Sick, Sick, Sick

Our family was hit last week with a nasty head cold. One that I was silly enough to think I had successfully escaped with the help of my friends vitamin D, zinc and vitamin C. Sadly I woke up Monday blasted with all the mucousy, sneezy, headachy fun that comes with this bout of the cold, and come Thursday, I’m still down for the count.

Thankfully Luke has stepped in to take over more of the child care while I rest. There is something so seriously heart-melting about overhearing your husband and daughter chase each other around saying “zoom zoom! Super Lila!” Lets just say the little girl giggles were out of control.

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Tuesday night, after spending the afternoon with Lila, Luke said that when they were watching Daniel Tiger before bed, Lila snuggled up to him and said “I love you daddy. Give me a kiss.” I must admit I was a little jealous that he got her first real “I love you.”

But that jealousy very quickly changed to happiness that they have such a tight bond. The whole daddy daughter relationship is something special, and these two sure do love each other.

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It’s been pretty cute when Lila comes and visits me in bed and says “Mommy’s sick. Rest is best. It’s okay mommy, it’s okay” while patting my arm. Or when she brings over her doctor kit and gives me a shot in my ear or puts the stethoscope up to my eye. She’s also asked to do a lot of cuddling with me while we eat sore throat suckers.

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I’m hoping this is the only winter sickness our family gets hit with. From what I’ve heard there are some bad flus and colds making the rounds among my friends. Lets just say hand washing and healthy eating are going to be my MO from here on out.

I hope you’re all staying healthy this winter, or at the very least have someone to help carry your load so you can rest.

 

 

 

 

How to Paint Upholstery With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

It’s been just about two months since we moved into our new (old) house and little by little, it’s starting to feel like home. I have most of the big furniture done and now am moving onto the smaller details.

One spot in our house that left me a little perplexed was the landing at the top of our stairs. It has this giant picture window that I love, but I wasn’t sure how to utilize the space. I decided after doing some Pinterest sleuthing that it would make a nice, bright little reading nook.

The thing is, I did not want to spend a bunch of money on a chair for this spot, since it likely will not get used all that much. I had heard that you could paint fabric through this Facebook Annie Sloan Chalk Paint project group I joined. “At first I thought – painted fabric?? Won’t that be super crunchy and crack?”

But after seeing some great before and after photos, I decided to give it a whirl. Keep in mind this was my FIRST ASCP project ever. I convinced Luke to go to Goodwill with me to pick out a cheapo chair. We snapped this red one up for $15!

Painting fabric How to paint a fabric chair

That combined with about $60 in painting supplies I picked up from Pottsies and I was ready to go.

Now before we go any further and you immerse yourself in learning this process, keep in mind the results are amazing. Here’s my before and after…

painted upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint

Pretty crazy, right? Okay now that you’re visually convinced, here’s the process.

Supplies You’ll Need

Here’s what I used to do the job:

- an old moving blanket to protect the basement floor
- painters tape
- 220 grit sand paper
- Paint jug to mix the paint
- 1 liter pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue (I used 80% of the can)
- 1 small tester container of ASCP in Pure White
- ASCP clear wax
- 1 paint brush from Lila’s painting kit (no joke)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- and old t-shirt for the waxing part

How to Paint Fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I started off by cleaning the chair with a spray disinfectant and a good vacuuming. Then I mixed some of the duck egg blue paint with about 20% water. This helps the fabric soak up the paint. Before I started painting, I sprayed down the whole chair with water until it was wet but not dripping. This again helps the fabric soak up the paint.

Then I just started painting! I really wish I had taken pictures throughout the process, but I was in my zen mode and completely forgot. It really is relaxing to paint.

While painting, I didn’t really follow any direction. I just made sure the coverage was even and I used my brush to work it into the stitching, crevices and piping. I didn’t even tape off the legs either. ASCP wipes off easily while wet and otherwise you can just paint over it, like I did with the pure white.

After the first coat, I let it dry 24 hours, then ran the sand paper over it lightly to soften up any rough spots. Then I wiped it off with a rag and repeated the whole process from the day before. Spray the chair, water the paint down 20% and paint a second coat.

If you’re painting a light colored chair something darker, two coats may be all you need. Since I was going from red to light blue, I needed a third coat and then some touch ups to get complete coverage.

Once you are satisfied with your coverage and the chair is completely dry (24 hours), you apply the wax. I just used an old t-shirt to dab on some wax, rub it in and then wipe away any excess. This is the part in the process I wish I had not rushed because there are some spots where the wax is definitely thicker than others now that it’s dry.

So lesson is to take your time waxing and make sure the coverage is even. After the wax dries 24 hours, you can buff it if you want a slight sheen to the fabric.

After the fabric portion of my chair was done, I flipped it over and painted the legs with Pure White. The great thing about ASCP is that you don’t need to prime wood at all. Just start painting. I was done with the legs and distressed them lightly with sand paper in about 20 minutes.

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How Does it Feel / Hold Up / Not Rub Off?

The first question you probably have is how does the chair fabric feel now that it’s painted? To me it feels like a soft pleather. Cool to the touch and smooth. Not crunchy or hard at all!

Painted fabric with chalk paint

Then you might wonder how it holds up over time? Well the jury is still out for me as my chair is only two weeks old. I will say, a painted chair probably is best served for a low-traffic spot. I’m not sure I would want to have it be my “comfy” daily use chair. That’s why I put mine at the top of our landing.

Finally, does the paint rub off? No siree! The wax acts like a seal on the fabric keeping the paint intact. It also serves as a waterproof base to make clean up easy. I think of it as almost like scotch guard. I have done several “butt tests” in my black leggings and nothing has ever come off on my pants (if you consider leggings pants like I do :).

I’m happy to say my painted chair has found itself quite at home on our landing. I paired it with a rug from Wayfair and an antique trunk I got at our local antique store The Vault for $25. I just have to dress it up with a cute pillow and decor, then it will be complete.

Painted upholstery with chalk paint How to paint fabric with chalk paint Annie sloan chalk paint on upholstery

I have been so thrilled with how easy this whole process was. Again this was my FIRST project with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ever. I have already begun scouting other things in our house I can paint. This little step stool from IKEA was my latest project done in the span of one nap time.

ikea Bekam step stool painted

If you have any questions about how I painted this chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, leave a comment and I’ll answer.

Happy painting!

 

Three Stories from 2014

I sat down to write a post recapping 2014 today, but what came out was either negative in regard to all the stress our family went through this year with our move, botched house hunting, miscarriage, moving again etc, or overly “look on the bright side of things.”

If you’ve been reading my blog this year, you pretty much know what has gone down, so instead of recapping the year – highs and lows – I’m going to share some stories from the past few weeks. Just small moments that have made me pause and smile.

Luke and I were both raised with religion, and we are raising Lila Catholic. We pray before bed and at other random times, but admittedly we are not very good about praying before meals.

Well last night as we sat down to eat our sloppy joes over mashed sweet potatoes, I was about to dig in when Lila said “lets pray!” Then she put her hands together in what can best be described as two claws next to each other and sang “Jesus loves me this I knoooow. Amen!”

Our girl is quite perceptive and picked this song and habit up from spending the week with her Grammie & Gramps (Luke’s parents). It was a sweet moment and a reminder to slow down.

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Okay story number two. When I first met Luke’s family, it was over Thanksgiving at their house about six or seven years ago. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Luke, so I asked to see childhood photos or videos. Felicia put on a video from Christmas past when Luke was about 7 or so.

In the video Luke is shown opening a pack of baseball cards he apparently wanted desperately. After opening them he runs over to his mom and says “THANK YOU MOMMY!!!!” It was so sweet!

This Christmas, I thought of that video when Luke came over to me, his voice breathless “I’m really excited about all my presents! I just want to spend all day playing with them.” He was half joking, but I could tell he really was amped about his heart rate monitor, money clip and other presents. I love how Christmas can bring the giddy out of a 32 year old man.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.36.07 AM Last story. Last year was Lila’s first Christmas not as a newborn, so I was thinking a lot about what traditions I wanted to start for her around the holidays. Growing up, Luke’s Grandpa would dress up as Santa on Christmas day. He still does this every year. Go Grandpa Batman!

Well, knowing my Dad and his proclivity to be a good sport, I proposed he start this tradition for Lila and the grand babies. He was all in. This year was our second annual visit from santa and Lila’s reaction was too funny not to share.

From the moment I said “Oh, look! I think someone is at the front door.” Lila immediately bolted to my mom, climbed into her lap and buried her face in her neck. Santa came in the front door and Lila peeked a look at him before covering her eyes with her hand. The horror of this man in red!!

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She didn’t cry or anything, and of course she gladly accepted his presents (before whipping back and burying her face in my mom), but I think it’s safe to say Lila was happy to see Santa GO! Maybe next year St. Nick.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.41.44 AM Sometimes the big events – happy or sad – take up the most space in our mind when we look back on the previous year, but sometimes its nice to remember all those small moments that make a day, a year or a life. 2014 was filled to the brim with these small, sweet but gone-in-a-flash memories. They are what I’m holding onto most from this year.

Thank you all for supporting me and lifting me up this past year. I am thankful for you all!

Catching Up

This happens every year when November hits. I get completely lost in the bustle of birthdays, holidays and life. November is a joyous month with Lila’s birthday, Luke’s birthday and hosting Thanksgiving (four years in a row now), but it’s also a stressful one. Throw in a move and a vacation on top of all we normally have going on and I have officially been running a thousand miles a minute.

Some of the good times we had in what is always the craziest month of the year for us…

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My main man had a birthday. I always have intentions of writing a sweet post to Luke for his birthday, but then it falls on Thanksgiving and I’m hosting 20 people and WHERE IS MY TURKEY BASTER??! You get the idea. At least I got around to baking his annual cheesecake. This year is was salted caramel chocolate, and it was the best one I’ve made yet!

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Poor guy did have to share his cheesecake with our Thanksgiving group, which included family from my Dad’s side. It was pretty sweet when my grandpa said “I woke up this morning and thought of you. I thought, how is she going to pull this off??” Just two weeks after our move, it was a bold decision to host Thanksgiving, but one that was made easy by having guests who brought nearly everything.

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The next day, Luke’s parents came to our house to help us get our Christmas tree and decorations up.  Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.32.01 PM

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The church across the street from us sells Christmas trees, so it couldn’t have been more convenient. We ended up getting a “Charlie Brown” tree because I couldn’t resist the sign that said “every tree deserves a home” next to them. Plus, our house needs a tree with character, right?

The next day we packed up and went to Naples, Fl for a week of “vacation.” I have it in quotation marks because we were both still working full time. It’s pretty awesome to have jobs where we work remotely. While it wasn’t as relaxing as real vacation, it was much nicer to work sitting in the sun than in cold Ohio.

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Wrapping up our whirlwind month, this weekend we went to Salem, MA for my cousin Clara’s wedding. Lila went to Indiana to hang with Luke’s parents. Salem is a super cool town with a lot of history, character and charm. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re near Boston.

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Now we are all home and regrouping before Christmas. Lila has been sleeping like crazy while I do laundry, wrap presents and get our house in order. Next week the Christmas fun begins!