Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I LOVE Christmas. I look forward to it all year - the decorations, music, food, giving, parties, concerts, Christmas cards, crafts, being with family and friends, and most importantly that it's all about our Savior.

Also, Mr. G gets THREE weeks off for Winter Break with NO coaching! It's the only time of year we get him 24/7 with zero commitments.

Here are some pictures of decorations around the house.

We have a fake tree so I get a fresh wreath for the wonderful scent. The garland is from Michael's and displays the Christmas cards we receive.

The Dining Room table.
I threw together a few things I already had in my many Christmas decoration boxes. Although the runner is new - from Target.

Living Room

I just adore this silver mirrored tray. It was a Marshall's find. The blue and silver trees were bought on clearance a couple of years ago.

The mantel.
I need to remember to get another stocking holder at the end of the season for baby brother.
Our 2010 Christmas Tree.

Guest Bathroom
My mother-in-law made us this wreath out of Rosemary and Cinnamon. It smells lovely.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Toddler Garden Room

Little G's room was desperate for a makeover. I made the mistake of decorating her nursery far too...babyish (I'm sure you know what I mean) so I started planning a new, more big girl room for her. If you're pregnant and planning a nursery my #1 advice is to not decorate the room for an infant. Newborn goes to toddler in a blink of an eye so try and make the room a place that baby can grow into.

I took inspiration from the Pottery Barn catalogs I've received over the past few months and from HGTVs Rate My Space site to create this space for my precious 2 year old.

She LOVES birds so I knew I had to incorporate them somehow. I had a very small budget so several of the projects are DIY and pretty much everything new was either on clearance or bought with a coupon.

Here's how it turned out....

She still likes to be rocked every night so I had to keep her glider in her room - but waiting in the garage is the most adorable desk! I found it on craigslist for $20 and I cannot wait to paint it and put it in her room with an adorable little chair.

The mirror was a great deal at Marshall's. It had a few scratches on it so I asked for a discount and they gave me 20% off. I painted it an antique white and added shimmery ribbon. Total cost less than $20.

The pillow on the glider was purchased on clearance at Ross for $5. I glued a .50 flower from Michael's on it.

The vinyl wall tree was the only splurge in the room re-do. I custom ordered it online.

The wall paint is from Home Depot - a soft green.

These little shelves were $2 at Michael's. I just coated them with leftover spray paint from the blue bird cage. My dad gave me the mini tea set when he got back from a deployment when I was about 8 years old. I love it in her room. The top shelf has ornaments that Little G picked out - a ballerina, a lace bird, and ballet slippers.

The shelves before:

The bird cages are my (and Little G's) favorite part of the room. It wasn't easy convincing Mr. G to drill holes in the ceiling but he finally gave in.

Read the Tutorial Post on how to hang your own bird cages.

I made the wall letters when I was pregnant with her. They are just paper mache letters from Michael's. I got cheap construction paper, cut and glued it on then used thumb tacks on the back to hold the ribbon in place.

I found two of the bird cages at antique stores and the tall one at Ross. Including spray paint and hanging supplies it cost around $35 to complete. Don't be afraid to name your price at antique stores. The square cage was listed for $22 and I got it for $8. The little one was only $6.
Here's what they looked like when I brought them home:

I couldn't wait to spray paint them!

The curtains were a very lucky purchase. I've been eyeballing them at Target for months and one day I found them on an end cap with a clearance sticker! Someone had brought them back so they were marked down for repackaging. Originally $30 each I got them for $17 each and used a gift card.

This bench was purchased at Michael's with a half off coupon. I primed it, spray painted it and glued on this little wooden embellishment (I also painted).

Then I added a cushion. The cute paisley print fabric was 3 bucks at JoAnn's. I had Mr. G cut out a spare piece of wood to fit the top of the bench and I cut out a piece of leftover foam and wrapped the fabric around it. Several shots from the staple gun and it was done!

Here's what it looked like before:

The mirror before paint and ribbon.

See Noah's Nautical Nursery HERE

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Fall

Finally we have some decent weather around here. The heat wave in California last week was not fun. Just when I thought it was safe to put my summer clothes away - I was in shorts and a tank...again. Go away summer!

The weather today is beautiful and I was able to finish the Fall decorations around the house. My mom, dad, and I took Little G along with my niece and nephew to a local pumpkin patch today (those pictures to come later) so the kids could have some fun play time and I could get pumpkins for the front porch.

My parents have had our old Radio Flyer wagon hanging in their garage for many many years and a few weeks ago I went over and took it down with a plan to use it for Fall decorations. It works perfectly :)

I spruced the pumpkins up with some metallic glaze which took about 5 minutes and gathered some old Fall leaves and flowers that were in the closet. The hay stack I purchased in September at Michaels for half off.

Here are the pumpkins before their makeover
And after. I gave the orange pumpkins a light coat of gold glaze and the Queensland Blue a light coat of silver glaze. Isn't she pretty?

I just love Candy Corn and have used it in my Fall decor for about 5 years. This is my first time using them in this way and I think it looks great.
I got the small pumpkins at the thrift store for 35 cents each. I also painted them with gold glaze.

I picked a branch from the backyard tree for the living room ottoman. I can't wait until the leaves around here start turning yellow and orange.
The fireplace mantel was decorated with items from Michaels - never buy anything full price there.
Fall is such a beautiful time of year. I love the weather and the colors of the changing leaves...but to be honest, I'm itching to go through my Christmas decoration boxes to see what I have and what I should get new this year. Thanksgiving is not at our house this year so putting up the tree on November 1st is a GO!

But until then - Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo Friday

The Gardner's are back from vacation!
We had a fabulous time in Southern California. Our first stop was in Carpinteria for our friends Steve and Cameron's wedding.
Then is was off to San Diego. We went to Sea World, several beaches including Coronado island, and of course I went shopping! The highlight of little G's trip was taking a picture with Elmo and Abby at Sea World. She talks about it all the time. My favorite part was eating authentic rolled tacos a few miles away from the border.
Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Before the ceremony on the beach
Little G with Abby and Elmo.
Little G in Coronado.
Little G and Mr. G at Sea World watching the Shamu show.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gardner Grub

I finally got some pictures downloaded to the computer so I'll share a few food pics with you from the past month.
I was all about artichokes for about a week. I trim and boil the artichoke with a generous amount of salt for about 30 minutes and serve it with Alfredo sauce for dipping. Very filling and delicious.
I was feeling like sea food a couple of weeks ago and threw this shrimp scampi pasta together. I wish I would have written the recipe down because it was by far the best I've ever made. Next time I make it I'll be sure to make notes and share it with you. Basically olive oil, lemon juice, butter, shrimp, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, Roma tomatoes. I'm sure there is something missing - I was going to add capers but at the time they didn't sound appetizing.
"Flying Saucers" are a family favorite. I fry a flour tortilla in veggie oil and then top it with the usual suspects - beans, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, olives & cheese.
Mr. G has been a life saver lately. Single ladies...find a man who can cook! I requested Chicken & Waffles yesterday and boy did he deliver. Paula Dean's Southern Fried Chicken recipe and my walnut waffles with organic maple syrup poured all over. It was incredibly mouthwatering. If you've never had chicken and waffles - try it. You will not be disappointed.
Tonight Mr. G made this scrumptious salad. We had a leftover Ribeye which he grilled and chopped and added spring lettuce, sliced avocado, diced green pepper, walnuts, feta cheese, diced apple, and a mix of raspberry vinaigrette and olive oil for the dressing. I had seconds! He served it with another favorite of ours - fresh warm bread dipped in Balsamic and Olive Oil (both of which *must* be good quality or it isn't good).
I'm starting to get a little appetite back. It's just not easy coming up with a meal plan for the week when one day I want something and the next I can't even think about it without gagging. Luckily Mr. G has really picked up the slack and has made sure I'm eating more than cereal. Although I'll admit I am afraid to find out how much he has spent on groceries. Why do men spend so much when shopping for food?

Friday, July 23, 2010

What a summer. It has been a consistent 105 degrees here lately so there is really nothing much to do outside other than jump in the pool and stay cool. Which is exactly what we've been doing.

I did take an hour to myself while Little G was napping and turned on my pottery wheel - a recent gift from Mr. G. Pottery was my favorite class in high school but I haven't had a chance to work on a wheel since I graduated. So this is my first piece in 10 years. It was challenging and fun and I can't wait for the weather to cool off so I can spend more time practicing. I think I'll try a vase next. My old teacher, Mr. Gonzalez, offered to fire any of my pieces in his kiln. I think I'll glaze this one in white and use it as a cereal bowl.

Once again I apologize for not posting my meal plans & grocery shopping. I'm still on a cereal and toast diet. Pray that this morning sickness doesn't last much longer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coupon Craze

It's no secret that I've become coupon crazy. I hunt for coupons online and stalk up on Sunday paper coupons (luckily I have a friend who works at the local paper and hooks me up). In the past few months of coupon clipping I have learned that there are several items you should NEVER pay full price for simply because there are always coupons out there for them. Here's a quick list.

Shampoo & Conditioner
Body Wash
Razors - I have a pile of good razors I got for free
Toilet Paper
Dish Soup
Paper Towels

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Days

June was a CRAZY month. We had Little G's birthday then Mr. G and I played Ken and Barbie for Vacation Bible Adventure at our church. It was every day and night last week and such a blast! On average about 500 kids came each night.
Here is a picture of us as Ken and Barbie :)

At the beginning of June we also found out that we are expecting a new bundle of joy due in February. Needless to say food has not been my favorite topic so I haven't really had much to say. There's almost no cooking going on around here - my appetite consists mostly of cottage cheese, salt and vinegar chips, Subway, fruit and toast. Yum!
I've also been extremely exhausted and for some reason looking at a computer screen makes me dizzy. Enough with the excuses. I'll try to be a better blogger.

I've actually started a blog for the baby as well which you can follow HERE.
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

To my father, the first man who stole my heart. I love you so much, Dad! Thank you for everything you do for my family. You are my hero.

To my husband and the most incredible father to our baby girl. You continue to surprise me every day. I am so blessed to have married a man who would rather spend time with his girls than in front of a television or at a bar. Thank you for loving us and working hard each day to give us everything we need and much more. I love you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Putting Mr. G to work

I just buy the decorations, he hangs them. Poor guy, I really had him working last week. I came home with shelves for the bathroom and a ton of frames and he knew right away he was going to be putting a lot of holes in the walls.

Luckily for him I made it very easy. I traced the frames on the Sunday paper, cut out the rectangles and hung them with tape exactly where I wanted the frames to be. All he had to do was put the nails in the wall and hang the frames :)

The hallway was bare but now it feels very warm and I love looking at my favorite pictures of Little G. She's so beautiful :)
Side note- I don't know why the walls look that color in the pictures. They are a dark tan.

I've been meaning to hang these paintings (of our favorite places near our old house) for awhile. I finally picked up some frames for them as well as the shelves (at Target).