Friday, March 13, 2015

Bathroom Makeover

Hey Ya'll! It's been a crazy past few months. The holidays flew by, Spring is nearly here, and I found out I am pregnant with number 2! Exciting times are in store for our household. 

Because of the influx in hormones and human-growing going on in my body, the nesting has started. It's in full force, people.

Last week was my 27th birthday [yikes] and I asked my husband to be my slave for a weekend instead of a gift. Also, there was no whining allowed [can't say he came through with that promise]. 

So while he took care of a few things I wanted done in Nugget's room [nursery reveal to come when it's actually done], I was busy redecorating the upstairs bathroom. 

I had two goals when planning this revamp:
1) Get rid of the infuriating tan color
2) Make it kid friendly while still appealing to adult guests

Since it is our main guest bathroom upstairs, I wanted to make it appealing to both kids and adults. Which is more tricky than I had imagined.

First off, I started by finding a new shower curtain. I loved the current one [a subway map of London's underground], but it's see-through. Meaning anyone who walks in can see everything in the tub. It's like having glass cabinet doors in the kitchen. No thank you. 


Looking at Target online I found a lot of great options, but one in particular caught my eye:
I thought it was the perfect mashup of adult & kid! 
And then I saw the price.
$89 bucks?? 
Even with my 5% RedCard discount I couldn't justify spending that amount of money. 
So, me being me, I thought, "eh, I can DIY that." 
More on that later. 

After finding the shower curtain I wanted, I had to decide on colors. 
Going for modern, I decided on light grey and coral red. I found some beautiful combinations of dark grey and red but this bathroom is quite cozy [small], so I wanted something a little lighter. 

Here are the before pictures of the old bathroom:


After picking up the paint at Lowe's and heading back home, I took a second look at the space and realized I wanted to do something fun on the wall above the tub [it's the first wall you see when you step inside the door]. I decided to paint that wall the red, but I also wanted to do a cool design. I searched Pinterest and quickly found a geometric look that's popular these days. 

The guy at Lowe's recommended painting all walls grey first because painting walls red is a real bitch. The grey would act as a primer [brilliant tip, Lowe's man. Worked like a charm]. 

After painting and edging all of the walls [only took one coat...hooray!], I started on the design.
My only tip for a project like this: 
Get a GOOD painter's tape.
Better yet, get GREAT painter's tape. 

Don't go cheap, people. It's like buying cheap toilet paper; it just won't work out.

Personally, I'm an avid believer in the Frog Tape [seen also in my Playroom Decor post]. 

I first edged the two side walls, then started with one long piece of tape down the middle of the wall [goes from middle to bottom left]. From there you can just lead pieces of tape wherever you want them to go. You can make your shapes as big or little as you want. It's quite refreshing!
I used an edging brush to paint the entire wall first [I think it helped to get the edges clearer in the long run] and then rolled two layers. 
I also did a couple of large shapes on two of the larger walls to add some more red. I made the mistake of listening to the helpful Lowe's man when he suggested I get an entire gallon. "It's only 5 dollars more!" he says. Turns out I could have done the entire thing with a quart, but oh well. 
C'est la vie.

I did two coats on these using only the edging brush. 
I took the tape off of these while the paint was still drying [as suggested by many articles] and only had a few spots to touch up with the grey. 

The results were flawless!! The red turned out perfect [and not too red. that would have been tragic].

Now onto the shower curtain. 
Let's recap the awesomeness:
Let's also recap the price:
$89.99

I'm not living on Bono's budget, friends. 90 bucks for a shower curtain was just not going to happen.
Instead, I went ahead and bought a plain white fabric curtain from Target at the [much, much] cool[er] price of $15. I also bought some black acrylic paint from Walmart for $2. The brushes I already had on hand.
Total investment: $17 bucks.

I covered our dining room table [which luckily happens to be black] with wax paper and laid the freshly washed/dried curtain as straight as I could. I also taped it on either side to the table so it was tight and wouldn't bunch. 

I started off on a bad note [pun intended] by making the "we" a hair too small. Problem solved by adding a music note on the other side. 
I didn't take many pictures because I was also cooking dinner for a crowd of people at the same time, so I was rushing to get this done. You know, so my guests could marvel at all the hard work I put into decorating a bathroom.

Here's the finished product:
I edged each of the letters for a cleaner look. The splatters were messy but fun. I put some black paint in a container with a little bit of water and then just...well, splattered it.
All over.
Including the floors and a bit on the walls. [It wiped off easily, thank God]

Okay, so it's not perfect, but it's close enough and I didn't have to spend 90 bucks to get it!

As I said in my Facebook post, I'm really happy with how this turned out.
I think it's fun and contemporary; all good things!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Downtown Denver

We made our annual trip to Colorado last week for a long weekend getaway. We spent a majority of our time in Winter Park but stopped by Denver on our first day so Michelle and I could visit a wedding boutique in downtown.

I had only seen the downtown area at night so visiting during the day was a total "blow my mind" type of thing. It's like Lawrence on crack.

There are beautiful murals on the sides of most buildings, interesting art, fascinating people...I wish we could have stayed longer simply so I could have gotten more photos.

I couldn't believe the number of really cool lofts and apartment buildings!


I have a lot of pictures of the beautiful bridal shop we visited as well. I'll update you with those on a later date!
Right now I should be cleaning so I better go. Happy Saturday, all!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Project 365

Alright, so I've decided to start a new project. I'm the type of person who gets really excited about something and continues it for a month or two and then fizzles out, but I'm going to give this a good shot.

Since we have recently fulfilled my husband's longstanding desire to become a business owner and my hobbies have since taken a backseat, I've decided to take this year to refocus on one of my favorite things: Photography.

I have the fancy camera, I have the knowledge of how to work it, and I have some experience. But I also have a lot to learn. It is my dream to one day be a stay-at-home mom with a photography business on the side. I've always had a passion for photography and capturing everyday moments.

So, as many other photographers have done before, I'm taking the next 365 days to learn from myself, people around me, and from trial and error. I have a lot of specific things I would like to learn more about and I intend to do so with tutorials, books,  and maybe even a few photography classes.

The goal with Project 365 is to take a photo a day for a year; it doesn't have to be perfect, the composition doesn't have to be exact, it can even be with your phone camera [though I'm going to try to avoid this, sometimes you don't have another choice]. I'm going to be patient with myself if I can't get a photo every single day [because sometimes life just gets in the way], but I'm going to try my hardest! I think this will be a fantastic learning experience and I will at least get some great photos for a year! I probably won't share them all because they probably all won't be noteworthy, but I'll share my favorites when I can.

For my first photo, a candid of my daughter.
Her dad's eyes, ears, lips and nose, but she might have my hair color.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. We certainly did, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad it was over! ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

15 things I've learned in 365 days of being a parent

Hey there, bloggers! I'm sorry for the radio silence. It's been kind of crazy around here as of late. As some of you might know, we just opened up a new business. With that comes chaos and zero free time!
But I decided that enough is enough.
I had to write something on my blog, mainly so people didn't start to think I had moved to an island with zero internet access [my worst nightmare].


My sweet baby girl turned one on the 25th. Suddenly I was staring at a crawling, babbling toddler who had grown 8.5 inches and put on 16 pounds in the span of a year. How did time go by so fast? It seems like I was just walking into the hospital to see if my water had broken!

Nothing brings back memories like writing [or typing] them down.

Here are some of the bizarre and not so bizarre things I've learned in my first year as a parent:

1. If you think talking about poop is weird, you're clearly childless.
We've had full on conversations about my daughter's poop schedule at the dinner table. I've talked about poop with random strangers before.  Poop brings us together, people.
hehe...poop
2. You basically turn into a ninja.
There is nothing more important than entering or exiting a room quietly when your kid's sleeping in there. I have closed so many doors without making a sound. It's actually something I'm considering adding to my resume.

3. Whenever you hear a crying baby now your heart starts racing automatically.
Even when you realize it's not your kid doing the crying, it doesn't matter. It's a parent thing.

4. Your phone storage is no longer filled with selfies or pictures of food.
It's now pictures of your kid doing the same thing over and over. Or movies that will keep them quiet during a meal out.

5. Speaking of meals out:
Once they're no longer in that beautiful "infant sleeping in their carrier through the entire meal" stage, shit really hits the fan when it comes to dining out. Especially when they start eating solids. There's a reason why parents should tip more when they bring an infant out to eat. Kids are like tiny tornadoes, except they smell worse.

6. Any rules you stated before you had kids are out the window.
I swore that I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION FRICKIN' YEARS let my children sleep in our bed. That stupid statement was made before I had been so sleep deprived I was literally holding my eyelids open. Sometimes you let your kid sleep next to you because you actually cannot survive if you sleep any less. [sidenote: this trend only started when the 9 month sleep regression hit. I wouldn't let her sleep with us when she was little because it was dangerous and scared the crap out of me.]

7. It's not cool to judge other parents.
I know it's annoying when kids start screaming at the table next to you, but just because I have a baby that might potentially have a meltdown at some point in the evening does not mean I'm never going to go out for a meal. Sorry my daughter's crying but I'm trying everything I can to keep her from crying. You being a dick and telling your husband we're ruining your "date night" isn't helping anyone. It just makes you look like an asshole. [Yes, this did happen to us. To be fair, her husband was mortified.]

8. Never, ever wake a sleeping baby.
Remember the episode from Friends when Rachel brings Emma home from the hospital and she's peacefully sleeping in her bassinet but then Rachel wants to pick her up to hold her and Emma cries for the next 6 hours? That's 100% accurate. The 6 hours thing might be a stretch, but as a rule you should NEVER, EVER WAKE UP YOUR CHILD. Just because you read an article online that said your kid is sleeping too much if they take three naps instead of two doesn't mean it's right. Some people are stupid and make shit up. Being a writer on the internet does not make them a doctor.

9. Speaking of Sleep..
In the first year, just plan on not getting any sleep. I'm not kidding. Set the bar low. That way if you do get to sleep more than you had planned, it's like bonus sleep. It always irritated me when people said, "enjoy your sleep now because you won't be getting any when the baby comes!" I'm not sure whether it irritated me because I didn't want to admit I would never sleep, or because people just annoy me sometimes. But those people were right. As much as I hate to admit it, they were spot on. Had our child not suffered from reflux at the beginning the experience might have been different, but if it's not one thing it's another. People gave us tips, I read books, but at the end of the day you just do whatever you can to get through the first year.
I'm happy to report that my daughter is sleeping through the night again! That is until she gets another tooth, or goes through another leap or..she just decides she doesn't want to sleep through the night anymore.

10. Shopping for your child's wardrobe is much more fun than shopping for your own.
I have never been a fan of shopping. It's annoying, I don't like crowds,  and usually by the end of a 'trying on' session I'm sweating. But shopping for my daughter is a blast. I love finding the weirdest/cutest outfits I can for her! Anything on her is cute, so it works out.

11. You learn to weed out any unnecessary baby items.
Facial Tissues? I have a sleeve for that. I don't need a diaper genie because I have a trash can. I don't necessarily need a lot of toys because she prefers to open drawers and empty the contents. It's hard to keep it minimal when people are excited to buy your child stuff, but it could be done. Kids are pretty simple. Diapers, wipes, formula/boob, warm clothes, blankets and you're pretty much good to go.

12. Take the unsolicited advice with a grain of salt.
Because in the end you're going to do what you want anyway. Heed any advice you find useful and throw out the stuff you don't. People really love to share their experiences, so let them. It might be irritating at times, but they're just trying to help.

13. Ask for help.
My mom, sister, and mother-in-law have been my guidebook for parenting this first year. And I know they will continue to be because they're experts. I am not. It's nice to have them around to ask stupid questions and get a non-judgmental answer. It was hard for me to learn to ask for help, but I've since embraced the idea. Sometimes you need an hour to run errands and go to Target in peace, and that's okay. It doesn't make me a bad mom, it keeps me sane.

14. You don't and can't know what you're doing.
Just ride out the storm. Parenting, like many things, comes with time. You will never be perfect at it, but with time and practice, you can suck a little less. When my daughter was sleeping 30 minutes at a a time at around 6 weeks old, I thought I might actually die from exhaustion. My sister told me this: "It will get better." Which didn't really help much then, but she was totally right. It got better. We took it one sleepless day at a time. Matt and I nearly killed each other [exhaustion will do that to you] but we got through that, too. There was a lot of yelling and crying, but we pushed forward. And we now have a hilarious, allbeit stubborn and independent daughter who we could not live without.

15. Your parents were right.
This fact becomes more and more apparent the older I get. And I tell my parents this a lot in hopes that it will make up for the crap I pulled on them when I was younger. My mom used to say it all the time, and it's absolutely true; "You'll understand when you're a parent." When I was late for curfew or when I didn't wear my seat belt or when I screamed back at them in a moment of rage...I understand now why it drove them so crazy.



Nothing is more important to a parent than keeping their child safe. I have spent 100% of this past year worrying about SIDS and choking hazards and incorrect car seat placement and the list goes on. That worry will never go away [so I've heard], they will just change to different worries. Like boyfriends and bullies and safe driving. And I will tell my daughter one day, "you'll understand when you're a parent." I can see her rolling her eyes now, but she'll get it when she's older. She will understand when she holds her child for the first time what it means to be a parent. There is nothing like it in the world. Nothing compares to that feeling.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I will try to be better about updating more regularly, but I can't make any promises. ;)

Tata for now!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9 random facts about me

I've never been one to hold back about things, but we all have our little secrets...

Confession #1: I don't read to my kid every day.
Doctors recommend that you read to your infant from the time they're conceived. That was all good and fine when we were two eager parents to be and our way of preparing was to read to our kid who likely heard us talking like the voice from the lady on the phone in Charlie Brown. "Waa wa wa. WA." But now I have a crawling 9 month old whose attention span rivals that of a squirrel on crack. Not to mention the sixteen loads of laundry, house cleaning, eyebrow plucking, dinner making I have to do. Yeah, I'll read my kid 6 books a day. It's that easy!
We do try to read at least once a day, typically two books at a time because the board books we read have a total of 8 words in them so it doesn't take long.

Confession #2: Sometimes I take home leftovers and then eat them immediately when I get back home.
Because I'm sitting with people who eat like birds or it's a business meeting and I don't want to eat my whole plate and look like a fatty. But when I get home I'm still hungry. I eat those leftovers like it's nobody's business. No shame.

Confession #3: I only wash my hair twice a week.
This totally grosses out my mom and probably 95% of the people reading this, but before you go all "ewwww!" on me, it's for good reason. Technically, people with long hair [or really just hair] shouldn't wash their hair more than once a week. No joke. I've done a lot of research. It's bad for your hair. And it's a waste of shampoo. I just started this twice a week ritual last month in an effort to get my hair to a more healthy state [pregnancy did a number on my locks]. At first it got really greasy after day 2 or 3, so I invested in some ballin' dry shampoo which helped combat the..err...grossness. Now after a few weeks my scalp has adjusted and I no longer look like a homeless person midway through the week. Proof:
Haven't washed my hair since Sunday, yo. Boom!
I've also stopped using a flat iron, curling iron and blow dryer. Basically I'm halfway to being Amish.

Confession #4: I take at least 75 pictures of my child every day.
This probably isn't a huge surprise to you guys, but I take a lot of pictures of my kid. Because she is just so damn cute.
Here are just a few I've taken from the last 60 hours:
Here's Addi being cute in a colorful outfit. 
Here's Addi being cute while holding a giant lego.
Here's Addi being cute before eating.
Here's Addi being cute in an equally cute rocking chair while drinking milk.
Confession #5: My "filter" becomes thinner every day
You know how I say pretty much everything that comes to mind? I haven't always been this frank when it comes to telling it like it is. Don't get me wrong, I've always had what some people call an "attitude" and I've always been pretty blunt when I feel it's necessary, but I've found that my filter gets more loose with every day that passes. I don't know if it's because I get older every day and with age the ability to care about other people's opinions diminish, or just because I'm sick of sitting back and letting things happen around me when I get no say in the matter.
I believe in kindness and the power to change things by speaking up. I also believe that if people are dicks to you, you have the right to be one right back to them. This "get what you give" mentality probably wouldn't fly with like..Ghandi or Mother Theresa, but I'm willing to bet they spoke their minds without regret. I'm working on a happy medium. Preferably before my child starts school so I don't embarrass her horribly by shouting at her teacher for giving her a B in coloring.

Confession #6: I'm a sucker for chick flicks. And the Hallmark Channel.
As alike as we are, my sister has always loathed my choice in television entertainment. Can't say I blame her. I watch a lot of Rom Com's. Lately I try to stick to comedy, but I still love a good romantic drama once in a while.
When we were kids, it was a whole other form of torture for her; The Disney Channel. [Brink!]. Dun dun dun. 

Confession #7: I have wicked road rage.
I'm talking debilitating, my-husband-has-considered-committing-me type of road rage. I attribute it to all of the people who have HIT MY CARS. Those mother truckers have really done a number on my patience in a vehicle. I'm not a therapist, but I'm pretty sure it's a trust issue. People shouldn't suck so bad at driving.

Confession #8: I have to eat at scheduled times or I get seriously hangry. 
My close family and friends know this about me already because when we're out and the lunch hour approaches, I tend to get quiet and short, depending on the hour. I eat at set times every day. 8 am, for breakfast, between 11:15-12:45 for lunch, and between 6-7 for dinner. None of this "skipping meals" business. I'm a human and therefore require food to continue living. I've done the whole "only eat lunch" thing to try to lose weight when I was younger and that shit is for the birds. Literally. Only a bird could survive on that amount of food.
So yes, I am pretty much the guy in the snickers commercial who becomes a diva when he doesn't eat. I get teased for it, and I've accepted it as a really funny part of who I am. Don't mess with my food, yo.
Speaking of which:

Confession #9: I don't share food.
Seriously. I don't share food. Ever. I don't discriminate. Even if I love you dearly. Even if you're my best friend. Even if you're my husband. Even if you birthed me. I don't share food.
One exception to this rule has surfaced in the past 3 months, and that is my daughter. But that is out of sheer convenience.


So that's that. Random facts about Mallory. Please still be my friend.

Monday, August 25, 2014

4 Ways to Save a Buttload of Money at Target

Target and I have a love/hate relationship in that I love Target but Target hates me. More specifically, Target hates my bank account because it's always taking money out of my bank account. Incidentally Target also loves my bank account because it gets money from it. 
Do you catch my drift? 
No? Fair enough. 

Basically what I'm saying is that I spend a majority of our shopping budget at Target. This is both because I despise Walmart and also because I love Target. 

Since I've become a frequent shopper at this magical retail establishment I've managed to find ways to save as much money as I can so my husband doesn't take my debit card away and never allow me to shop for the "essentials" ever again. (Yeah right, that means he would have to do it and in that case we would never have smelly-good candles and HOW COULD ANYONE LIVE WITHOUT SMELLY-GOOD CANDLES?!) 

Yesterday I was talking to someone about their Target baby registry, suggesting that they add anything and everything to it so they could use the 10% off coupon they get at the end. And they're all, "oh we're getting our diapers from Amazon." Which is awesome, don't get me wrong. But I'm just thinking of all the money I've saved on diapers and wipes at Target and I'm feeling pretty good about my way. 

So I thought that perhaps I would share with my bloggin' buddies how I [easily] save so much mulah at Target! 

[Please note, this is not a paid blog post. I'm just in love with Target. They should pay me, they just don't realize how cool I am yet. Wait for it.]

1.  The Redcard
Okay, if you shop at Target even one time this year, you're an idiot if you don't have a Target Redcard. 
Well, maybe not an idiot...but you're totally missing out. 

Here are the pros of a Target Redcard:
- 5% off of every purchase. EVERY. SINGLE. PURCHASE. Like, just for using the card. So far this year I've saved $119 dollars from my Redcard alone. Please don't calculate how much that means I've spent. My husband will shit a brick.
- Connects to your bank account. Take note - this is a Target debit card. Not a credit card. This baby hooks right up to your regular old bank account, you create a pin, and voila! No terrifying statements at the end of the month that leave you gasping for air. 
- Free Shipping at Target.com. This is a must for the internet shopper in you. As much as I love going inside Target, our store is...well, it's pathetic by Target's standards. It's very small and very much in need of [ahem] SuperTarget status [watch out, ya'll. If I could grocery shop there, too, I would be the happiest woman alive]. So free shipping is great when I need to purchase something online that I can't find in store.
- Easy Returns. If you thought Walmart had easy returns, pump the brakes my friend. I often buy stuff from Target knowing I will most likely return it. Or with the intention of trying it on at home rather than using their dressing rooms [the lighting in those things? yikes.]. Because their returns with the Redcard are easy as pie! You don't have to have a receipt. Just the card. They swipe. You return. Easy peasy. Oh and did I mention that you get an extra 30 days to return the item? Just let that all sink in.

Now, here are the cons of Redcard:
-You have to fill out an application by hand [the HORROR] and remember to bring a voided check with you. 

That's it. That's literally all the cons. I got my husband a card just for him and he thought it was stupid, but one day he will start going to Target instead of Walmart and realize what he's been missing all of his life. 


2. Cartwheel App

For all of you smartphone users out there, this is something you can't miss. It doesn't require any applications or voided checks or annoying e-mails. Just sign in with your Facebook account or E-mail and you're good to go. 

Basically it's a coupon system for Target only. THIS IS WHY TARGET IS SO AWESOME, PEOPLE. They have their own GD coupons! It's kind of like a Dillon's card, only better. Because the savings are much greater and the prices aren't jacked up to begin with. 
To summarize the app, you get an allotted amount of coupons you can add. You can select from different departments, scan barcodes in store to find coupons, or search by keyword.

 Then when you check out, you just select your barcode in the app and the super-friendly Target employee scans it. Let the savings begin!

3. Online Ways to Save
-Go to target.com.

-Go to the bottom of the page where it says "Ways to Save".
-Bask in all of the savings you're about to get.

Here you can select & print off coupons, see online deals and view the weekly ads.

4. Weekly Ads & In-Store Savings
As stated above, you can find weekly savings inside the weekly ad that Target provides in the newspaper as well as online. Here you will see all the delicious deals you can get in-store. I like this for the awesome $5 or $10 gift card options they offer occasionally. I keep an eye out on these for diapers and formula since I can buy them in bulk and know they will get used. Typically you have to get at least two of an item to receive a gift card [depending on the item it will either be a $5 or $10 gift card] so make sure it's something you'll actually use. Otherwise you're just spending money to save money. 

A few extra tips on saving: 
-When you create a registry, put stuff on there you might not think you'll get at a shower. Whatever you don't get, you'll get a 10% off coupon to use when you buy those items that didn't get purchased! You can combine that coupon with others to save even more money!
-Double up Target store coupons with every day coupons from P&G or coupons.com.
-Even if your coupon's expired, they will often take them for a few days after the expiration. This happened to me yesterday, but because I was using so many other saving tactics, the lady thought I was savvy and helped me out! 
-Sometimes if you're nice enough to the checkout person and you've forgotten your cartwheel, they can scan a handy barcode they have hidden away and get you the savings anyway! [This has happened to me before!]
-If you go to the store and didn't expect to buy formula or diapers but they're on sale or have a gift card incentive included, BUY THEM ANYWAY! They don't jack up the prices before they put the sale on them [I've investigated this] so it's worth it to buy it if you're going to use it. 



I spend a lot of money at Target, but I also save a lot thanks to the above mentioned tactics. 

A couple weeks ago, I received baby coupons in the mail from Target [this is something you get automatically when you create a baby registry]. This included diapers, which I was short on. I had a coupon, plus they were offering a $10 gift card and a cartwheel discount. I ended up saving around $15 bucks on two cases of diapers! I felt like I'd struck gold. 

When we bought Addi's first convertible car seat, I had a mobile baby coupon [text "babysale" to 827438] for 20% off any baby item over $100, plus the seat was on sale in store for $20 off the original price, and I had a $10 gift card coupon for spending over $100. I ended up saving about $79 dollars on that stinking car seat! Talk about a deal!!

These are just a few of the awesome deals I've gotten from Target. I think if I can find ways to save money at a more expensive [less trashy] retail establishment, it makes up for it in the long run and I won't have to go to said trashy retail establishment. 

So that's my wisdom, folks. Do with it as you wish, but as I said before; it's EASY. Just a few things you can do to save a few bucks!


Signed, 
the crazy Target lady [Mal]