Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saving My Pots and Pans

How did I not know about this stuff? Seriously, I feel disgusting seeing the state of my pots and pans before I discovered this. Bar keeper's Friend. I thought I did a good job keeping them clean. I was wrong. Obviously.

Elbow grease and water!

I was about to quit my old pots and pans, but what a waste! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nursery to Toddler Room Redo

When planning Lizzie's nursery I wanted to make it as neutral as possible. I knew that anything pink and fluffy was out. It ended up being safari green with elephants and monkeys. I liked it at the time, but for the past six months it's been getting on my nerves. It was very blah, and my little baby was getting a little too old for cutesy, boring elephants. 

My mom gave me her old sewing machine back when I was on the vacation-that-would-never-end so I was excited for the opportunity to do some room redo myself. Good fabric makes everything better right?

I managed to snag all the fabric I used for around $25.

The window was in desperate need of curtains. I despise the cheap plastic shades that are standard equipped in every new place. I call them "renters' paradise" shades and normally they are the first thing to go. Unfortunately I didn't have a sewing machine handy or they would have been gone a year ago. I found some cute fabric for a window cushion that I thought would make a nice addition. I love how this area turned out! 

For the bed/dresser area, I ditched the elephant blanket and replaced it with a cute gray knit blanket. Luckily the sheets that went with the elephant were the same dark green that matched everything else so they were allowed to stay. 

The chevron rug from Pottery Barn was generously supplied by grandma, so I didn't have to spend money there. I used the same fabric from the window cushion and sewed a new changing pad cover using this tutorial. I ditched the diaper caddy and am putting all her changing stuff on that green shelf so she no longer squirms and wiggles trying to grab it. And I get kicked in the face less often. 

The picture frame was something I had hanging around. I just used some leftover paint from the window bench to make it match. I even made a READ sign for above her bookshelf that also matches. 

Unfortunately, we still have this ugly side rail on the bed. I will definitely be replacing that with the right type to make it less of an eye sore ASAP. 

My next project is also to redo her reading shelf. Unfortunately it looks something like this. 

We read a ton of books every day and I'd much rather pick up books for her at the store than more stupid toys. So this $5 ugly painted bookshelf isn't cutting it. (Look, it leans!) I'm not sure if I'm going to DIY this yet or bite the bullet and buy a nice new shelf. But either way, we need one that will hold all her books. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Great Wool Experiment

Bought my first ever wool diaper cover today! While I love my prefolds, we've never had luck with a great overnight diaper that doesn't leave her feeling sopping wet with a diaper rash on the way. May they live up to the hype. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Never Lose Your Child's Gloves Again

Here's a trick my mom used to do with my gloves…sew a piece of ribbon to each glove and thread inside the jacket. Guaranteed to never lose those gloves. 

As I've all ready lost two pair of gloves this year under mysterious circumstances (I suspect the dog of foul play) it was high time I put this trick into effect. 

Just in time too, it's FREEZING for Charleston today. I actually had to wear pants! :) 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No, We Won't Be Home For the Holidays

'Tis the season…for military families to get the guilt trip. It should come as no surprise for to certain family members that after years of being in the military, we just aren't coming home this year. We love Christmas and Thanksgiving. We love spending time with our families. However, it's hard for Andrew to get leave, and we really don't want to spend hundreds of additional dollars to fly or drive back to Wisconsin. 

We've done it. And we're over the holiday travel crap. The 5,000 required family events. Driving on icy roads. Our mothers going head to head about which one gets Christmas eve. 

This year I get Christmas eve. (Ha!) We can still watch It's a Wonderful Life, we can make hot cocoa, and we can open presents via Skype. We are good at Skype. We're military. Heck, we are still going to a tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree. Even though it will have to be Carolina Pine because Fraser Fir doesn't grow in the Lowcountry.

So sorry grumpy relative. Your selfish blow up about us not being at grandma's Christmas day will not change our mind. (You only want our presence on the holidays anyway.) We are going to have a peaceful, relaxing holiday with our little lady. 

And of course, Christmas feels just a little lame without snow. But we can always decorate our palm tree.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Why is Everyone Obsessed with Disney?

My friends visit Disneyland at least once a year. They post Disney-related pictures or pins at least once a week. Their children are raised on a generous helping of Disney movies, toys, even Disney snacks. Their children were dressed as Mickey and Minnie, Woody and Buzz, or any of a number of Disney princesses for Halloween. 

I like Disney movies. I grew up in the 90s. Of course my family had well-handled VHS tapes of Disney classics. I now have a few special Blu Rays of my favorite Disney movies. But I'm not obsessed. I don't want my daughter to get obsessed.

I hope Lizzie doesn't get to the point where she "needs" a Disney princess-themed room. Where we make the long trek to Disneyland so often that it becomes commonplace instead of a special family memory. Where she only will eat her dinner off a very special Cinderella plate  or only sleep in her Rapunzel pajamas. 

The point I'm trying to make is that I don't think think anyone's childhood should be defined by Disney. It should not get to the point where there is so much Disney loyalty that even creative play becomes a matter of rescuing Prince Eric and the only songs they know are from the Disney channel.  Let Disney be a part of childhood, not the only part.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Easy Custom "READ" Sign

I'm in the middle of redoing Lizzie's room and am trying to come up with creative ways to recycle some of our old picture frames and home decor items. This "READ" sign I simply painted with matching color, added some of the spare fabric from the cushions, and used very heavy-duty double sided tape from Stampin' Up! to attach the letters on top of the glass. This will look great in her room! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reuse That Diaper Caddy

I'm currently in the middle of redoing Lizzie's room, and I'm discovering that I no longer have use for much of the crap baby stuff that we've been using. Knowing how much it cost though, makes me hesitate to just toss it. So I'm trying to reuse where I can. The diaper caddy really came in handy organizing my sewing area and giving me back some space again! 



Yay for organization! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Should You Live On Base?

It's one of the most frustrating questions a military family faces. Should we live on base? 

One of my old high school friends, (and a new mil spouse) recently asked me this same question. And I wish I could give her a straight answer. But I can't. I can only give my solid opinion about Joint Base Charleston.

Andrew and I have had the good fortune to be stationed only at Joint Base Charleston so far. We've lived in two very different houses here, one in "old housing," and one in "new housing." 

Our first two years were spent in old housing. As a young married couple fresh from our college apartment, we were just excited to have parking spots we didn't have to pay for. And washer/dryer hookups. And a dishwasher. And more than one room. However, two years of small windows, mold problems, and a paint color that can only be described as "snot," were more than enough. So we moved to the "new" housing when Andrew received another two years here.

New housing has been great. Yes, they take all our housing allowance, but in return we don't pay for any upkeep, we don't mow lawn or pay for utilities, and we are so close to the commissary and the Navy Exchange that we can walk there. Most of my military friends have lived on base, and it is easy to meet up for walks or playdates and meet other milspouses when they are right around the corner. 

So, to answer the question, "should you live on Joint Base Charleston?," I would have to say yes. We find it well worth our money, especially in new housing. 

To answer the general question, "Should We Live On Base?," you have to consider a lot of different variables.

  • How much space do you need?
  • How far is the commute to base?
  • How long is the wait to get base housing?
  • How new are the houses?
  • Pet policy?
  • What amenities do they have on base?
  • How long might you be stationed there? 
It would also be a good idea to stalk some of the Facebook Groups and get their opinions. Yes, people love to talk trash and will be arguing, but at least if seven people tell you the base smells like a rotting pig carcass, you can take that as a good indicator that there may be some truth to it. It's good to do your research. And not just on the base website, as those lovely images are probably pictures of the best the base has to offer. Just Remember: 

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Very "Monday" Post

Some days you just need some time to yourself. Yesterday was one of those days. Andrew worked all day and had tons of homework when he finally did get home. So no help there. My beautiful homemade chicken and stuffing dinner was taking 2x as long due to the fact that I had a busy toddler asking demanding a drink, a cracker, help with her shoes, or to be held. And I had no wine in the house.

So here's my desperate version of the "I JUST NEED 10 MINUTES OF PEACE AND QUIET" game. 

10 blissfully quiet minutes of Lizzie peeling painter's tape off the wall. Thank goodness she is still entertained by simple things.

I'd love to hear how you play the game too! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Sucks

daylight savings time
After hearing complaints from my friends with kids for years, I finally understand why they hate daylight savings time so much. It sucks.

We had just finally managed to get Lizzie on some semblance of a bed time routine, and now nap, lunch, dinner, and bed all feel one hour earlier. 

Sure, it was nice getting an extra hour last night. But it's hard to wrap your brain around when your child's internal clock tells her she's waking at 7:00, but it's now suddenly 6:00. In the a.m. 

I know, it's not as upsetting as I'm making it sound. But after well over a year of a difficult sleep schedule with Lizzie, it was finally nice to have some routine, and some time to myself at night. 

The only benefit to this is that this may be a good opportunity to get her up to an 8:00 bedtime. If I'm lucky.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Please, Don't Talk to My Daughter

This is a DOG, not a Woof-Woof.
No, I'm not antisocial. I really don't mind other parents or people talking to my daughter, in spite of the title of this post. The title refers very specifically to anyone who tries to baby talk my child.

Let me clarify. When I mean baby talk, I'm talking very specifically about using nonsense words like "nunu," whatever that means. 

Nothing gets under my skin quite like baby talk. Creepy when used by adults to other adults and condescending when used by adults to children, it not only insults my child's intelligence, but also forces me to question the intelligence of the speaker.

To the mother at the playgroup who "helpfully" pointed out the "swide" and "baba" for my daughter, please stop talking. As terrible as it sounds, those two words alone insure that I will not be seeking your friendship. (What were you referring to when you were talking about "baba" anyway?) 

If you've ever spent any real time around a toddler learning to speak, you'll realize that baby talk is completely unnecessary. Sure, it's cute when Lizzie calls her drink a "dink." That doesn't mean I ask her if she wants a dink. I don't correct her mispronunciation. I simply ask if she would like a drink. 

The only people who should be allowed to use baby talk are babies. But if you insist on using baby talk with children, please don't talk to my daughter.

Friday, November 1, 2013


I'm so excited to be participating in BlogHer's NaBloPoMo this month! This will give me a great opportunity to get into the habit of posting more frequently, and will teach me how to get more involved in the blogging community. 

I plan on sharing a lot more about myself this month, especially sharing more of my experiences as a Navy wife. With the holidays rapidly approaching, I also have a lot of "to-do" holiday projects that I'll also be sharing. As goal of NaBloPoMo is to write every day you'll be hearing a lot more from me! It's time to get started...