Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

No, this isn't a post about the Brady Bunch, it is a post about my friend Marcia- the most talented person I know! She can do anything and everything! I admire her so much.
 She can quickly and single-handily move HUGE pieces of furniture without making a scratch on the floor (while babysitting her three grand-babes of course).....

She can fix my "hot mess" of a quilt and make it into a beautiful work of art......

For my wedding, Marcia altered my dress to perfectly fit me, and then was willing to come and literally sew me into my dress on my wedding day to help with my ever fluctuating figure- ha! 
She color coordinated the bustle so it would be easy to do, and it looked soo amazing.
 I think my bustle was my favorite part of my dress.
Thank you Marcia! 

The bunting in Sam's room was created by Marcia.... 

She and Abby made this quilt for Sam. 
Sam and I both love feeling the texture when I rock him to sleep each night. 
Such a special gift to cherish forever.

And in recent news, Marcia has outdone herself once again, and I am so grateful.
She made the most beautiful slip covers for the parson's chairs in my dining room. 
They are absolutely stunning. 
They have these beautiful little pleats...
I love the back...
(They are fully lined and fit perfectly of course)... 
These Value City chairs have never.looked.better! (I think Lora wants them back now-lol!)

The chair covers are simply amazing and totally make the room.
They make the room look so light and elegant. 

When Lora and I switched dining room tables, I thought I either needed to paint the table, even though I liked the dark wood color and didn't really have time to paint it, or I needed to lighten up the chairs somehow..... I searched online for chair covers but the chairs Lora had given me were wider than a standard parson's chair (guess that's what makes them so comfortable)- ha!
So then I thought, hmm.... I wonder if Marcia would be willing to make me some chair covers? 
And of course she was up for the challenge. 
I gave Marcia a chair and two packages of IKEA drapes and she got to work. 
The fabric has these ever so subtle vertical lines that I love. 
Don't you just love them?! 
I am swooning! 
Thank you so much Marcia! 
I admire all of your talents and feel so blessed to have my "Farmland Family" in my life! 
Love you guys! 


I think Henry has some Holt genes

The picture on the left is my Grandpa Holt (my mom's dad). Then the picture on the right is Henry. 
I think they look so similar! What do you think? 
Henry's middle name is Edmund, which is my Grandpa Holt's middle name. 
Looks like it was fitting! 


Bathroom Update

Back when our house was built in 1938, above the cast iron tub in our only full bathroom, there were deep built-in wooden shelves--- How nice to have this storage! Well along the way, a shower was added, and then when we moved in, I added a higher powered shower head and then these wooden shelves started to be a problem. The black paint would peel off and stick to our towels and beauty products. Then even with an exhaust fan, the shelves wouldn't dry out so each.and.every.time.you.showered you had to wipe out the shelves and then the paint would get on the towels and I had a really hard time remembering to wipe down the shelves.
After Evan had both of his bathrooms redone at his rental property, he agreed to have these shelves taken out and replaced with tile. 

I wish I had better before pictures?! 
I know I had some on my phone at one point, but because this project took a while to get going, I think they got lost along the way.... 
Anyway, here are some before and afters! 

Another problem, was that these four shelves were not tall enough for our products. 

Our bathroom has matte old school tile which isn't made anymore. 
I searched high and low for matte finish tile and was able to find some, but it was going to be really expensive. So I just went with a black glossy tile that I found at Lowes, which was half the cost of the matte finish and I was able to return all the pieces we didn't use- perfect!
The contractor came up with this design so we have a narrow shelf for our soap and razors. 
I love it! No more peeling paint, no more rotting wood, and everything fits! 

Since we had the contractor at our house, we thought it would be a good time for him to change out the fixtures in the bathroom as well. 
This is where I am really kicking myself for not having some before pictures....
In the shower the fixtures had been changed... I am guessing around the late '70's or early '80's, they were gold and didn't go with the bathroom at all. They were also held on by a huge amount of caulk that was orange and molding... yummy. 

I was told at Lowes that I would have to special order fixtures to fit or I would have to have the plumbing redone in order to update the fixtures to make a single handle fixture.... 
Hmm... sounds expensive either way. 
I was given a little hope that maybe I could find something on ebay that would work like Miss Mustard Seed did, and I was right... Yay! Thanks ebay! 
So now we have these, that fit with the time period of the shower!

And I also purchased a new set of fixtures for the sink as well....



Ahhh! So much better!!
And best of all our  bathroom is now mold free because he replaced all the moldy caulk and when he was done, I removed the mildew on the ceiling and repainted. 


Adventures in extreme couponing

Most Saturday mornings I go through the normal routine with Sam, and then when Evan wakes up, I pass Sam off to him and I head out for Target.
 It is my Saturday ritual. 
I have always loved Target, with a baby I need Target.
The Target brand diapers and wipes are my favorite.
The baby food is cheaper there than it is at the grocery store......
 And I mean, who am I kidding, every girl loves Target. Right?!
Before venturing indoors, I am really good at updating  my Cartwheel, then I check my coupon pouch to see if I have anything that can work... And recently Target has been offering extra discounts if you text them special codes (awesome), plus I always use my Target Red Card for the additional 5% off each trip. So that is the strategy.

This past Saturday I felt like I could be on a TV show, I was so proud of my savings!
 The lady behind me in the check out was looking me in amazement, it was totally awesome!

I purchased the normal formula which I got a gift card for...
......Diapers which were on sale, plus I had on my cartwheel and I had coupon for (major savings)...
A few tee shirts for Sam which I had a coupon and cartwheel for...
..... Baby food which was on sale plus I had a coupon....
 And because I spent a certain amount in "baby" I received more gift cards.

I went to Target knowing this would be a good time to purchase Sam's convertible car seat,
 Here is a great blog post about car seats by my friend Rachel
So I picked that up knowing I had a price match for it....
At the checkout I saved a TON of money and received gift cards..
I then took the car seat over to customer service and did my price match, only they said that it was on sale lower than the price match I had brought in? I didn't see that, but okay, I will take it! So the car seat was on sale and then I turned right around and used all those gift cards on the car seat.
My Britex Marathon Car Seat that retails for $255, only cost me $170.
Pretty good!

My advice to anyone having a baby?
Shop at Target, use the Target Brand as much as you can, download the Cartwheel App. and use those coupons! Make it your Saturday ritual :-)

**Disclaimer: I was not paid by Target for this post. 
However, Target, if you are listening I would be more than happy to accept any free gift cards or merchandise you would like to send me :-) 


8 Months

I know I start every "month" post this way, but how is Sam already 8 months old already?! 
I was happy I got some 8 month pictures of Sam sticking his tongue out, that is his new thing... It is so cute, he does it when he is really happy or when he is "concentrating." 

At 8 months Sam weighs in at 22 lbs. He is a big, strong boy. 
So big in fact that he has been giving his Momma's back some problems.... ouch!
He loves to bounce and wiggle when I hold him or I am trying to change his diaper or get him dressed. But he hasn't started crawling yet, which I am okay with because he is much easier to watch! Henry is crawling now and when we visited Lora I left with some anxiety about the whole crawling thing! Sam does get up on his knees and move, so I am guessing crawling will be soon? He is pretty stable when he is holding onto the ottoman or couch for support so who knows, he might skip right to walking? 

 I feel like Sam's getting a little more hair? But I'm not sure... It could be that it is getting a touch darker, still very light in comparison to my hair or Evans, but a little darker than the blond he had when he was born. I think his eye lashes are starting to get darker too.
He is wearing 12-18 month clothes, which means his clothes are on "the other side" of Target now- Ekk! How did that happen?! And those 12 month jammies you all helped me find, are so tight that it looks like they are scoop neck because they are so tight they are really stretching to be long enough... haha!

We've tried eating Puffs and Sam still isn't a huge fan. He likes grabbing the Puff's on his tray but doesn't really want to put them in his mouth (even though he wants to put everything else in there), then if I put a Puff in his mouth for him, he squints his eyes and makes a face and sometimes gags and spits them out. If he does let them dissolve, there isn't any chewing going on. He is much more into blowing food out, than chewing and swallowing.
I've tried a few pieces of real food and he isn't into that either, so I am thinking it must be a texture thing? So for now he mostly eats purees and he still loves his bottles. 
He has started saying "ba ba"... Still no "ma ma" yet, but hopefully that is up next! 

Sam still loves jumping in his exersaucer, but knows that sometimes I put him in it when I want to sneak away to get dressed or do something in the kitchen; so he has recently started protesting being put in it or sitting on the floor with his toys. He likes it better when I sit down in front of him and actually "play" with him or read him a story, not because he can't entertain himself- because he can, but because then I am not running off.... He has his "play stations" figured out. Now if we are at Mimi and Boss's house or a friends-- he's totally fine playing on the floor without me there--- he can play with toys for a good amount of time, but at home he knows I put him down to play so I can leave.... Smart little cookie. 

Sam still gives me hugs and pulls my hair so we are super close, but he has also started opening his mouth and slobbering all over me for a kiss... baby kisses are the best :-) 
When Sam hears the dogs' nails on the floor, he stops what he is doing and searches for the dogs. He thinks they are SO funny.... Funny just to look at (especially Clarence-- must be his long face)-lol! But they are really funny if they start playing with each other, Sam loves it! 
Let's just hope that once Sam is mobile he doesn't try to roughhouse with them... ekk. 

Most of the time Sam doesn't cry if he falls over, he sometimes jumps when the dogs bark, but he doesn't cry, but if Evan sneezes-- this is a sound that can make him burst into tears... Haha! 

Poor Sam, will he ever stop coughing and have clear lungs? 
Currently he still does his steroids twice a day, he is doing abuteral four times a day, singular at night and right now he is on an antibiotic for the next ten days. I hate that my little guy takes SO MUCH medication?! Maybe I need to start looking into other things like his diet or if he is allergic to the dogs or is it something in our old house? I hoped he would have a clean bill of health a few weeks into the summer so that way his lungs would be good and strong for his return to daycare. Unfortunately, I am afraid that won't be the case. But, like I have mentioned before, Sam does not act sick at all-- he just has a cough...?
I don't know. 

Sam likes to sleep on his stomach now and if he moves around at night (which he does a lot), he takes his A&A dog lovey with him. He still likes having a blanket in the car seat or stroller for security. I tell you, those Aden and Anis blankets are expensive, but oh boy do we use them! I literally have used one every day since he has been born. 
Anyway, Happy 8 Months Sam! 
You are one special boy! 
I love you soooo, sooooo much! 



I really enjoy landscaping. 
I love shopping for flowers, working out in the yard, planting, transplanting, pulling weeds...
 It's my jam. 
This year I haven't done too much planting because I spend most of my time with Sammy. He is pretty content though, just hanging in the stroller while I pull a few weeds in the driveway on our walks. This summer, thankfully haven't even had to do too much watering because we have had a decent amount of rain... my rain barrel is overflowing most of the time!
Anyway, one day I quickly ran over to our local nursery and bought some red geraniums for the flower boxes in the front and a couple sweet potato vines and decided to go for a classic "America" look this year. And oh my gosh- this is my favorite year so far! I love the red with our house and my hydrangea bushes are so full and wonderful looking, I must say the landscaping looks really good, which is so funny to me because I have spent the least amount of time and money on it this year. Ha!
 (I guess it was good that I spent a lot of time out there before having Sam!) 
 Here's Sam and Evan on the 4th.

 As you know the winter was a bad one... So I lost a few of my plants...
I was sad that my beautiful butterfly bush didn't make it.... sad.
Remember it... 

My knock out rose bushes didn't make it either. And I have decided I am NOT a fan of the "easy"  rose bushes. Back when they were doing "well" I had to spray them because they seemed to get eaten by bugs, then they didn't seem to grow as fast as some of my other bushes and then this year they didn't make it through the winter. THEN, what is really annoying is that when they do die, you have to be really careful when digging them up because they have killer thorns! Not cool! 
So I have decided to "knock" those off my landscaping list ;) 

My BIL-- Brandon, did all the mulching for me this year, thanks B! 
Mulch just makes landscaping. 
Love it!

So let's take a little trip down memory lane for fun...

When we moved in 2011: 




And of course our little Sam makes everything in the world that much brighter :-)
Love you buddy.