decided where, what height, and how we wanted to hang the light, get it hooked up, and it was ready to go!  Brian went outside, flipped the breaker, and .... nothing.  Ok...maybe I should try the switch (it's a weird touch-switch).  That did it!  Eureka...we have light!!  Unfortunately, if you are prone to seizures, you cannot come over because our light flickers...and it's really annoying.  After switching out bulbs, we decided the connection wasn't tight enough...but it was dark outside and this being the only light in the room, we decided to wait until the next day.
On top of all of that...the light is REALLY dim.  All those coffee filters diffuse the light A LOT.  And the bottom has more filters than the top...oh, well :).  So if you plan on doing this project (which you should because it looks awesome during the day), don't let this be your only source of light, because you will have trouble seeing :).  I will say, though, I am loving it even more today than I was really looks cool in the daytime!

So, the tissue paper mobile.  Back in 2006 when I got married I forced my family members to help me make some large tissue paper poms/flowers.  I say forced because, at the time, they weren't into the crafty stuff...but they suffered through for the greater cause!  Martha Stewart had just come out with a tutorial and it was a cheap and easy way to decorate a room!  Flash forward over 5 years and here we are again!  I had seen some great examples on Pinterest and wanted to make some of my own!  It turned out pretty cute and I've even started making smaller ones to put on the wall/tree!

This is one of the smaller ones...I have only made them in one color
but I will be making more during the week!

What do you think?!