{home & garden} Just a little project

My life over the past few years has been super limited on time, and at times overwhelming (I know I’m preaching to the choir.)

Recently, I was talking with a good friend, and we both admitted that we felt caught in the “function” of the day more and more. Meaning we go through the motions, but we just feel like we’re walking through mud sometimes. Not to say the day is a bad day, just the routine coupled with the daily stress (whatever yours may be) takes the light hearted fun out of things. Which can make it more difficult to feel good about doing, well, anything.

All of that is to say, I gave myself a goal last week.

The goal was to do 1 small project everyday.

It did not mean I needed to clean out my entire closet….but it could mean to clean out 1 shelf and refold the items on that shelf.

It did not mean to go through all of the girls clothes in 1 day to figure out what needed to be passed down, given to Goodwill, or stored…but it could mean sort through the hanging items for 1 girl at a time.

It did not mean clean out every cabinet in my kitchen….but it could mean clean out 1 cabinet or 1 shelf at a time.

Here’s an example:

Addie & Hay took a rare moment to play baby dolls together in their room.  Piper was hanging with me in the kitchen while I made dinner.

I gave her a baby wipe to entertain her for a sec (she likes to clean off the cabinets!)

Dinner had 13 minutes left on the timer, and the spice cupboard is next to the stove. This cabinet may not look bad to you, but honey was mysteriously stuck all over the shelf and the spices were all out of order making it more than difficult to find something quickly.

In about 7 minutes I had taken everything out, wiped the shelf down, alphabetized it, and put it all back together. I also found out that I had 4 bottles of Thyme, 3 bottles Sesame Seeds, and 3 bottles of Oregano(all 1/2 full)…apparently I really WAS having trouble finding spices in there!

All the while Piper stayed busy cleaning, dinner kept cooking, and Addie & Hay played with their baby dolls.

Other small projects???

…clean the forks & knives drawer, & wash out the divider tray while the kids eat lunch.

…update photos in frames 1 room at a time (not the whole house at once).

…while kids are playing, sort toys for Goodwill from 1 toy basket, not all of them at the same time.

…make a list of labels you want to make 1 day, type them the next day, stick em on the next day.

I also did not tell myself it needed to be a 15 minute small project, which in away gave me “permission” to keep going on something if life seemed to work at that moment (kids happy, I had the energy, nothing else was pulling at my leg…).

You know what?!!

I FELT SO MUCH BETTER at the end of the week.  The weight of some of those little projects all added up to a REALLY BIG WEIGHT on back.  Even if none of them were life altering, my brain was a little clearer and free, which in turn made me feel more creative again, which makes me a happier person.

So I guess what I’m saying is, give yourself a break sometimes, but not to sit and stress about the WHOLE to do list.  Instead, give yourself a break to be ok doing “Just doing a little project”.  In the end, it all adds up to a lot!

Most importantly, A LOT HAPPIER Mommy!

Our Home – Piper’s Room

MANY have asked when I would be posting photos of our house AFTER we moved in.  (If you missed it, here is the full set of BEFORE). And while I had every intention of doing this ages ago, whenever I started to take the photos, I was just never as happy with the photos as I was with the rooms in real life. Add to that, that when I’ve worked on photo shoots or model interiors, my job is to think of each and every detail and REALLY make it show with perfection.

Ummm, with 3 kids, 3 and under, it’s hard to have your house “show with perfection”. Places I would normally have a coffee book, plant or fun accessory were long ago cleared away from little exploring hands.  Places that I would fill with a wonderful bouquet of fresh flowers? Well, our garden isn’t exactly blooming right now…and a weekly flower budget isn’t considered a “practical expense” (darn it!!).

But then it occurred to me, that most of you may come to this blog for inspiration, but you are not coming for perfection (thank goodness!). Many of you send emails saying you’re thankful we are a real family (oh we’re real alright!!) and show you our real life…

Sooooooo…..

That all being said, I’ve decided to start posting photos that are a little less than perfect. You’ll see the things we’ve done, along with things I’m working on, or things I care to turn my head to.  A wise friend once told me “a messy home is a happy home.” Now while a messy home may make this mommy crazy in the head, I do tend to agree that taking that stress of perfection away sometimes will keep you in a happier place! And if the saying is true – then our family must be through the moon with joy!!!

Today I thought I would show you Piper’s Room.

This is what it looked like the day we bought it…

There was extensive water damage to the ceiling….

Did I say extensive? I really meant EXTENSIVE!  The windows also needed to be replaced along with the electrical (which was something we needed to do throughout the house…but the electrical story is a story for another day. Just know this, the photo below is where this project started, a few hours later all the plaster in the house was ripped out…..)

This is Piper’s room now.  It started as Hay’s room when we first moved in and I’ve made a few changes since then.  All the rooms have the same wainscoting (which is a breeze to clean up and a life saver with kids!), and I love the paint color. It’s kind of a smoky light blue (I need to find the color for you….bug me if I don’t post this soon). It’s also in our Playroom.

This was truly my “freebie” room. When we moved in and I was pregnant with Hay, there was no extra money to do another nursery.  The window treatments were made as a gift from a vendor I had worked with and the fabric was left over from another project.

The crib was from Grandma’s house for visiting babies…it quickly moved to our house for Grandparents to visit babies in!

The mobile I found on final sale for Addie’s original nursery, but didn’t  use until Piper.  I thought the room needed a little “fun” in it.

The white chair I had made for our living room when we were first married. We had visited a resort in Hawaii that had swivel/rockers in their lobby great room.  We loved it and had one knocked off by a local upholster. It’s slip-covered and was an easy move to each nursery as needed.

Blue pashmina is from my closet…..the green pillow was from Pottery Barn and was the only purchase I made.

I’ve always done white sheets for the cribs as it’s crisp and clean and easy to bleach out if needed.

The bamboo frames I get asked about ALL the time. They are throughout our house, and unfortunately are no longer available, as far as I know. I purchased them from Pottery Barn for a Photo Table at our wedding.  I never mind making a big purchase for things that I know will have lots of flexible use later.  These were a perfect example! (I put cute letter flash cards in the frames over Piper’s bed, just don’t look to closely, you might see that a few are slipping and need to be fixed!)

The rug is from Ikea. I bought it about 3 weeks ago (or rather Piper’s grandmothers bought it for her birthday….seems they thought her room was a little cold on her feet – do you hear that Honey??? It’s cold in our house sometimes…all the time.) It’s a GREAT rug! Good neutral color for any room, not scratchy and was $99.

Piper thought the Costco wipes were a good addition to the decor…

The armoire is one I purchased in Forney, Texas for my first college apartment. It was under $200 and has been used in every room I’ve ever lived in! When you buy something for your house, try and think of future uses….so many possibilities!

The bassinet is AWESOME! It’s a loaner from a friend. She originally bought it from Pottery Barn Kids.  It wheels around and the Moses basket lifts out. This was Piper’s traveling room for her first few months of life.

You remember my office buddy, right??

The chest of drawers is an old Pottery Barn chest of drawers my husband had from college I think.  It was quickly painted out white for this room and given replacement hardware.  I’m considering painting it again…possibly a nice green apple color….or pink  if I take a whole new direction in the room. Will have to let you know.

The plant and pot? From Ikea, about $5. Bought them a week ago!  Plant is fake, looks AMAZINGLY real, and the white ceramic pots all have different geometric patterns on them. Love them.

Again frame from our wedding….a color copy of a photo of Addie (that obviously needs to be adjusted in the frame). Piper conveniently gets an odd diaper rash that means we use Seventh Generation diapers (that conveniently match the decor!). Sorry for your bum, Baby, but thanks!

The lamp I bought from Butera Home for my first home AGES ago!

What you don’t see is the drawer on the left houses her overnite diapers that I don’t think match the decor as well :-) and the drawer on the right has a wipe warmer. Not that you need a wipe warmer, but it is a nice luxury with diaper rash on little bums. Hubs drilled a hole in the back of the dresser so that it could be plugged in and remain hidden.

This little nook is where the closet should be. We have new closet doors stored to install, but it’s always worked better to use the space in the room.  Behind the curtain is a storage shelf, and for now we tuck the bed back here. I never did linens for this room, so this bed has always bugged me. The green pillow in back was made for our sofa in our first home, and the blue and white fabric is just that, fabric over another long pillow….I’ve never focused long enough to figure out what I really needed to do to finish things off.

When Hay was in this room, the crib and bed were flip flopped from where they are today. I first showed it to you HERE. I loved the crib in the closet nook! But the bed never worked as well on the wall, so the switch was good.

This is the storage shelf.  If you decide to use a closet for a bed, desk, crib, reading nook (which I definitely recommend)….don’t give away the shelf. Just build it to work for a closet later. A curtain adds a new detail to the space, and hides the much needed storage space.

There you have it. Piper’s room. Admittingly, it has never been a favorite room of mine, and I still have things I think about doing, and know I need to do, and will probably happen at some point, but for now this is where the little Pipe’s lives…..and I have to say, in person, it’s pretty cute! Especially when she’s peering at you over the crib in the morning!!

Workout Update ~ I’m dying, but it’s OK.

It’s been a fun week so far (I say fun lightly here…)

Started off this past weekend with a Pilates group class that Erica taught on Saturday.  Planning to keep this class up as it’s at 8:00 on Saturday mornings which is easy for Hubs to watch the girls and for me to escape make it to.  Pilates DEFINITELY challenges every muscle you have, and I love that it helps you become and stay lean. Plus it’s a bit different than just heading to the gym.  Keeping a little variety is helpful, and joining a group class helps with the cost factor too. If you live in the OC area, would love to have you join this class with  us!

Sunday our family headed out for a bike ride. We have front mounted bike seats and seats on the backs of our bikes and often ride around the neighborhood with the girls. Sometimes we ride to the park too and all chase each other around the baseball diamond. When it comes to the weekends, I’m hoping to make my “workout” a family activity.

Monday I headed back to a 6:00AM Pilates class with Erica. MAN OH MAN was I hurting!! I seriously felt pregnant again having to roll to my side to get up. There was absolutely NO CHANCE I could have done a full sit up! Now even though I said my preference was not to get up for a 6:00AM class, I will say that it wasn’t too bad.  As Murphy’s Law would have it, my 2 year old had a nightmare around 3:30AM which made me worried I wouldn’t be able to get up…but I did, I went, I worked out….

AND I felt GOOD!

Sometimes just getting there is half the battle, but you ALWAYS feel good when you do.

Tuesday We tried our first session at my house. Erica is helping me come up with some at home workouts that I can do on my own, and share with you.  My Hubs has committed to staying home 3 days a week for an extra hour in the morning so that I can workout. And I promise you, I don’t have a glamorous gym set up. Anyone can do what I’m doing. We borrowed a treadmill from my brother-in-law, and have some free weights and bands, etc. Do you have a gym membership? A community gym? You can even replicate what we do outside if you need to. Or check Craigs List for a used Treadmill. This is the workout Erica put me through on the Treadmill today. Tough but good, and I would much rather this than an hour run!! Plus the goals are attainable.

Wednesday (in the morning) & Thursday (when the girls nap) I’ll be doing the exact same workout.

Friday & Saturday I’m headed back to Pilates (trying to get as much in before we both leave for the holidays).

But Sunday…what are you doing Sunday??  If you’re in OC, join us for a Pilates class with Erica (you wont be sorry!)!  It’s $35 with all proceeds being donated to the Tiny Oranges Team for the Pediatric Foundation Cancer Research Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk. All you need to do is email erica@coreathletica.com and let  her know you want to be there, and post the donation to her run page, that’s it!!  I’ll be there at 9:00AM and would love to see you there too!!

GREAT WORKOUT! GREAT CAUSE!

Just spotted….need your vote!

I kind of feel like I’m asking for a lot since I just asked everyone to help out with the site survey….but I just saw that My Favorite Everything has been nominated for “Best Family & Personal Blog” as well as “Best Kid & Family Site” on Just Spotted.  Just Spotted is an awesome OC blog that pretty much knows every inch of OC as well as every blog and every happening there is to know.  If you want to know something, head to their site!

That being said, their polls are open for the Just Spotted OC Blog Awards until this Sunday, September 12th at 11:59 PSTI WOULD LOVE YOUR VOTES (That is, if you want to and truly do like the site).  All you need to do is vote HERE.  Quick and painless! MY FAVORITE EVERYTHING is listed in the first 2 catagories.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

homemade cookie winners!

I truly can’t thank you all enough for all the surveys!  Reading through them made this blog seem ever so real to me…I mean I know how many people read each day, there are statistic applications that give me a general sense of the “whats going on”, and many of you do comment on a regular basis after I post something.

But the surveys.

Wow.

You have no idea.

100s of you took time to fill it out and send it in.  THANK YOU!!

Reading them was a HUGE eye opener that there are A LOT of you out there reading this blog.  I’m in awe, as well as extermelly grateful for you all.  Thank you for finding what we do so interesting, and hopefully helpful.  At the very least, a little entertaining. There are many days where I wonder if it really is (interesting, helpful or entertaining that is…..but then I drink a glass of wine and feel better)!!!

I am planning on addressing some of the things brought up in the surveys.  Thankfully it seems we are on the same page with each other and I think you’ll really love our next step!

There were also some good questions, good tips, and a few critiques that I think all warrant answers.  I’m going to do my best to address some of those this weekend.

Until then, here are the 3 Home Baked Cookie Winners!!!! Please email me at shanna@myfavoriteeverything.com so we can get ya some cookies!!

Jennie says: Done! I want some cookies! YUM!

Casi (cupcakeMAG editor) says: I NEVER enter giveaways — this may be a first! But, since I just LOVE you and your site (and really want to try your MEAN Choc Chip Candy Bar Cookies) I have done your survey and I am ready to win them!!!! xoxo *praying I get lucky*

the mom diggity says: filled out the survey! Looking forward to all year 2 holds for MFE!

Do you like us, love us, think we need help??

Hellllllllo Friends….

So I need your help.  Crazy as it may seem, My Favorite Everything is approaching it’s 1 year birthday (Seriously, HOW did that happen??) It kind of feels like I have 4 children…

Addie – 2.5

Hayden – 1.5

My Favorite Everything – 0.75

Piper – 0.5

And trust me, they can all be AWESOME, or totally unruly and sanity threatening!

But in the end, I love them all.

Here is what I need from you, pretty please????  Could you take a quick sec and fill out this survey?  It’s totally anonymous. But it gives me a way to hear from you and to hopefully work with the fabulous people (person?) that support (s) me, make this site the best it can be for all of you!!

And I’ll tell you what, if you want to leave a comment below telling me you completed a survey (I’ll never know which survey was yours as they are anonymous), I’ll select 3 random people on Sunday, bake some cookies and send em to ya next week. And I bake a MEAN chocolate chip candy bar cookie!! Really, you can’t go wrong (well unless the mail man squishes em, but he/she wont!)

Thanks for your help!!