Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Open House

Hello everyone...It's been a long time! 

Life is good.  Just busy.  I successfully completed my first two quarters of nursing school.  So I'm one-third of the way there.  YIPEE!!!!

With six weeks of break from school and two toddlers, my time (and funds) have been limited.  Unfortunately I didn't get to do much decorating for the holidays.  

Please allow me to share with you my open house from last year.  Christmas 2009...It was a beauty! 

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly" ~Andy Rooney

Welcome to our Holiday Open House. We've been expecting you, please come in!

Here's the piano decorated with a collection of candlesticks and ornaments.

Can you believe I found this vintage sheet music in my attic? Dating back to the 1890's, this book was given me from my grandmother. It belonged to her mother.

Another attic find, this book of carols from 1970 was also given to me from my grandmother.

Here's the Christmas tree. I wanted it to feel fun and festive, so it's dressed with lots of red and lime green. What's that? It looks like Santa's already been here and left a little something.

I purchased this retro bicycle in 2005 when I found out I was pregnant with our first child. Four years later, I'm hopeful this will be the year that one of my children will ride it.

These are a couple special ornaments I'd like to share with you. They commemorate our little boys' first Christmas.

Here's a bucket of leftover ornaments. They were just too pretty to put away.

It's getting a little cool. Let's gather by the fireplace to warm up.

Let me turn on the lights. I'd like you to see my Ballard's inspired mantel.

Remember these stockings, I'm so proud of them!

And look at these adorable Gift boxes! It's amazing how far a Dollar Tree gift box, some wire-edged ribbon (also found at DT) and a little hot glue goes.

Shh...I think I hear something?!!!!!

It's Baby Santa coming by to wish you and yours a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
Sincerely, Lisa

2010 Christmas Tour of Homes at Cottage and Vine

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Writing on the Fireplace Please!!!

Earlier this year I decided it was time to update my fireplace.  Through much trial, error and reader feedback, I finally found inspiration. 

I loved this fireplace for the simplicity and timeless look of the surrounding slate.  Imagine my surprise when I read that it was actually a recycled blackboard.  A Craigslist search revealed a few sheets of "vintage blackboard"...but at prices I didn't want to pay. 

About that time Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms was completing her awesome chalkboard wall when it occurred to me....

If original chalkboards are slate.... 

And chalkboard paint is made to replicate the look of slate chalkboards....

Then why can't I use chalkboard paint to paint my fireplace surround?  

Well Hubby quickly told me why...because it should be fireproof incase we ever want to hook up the gas logs.  {Yes, we had to remove the gas logs because they had become the children's favorite toy}. 

Finally, the solution came to me as I was watching HGTV....

Cement board {AKA Durock, Wonderboard, Hardibacker} was just what I needed.  Fireproof, waterproof, and less than $20 at any Lowes or Home Depot...OH YEAH!

After reviewing my share of chalkboard paint, I choose the Valspar Chalkboard paint because it guaranteed a "slate-like finish".  Exactly what I wanted and at $13 a can, it was still within my budget. 

So after cutting the cement board to size, rolling two coats of chalkboard paint and applying a coat of matte finish's what we ended up with.

I love it!  

Take a look at the boring BEFORE:

Now the awesome and affordable AFTER:

As you can see, the neutral color and simple design of the chalkboard "slate" allow the fireplace's beautiful woodwork take center stage. 

So there you have it, another use for chalkboard paint.  Whoever would have known?

For more great chalkboard inspiration check out Beth's Chalkboard Party at The Stories from A 2 Z.  Enjoy!

Sincerely, Lisa

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A trip to Holland...

March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.  I started writing this post in April.  Overwhelmed with emotion, I stopped.  Three months later, I'm ready to finish.

If you've been reading my blog, then you know our path to parenthood has been filled with grief.  Our first pregnancy ended in loss and our second pregnancy....

took us to Holland

Twelve weeks into our pregnancy, the technician noticed an abnormality in the ultrasound of our unborn child.  She asked me to get dressed, the doctor wanted to see us in her office. 

Entering the Doctor's office, I recognized that look of disappointment on her face from the last time she had given us bad news.  Sure enough, the baby's brain was NOT developing correctly.  After double checking her medical books, the doctor suspected our baby had Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC). 

We were referred to the Prenatal specialists at The Ohio State University Medical Center. 

Following an amniocentesis and a fetal MRI, the only thing that could be confirmed is that we were having a boy and there was no genetic abnormalities. {Praise God for those victories!}

The next few weeks were spent crying and worrying of what we become of our unborn child affectionately called peanut.  {How ironic is it that Max is allergic to peanuts?} After fussing God out a few times and asking him why me, I became angry with him.  {I call these moments my season of GETHSEMANE}

Whether it was God or not, one day I realized that this child is going to be WHO God created him to be.  I can't spend the rest of my life worrying about his abilities and disabilities.   Yes, there will be days {like today} that I'm saddened by his limitations but there will be MORE days that I rejoice in the beauty of who he is.

Following another mri when Max was four months old, it was confirmed that he had ACC.  We got the news while we were vacationing in South Carolina.  At that very moment we were faced with the choice, to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves or keep going.   

Max turned three in May.  Despite his best efforts, he does not walk.  In April, we added another specialist to his medical repertoire.  A doctor specializing in physical medicine.  His most recent diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy. 

But like everytime else, we'll just keep on going...

Sincerely, Lisa

Friday, April 9, 2010

School Daze and Lessons Learned

Well,  I made it.  Although I've survived my first two weeks of class, It has certainly been a comedy of errors. 

By the end of the first day, I learned the most valuable lesson in self care. 

Too nervous to eat, I skipped breakfast thinking I would have time to grab a snack before lunch.  WRONG!  When they say clinical is scheduled 7a-1p, that's what they mean.  We had {two} two minute potty breaks. Whew!

After clinical, I have a thirty minute break until my next class.  Any smart person would eat lunch, but not me.  I was afraid I'd be late to class.  So by the time 3pm rolled around, I was done.  MIGRAINE!

The good part...I managed to pick up the kids and was driving home before I vomitted all over myself and the driver's side of the car.
The bad part...c'mon the whole experience was bad.  Who really wants to clean this mess. 

The other mishap came on Thursday.  As I was trying to determine if I had the actual pen or trainer-pen,  I accidently shot myself with Max's epi-pen.  Lucky for me it was a through and through shot to my non -dominant thumb. 

The common factor for both events: ANXIETY. 

I approached the second week getting more rest and feeling less stressed.  I start each day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal and pack a snack.  I not only found the cafeteria, but also a couple lunch buddies from my nursing classes. 

Although, I made a couple mistakes this week (like studying the wrong vocab words for my first Anatomy and Physiology quiz), I'm feeling more confident. 

Right now my biggest challenge is the amount of time I spend on the computer.  Technology plays a huge role in today's education.  Most of our assignments, grades and class notes are given via Blackboard (the university's web-based community).  By the end of the day, my eyes are strained and my head hurts from staring at a screen.  I'm wondering if glasses would help?

So there you have first school report.  I'm enjoying school.  I love learning and I'm thankful for the opportunity I've been given. 

I have three exams next I need to get back to studying.  Have a good weekend!

Sincerely, Lisa

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Life

Happy Easter!

The great gift of Easter is hope - Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.

Knowing how much I love flowers.  My neighbor brought me a bouquet of flowers from her church's Easter Celebration {2009}.     

She told me that these flowers were used to cover a lifesize cross. I was delighted that the bouquet contained one of my favorite flowers,  the very fragrant hyacinth.  

Two days later as I labored in the hospital with my third child,
the nurse and I talked about our love of gardening.  

The nurse tells me a familiar story....her church gathered flowers to cover a lifesize cross.   The flowers she donated were lovingly grown and given life by her very hand...purple hyancinths. 

A few hours later and before my Dr.'s arrival, those same set of hands would personally deliver my precious son, Miles.   

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life

S. D. Gordon

Sincerely, Lisa

Friday, March 26, 2010

On the Move

What a week!

With school starting on Monday, I've been in a hurried frenzy to go, go, go.  Hubby was off this past weekend, so we hit the highway three out his four days off.  

Saturday was spent looking at used new {to us} mini-vans.  Wow...can anyone say sticker shock?  Yeah, we decided to wait on that one. 

I think Max was the most disappointed.  He spent the next couple days pointing and whining saying "vaan, vaan, vaAN, VAAANN!". 

The other two days were spent in "the city" shopping with my mom.  While Hubby and Max enjoyed the Columbus International Car Show, Mom, Miles and I hit up the local antique and thrift shops.   This time she was footing the bill on our great finds.  Isn't it great when you get to spend someone else's money? 

This May, my mom will be moving and she's hired asked me to decorate her new apartment home.  Yipee!

Her new apartment is literally a blank slate with white walls, white mini blinds and very light carpet.  The only color comes from a newly remodeled kitchen of maple cabinetry and black appliances. 

Our shared decorating objective: INSERT COLOR and WARMTH. 

Here's a couple of pictures from the property's website.   

Her apartment is one level.  It does not have the spiral staircase. 
But it does have wonderful nine foot ceilings!

A gas fireplace to snuggle up to. 

Our other objective is to furnish her apartment affordably with used new-to-her furniture.  Describing her current belongings, my mother said she "is tired of looking at it all" and wants a fresh start. 

The only items to make the chopping block are either antiques or furnishings to be recycled with new paint, fabric or stain.  

Check out this simple wrought iron chandelier we snagged for $36. 

Mom was delighted that I picked out something
that did not need to be re-wired or painted. 
Oops...on the way to the car I did drop a candle cover. 

A few days later, I was back in Columbus to pick up this Craigslist find...a beautiful cherry dresser.  

And at $80, it was perfect and impossible to pass up! 

The seller was so sweet.   Although she had several offers, she said it felt right to sell it to my mother (via me) because it was a gift from her own mother more than 40 years ago. 

Mom and I picked it up on Wednesday and it's even more lovely in person.  I can't wait to give it the Briwax treatment {Thanks Janet for the great tip!}  

So tell me...

What are your tips for creating a warm and cozy space when painting is not an option? 

Sincerely, Lisa

Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The {Nursing School} Hallway Fashion Report

The sweet Beth at The Stories from A to Z is hosting a party

...A Show Me Your Shoes Party to be exact. 

I'm disappointed that I'm not showing you my very {un} pedicured feet modeling four year old sandals.  However, I think you'd rather see the new kicks I'm looking forward to wearing.     

Saucony Grid

That's right folks.  According to Zappos, the Saucony Grid is reportedly the best shoe for nursing school.  

  • An all white shell meets the school's dress code

  • Increased support and cushioning allows one to be on their feet hours at at time

  • Attractive styling takes you from the clinic to the classroom with minimal transition

So in honor of my soon to start classes, I assembled a list of  necessities accessories for the stylish nursing student.  I call it the {Nursing School} Hallway Fashion Report...

*Bear with me folks, this post lessens the pain of spending so much money on necessary school supplies*

A quality stethescope is a must for the potential healthcare provider    

Littman Classic II S.E. 

Of course every good student needs their own collection of nursing textbooks

Photo courtesy of St. Murse

And a rolling back pack to haul those heavy books {all 50 lbs}

Check vitals in style with this waterproof and scratch resistant watch.       


Don't forget about the all time classic nursing uniform

Lucky for me, times have changed.  Although, I did wear that style uniform when I was teenage hospital volunteer, my uniform looks a more like this.


There it is...The {Nursing School} Hallway Fashion Report. 

School will be starting in ten days.  Did I miss anything? 

Sincerely, Lisa