Little one’s room was pretty easy to get together (no painting required).  It was already painted a tan color (like at our old house), and has pretty wood floors.

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This is actually my favorite bedroom, and the one HJ was originally supposed to have.  The reason…it was so many windows!  I love how light and bright it is.  It has a really big closet, with tons of space.  The only changes I made were hanging up black out curtains (a must for little one), and a ceiling fan.

The dresser in this room is still one of my favorite DIY projects I have done.

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You may be wondering why there is a crib AND a toddler bed.  Little one really wanted to try a toddler bed, so I set it up the first night in the new house.  Needless to say, he got up to play NUMEROUS times during the night.  After one night of trying, we are all happier with little one back in the crib.  The toddler bed now serves as the perfect cuddling spot for reading bedtime stories.

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The Master Bedroom didn’t require much work on my end (yeah!).  It was painted a grey color, that I kept.  The major change in here is the carpet.  When we moved in, the carpet was a deep maroon color.  The carpet was in great shape, however, it showed everything.  I am talking every dust, speck of dirt, dog hair, kid messes, everything.  And, it was maroon.  So the carpet went bye-bye.

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I hung up a new curtain rod (the previous owner took theirs), and arranged my own stuff.  I still need to remove a few things from the wall (like the tv mount), but otherwise, that is it.

The shelf I have hung up on the wall is something I found years ago in my parent’s basement.  It was one of my first projects at the old house!

The nightstands were a craigslist find that I redid.

It’s starting to feel like home!

HJ’s room was originally supposed to be one of the hard wood floored rooms.  It is small, but has lots of windows, and so much light.  But, when he realized it wasn’t the biggest, he said no.  Actually, he said “Why do you always get the big rooms?”.  We finally came to an agreement that he could have the “purple room”.  Whenever I showed friends and family pictures of the house, everyone would comment on the “purple room”.  All the colors in the house were neutral…except this room.

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Originally, I planned on making this the guest room.  I was going to leave it purple for a while just to see people’s reactions.  But, with HJ moving in, I knew the purple would not last long.  I was planning on doing a grey and navy color.  I had purchased navy and white striped curtains, and it would match the headboard and nightstand I painted for him perfectly.  Until HJ lovingly reminded me his favorite colors are red and black.  He didn’t want blue at all.

I ignored this for a week or 2, but then decided why am I spending money on the blue and white stuff when he doesn’t want it and won’t like it.  We were at a home store, and he saw a black moon picture.  Instantly, he declared it was for his room.  When we got home, I did a quick amazon search to see if I could find something inexpensive that he would like.  And, I found the perfect bedding, for under $40!  I grabbed  a few black out curtains, and he was set.

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When the painters came, they seemed a little surprised at my request…but I love how his red and black wall turned out.  His room is *almost* done.  We are working on a desk (which he thinks NEEDS a swivel chair), eventually I would like to carpet it (the only room that didn’t get new stuff), and something for the very bare wall.  HJ loves showing his red wall off.  I am glad he convinced me to do it this way!

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It’s that time of year…I officially packed up winter coats and snowpants.  I am still hanging on to mittens and hats, because Iowa weather can change 60 degrees over night.

Time to move sweaters over in the closet, and put tees and tanks front and center.  And the biggest closet space saver, switching boots out for sandals!  That is why it is the perfect time to shop Shopbop’s sale!

I came across an article that was promoting helping in the foster system.  It acknowledged that not everyone is called to open up their home to a foster child.  But even without taking a child in, there is SO, SO much you can do.

When I first welcomed little one in my home, it was hard.  Even though it wasn’t a “newborn”, we still welcomed a new child into our home.  I was given just under 24 hours to run to the store and get diapers, food and milk.  I went through HJ’s old clothes that “might” fit him (since I didn’t know his size), and threw them in the wash.  I put sheets in the trip and pulled out age appropriate toys.  A neighbor has kind enough to loan me some “toddler proofing items”, and another foster family gave me their baby gate.

I was also lucky enough that my community has a foster organization called Kaden’s Kloset.  I was able to go there and get a high chair, car seat, a few toys and clothes.  They even gave me a first night bag with pajamas, a stuffed animal and some diapers.

I felt ready with all the necessities, but trying to get a hang of a new schedule took a few more weeks.  I don’t think I cooked for 5 days.  I had a confused child who needed extra focused attention for a while.  I had a 7-year-old who was suddenly learning to be a big brother in a span of a day.  And as a mom of 2, I felt like my life was in chaos.

I even called a house cleaner.

Besides all the essentials new foster families might need, they also need things like your typical new moms do.  Volunteer to bring dinner, come over and hang out, offer to take the older child for a while.  My hardest things to get under control were meals and house cleaning.

After about a month, I felt like we were on a good, consistent schedule.  But then come other things… like out growing clothes :).

I was also lucky enough to be put in touch with an amazing photographer.  She recently took professional photos of little one, so I can give them to his mom for a Mother’s Day gift.

And I have met fantastic foster families that help with babysitting when I need it.

It truly does take a village to raise a child.

It’s December.  I mean, I am sure you knew that…but seriously.  How is 2016 almost over?  I am still writing 2015 on things.  Even HJ mentioned how fast the past year went.  Usually by this point, I have posted gift ideas, and deals from various places.  This year, it completely slipped my mind.

I keep meaning to post HJ’s annual interview, but keep putting it off until “maybe tomorrow”.

I am hoping my time off over Christmas will help me officially feel caught up on life.  Which sounds silly since I have all my Christmas shopping done, decorations out, and cards sent (for weeks now).  But it’s little things like, “Oh my gosh why are there so many clothes on my bedroom floor” and I keep forgetting to grab light bulbs at the store, so the mud room is pretty dark.  Also, my tv remote has been broken for three weeks.  Three weeks.  We have had the tv on the same damn channel for 3 weeks.  I have been to a store numerous times since then, but just forget to grab one.

Last week, I finally ordered a remote from amazon…and got an email today that something happened to the package while in route and they will reship soon.  (I wish they would say what happened, it has to be a good story.)  Looks like we will continue to watch channel 7 for a few more days.  Plus, once I get the package I am sure I will realize it needs remotes and have to get those at the store (which means I will continue to forget for a few more weeks).

I have also recently realized there are some days where cooking dinner just isn’t going to happen.  Like on Mondays.  HJ has a lego group that meets from 6-7.  There is no way I can pick him up, get home, cook, eat and back to school by 6.  So I am one of those moms that lets him eat a lunchable for dinner now.  Which is kind of silly since he doesn’t even like cheese.

On that note, cooking for a kid that doesn’t like cheese is weird…because I love cheese.  He also doesn’t like potatoes or eggs.  In the last year, he finally decided that pasta was ok…as long as there is no cheese.  However, he loves vegetables.  The kid ordered edamame for dinner before.

Anyone who has seen HJ since March knows this, but he hasn’t had a haircut.  I convinced him to trim his bangs once, but otherwise it has just been growing.  It was finally at ponytail length last week, and I got him to get it cut.  Just a trim!  To shape it! (actually the elf got him too) As soon as he agreed, I raced to a salon.  And he got it cut…I mean slaughtered.  You guys, he looked like Lloyd Christmas.  If you don’t know who that is, google it quick and come back.  We both cried.  I took him to a friend to try and salvage it.  It’s still not good, but better.  No pictures…he won’t let me.  But that pretty much guarantees I won’t force him to cut it for years.

That is all I will ramble on about for now, but I am hoping to get back into my normal routine soon.  Promise.

 

In case you were wondering, the countdown is on at our house.  33 days.  That’s it.  Which means, shopbop’s sale is here at the most perfect time!  From beautiful jewelry, cozy pajamas, and gorgeous bags, you can’t go wrong with a gift from Shopbop.

On my wish list, a Marc Jacobs handbag, a cute and casual top, and cozy pajamas.

The sale is going on now until 11/29 at 11:59 PST.  Make sure to cross some items of your list!

 

white-lace-red-roses-box-e1416272216252-414x414The best way to start the holiday season…with a GIVEAWAY!  (And yes, I am decorating this weekend for Christmas)

You know I love subscription boxes.  Clothes, makeup, jewelry, it’s always fun to receive a box full of goodies.  And now, there is a subscription services for lingerie.  Theenclosed.com is an awesome site, where you can pick your style, and they will surprise you with beautiful (or cute…or sexy) lingerie.  You can even gift a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.

Want to win a free gift from The Enclosed?  Leave a comment on this post! To receive another entry, tweet at me that you “want to win The Enclosed Giveaway”.  And a final entry?  Leave a comment on the instagram post about the giveaway!  The winner will be drawn at random on 11/14/2016.

 

**This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal**

In October, I took HJ out to get his 7 year pictures completed.  For the first time, we thought we would also try and include the dog.  I was nervous for a few different reasons: HJ’s hair is so long you can hardly see his eyes; negotiating him to wear jeans; if the dog would stay calm enough or be bouncy; me and my self esteem.

I was almost nervous to get the photos back.  But then I did, and I was/am SOOO happy with them!

This year, Lynn from Grace Captured took them.  She was fun to work with, and did an amazing job.  Just look…

untitled-5 untitled-50 untitled-79-copy untitled-92-copy untitled-9 untitled-14 untitled-18 untitled-28 untitled-36 untitled-59Oh, my little pumpkin is just so cute :), I even like his hair!  If you live in the Cedar Valley area, I highly recommend Grace Captured!

Past Photo Shoots…

Age 6

Age5

Age 4

Age 3

Age 2

Friday was HJ’s birthday.  One he has been counting down for months.  So, we had to make sure he had the best day ever.

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He woke up to a room full of balloons, and got ready for school.  We swung by dunkin donuts for a chocolate sprinkle donut..best breakfast for birthday kids :).  He walked to school with a container of cupcakes to share with his class, and it was only a half day of school.  At noon, I picked up HJ and his friend.  We went for Happy Meals, and played outside in the perfect weather.  Then, we had to pick up the cake for HJ’s party.  The bakery is ran out of a home, which is on a farm.  The farm has lot, and lots of cats.  So we stayed to play a while.  img_6956

Then, it was time to head off on our next adventure…Chuck E. Cheese.  The boys burned through their tokens in less than 30 minutes.  HJ opted to save his tickets, and did not take home a prize.

img_6963After that, we went to a park to burn off any energy that was left.

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We came home to get ready for HJ’s family party.  His nana, papa and great grandma were coming over for dinner and cake.  He picked out dinner, edamame and taco pizza.  Then, opened up his presents.  After presents, came cake.

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Safe to say, he was ready for bed shortly after.  We had a great day celebrating my favorite boy in the world!  Happy Birthday, sweet boy!