Something you may not know about me…I was a sorority girl.  Think what you may about sorority girls, but I would not trade my experience for anything.  I met some of the most wonderful, compassionate women and many of my best friends.

When I moved back to Cedar Falls, I was asked to be the Chapter Advisor for my sorority.  I thought it was ridiculous that I was going to be considered a role model and advisor for 60 plus women, but also thought it could be fun.

Being the advisor has not caused me too much stress or even to much energy…until this past weekend.  This was my first experience at seeing sorority recruitment as an advisor.  And I tell ya what…I am frikken tired. 

The girls meet over 120 girls and narrowed that down to a list of 20 amazing women to add to their chapter.  We had parties, events, we cooked and cleaned.  I stayed up late tallying things and reading thoughts girls had jotted down.  I woke up early to attend advisor meetings.  I was amazed at the girls dedication and excitement.  And amazed at the quickness they were able to mess up a clean kitchen.

Seeing the process reminded me of how much the sorority will shape these women.  How it will give them leadership experience that not only looks good on a resume but will prepare them for their future.  How they are meeting their future bridemaids and shoulders to cry on.

I wish I could tell them all things I learned and how to not dwell on the little things (that they think are big).  I wish I could tell them how they will look back at their time in college and want to laugh and cry at the same time.  I hope they realize it is all going to pass quickly.

I keep seeing pictures of ribbon chandeliers and loving how cute they look.  I “ohhh” and “ahh” over them on pinterest (of course) and figured something that cute must be difficult to make.  I mean….look:

See?  CUTE.

But then I was reading younghouselove, and Sherry’s description made it sound super easy.


Love it!  The toughest part was picking out the ribbons!  I spray painted an embroidery hoop white (which was probably an unnecessary step…it doesnt show at all).  Then I cut the ribbon into 18 inch strips (or close to).  While I cut the ribbon, the glue gun heated up.  I then glued the ribbon onto the hoop!  After the ribbon was covering the hoop completely, I took little bitty hooks and screwed them into the ceiling…that’s it!

The play/guest room is nowhere near complete, but I wanted to hang it up right away.

I think it turned out great, especially considering the amount of effort but into it.  It is even in manly colors for HJ’s manly playroom :).

Have you made anything lately?

I will post pics of the house soon, I promise!  I just need to transfer the pictures from my camera to the computer.  I know the phone pictures don’t turn out the best.

It was Monday night, the weather was gorgeous, HJ was happy and I was grilling some dinner for us and a Mr. JP.  Mr. JP had yet to arrive when I had started our meal.  The main course was bruschetta chicken.  Grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil…yum.  I also had some bread to make a few pieces of bruschetta.  I had sliced up some yummy fruit and had the oven set to broil for the bread.  The grill was all heated up and the chicken was starting to look yummy.  I put the bruschetta in the oven (it only takes a few minutes) and put a movie in for HJ (he is obsessed with Toy Story).  I went outside on the deck to finish up the chicken.  I had to hurry so I could pull the bread out of the broiler before it burned.  I had my back to the patio door when I heard it.  CLICK.

Huh, I thought.  I wonder what that was.  Then I hear a “Hi mommy!”.  Oh no.  I turn around.  The little rascal had locked the patio door.

I went over to the door and pointed to the lock.  HJ started crying wondering why he couldn’t come out and play with me.  I started becoming a little nervous.  I have no way in the house.  I look at my bare feet and the mud covered yard (my grass has yet to grow) and ponder the chances that one of the doors in the front is open.  I make a mad dash to the front.  Front door…locked and dead bolted.  I open the garage with the key pad.  The garage door was also locked and dead bolted…but luckily there were a pair of flip-flops in there!  By now the dog is barking and I can hear HJ screaming.  I run around to the back again.  I try windows.  Nothing.  (I guess it’s good to know my house is safe)  I run over to where the construction workers are to see if anyone has a master-key.  Of course not. 

Right then, Mr. JP shows up.  He looks at me confused and asks where HJ is. “Small problem,” I say, “he locked me out.”

We both head around to the back and look at HJ through the patio door.  HJ thinks this is hilarious and proceeds to climb onto the kitchen table.  I am shouting through the window for him to get down and paranoid he will fall and get hurt.

Mr.JP and I assess the situation.  No one has been given a spare key yet.  In fact, the spare key is sitting on the kitchen table in our view.  At one point, HJ even picks it up and shouts “KEY!”  Mr.JP did have a phone though.  He got on the phone and started calling locksmiths, while I tried to entertain HJ.  HJ had noticed I had all the fruit out on the table and was happily munching away.  He would randomly wonder over to the door and attempt to unlock it, but he was a smidge too short to push the lock up far enough.  This caused him to get really upset.  He kept yelling “me play outside too!”  Poor kid couldn’t figure out why I would stand outside and taunt him so.

This was about the time HJ remembered Toy Story was on and wondered into the living room.  Mr. JP was on the phone with a locksmith (while nibbling on the grilled chicken).  He told the locksmith a toddler was inside with the oven on and we needed help ASAP The locksmith said he could be there within an hour.  While this conversation was going on, I was in the background yelling, “No HJ, yucky! Ew!  Put it down!”  He had found a pack of gum on top of the kitchen table by this point and was unwrapping every piece and tossing it around the kitchen.  Then, he must have thought the dog wanted some and he chased the poor pup around the house trying to shove gum into his mouth. 

The locksmith must have heard my pleas. He was there within 20 minutes.  He took the door knob off the back door and attempted to make a spare key.  It wasn’t working.  He tried again.  HJ was bored by this point and had noticed his movie was over.  This led to the DVD player being thrown across the living room, DVD cases scattered about the house, toys all over and him screaming.

The locksmith kept trying.  I was freaking out by this point.  The locksmith decided to try his luck at the patio door.  That is when the fire alarm went off (I am surprised it took that long).  This made everyone freak.  The dog started barking, HJ was screaming at the top of his lungs.  Mr.JP suggested I go ask the construction workers to call someone with a master-key.  I think that was his way of getting me out of there so I didn’t have a nervous breakdown. 

I took off running.  When I approached the workers, one of them was on the phone.  He took one look at my face and said, “I have to call you back.  You okay?”


(That was me shouting quickly “my son locked me out of the house and the fire alarm is going off and the lock smith can’t get in)

He started calling people with the master keys right away.  We could hear the fire alarm (which by the way, not only beeps but also says “FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE”) from where we were and I was almost in tears.  I was about to break down a window.

Then I heard it.  A wail and a “MOMMY!”  HJ came running down the driveway!  The locksmith got in finally!  I went running back home and held my little pumpkin kissing him over and over.  I looked at the locksmith and thanked him, asking him how much I owed him.

He must have felt bad for me.  He said that his son had locked his wife out of their house once and he knows how she felt, so not to worry about it.

After an hour and a half, I finally got back inside…where the bruschetta had left quite the burnt smell and got to eat a partial dinner with HJ and Mr.JP.

I am learning that home ownership is expensive.  And that there is always something to do.  This weekend consisted of cleaning, hanging blinds, filling nail holes and trying to get up the courage to spray a wasp nest with RAID (still hasn’t happened).

I keep finding pretty things I want.  NEED.  Things to help make me feel like the house is “complete”.  Here is what is on my “to do/to buy” list:

I recently painted the laundry room, which is also the entrance from the garage, a bright blue.  I want to paint a white line on one side and hang hooks for coats.  The hallway is too narrow to put up shelves or other forms of storage, so I am thinking might be the best option.  What do I mean white line with hooks?

I mean like that fancy little picture that was on pinterest.  While on the subject of the laundry room…how handy is this?


I also “need” some kind of shelving above the washer/dryer to put things…like laundry detergent.  I hate that I just have it sitting on top of the dryer.

The main/HJ’s bathroom is fairly complete, but I would love to have some built-in shelving in there.  There is this small space that would be perfect for some cute white shelves…I need a handyman.  Also, I think I need a secret compartment in the bathroom to hide things like children’s Tylenol yet still have it be accessible in case he wakes up at 2am from teething (stay tuned for a post later this week on “My Calls to Poison Control”).

The play/guest room is a giant mess right now.  I have not decided on a path to take with this room.  Ideally, it would magically convert into two rooms, one where I could be guest room furniture and one where it is TOYS, TOYS, TOYS.  But I don’t see that happening, so for now I will have to merge the two dreams into one and see what I come up with.  Right now, my thought is:

Some place for mom to rest while HJ tears about the room, and then a bed for the few times a year I have guests!  Besides making a ribbon chandelier, I don’t have other plans for this room.

My room is almost complete!  I have an antique shelf that I painted and want to hang up, but haven’t figured out how to do that yet.  It doesn’t have any hangers (I am sure that is the technical term) on the back.  Any suggestions?  Also, the builder forgot to put a light in the closet…making it hard to find clothes!

The kitchen…I would love to get a new light fixture to better match my pendant lights.  I have had my eye on this one from World Market for YEARS.  Also, the patio needs some curtain/blinds added.  I am shooting for this look from younghouselove

I am not sure the path to take with the living room…I plan to put up a gallery wall behind the big couch, but I really wish I had a sectional (not happening anytime soon).  Also, I want some fun throw pillows.  Like the ones from this etsy store.  But they are a little out of my budget.  I also love yellow throw pillows, I think they will look great with the grey wall.  And curtains for the living room?  No idea.  I like chevron print things, but don’t know if it is to bold for a curtain. 



HJ and I officially moved!  I became a homeowner last Tuesday and spent the rest of last week unpacking, organizing, hanging items and reorganizing things.  I am tired.  BUT EXCITED!!!  As we get more settled, I will share the progress of the rooms (because decorating is ever-changing, right?)

In a completely unrelated topic…who else is addicted to pinterest?  I love it.  My friends and I will even talk about things we saw/pinned/want to do/tried.  If you are wondering what the heck I am even talking about, I can send you a pinterest invite so you can become addicted too (just email/leave a comment with your email address).  I love it.  Have I mentioned that?

I mean where else would you find things like…

Yummy food to try!


Stylish outifts!


Fun crafts to make!


Hilarious quotes!



See?  See why I love it so?

Come join in the fun with me!!

My friend Amy is extremely special to me.  She is the one who went with me to childbirth and breastfeeding classes.  She stood by my side at the ultrasounds.  And she helped deliver my son (she happens to be a labor and delivery nurse).  So when I found out she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to throw her a baby shower.  A few other friends and I got everything ready for her shower in June, while Amy prepared for her little girl’s August 13th due date.

Amy and her husband both like hunting, so we knew some camo items would be necessary.  Luckily, etsy  has everything!

My first purchase was this cute hat:


And these month by month stickers:

Then we found some cute invitations:

And started getting everything ready!  The shower arrived quickly and HJ and I headed to Des Moines for the big event.  The shower was held at a friend’s (beautiful) house and her husband kept the boys occupied.  So while the boys were doing things like this:

The ladies were doing things like…

Frosting duck cookies (the book is Welcome Little One…it is my go to shower gift!)

And tying pretty pink bows

We played games

Ate lots of yummy food and finished with cake

Amy opened tons of gifts and lots of cute little girl clothes.  And I loved getting to see her again!

Amy had a very difficult pregnancy and was actually induced a few weeks ago.  Her precious baby girl was born significantly early and spent her first three weeks of life in NICU.  Amy also continued to give us some scares and required a surgery and blood transfusions.  Luckily, both Amy and precious baby girl are at home now and feeling good!  I can not wait to go meet Amy’s precious little girl.