Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still moving in + a Christmas craft

I feel that I need to warn you that this blog post will be all over the place. For the purpose of order, I will number my thoughts.

1. Still moving in
We moved into our house mid-August, and all of our boxes are unpacked. But I feel like we're still moving in. I think it's because we have less places to put our things in this house. The old house had lots of closets, and in places that made sense.

Also, we were able to grow into that house (in that, we didn't have as much stuff when we first moved in.) We went down a little in square footage here, but WAY down in storage space. So it's been a little bit of a challenge to get things in places that make sense. Let's just say, I feel like our house is going to be super organized even if it looks super messy on the surface.

One good thing about moving is that it forces you to deal with your clutter and pare down. We haven't done such a great job of this, but I'm in inventory mode right now. I'm on the brink of "just sell everything or give it away so I don't have to organize it!" Kennedy will be happy when I reach that stage.

2. BPA
We've been hearing about BPA for years now. Remember when you had a Nalgene bottle and then you were supposed to get rid of it because it had BPA in it? But you thought it was just a recommendation, so you still used it for a while? (And then all the Nalgene bottles that still had BPA in them went on sale for super cheap and you bought a bunch because what a steal!) Joke's on you (and me.)

The more I learn about BPA, the more it creeps me out. Then I saw this article a couple of days ago, and decided to take my life (and endocrine system) back! So I took all the tupperware out of our kitchen and replaced it with glassware. I got this 20-piece set at Bed Bath & Beyond, and think it will work well for us. And if I need a bigger container, I plan on using other glassware we have with foil or lids.

ALSO, I'm cutting back on using canned foods and plan on buying fresh foods as much as possible. Please read the article. There are many negative effects of BPA, and the scariest thing is that it can be passed through several generations. Ok, I need to get off the soap box now. Sorry if I ruined your day with this information.

3. Cheap photo prints!
I don't know if I'm the last person or the first person to figure this out, but did you know you can have photo enlargements made at Office Max for CHEAP? I happened to figure it out when I was calling around to find places that would print 11x14 photos quickly. Everywhere with photo centers (Wal-mart, CVS, Walgreens, etc) had a few days wait time, and the prints were like 8 bucks each. Sorry, but I don't spend 8 bucks on ANYTHING except food.

I happened to call Office Max to see if they did photo enlargements and they said yes, kind of. The prints aren't on photo paper, but are printed on a glossy card stock. And they actually print to 11x17 (and bigger) and can just trim the sides down. The cost? Somewhere around $1.50 each.

I had a few photos printed yesterday and I just emailed them to the store I was picking them up from, and then they were ready by the time I got there. The quality is excellent, and since I framed them, You can't tell it's not on photo paper. So score for that tip!

Living room wall, complete!

4. Another Christmas craft
Thanks again, Pinterest, for this wonderful idea!

I got these clear glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby for $4.00 (for a set of 12). Took out my acrylic paint from my craft closet and started dripping it inside the ornaments. I would drip a few colors, then swirl. These particular ornaments also have an iridescent finish.

The result was a beautiful, marbleized-looking ornament. I love it. It reminds me of sedimentary layers or agate (Science nerd!)




I plan on finding some colorful ribbon to tie around the loops, and maybe hang them in some windows.

Wouldn't you love to get a Christmas gift with one of these tied on to the package? It's a super cheap way to dress up some gift wrap.

These would also make great crafts for kids! A kids' Christmas craft that you actually will want to hang on your tree! Here are tips from me so you may learn from my mistakes experience.

1. Do small drips of paint, don't just squeeze half the bottle of paint into the ornament. The paint will move slower with small drips, but you won't be left over with a ton of paint sitting in the bottom that will never dry.

2. Slowly turn the ornament with paint in it, don't shake it. It will mix the colors and you'll end up having a bunch of brown ornaments. Ew. (Unless you like that sort of thing.)

3. If you have extra paint that is pooling at the bottom of the ornament, just turn the ornament upside down over the trash can and let the excess drip out. This will allow the ornament to dry fully.

That's all. Sorry for all the words.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Craft - Blingy Tree Topper

How did people know how to decorate things before Pinterest? I'm going to be honest and say that literally 98% of my decorating ideas come from Pinterest. I am NOT as original as you might think I am. I totally steal ideas all the time.

One of the ideas I stole for our tree this Christmas is a glittery monogram tree-topper. It was ridiculously easy and gave me the bling that I constantly desire.

Step 1: Buy a cardboard letter.
Step 2: Paint the letter with glue (Elmer's would probably work best because it's pretty runny)
Step 3: Put glitter on it!


Our peacock tree

I started ripping off another Pinterest craft today, maybe I'll share it tomorrow! Yayyyyy Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012!!

We've been hit with a nasty cold over here at the Dean household, and it's slowed us down a bit and put some of us out of commission. I absolutely hate being sick (who doesn't, I guess?), and I rarely am. So when I feel a little under the weather, I spend most of the time in denial about it. I have too much stuff to do!

Anyhow, I was looking through our Thanksgiving pictures and thought it could not go without sharing! We spent the week in Kentucky with Kennedy's family, and it was a great little reunion. We were sad that not everyone could make it this time, but still managed to have some fun. Thankfully, Kennedy and I were able to keep from getting sick until after we got home.

This guy, however, suffered through like a little snot-rocketing champ. You wouldn't even notice he was sick if he wasn't dripping from the nose constantly. (Sorry to any and all family members who caught whatever it is we brought to Thanksgiving.)

The best part (for me) was getting to see Campbell reunited with family he hasn't seen in a while, as well as meeting family for the first time! Special moments, all around.

Campbell with his Grandma Dean - they love each other.

Here, with his Aunt Julie and Great-Grandmother.

Cousin Miles (can't help but hear him say "Exercisin'" every time I see his picture now,) Aunt Stephanie and Cousin Audrey (Due January 2013!)

This looks familiar - with Uncle Stinson! In a few short years, Uncle Stinson will finally have someone to wrestle with again, since Kennedy is now 30 and 'too old for that kind of thing.'

Our view for the week - so peaceful.

Kennedy got this shot, and I am forever grateful to him for that. 

The week was spent eating, lounging, and visiting. All these things are like chicken soup for my soul. Mmmmm, soup. 

I also got to take some fun maternity pictures of Stinson & Stephanie, I'll share a couple of my favorites:

Of course there are many more family members not pictured in this post, and I will blame that on the fact that Kennedy had the camera most of the time, and he tends to only take pictures of C-Baby and the dogs. Sorry to the rest of the family, it doesn't mean we don't love you! :-)

Now it is time for me to sit down and make a bunch of to-do lists, because that's how I function! This house is a sick wreck, and not up to my Christmas par. So that's what I'll be doing tonight!

But before I go, I need to list out things I am thankful for. And not to be cliche, but because I want to make sure to take time and recognize the good things in my life. This list is incomplete, but a great start.

1. For my handsome, generous, sacrificing husband. He does anything and everything for me, and I don't even have to ask. I'm extremely spoiled and undeserving.

2. For Campbell. Light of our lives. Loves everyone and spreads cheer everywhere he goes. He may or may not grow up to be Santa.

3. For family (immediate AND in-laws), and for the quality of people we are blessed to be surrounded by and influenced by on a regular basis.

4. Food, duh.

5. The dogs, most of the time. For their unconditional love.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Coming soon!

I miss my blog and blogging, but I'm like the laziest ambitious person in the world. I have about 10 million ideas a day, and usually only 1-2 make it past me thinking about it while sitting on the couch.

This weekend, Kennedy and I were VERY ambitious and started like 4 big-ish projects around the house. Two of them are juuuust about finished, and then I will share them on the blog! I called this weekend the Organization Extravaganza and it involved taking down cabinets and hanging them in other places, and paint, and wall patches.

So there's that to look forward to!

I don't even know why I'm blogging right now, other than to just pop in to say hello.

But to whom?

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Now that the political status updates on Facebook have died down, I feel like I can blog again without accidentally making a snide comment. I have admittedly typed up entire blog posts just blasting everyone who has ever made an ignorant political comment, only to talk myself out of posting it by remembering that nobody cares about my opinions on the matter (just as I don't care about theirs.)

Annnnyway, you're all welcome. I've spared you my wrath for now. :-)

I came up with an idea to entertain Campbell this morning and thought I'd share. I KNOW I'm not the first person to do this, but I haven't heard about it on Pinterest yet, so I thought it was safe to share.

I scooped some bubbles out of a pot I cleaned with dish soap. I put the bubbles in a tupperware container, and here's my little cutie going to town.

He loved it!

This was after he dumped all the bubbles out onto the floor.

Next time I do this, I will make sure to have him in just a diaper and sitting on a couple of towels. Or maybe I'll just plop him in the bathtub.

This morning I woke up to frost on the ground and a nice fog hanging in the air. It was so peaceful (maybe not for any commuters) and was the perfect thing to get me in the mood for Christmas.

I don't care if you are annoyed that stores already have out their Christmas displays, I LOVE IT. I started a Christmas playlist on Spotify today and it's pretty good so far, if I do say so myself. I also am ready to start making some Christmas crafts and putting up our trees (yes, plural!) and other decor. 

Judge me all you want, but why not celebrate Christmas for longer than 25 days? Don't be a grinch. I'll be blogging about all my Christmas decor, just as soon as I take down the Halloween stuff - Haha.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I voted

Today is a weird day. Baby C and I just got home from voting (I voted, he didn't, obviously), and we were at the polls for TWO HOURS. My intent was to complain about the wait, but between then and now I am constantly being reminded how incredibly lucky we are.

I was texting Kennedy while standing in line, holding a 20+ pound baby who didn't want to sit in his stroller. So I was also pushing the stroller and trying to keep him entertained. Kennedy said "At least you're aren't dodging bullets," and I thought to myself, easy for you to say. You voted this morning and it only took 45 minutes and you didn't have the boy with you.

Disclaimer: He didn't actually vote.

BUT he was right! (There you go, Kennedy. You now have a record of me saying you were right.) All over the country, people are overcoming insurmountable odds to exercise their right to vote. There are single working parents, people figuring out the new voter ID policies, people affected by Sandy who are having to find a new place to cast their ballot...It's amazing. The USofA has a lot of problems, but I'm proud to be an American today (go ahead and sing that song in your head...sometimes cheesy songs like that make me tear up. There, I said it.)

When I got home, I put the boy down for a nap and I rewarded myself with some Marie Callendar's Razzleberry Pie and coffee.

Now I'm waiting around til Uncle Harry's 4:30 vet appointment, and I'm on poop watch because I have to take a stool sample in. I'm sure no one wanted to know that, but you need to know that sometimes the life of a housewife isn't so glamorous.

And if you're looking for something to listen to on Pandora or Spotify today in celebration of election day, I suggest any and all marches by John Phillips Sousa.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

42 weeks

Campbell. Is. Amazing.

This past week I feel like he has grown up SO MUCH, and it is unbelievable. Not like he's the first baby to ever develop and grow, but he is the first one I've gotten to see change on a daily basis. I used to think people were so obsessed with their kids because it was like having a mini version of themselves around, but I know now that's not the case. He has some traits like me and some like Kennedy but he is completely his own unique person. I feel like I've learned so much about HUMANS in this short 9 months. Maybe that's the science teacher in me.

Two weeks ago, he was crawling but still mostly interested in just laying on his back and looking around. Now, he is pulling up on everything and getting into EVERYTHING. It's miraculous.

Campbell is a tiny bundle of personality. He loves everyone and everything. He is pure, infectious joy. 

A couple of weeks ago, this kept him occupied for a few minutes. Now he is fearless, lunging at anything. Just going for it. Of course this makes me a nervous wreck on high alert, but he is just so dang adventurous.

Campbell is hilarious. He loves to smile and laugh, and already is trying to make us smile and laugh, too. This picture is when we were rocking in the rocker and he kept looking at me and making this sound like "Nnnnnnn....Nnnnnnn". Crazy boy.

He has his dad's woo factor. He has been determined to make Elvis love him, and has finally figured out the key. It's giving his toys to him. Look at the budding friendship taking place here. After months of feelings of jealousy and scorn, Elvis is finally seeing a different side to this whole extra human in the house thing.

See what I mean? Pure joy.

Talking with his BFF Cece

Loving on Cece

Today at church, Campbell was in the nursery and we got called (via a secret code on the screen) to come get him. He wasn't crying or hurt, but the helper quietly pulled us aside and asked if Campbell was breastfed. She said, "Um...I think he's hungry." Turns out C was using his hunger cues on a poor unsuspecting stranger.

Kennedy and I laughed because he got us "kicked out" of church. Let's hope this is the last time though!

I literally cannot believe in 10 weeks that he will be 1 year old!!! When did that happen? My life was changed by him 18 months ago, and I could not be more thankful.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blogtober's over

And I'm still blogging. It's definitely not a new habit though. So don't get your hopes up.

Our house is like a bad version of Clue right now. There's a sledge hammer in the guest room. A power drill in the nursery. 3 tape measurers in the kitchen. It's a little out of control, but I'm leaving it until Kennedy gets back in town.

Not because it's necessarily his mess to clean up, but because I have easy access to "weapons" should the need arise. (Fun Fact: Anytime he's out of town, I have an 'intruder plan' for any room in my house. I am really good at thinking of creative ways to use items as defense mechanisms.)

Today I finished the package of cookie dough I bought on Monday. It was a really shameful moment. Almost an epiphany, but not quite. I have GOT to quit eating like this, and maybe now that the cookie dough's gone, I can move on to healthier pastures. One positive step is that I replaced my daily Dr Pepper with a Cherry 7-Up today. It has antioxidants!

I'm not even trying to lose weight, I just want to quit poisoning myself with so much sugar. And I need to work out, because the closer I get to the big three-oh, the more atrophied my body becomes. I feel so oooooollllllld!

Also today, I went to Target. I needed some Hercules Hooks and white chalk, but only found some overpriced knock-off versions of the hooks, and no chalk. I couldn't believe Target didn't have ANY chalk?!?! I just needed white chalk. So instead I got two beautiful white enamel picture frames on clearance, and a stuffed turkey hat from the 1 spot for Kennedy.

He's going to be so excited when I give it to him. I'm thinking it's a good replacement for "the apron" I made him throw away about a year ago. If you don't know what apron I'm talking about, then you weren't at our 2009 New Year's Eve party. (Right, Kara Johnson LaPenna?)
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