Sunday, June 30, 2013

Clanking, banging and babbling

Our sweetie :)

Liam rocks our world. Plain and simple.

Matt and I look at each other sometimes and just smile. We say to each other "I can't believe we MADE this cool little human being." It just amazes us that we've been caring for him for sixteen months already!

We've been very busy with our little man lately. I'll let the photos do the talking:

He is getting into EVERYthing. We now have locks on every cupboard
and locks on the toilets :)

He doesn't want us to help feed him anymore. He wants to do it all
by himself. Thus the yogurt all over his face!

He absolutely loves bath time. He gets really cranky when we take him out of the tub.
If he had it his way I think he'd stay in it all day long.

He is constantly learning new things.  He's always pushing buttons, throwing things,
clanking, banging and babbling. He never sits still.

Working on some puzzles.

My favorite feet!!

Matt's colleague gave us this little chair + ottoman for Liam.
He loves sitting on it and looking at his books.

He loves, loves, loves slides. He's even taken them head-first a few times.

I swear, Liam never looks at the camera when Matt actually decides to take
a photo of us together. At Deland Park.

Liam made such a mess during his outdoor-dinner that Matt got the Shop Vac
out to clean up the high chair. Liam thought it was funny :)


Things that made me smile this past week:

Liam said the word "cheese" (a true Wisconsin boy he is)

Matt and I crawled into bed and caught up reading books & magazines

My niece Caroline won her softball game!

Liam ate fresh strawberries & snap peas from the farmers market and he loved them

We rode around on my mom's new four-wheeler in her yard

I planted a few more things in our garden

Matt and I enjoyed some time outside together while Liam napped

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet tea

This post is a quick shout out to Beef Tea -- the local bluegrass band that has stolen our ears and our hearts  :)

Matt and I love to see live music. It's one of our favorite things to do together. Some live music is "just okay" and some of it shouldn't even be allowed in public. But this live music was A M A Z I N G!

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to see Beef Tea (who we've seen twice before) in the backyard of someones home! Our besties in Sheboygan (you know who you are) invited us to a private backyard concert/pig roast. The band played on the back deck of the home. It was a hot, sunny day and perfect weather to listen to some tunes. We feel so fortunate that we could see them in such a small, intimate setting.

If you want to hear some of their music, here's their Website and Facebook page . If you're a fan of Bluegrass music, I think you'll really like them.

And here are some photos from the private concert we attended!!

All of the members are talented in their own way.
The lead singer has the most beautiful voice.

I think it's so cool that she plays accordion :)

Matt and Brian giving the thumbs-up

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lemon grass

Liam and I walk to our local ReStore every couple of weeks. It's only a few blocks from our home. Liam LOVES looking at all of the things as we walk through the aisles.

In case you're unfamiliar with what ReStore is -- it's run by Habitat For Humanity and people donate used or unused home-type goods and materials. The store is always filled with goodies, and at excellent prices :) The store is a maze of wooden doors, used appliances, retro office furniture, ugly ceiling fans, cabinetry, mismatched tiles, etc.

Matt and I have donated a few things to our local store (kitchen cabinets and ceramic tiles) and we've also bought some things there (a sweet window seat that's currently being used as storage in our garage, a cool wooden box that we store firewood in, and a couple of other little doodads).

I bought this old black magazine rack a couple of weeks ago. I'm not big into decorating with the color black, but I saw potential when I spotted this. And it was only $5:

Hello weird ol' eighties-ish magazine rack...
I picked up a can of bright-colored spray paint and went to town on it...

Rust-Oleum in "Lemon Grass"

Two coats
I'm not exactly sure where I want to use it yet. And as I've shared with you before, I'm a bit of a magazine junkie, so I could really use it in ANY room in the house! But it will probably end up in our kitchen, living room or downstairs bathroom.

It's next to our couch for now

The lemon grass color matches well with my new LOVE pillow in our living room :)

And here's a quick show-and-tell from this week's Crafty Club. My friend Andi hosted craft night this past Monday and we worked on two paper-crafting projects:

We each stamped & put together six happy birthday cards

And we each made a bouquet of paper flowers


Things that made me smile these past two weeks:

Liam used a ton of words today: clock, kitty, dog, mama, ball

We hung out with Matt's cousin and her fiancé at their new place

Liam was amazed by the mice, lizards and fish at the pet store

I got some new running/walking shoes, which = happy feet!

I picked weeds and watered our garden in the sunshine

Matt and I had date night - we went to an outdoor private concert at a friends home

We had dinner on our porch with Matt's parents for Father's Day

I went to Crafty Club and enjoyed talking with my girlfriends

Liam and I had a sleepover at my mom's house :)

Liam ran around my grandma's yard, giggling like a giggle monster

I made home-made play dough for Liam and he loved it

We watched a movie once Liam was in bed - something we haven't done in a while

We walked down to the harbor and checked out the names on the boats

Sang happy birthday to Matt's grandma who is turning NINETY SIX this week!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yo yo yo, look who made play-dough

I made some homemade play-dough for Liam today.

What's cool about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are safe and edible, so if your kid just so happens to try and eat it, it's not going to hurt them.

Of course the first thing Liam tried to do was eat it! But it was so salty that he spit it out right away & stopped trying to eat it :)

Simple, safe ingredients

All you need is a bowl and a spoon

Our dough was blue. And it smelled like Kool-Aid!

Since it's such a nice day outside, I thought it'd be fun for Liam to play & tinker with it outside on our deck:

Checking it out

Mushing it into some measuring cups

From Liam's perspective....

After he was done playing with it I wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in our fridge. I'm not sure if we'll be able to use it again, but it's worth a shot, right! We'll see if it's still usable tomorrow:

My mother-in-law, who used to be an elementary school teacher, gave me the recipe a while ago. She used to make it with her students in her classroom:

Mom B's Homemade Play Dough Recipe:
3 packets of Kool-Aid
3 cups of flour
2 T. of vegetable oil
1 cup of water (boiling)
1/4 cup of salt
Mix it all together in a bowl & knead it into a dough

(whatever color Kool-Aid you choose is the color that the dough will be)

Have fun!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's okay to be a bouquet

I collect flowers from our yard and throw them in this wooden crate.
It makes it easy to bring them inside. all of my close friends and family members know that I'm pretty obsessed with flowers. I like picking flowers, painting flowers, decorating with flowers, photographing flowers. I like flower fabric and flower photos. Flowery pillows. Flowery dresses. 

I'm pretty sure that in a past life, a long time ago, I was probably a florist or a gardener. And if I had been alive in the 60's I definitely would have been a flower child!!

During the summer one of my favorite things is cutting flowers from our yard and making bouquets to place around our house. It brightens the rooms and sometimes makes the house smell better too.

In our yard we currently have these perennials blooming - two different types of lilac, snowball, lilly of the valley, iris, alium, rhododendron and bleeding heart.

Here are some bouquets I made this week - 

I made this arrangement for Matt's cousin as a housewarming gift :)

I made a vase of snowballs and lilacs for on top of our fireplace mantel
(the photos of Liam were taken by my friend Sarah at

I placed a vase of rhododendrons on our kitchen island

Here's a vase of bleeding hearts on our kitchen table

You can't forget about brightening up the bathrooms! This one is on
a shelf in our "little green bathroom"

How cool is this blooming onion flower? I put it in a little cup on our computer desk.
It's sitting in front of me right now :)

And a quick photo from our morning walk today...

Have a great rest of the week :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

So Sheboygan...

We moved to the great city of Sheboygan almost four years ago.

The longer we live here, the more we discover things that we love about this gem on the lake.

Yes, I hear from family and friends quite often "did you hear 'this' bad thing or 'that' bad thing on the News about Sheboygan?" Or "did you hear about the crazy thing that happened in Sheboygan" blah blah blah...

But I'm pretty sure every town has some not-so-positive things about it. And we choose to focus on the positives about this the amazing waterfront, the cute little shops sporadically placed around the city, some amazing restaurants and watering holes, beautiful parks and a top-notch arts center. There are a lot of little quirks that make it, what Matt and I call,  "so Sheboygan."

Over the last few years, here are some things that Matt and I have decided as being "so Sheboygan:"

Brats  the food kind, not the misbehaving kids kind

Bars this city has 50,000 residents and about 150 bars

Bad drivers drivers' education even a requirement in this town?

Parks and gardens it seems like everywhere you go there's a park or garden in sight

Freshwater surfing and SUP-ing it's one of few places you can freshwater surf in the world

4th of July at the beach I swear the entire city is on the beach this day

Pizza parlors there is just about every kind of pizza joint imaginable in this town

and after this weekend, I'd like to add something to our list...

High School Graduation at Vollrath Park

Here's a panoramic of Sheboygan's South & North High Schools' graduation from this past Sunday:

I just think this is SO cool! The graduation takes place at Vollrath Park in the "bowl." The North High graduates sit on the north side of the center of the bowl (in blue) and the South High graduates sit to the south (in red). Then all of their family members and friends sit on the grassy hills that surround the bowl. What a unique event. And it's only a few blocks from our home!  It's just so Sheboygan :)


Things that made me smile last week:

I walked along the lake with Liam and it looked like the Caribbean

We discovered that Liam likes polenta, rhubarb and black beans

My mother-in-law and I watched TV and played on our iPads after Liam went to bed

We got Matt's grandpa's antique work bench set up in our garage

Sat by a campfire at our neighbors house - we are blessed to have such great neighbors

The three of us kicked Liam's new bouncy ball around in our yard

Congratulated my cousin on her high school graduation

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oldies, but goodies

I put the television on this morning for a brief time while folding laundry in the living room. It helps keep Liam occupied if I'm really trying to get something done. And Mr. Roger's Neighborhood happened to be on PBS!! Not Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (thank God, because that song gets in my head and it takes a day to get it out). Good old 1980's Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was on! 

I remember sitting on my parents' shag yellow carpeting in their living room, watching Mr. R on the tiny black & white antenna TV. I was also probably wearing Strawberry Shortcake pajamas and eating a Pop Tart.

Here Liam is, watching the old-school version on a flat-screen TV. Sitting on non-shag carpeting. I wonder if 25 years from now he'll look at this photo and be like "ha ha...look at me sitting in front of that weird TV thing." 

Anyways...seeing this "vintage" show on TV got me thinking about all of the things we have in our house that are vintage-y. We've accumulated quite a few quirky and nostalgic items over the years, so I thought I'd share some of them with you. 

Our house decorating style is definitely a breed of it's own. We don't like just new or just old or just contemporary things. We actually like a combination of everything! I like funky, artsy colorful things. And Matt likes old, rustic, new and mid century things. So that's what we have in our home. 

We have some vintage things in each room -- but I thought I'd just start with one room for today. So here are some cool vintage pieces we currently have in our KITCHEN:

Funky little figurines we found at Matt's grandma's home. The pig is a little creepy,
but we love, love the little squirrel!

Vintage Japanese snack tray. I've used this as a candy tray and also a nut tray.

Bright orange mushroom salt & pepper shakers! We use them every day.

Little Japanese coffee cups. I've found all of these at thrift stores over the years.
They're great when guests just want a small dose of coffee.

Matt's mom stitched this a long time ago. So I guess that makes it vintage? His
family was going to get rid of it and I said "No, I want it for our kitchen!" I love
the little round hook at the top.
Oh my gosh, I've had this forever. I found it at a thrift store a LONG time ago.
I used it as a candle holder for many years. Now I have it displayed on a shelf in
our kitchen. I love the brown/green/navy blue together.

We own quite a few vintage cookbooks. This is my favorite one: The Settlement
Cookbook. The hilariousness of it is that it says "The Way To A Man's Heart."
Ummm...yeaahhhh...because women know that cooking is the only way...

We love these bowls. The colors are so classic & funky.
These were Matt's grandpa & grandmas.
(Becky, Jenna & can still wrestle us for them if you want!!)

Vintage mini-pot. I have to put a plant in it yet.

We bought these chairs at a thrift store when we lived in Florida. I used them
in my art studio for a year. Now they're around our round kitchen table.
Someday we'll refinish them...but for now they just look old.

Vintage Way Rite scale. And it still works. We found this at
Matt's grandma's house & we're glad we can keep it in the family :)

I'll post other oldies, but goodies this coming week.

What are your favorite vintage things? I'd love the hear!