Dec 4, 2013

Stain or Paint?

I need your advice. I know a lot of you that follow my little slice of the internet are some hard working mama and DIY bloggers yourself so I’m hoping you can help me crack this nut: Should I refinish this adorable toddler table or paint it?

DIY Toddler Table and Chair

I recently found this gem tucked away in the back of my mom’s attic. It’s real wood, the table is in decent condition – the chair is in excellent. But most importantly, it was my mama’s y’all. A little table that she use to sit at and read and color is now being used by my little guy. So that’s why I’m so torn.

As you can see it definitely needs some sanding work… but nothing an orbital sander and fine grit sandpaper couldn’t handle. And although honey colored stain has a time and a place, this aint it. So if I stained, I would take it up to a much darker finish.

DIY Toddler Table

My biggest fear in painting it, is that Dylan will color or smear the massive amount of dirt that little boys seem to produce all over it and would constantly just look…. well… funky. I’ve explored a few chalkboard paint options but clearly white or a soft blue are out.

DIY Toddler Table and Chair

So whatcha think? Should I take the time to sand and refinish this bad boy or paint it? Dylan can’t wait to know what you think! Smile 




Nov 27, 2013

Playing it by ear

So I promise you guys I have some awesome organization and DIY project in the works. They are just coming along very slowly these days as Dylan has been one sick kiddo with back to back to back…. to back… ear infections.

However…I’m happy to report that “Operation Tubes” is now officially complete! I’ve learned quickly that being a parent comes with a lot of hard and just sucky decisions. Deciding that my precious little boy should have holes cut in his ear, when he couldn’t even tell me how bad the pain was or wasn’t, is a hard freaking decision. But that said, I’m now 100% confident in our decision to get the tubes and thought I would share our experience in case anyone else is wrestling with this… or has been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

So after 5 doses of antibiotics + the associated bouts of diaper rash, and 3 painful Rocephin shots we reached our breaking point with these dang ear infections. It was seriously as if every time Dylan got a new tooth or a little cold, he was tugging at those ears and spiking crazy high fevers. Jer and I did a good amount of research on our options prior to picking the tubes route and although I can’t intelligently relay all of that information to you guys (honestly because I’m not sure I understand it all), I quickly learned how common the tubes procedure is. One parent we met in the waiting room of our Doc’s office even said.. “all the cool kids are doing it these days…”

Unfortunately before getting to tubes, it also sounds like most of these cool kids are giving antibiotics a fair chance. Lord knows that we certainly did – Augmentin, Amoxicillin, one that started with a C that caused a rusty colored poop, and then what my pediatrician called in his “big gun” – 3 shots of Rocephin. It was at the moment the doctor said he was bringing out the most powerful thing he could that I realized that we definitely needed to chat with an ENT.

So after meeting with the ENT – which Dylan as you can see below really enjoyed Winking smile, the tubes option just became the clear solution. Dylan had multiple ear infections, oral antibiotics were starting not to work, and we were entering cold and flu season. On top of that the ENT doctor we met with was fantastic – he explained the procedure step by step, showed me an actual “tube” – which looks more like a grommet than a tube – and explained how this would eliminate the fluid that was constantly building up in his little baby ears.


The actual procedure was absolutely seamless. I was so extremely impressed with how organized, friendly and educational our ENT and the Virginia Eye Institute (where the procedure was done) was. We got there at 7:15, filled out a few papers, had his vital taken, watched a little Finding Nemo, and then finally it was time for him to go into the operating room … w.i.t.h. o.u.t. me. Aside from making the actual decision, strangers taking my little boy away from me was the hardest part. Jer had to coach me a little on this as I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out the second they took him from my arms. So instead, I gave him a big kiss and happily said “Have fun sweetie!” Ok… poor word choice, I know.

Dylan kept his cool the entire time and seemed to really dig our three matching hospital bracelets.


Seriously 10 minutes after he went back (yes, without me!), a nurse reopened the door to tell me he was ready for us. He was very very upset when I got to him and even after we got him settled in the car. But after about 20 minutes and a little juice and cheerios, he was content and fast asleep in the back of my mom mobile.

Then we got home.. ate doughnuts… and played. I’m a firm believer in doughnuts as a post-operative pick me up or even for a bad day. But in all seriousness just a few hours after the procedure, he was 100% back to normal and talking/making noises more than ever. Although a hard one to make, getting tubes was a good decision for us.



Nov 24, 2013

Martha Stewart Wall Organizer

You guys already know that I just love me some Martha Stewart. Last year I used several pieces from her office supplies collection to create our family binder and was just floored not only by the quality of the supplies but the design of it as well… I mean what doesn’t look good in light teal? So while in Staples this weekend, I thought I would swing by her section of the store to see what my homegirl had shakin’. And boy oh boy did I find “a good thing” ….

Martha Stewart Staples Collection

That little beauty on the left up there is Martha’s custom Wall Manager and to the right you can see all of the pieces (in white or black) to build it. The display gives one option but there are several ways to assemble. I also checked out Martha’s section on the Staples website to see other options for assembling the Wall Manager, and found a really cool tool that lets you design your own.

So as soon as I got home and walked through the door into our mudroom, I knew exactly where this bad boy was going to go. Jer and I have been unsuccessfully using that old dry ease calendar to keep a handle on our schedules and were throwing letters or netflex returns on the wooden ice box hoping that the next person to leave would know they were ready for mailing. Speaking of that wooden ice box, please don’t judge that honey stained piece of old school beauty. She’s a diamond in the rough, which I’m planning to stain and spruce up with some new hardware in the next month. She came from the house I grew up in and just feels like home to me. I remember exactly what my mama use to keep in each of those cabinets and every time I open one, it smells exactly like I remember it smelling.


Ok so back to the Wall Manager. Now that I found the perfect spot, it was time to assemble. This is the part where I usually call in Jer for some help, but not with this piece, girlfriend. It seriously couldn’t be easier. Each piece has a plastic frame that easily detaches and sticks to the wall until you find the perfect spot to nail it in.

Check this out… it also has a built in level so that you know when it’s… well… level. What will she think of next…?


The frame also makes it super easy to detach the display piece. This comes in handy especially for updating the calendar! And yes, I bought the Martha Stewart fine tip dry eraser marker. I couldn’t resist!


So although there are so many options for assembling, I stuck pretty close to the Staples display as this just seemed like it would work best for us. Aside from important dates and reminders, this has also become our “inside mailbox” station. I dedicated one of the drawers to stamps, the large cubby to our outbox and the small cubby holds one of my favorite things – our super cute return address stamp. Paper Source makes the cutest stamp designs and the gift set stamper makes an awesome gift!

Martha Stewart Wall Manager


Anyone with a busy family knows the power of a good organizer, so fingers crossed this one helps us tame the mail clutter and crazy schedules. Martha hasn’t let me down yet!

Martha Stewart Wall Manager



Jul 29, 2013

First Birthday and World Problems

A few weeks ago we celebrated Dylan’s first birthday and for months I planned, pinned and thought about this thing. I wanted Dylan’s first birthday to be unforgettable. I mean after all it’s his very first birthday and the start of a day that I want to feel magical, exciting and oh so very fun for him. Going in, I knew he was too little to really enjoy it but through my rose colored glasses (which I always seem to look at life through) I thought he would open his gifts, get jiggy with his smash cake and stay awake with a smile for 4+ hours. But no…hello… Earth-to-Jamie… he’s a baby and babies do what they want, when they want. The problem here was my expectations and what I like to call #firstworldproblems. Sure, my Pottery Barn Kids Catalog birthday party didn’t go as I expected but for the maximum amount of time possible, Dylan had a blast and got to celebrate with those that love him to pieces… what more can ya ask for…?

Maybe happy birthday pictures? Ok, I’m stopping now. Repeat it with me… “No expectations!”, “No expectations!”


Ok, back to the party. So I love feedin’ people, and sure I could’ve totally simplified this, but when friends and family drive hours for a 1 year old’s party, you just gotta feed them. So with a little help from my BFF who has no idea we’re actually best friends, Ree,… wait we’re probably not on a first name basis yet as she doesn’t even know I exist even though we hang out every Saturday morning. Weird, right? Ok, I’m rambling. Starting over now… So with a little help from the good ol’ Pioneer Woman recipes, I spent the entire morning cooking whipped up cheeseburger sliders, grilled chicken sliders, cheesy potato casserole (sans peppers), potato salad, pb & j’s + goldfish, corn on the cob, and watermelon. And if was deeeeelish, if I can say so myself. Always a good sign when people leave asking for a copy of a recipe.

In the party chaos, I took one picture of the food and it happened to be while 80% of it was in the oven warming.  #firstworldproblems


Since I knew it was going to be hotter than Channing Tatum in Magic Mike out and that most of the party would likely happen inside and within our dining room, I decided to move some of my dishes from our china cabinet and use it to showcase Dylan’s monthly photo shoot and a time capsule for friends and family to write him a note with some life advice to be opened on his 18th birthday. I then took all of the notes and placed them in a envelope within his baby book. I think this is going to be really special to read when he is 18! I mean that is if friends and family wrote sweet and inspirational messages, which I wouldn’t know, because there’s no way I would read those before putting them in his baby book. I mean who would do that…?



But the party happening inside did mean that no one was able to enjoy the 95 degree day outside and this wonderful world of gingham I created. again, #firstworldproblems


On to the other highlights… there was one oh-so-sweet moment of this:


And 15 moments of this. So I ended up sitting in a toddler’s bean bag chair and opening gifts. This isn’t what you guys came here for? oh, my bad.


There was a lot of feeling the cake and not a lot of smashing. Perhaps it was the crazy helicopter parents circling him like hawks. Note to self… back the funk up. Yes, I just said that. It’s my 10 year old way of getting away with cussing. I kind of secretly miss that word.


And then finally while sipping a much deserved adult beverage at the beautiful tables no one sat at, I snapped this precious photo of my boy enjoying a birthday present, ahhhhhh Smile





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I'm Jamie, just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home

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