Update: The Powder Room

Everyone, I have another update to share with you! Along with renovating the kitchen, we decided to tackle the adjoining powder room; Jon wasn’t totally for it, but I just couldn’t imagine looking from my beautiful new kitchen into that old, nasty powder room. We had to take the existing toilet and vanity out while the floors were being redone anyway, so in the end he was won over to my way of seeing things. So, ta-da!

We love the contrast the powder room provides to the light in the kitchen.

We kept things very simple and tried to work as inexpensively as possible. After trying five different shades of dark blue or turquoise, and with a lot of input from Jon, I finally chose Sherwin Williams’ Tempe Star. I am so glad I did! Their online color swatch looks a bit dull, but in person its really beautiful and full of depth. I can’t get enough of it.

In place of the old, sea shell shaped, glittered little monstrosity of a vanity, I opted for a clean, white pedestal sink. Because the room is so small we were a bit limited, but it played out in our favor – the sink that worked cost only $85!  While I was at Lowe’s buying the sink I spied this Moen faucet and fell in love. So I snapped up that, as well as towel and toilet paper holders from the same line. And, get this, they were all on sale. Ka-ching!

We updated our powder room using Sherwin Williams paint and white accents.

The one thing we decided to keep was the toilet. Its old, but looks fine and works like it should, so we couldn’t justify the expense. I did buy a new seat for it, but it looks a little funky so that will probably get replaced at some point. Other than that, we still need to repaint and hang the mirror over the sink and replace the trim. We’ll be using art we already own over the toilet, so no cost there – I can’t believe how fabulous this room looks/will look on such a small budget.

What do you guys think??

If you’re interested in seeing some “Before” photos of the powder room, check out this post.

The Healthier Cleanse

Why I dumped my New Years' cleanse.
 

Happy New Year, everyone! A few days late, sure, but etiquette is on my side: I have until the end of January. I checked. How many of you are on a cleanse, either to get over the holiday sugar overdose or simply to welcome the new year in a healthy way? Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I had decided to go raw for the first few weeks of January…and those of you who follow me on Instagram know that didn’t last very long. Two days, to be exact.

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Bad Baby/Bad Mommy

This post will probably seem like its coming out of nowhere, because I haven’t really written about my kids in ages, but I’ve written enough that you know Lena is…a bit of a handful. She’s amazing and the light of my life, but she’s a handful. Especially now, poised between toddler and little kid, well-equipped with words  and ability but still so much a baby.

The other day she came in out of the snow and started taking off her snow gear. Everything went great until she got stuck in her fleece. And instead of asking for help, she began screaming and jumping up and down.

Stuck in her fleece and won't ask for help Getting her mid-tantrum side stretch in
 

We’ve been working with her on using her words and I saw this as a prime opportunity – I told her she needed to say, “Help, Mama” and I would help her. For some reason, which is so often the case between her and I, I neglected to take into account how dang stubborn she is. She decided she was not going to ask for my help and proceeded to throw the BIGGEST, most DRAMATIC, and INCREDIBLY NEEDLESS tantrum ever. Ever.

Screaming always helps. Someone doesn't want to use her words
That preschooler is crying real tears, now.
 

Real tears, you guys! I laughed. I couldn’t help it – the whole display was so ridiculous that I just snapped pictures and chuckled the whole time. I am a bad, bad mom.

But its still funny.

Personal Project: On My Nightstand

Originally I was going to title this project “One Night Stand” because, you know, I like a good play on words (and have the humor of a 13-year old boy). There’s something so personal about a person’s night stand. Its a very important piece of furniture – its where we put the the items we take off or stop using just before going to sleep, the place we keep things we may need during the night, and the alarm that wakes us up.  Like all bedroom furniture, its very intimate. I’ve read that you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their bookshelves, but I think just as much is said on the night stand. After saying all that, I feel like I need to add a disclaimer: I had just cleaned this room the day before. My room is clean like this about once every two weeks.

night stand-jewelry-photographynight stand-jewelry-photographynight stand-jewelry-photographynight stand-jewelry-photography

This is, of course, my own nightstand. The first two photographs were taken shortly after taking Eli to school and the second two just after dropping L off, about an hour apart. The light coming through the west-facing window was weak and fragile,

These, however, are very beautiful and make me feel like maybe one day my night stand could be this glamorous and dust-free all the time.

Date Night At Park Place Leawood

A month or so ago I received one of the greatest emails of my life, or at least the last six months: it asked if I would consider going on a date to Park Place Leawood. It said that if I did and blogged about it, I would get a Park Place gift card. I didn’t even stop to ask Jon if he thought it was a good idea, mainly because Park Place is already one of my favorite places in town, but also because we haven’t been on a date in way too long. I fired off a return email that basically said, “YEEEESSSS”.

The thing is, Park Place really is a great place to go for a date night; there’s so much to do. At first I thought, “Oh, we could totally go paint together at Pinot’s Palette – that would be so much fun!!” And Jon was like, “No.” Then I thought, “What about a couple’s workout? They say that’s a good relationship builder.” That was quickly followed by, “What am I? Insane? The last thing I need is to die on a date.”  We ended up choosing a classic dinner out. I wore nice jewelry and heels. I know – huge.

park place leawood-pig and finch-date night

After making the ten minute drive to Park Place, then getting in a fight because Jon was going all alpha male on the other people in the parking garage – its not a date if you don’t have a tiffle at some point, right? – we stepped out into the cool night air and looked around us. Say what you want, Park Place is lovely: tree-lined streets, hanging planters overflowing with trailing vines and people walking, talking and dining, all warmly lit by the street lamps. Its very romantic.

We chose Pig & Finch for our dinner; we’ve been there before and had a great time. Not only do they make delicious, fall-off-the-bone meat dishes, they have a mean cocktail list and and extensive beer offering. Mama like. Also, their Fried B&B Pickles are insanely good. Like, “these will ruin your dinner, so be careful” good. The other great thing about Pig & Finch is their location – right at the hub of Park Place. We sat on the patio people watching during our meal. There was this adorable baby who had obviously never been so close to a fountain before that kept me entertained for ages. He just stood there with huuuuge eyes and this absolutely terrified look on his face. Then an elderly couple walked by hand in hand. Girls left restaurants, laden with bags from an afternoon of shopping. Families with kids walked by, laughing and chattering. I even saw a few acquaintances out on dates of their own. It was perfect.

park place leawood-pig and finch-date night

Afterward, I thought for sure we would go for gelato at Paciugo or maybe a coffee at Parisi, but…Well, remember those fried pickles? Yeah. My whole idea for next time is to go for dinner, maybe at Mestizo (seriously delicious, dream-worthy food, plus live music on the weekends),  then walk around for an hour window shopping and looking at the amazing fish in Picasso’s Exotic Aquatics. By then, we will be ready for dessert. Paciugo, I’m coming for you.

These dates need serious managing to get the most out of them. Next time, I’m making an itinerary. Date night has got to be about more than dinner at some point and Park Place makes that pretty easy.

 

 

This post was sponsored by Park Place Leawood and I was compensated for it. All opinions are mine. Thanks to Park Place for a fabulous evening out and a really great opportunity!

 

 

Kitchen Underway. Oh, Yeah!

So today, as you’re reading this, there is a crew. That crew is loading two big, beautiful, heavily veined slabs of soapstone onto a truck. They’re driving to my house. My. House. I’m freaking out right now, you guys. By this time next week, I will be about to use my kitchen. I mean, it won’t be finished, but I will be able to cook on a stove-top, bake in ovens, use a microwave that isn’t in my garage.

When we first moved into this place, I put off showing you guys. I knew there was potential here, but honestly, living here was depressing. The kitchen was a major lightsuck and you guys know me: lighting is everything. The room in between the kitchen and family rooms blocked the light and it felt like a cave: dark floors, dark cabinets, dark tile, ikcy yellow-ish walls. In the morning, though, the light was beautiful.

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But at night? Holy pits of darkness.

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Because of that beautiful light, I knew that this house, particularly the kitchen and family room (south facing, full of windows) could be filled with this amazing light. We knocked the wall down between the two rooms, replaced the carpet in the living room with wood and painted everything white. And the poor desk, the poor, beautifully built desk had to go. Sad days, but the shelves that mattered didn’t move and it was fairly unusable. We saved the desktop though – its hanging out in our garage, waiting for a new and noble use.

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Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Market

Last weekend I was invited to hang out at Chick Events Handmade & Vintage pop-up market at Park Place, Leawood. It was the first time I’d been invited to photograph  an event solely because of my blog – this blog! – and I was so excited. Still am, actually!

chick events-handmade-vintage-market-park place - leawoodChick Events Handmade & Vintage Market

Things couldn’t have turned out better: after a week of cold, gray weather the sun broke through the clouds and we had a lovely, Indian summer day. People responded. By the time I arrived a little before noon, the crowd was enormous! Johnson County was out in full force and everyone was in such a great mood. I met up with a friend and her aunt and we shopped, chatted, painted (for real) and listened to a  really fun cover band called Toxic Assets.

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Summer In The Mountains

Its been a while since I blogged (I mean, April, wow.) and originally I wanted to do a recap of everything we’ve done since then, but it was such a daunting idea. Instead I thought I’d share some pictures of this summer’s family vacation to Colorado, which was so fun and beautiful. We almost didn’t go, but in the end a chance to summit Mount Elbert with two of my best girlfriends sealed the deal and we made the drive from Kansas City to Frisco happily.  I’m so, so glad we did. Its been way too long since we took a real family vacation – this one was Lena’s first – and seeing my kids hiking and biking through the mountains was the coolest thing. If you’ve never visited the Rockies during the summer months, you need to put it on your To-Do list; I really can’t recommend it highly enough.kids-hike-Copper Moutain-Coloradohiking-Copper Mountain-Colorado

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So. Much. Dust.

Wow – so the move from Blogger to WordPress has obviously (see the hideous page design) been complete, but I’m still working on the actual design aspect. I have no idea what I’m doing, you guys. No stinking clue – I’m not a web designer! I’m not HTML5 savvy! What is HTML5?? I was just getting used to HTML when they started adding CSS and then I was just like, “Eh, I’ll hire someone.” Totally, totally regretting that decision now. I should have figured it out and today I’d be designing my own wordpress child theme, but no . No, instead I’m lurking on Etsy for three days straight trying to find the one theme that just screams “Prairie & Co.”

Anyway, excuse the dust. I’ll get rid of it soon, I promise.

Ringing in Spring

    Last week I shot a series of pictures revolving around a lovely, lovely bouquet of pink ranunculus I picked up at Trader Joe’s on a whim. Some of you may have seen them on Google+ or on NHSP’s blog, if you stopped by there this morning. I shot your typical bouquet shots, then moved on to practicing freelensing, a technique I’ve been wanting to try for a while. (If you’re interested or just curious, Everly Films offers an informative and visually stunning tutorial here.) After that, I painstakingly clipped each bloom from its stem, laid them on a swath of green fabric and began shooting from above. 

    As I shot away, the kids waited impatiently on the sidelines until I said, “Ok, they’re all yours”, whereupon they swooped down upon the poor blooms somewhat like winged monkeys and spirited them off to the bathroom sink.

Hands
Angel Darling
Pink & Green
My Funny Face

Squeeze In

I just threw that last one in there because it makes me laugh. Why does he want in that corner so badly?

    These two really put those poor little blooms through their paces. That sink became the equivalent of a Inquisitorial Spanish dungeon: hot water, cold water, soap, complete submersion…They had a blast. And then asked me to leave the flowers in the sink for three hours until Daddy came home. 

Uh, no. 

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