Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Grateful Heart

Hello Friends. We are on the eve of Thanksgiving and we are pretty busy around here prepparing for manana. Each year we host a supper that feeds 200-300 at St. George's Church. We are busy organizing volunteers and prepparing to share a meal. Of all our work, one of the most meaningful activities for tomorrow will be our Thanksgiving service. I don't know about you, but sitting quietly in a beautiful space is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our lives and give thanks. 

(Sophia @ 3)

Liza and I have been a bit absent this semester on the blog, because there is much to be thankful for in our lives. We love blogging, but more importantly we are so appreciative of the people we have been given. This season, I have found myself slowing down in a real way. I am trying to listen to my ninos when we walk to and from school, Jake and I are tucking our phones away more often, and I am taking the time to just breath. 
I know as we prepare for one of the most wonderful & anxious seasons of the year, taking a moment to be grateful for what our season is about will be what gets us all through December. 

If you need a place to rest and breath there are two things I suggest. 

UNO: Stop in at Calvary- St. Georges Church

DOS: Pick up the Mockingbird-Zine. You will find real respite within the pages of each magazine. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! 
Thank you for reading and being part of our lives. 

Gobble Gobble!!!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Big News

In case you haven't noticed, I've been a bit preoccupied lately and haven't been as active with either house projects or on the blog over the past few months.  I'm happy to report that I have a wonderful, tiny excuse for my overall lack of renovation motivation-- WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!!  

We have wanted children for many years, but it just hasn't happened.  We have waited and prayed and been to a thousand doctor's appointments over such a long time, so this amazing news is pretty overwhelmingly wonderful.  I'm so thankful!  

AND, we're having a girl!  I'm all about surprises, and finding out what we are having was a fabulous surprise-- just not one that I was willing to wait for:)  

Thanks for sharing in our joy... and for hanging in there with me as I recover from pregnancy exhaustion!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Family Christmas Photos

Our dear friend Jeremy took our family photos a couple weeks ago. I don't know about you but getting pictures together with family members is never easy, especially when little ones are involved. Last year I brought along large blue balloons to keep the kids engaged. This year there wasn't much time to pull any dramatic stunts together and we decided to keep the pictures simple. I wanted to focus on who were are as a little church family. So, this year we took our pictures right after church in our Sunday best. 

Here is a sneak peak…….

I love how the pinks, reds, blues, and browns brought the picture together. We are also so grateful Jeremy is willing to put up with our shenanigans each year. 



Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday in Manhattan

Friday has finally arrived!!! 
The weather is crisp and the leaves are falling beautifully. I am so excited to cozy up with my favorite weekend reads and new yarn.  This is the perfect weekend to knit some Christmas projects and work on our family Christmas cards. 

Did I mention I am on the board Mockingbird and we have a quarterly. If your looking for Christmas gifts that are thoughtful and meaningful, look no further then  These beautiful quarterlies are only 42.00 for the entire year, what a deal. 

The lastest issue is on Relationships. Who doesn't love a little insight in this area. 

Happy Friday!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Flannel DO or DON'T

A friend emailed me this week asking what the deal is with flannel tops-- is it a DO or NOT?  I am all in, and here are a few inspiration pics to get you going……

I love my Madewell flannel and have been rocking it all season. There is nothing like the perfect flannel to keep you cozy. 



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Glamming up an 80s machine……..

Sophia received a new typewriter for her birthday a couple weeks ago, and she loves the machine. I found it in need of a little personalizing, so I pulled out the Mod Podge and picked out some beautiful rice paper to do the trick. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Work & Progress: Tracy House

Now that we have been living in Tracy House a little over a year I am beginning to work on the dead spaces. For me our home is a constant work in progress, so when I was shopping at John Derian, I found a few items I knew would be perfect for our staircase.  Now if you know anything about John Derian, you know that their merchandise is NOT inexpensive, but at times your able to find just the right piece at the right price. I love their gift wrap and decided to frame it for our walls. 

Since we have a Michael's down our street I was able to pick up some sturdy frames @ 20.00 a pop.

We continue as a work in progress, but I am loving what we have. 

Mil Besos,


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Garage Chic: Cheap Shelving DIY

At the back of our first floor we have a small extra room that can technically be counted as a bedroom, since it has a small closet and a bathroom nearby.  We don't really have much need for another bedroom at the moment, and honestly it's too small and awkward to lend itself to that use on a daily basis.  Until recently it was a catch all space for my painting supplies, wrapping paraphernalia, and even a few boxes that I just couldn't find the energy to unpack (yes, from two years ago!).  

Thankfully I knew once the rest of the house had been pretty much finished I would inevitably feel a surge of motivation to tackle this random little room and turn it into an office and painting studio area.  The first step was clearing out whatever junk had accumulated over time from laziness, and then I realized exactly what we needed: storage.  My painted gray desk from our Vienna days helps organize quite a bit of office materials, but it wasn't enough.  Not wanting to spend a bunch on mediocre bookshelves for this room, and also not interested in a two hour drive to IKEA this time, I decided to stop by our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore center, which sells a huge range of second hand home items.  This place offers a treasure hunt, with plenty of junk to rummage through but also the possibility of finding a cool light fixture, old french doors, a fireplace mantel (like I did here), or in this case, a shelving unit.

These basic metal shelving units you'd see lining the walls of a garage or basement seemed more interesting to me than a basic wooden bookshelf, so I brought home the largest one-- for 10 bucks.  

The whole thing was pretty grimy, and some sections of the shelves and the side rails had been rusted over time, so first off I used dish soap and water to scrub each piece well to remove any residue or dust.  I decided to spray paint it, and it's always hard for me to make myself do the cleaning/prep step in this process, but it's important!  So I waited (im)patiently while all of the pieces dried before beginning to paint.

Normal spray paint is wonderful at covering a multitude of problems, but with this much rust, I decided to bring in the big guns.  Rustoleum makes a special primer for rusted metal that seals in the problem and protects from further corrosion.  So all of the rails and shelves got a good coat of primer first.

I wanted to play with a more formal look as a foil for the industrial nature of the shelves, so I settled on a black and gold color scheme.  For the shelves I used a basic Rustoleum black matte spray paint, and for the rails I decided to go metallic with Krylon's "18k Gold Plate." 

Once everything was dry to the touch I tried to remember how to reassemble everything (the before photos I took were key here!), and I'm happy with the result.  I now finally have a place for our stationary and my oversized painting supplies, and our printer is no longer on the floor!  

The whole project took me a couple of days since I spread out all the steps, but you could definitely finish it all in one day, including dry time.  With all the spray paint I used up, my total came to about $35, including the original $10 for the shelves-- a pretty good deal!  And if we ever don't need them in the house, they can always glam up the garage a little:)



Monday, November 3, 2014

Birthday Party Ideas

When I was dreaming up Sophia's 7th day birthday party, we were looking to incorporate a little mystery, craftiness, and camp activities. 

First on the list was crafts.  When the children arrived to the party they were greeted by a space with a few craft projects. The children created feathered key necklaces, glow in the dark vests, and hiking maps. 

As night descended the glow sticks came out….

After the kids had a little glow in the dark parade we decided to light some sparklers and sing Happy Birthday. No birthday is complete without a little sparkle.  

Happy Celebrating!

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