January 30, 2014

The Search for the Perfect Dining Chair

I am still LOVING the farmhouse table my husband built. I will post pictures of it soon but you can basically see it all over my instagram account (makes the perfect background for food). Although we have the perfect dining table now, we have no chairs. I bought some temporary plastic ones from the AS IS section of IKEA and they honestly don't look that bad but they're not the ones I want. 

I used One Kings Lane's chair style guide and found my style is Modern. Based on this style guide I went online to search for modern style dining chairs and narrowed it down to just FOUR that I really love.  

Basically I'd like our chairs to be white or an accent color, I don't want it all to be wood especially since we now have the wood planked wall in our dining room but I loved the style of #4 so I added it to my top 4 list. Now I'm not sure when we will purchase chairs but I'd love your input!

Which one of these chairs do you like?
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January 28, 2014

I like to sell so I can buy

It's no secret, I like to shop! I can't go to a store without coming out with something. I blame my mother for this love of shopping. When we were younger my mom would take us shopping, not gonna lie one time she even asked us to stay home from school so we could go shopping with her. That's Awesome, right? 

I'm a lot like my mother it seems. I love to shop but mostly clearance and sales! I tried to coupon once and I failed but ask me how to get the best deals on clothes and shoes and I'm your girl! 

So in order to support my love of shopping I need to sell. (I sound like drug addict) I started off by selling my kids outgrown clothes/shoes on Ebay and that was good for some time but then IG shops started opening up and now that's where I mostly sell my kid's clothes. (I will be writing up a post soon with tips for those of you who would like to start selling on IG)

I sell, I buy. It's a cycle! I just learned about Bloggers Closet last week and decided to apply for a closet. Now I don't shop for myself as much as I shop for my kids but I do have a couple things I haven't worn that I'll be listing on there. That way I can start saving up for spring/summer clothes. I am hoping to go down a size by summer now that I'm on this healthy + fit journey so follow me on Bloggers Closet to see what I post. I posted a couple items today and will be posting more later this week.
One of the items I posted today are these gorgeous Sam & Libby flats...
Aren't they pretty? If you are a size 8.5 go get them now! 

Are you a shopaholic? 
Introduce yourself... the first step is admitting it. You are not alone! 
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January 26, 2014

Instagram Hop

Hello! So I don't usually post on weekends but I'm making an exception today because I'm co-hosting the Instagram Hop with some of my favorite bloggers. I'm so excited and I hope those of you who are on Instagram can link up and join us. Let's all get to know each other a little better!

Follow the simple steps below and have fun!
———-
Please read carefully over the rules for the hop! 
And don’t forget to link up your Instagram web profile below!!
1.) Follow your host and co-hosts
HOSTS:
Liz - Instagram @lizmariegalvan
Emily - Instagram @everythingemilyblog
Bre - Instagram @peacoatsandplaid
CO-HOSTS:
PicMonkey Collage
INTERESTED IN CO-HOSTING?
send us an email!
2.) Link up your Instagram webprofile
You can link up your instagram profile using Instagram.com/yourusername With this option you will have to upload a photo from your computer:
Or.. you can use web.stagram.com which will allow you to use a photo directly from your instagram. This option is easier! Simply go to web.stagram.com click “login” then click “my photos” & copy and paste that url like shown & choose a photo and you are done…
 
3.) Hop around! Browse other Instagram profiles and meet some new friends!
4.) Spread the word! Feel free to share the hop on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ect!
LINK UP:
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January 24, 2014

The Story of My Missing Rings + My Kinda Style

Happy Friday! 
I don't think I ever shared how I lost my wedding rings have I? 
Well if I did then let me tell you guys again. I didn't loose them, my husband did.
I was getting ready to give birth (Levi) when the nurse tells me: "why don't you hand your rings to your husband." So I did as I was told. I gave the rings to my husband and that was the last time I saw them. We looked EVERYWHERE for them but they never appeared. It's been a year now and I've been hinting at my husband that I'd like new rings but of course I know they are not an option right now as we are tight on money. I mean it's either bills + groceries or rings. That doesn't mean I haven't been looking. There's this ring that I saw at Costco that I TOTALLY fell in LOVE with. I mean that thing is gorgeous but SUPER expensive so as long as I get to peek at it every time we make a trip to Costco I'm good. 

I received an e-mail last week from Jaimie who's the Community Outreach Coordinator at Brilliant Earth and got invited to participate in their Personality Style Challenge. I had never heard of Brilliant Earth before so I clicked on over to their website and the first thing I saw was a diamond ring, a gorgeous little ring. I accepted the challenge and I got sent a style guide of categories based on personal taste to create a style board using their jewelry. Well I was drawn to two categories: glamorous + minimalist. Complete opposites but that's kinda me in a way. You see my style is simple, I don't like too many sparkles, sequins or glitter but I LOVE bling! I prefer to keep things simple yet sport a big chunky necklace or a "bling bling" ring. I don't dress up during the week cause I'm a stay at home mom but I love getting dressed up for church. So I created two outfits I would wear and incorporated some of Brilliant Earth's bling. I like to call my style: CASUAL CLASSY
This is totally me! Now that I created this board I am in the mood to go shopping! If I ever get new rings I'll make sure to let ya'll know. In the meanwhile I will be browsing through the Brilliant Earth website and pin some of my favorites. 

By the Way: I created this style board using Polyvore. Once upon a time WAY before I even started a blog I had a Polyvore account and I loved creating + putting together outfits and such. I even won a couple contests and then I stopped. I am not sure why but I went back and found I have quite a bit of followers. I am thinking I will get back to creating on Polyvore again. You can find me on Polyvore here
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January 23, 2014

Spinach + Basil Pesto Whole Grain Pasta

Pasta, I love it! It's one of my favorite foods, however I know I can eat LOTS of it so I try not to make it often. The kids had been wanting spaghetti all last week so since I'm on a healthy + fit journey right now I decided to create this healthy version instead. I've actually made this pasta before but not with pesto just a little olive oil but when I bought the whole grain pasta I found this recipe on the back...
YES! I had all of the ingredients so I gave it a go and I'm so glad I did! It was delicious! One of my kids liked it, the other not so much but she still ate it so... I will call it a success! Here is what you will need or what I used to make this. It's basically the same recipe on the box except I added a couple more veggies + some chicken to it. 

INGREDIENTS
- 1 LB of chicken tenders (cooked + cubed)
- 1 BOX of whole grain angel hair pasta 
- 5 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil , divided (I used a little more than this)
- Red, Yellow + Green Peppers chopped
- 2 Zucchini chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 cup of mushrooms
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- 1 cup of Spinach
- Handful of fresh basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup of romano cheese (I just used italian blend)

First you boil your pasta in a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package, then drain and set aside saving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid
In a blender combine spinach, garlic, basil, cheese, salt + pepper to taste and 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil to make your pesto.
Lastly you sauté your veggies, once they are cooked add your chicken, pasta, pesto and liquid and mix it all together and you're all set! I seriously loved this! I served myself seconds.... or thirds. Hey it's healthy pasta right?
If you aren't already follow me on my healthy + fit journey on instagram by searching #cinsarahgetsfit
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January 20, 2014

How To Make Your Boards Smooth


Earlier this month I shared our NEW chalkboard + wood planked wall and I promised I would post a tutorial on how my husband got our wood boards smooth. He used this process for both the wall and the farmhouse table that I haven't posted on here yet. If you plan on doing anything wood related in the near future I strongly recommend you try this method after you stain + seal your wood! It will leave your wood feeling smooth and just nice looking.

Here is what you will need:
-grade #0000 steel wool
-400 grit sand paper (not pictured)
-soapy water
-paint brush 
-rag (not pictured).

Once your clear coat has dried on your boards you might notice your boards are not as smooth as you would like them to be. That's because of tiny bubbles the clear seal leaves behind. If you would like for your wood to have a clean + smooth finish you will need to try these simple steps...

First you very lightly (you don't want to apply too much pressure when sanding or you will take too much of the clear coat off) sand your boards with 400 grit sand paper (not pictured) to smooth out any bubbles or anything left over from your stain + sealer. Then you dust of your boards and you dip your brush in soapy water and lightly wet your board...
Here's my husband's little work area...
Then you take your steel wool and rub it lightly on your board following the grain of the wood...
 Lastly you wipe your board dry with a rag...
 and you've got yourself some smooth boards!

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January 16, 2014

Things My Kids Say

A while back I wrote a post where I shared some funny things my son Joshua has said. It's something I want to remember forever. My daughter has started saying some cute and funny things herself so here are some things both of my kiddos have said...

1. Having lunch with Joshua at school one day he says...
"That's Taiwayne, he's the smallest in our class. 
It's because he doesn't take naps!"

2.  One day my daughter, Sarah, gets upset with Josh and tells him he's fired and he replies...
"You can't fire me Sarah, I don't have a job!"

3. I always lay outfits for Joshua for school so he can change himself and one morning he says... Joshua: "I don't want to wear this shirt"
Me: "Why?"
Joshua: "Because I look handsome."
Me: " You don't look handsome, you look normal" 
 (I have to tell him that or he won't wear it.")
Joshua: "Well I feel handsome"

4. Sarah was watching Daniel Tiger's neighborhood and Daniel asked "What Pajamas should I wear?" and he opens his drawers to display 3 different pairs of Pj's and Sarah says with a sassy tone:
"The trolly ones you always wear them!" 

5. Me: "Sarah when are you gonna go to school?"
   Sarah: "Well, I'm thinking I don't like school."

6. We arrived at Joshua's ENT appointment that is right next to the hospital where I had Levi.... Josh:"mom is this where you got pregnant?" 
Sarah: "do you have another baby?"

7. Sarah: "mom does this snack have calories?"
   Josh: "It has 12 milligrams of sodium"

8. Conversation between Josh + Sarah over breakfast:
Josh: Sarah where did you and dad go the other day?
Sarah: I'm not quite sure (yes she said quite! LOL)
Josh: Was it Home Depot?
Sarah: I don't remember the name, everything was dangerous and there were no toys there.
Josh: Yes, that's Home Depot


9. I hand Sarah a broom and teach her to sweep and tell her "if you do a good job you can get married.. just kidding you can't get married yet" and she says "mom I'm nervous" and I ask "nervous, why?" And she says "I'm nervous to get married." 

10. The kids were watching Barney and Barney said "I Love You" after singing the famous "I love you" song and Josh shouts "Ewww, He doesn't even know our family!" 

11. Me: Sarah you need to eat all your food because you're too skinny
Sarah: well that's because I don't like the food that you make.
Me: That's not nice, do you like anything I make?
Sarah: I like rice and snacks

12. The kids always fall asleep listening to KLOVE so one morning Sarah comes to me and says "mommy if you eat spicy things you're gonna grow a monster, the radio said." I was like "huh?" So I called Josh so he can explain to me and he said "No, the radio said if you eat spicy things at night you will have bad dreams." 


I love them! Kids are the best!
What funny things do your kids say?

January 14, 2014

Getting Fit + Healthy

Everyone's typical new years resolution is to loose weight am I right?
"This year will be the year" we all say.

Well I made one of my GOALS (I refuse to call it a resolution) this year to get fit and healthy. Now I'm not a super heavy person but I've ALWAYS had this issue with my weight and body image. For some reason I've never been COMPLETELY happy with my body. You see from my waist up I feel good, I feel skinny. I love my collarbone and shoulders but waist down I feel gross. I have a muffin top and lots of cellulite. I don't have much weight to loose, in fact if I loose 5lbs I will be happy but my issue is I'M NOT FIT. I don't want to be "skinny" I want to be FIT and so I am getting off my butt and FINALLY doing something about it. 

You all know my hubby had the month of December off and we completed some DIY projects but not ONLY did he do these projects, he got up early EVERY SINGLE day and went to the gym. He lost 11 LBS this past month! He looks and feels great but he's still got a couple more LBS to go to be at a healthy weight. I wish I could say I did the same this past month but instead I ate... I ate way too much and exercised very little. 

Last year I started the REVOLT fitness program and it was AWESOME! I lost 5lbs in one week and I felt so great but then I stopped. I got a kidney infection and was in pain so I stopped and it all went downhill from there. 

Well this past week I worked out 4 days and two of those days I did workouts from REVOLT at home and the other two I went to the gym. I started eating healthier and I feel GREAT again. I am posting some pictures of my journey on instagram using hashtag #cinsarahgetsfit
I will be posting some stuff on my blog as well as I go so make sure to follow me if you are on a healthier journey yourself. Let's encourage each other and make this year THE YEAR we finally do what we say we are gonna do! 
LET'S DO THIS PEOPLE!
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January 13, 2014

Levi's First Birthday

Ok so I'm a week late... Levi turned one on Tuesday January 7th and my sister who's a photographer came over last week and we had a photoshoot with Mr. Levi. I seriously can't believe Levi is one. I was just remembering the day we left to go to the hospital so excited and ready to meet him and now he's here and he's ONE. We used our new chalkboard wall as a background for some of the photos. Levi has been doing a lot of pointing lately so I love that my sister captured it because it's as if he's saying he's one... 
The cake smash was a total success! Can you tell?
A couple things about Levi:
  • He gives the BEST hugs! He will squeeze you so tight you won't ever want that hug to end. If you pick him up and squeeze him, he will squeeze you right back. Levi's hugs are the best!
  • Levi's middle name is Asher and it means "happy" and this little boy fits that name to a T. He's always happy and always smiling. He's a ball of Joy!
  • He can EAT. He loves everything and anything. 
  • He's STRONG I mean super strong for a baby.
  • Levi LOVES music. At church he lifts up his hands and claps and just worships, it's beautiful!
  • He HATES socks. He's lost so many socks, I have to keep buying new ones. He takes them off as soon as I put them on. The only way they stay on is if he's wearing shoes and he sometimes takes those off too. 
  • He's just overall the happiest easiest baby ever. I feel it's a WHOLE other experience from his sister Sarah. She's a whole other story but I love her just as much. :)
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January 8, 2014

Catching Up

It's been a crazy busy couple of weeks here at the Medrano residence. 

A couple weeks ago I shared that my husband was gonna be off the entire month of December. Well December came and went as fast as I expected it. We completed a couple DIY projects and had a wonderful time enjoying some much needed family time with both my husband and my son Josh who had two weeks off from school as well. Well my husband is back to work, Josh is back in school and I've got TONS to catch up on.

Also...Levi turned ONE yesterday!! I am so thankful for his one year of life! Levi is a true JOY! Always smiling, he's the easiest baby ever! 

So I apologize if you've e-mailed me or commented on any of my posts and you haven't heard a reply. I am doing my best to catch up this week. I seriously have about 4-5 drafts of awesome posts I've been wanting to write and publish and I just haven't had the time so hopefully I can publish one or two next week. I just wanted to write up this quick post to let you all know what I've been up to. 
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January 3, 2014

DIY Chalkboard + Wood Planked Wall


Happy Friday!
I finally got around to writing this post. A while back I shared about my husband having the month of December off and how I had a couple projects for him to do. One was a farmhouse table which he finished first and I will write a post about soon and another was this wall.

I've been wanting to do something with this wall for some time now. I initially wanted a planked wood wall and both my husband and I had a agreed but never actually did anything. Then I decided I wanted a whole chalkboard wall but since this wall is textured and very tall I knew it would be a tough project. My husband was the one with the BRILLIANT idea of combining both a wood planked and chalkboard wall. YES! Two of my faves combined into one, LOVE IT!

Here is a list of materials and tools my husband used to create this wall.
It took longer than we planned because we had originally purchased plywood for the board but that turned out to be a big fat fail and had to start over using a sheet of sheetrock for our chalkboard. I didn't list exact measurements or number of boards because our wall is rather tall so I'd say measure your wall and calculate about how much you will need.

MATERIALS
- Knotty Pine Plank Boards 
- One sheet of Sheetrock/Gypsum Board cut to the size you'd like your chalkboard to be (we used a sheet of 4x8 cut to 4x6)
- 3 (4x1) Whitewood for frame
Minwax® Special Walnut 224 Stain
Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish in Satin to seal
- Rust Oleum Chalkboard Paint 
- Electrical Tape to go around plug to cover the screws which have current
- White Paint for frame
- Sheetrock Screws 

TOOLS
- Speed Square used as a guide to cut boards straight
- Circular Saw
- 15 Gauge Finish Nail Gun
- Chalk Line Reel to mark and divide center of wall and studs as a guide to nail boards to wall
- Jig Saw to cut outline of electrical outlet
- 5" Orbital Sander
- Router + Rabbeting Bit for back of white frame

First we measured our wall and marked the center and where our wall studs were located using the chalk line reel...
Next we placed the board that would be used for the chalkboard (we ended up using sheetrock NOT plywood) on the wall to see exactly where we wanted it and marked that as well. My husband cut the frame for the board and painted it white. The frame was the LAST piece nailed on to the wall.
I painted the sheetrock with Rust-Oleum's chalkboard paint. It took just two coats to get it nice and dark.
Once the chalkboard was ready my husband screwed on to the wall using sheetrock screw. Then he measured how long he needed his boards to be and cut them all. Once they were cut we placed them on the wall and labeled them on the back (the back of the boards we purchased are beaded on one side and smooth on the other, we used the smooth side) so we knew exactly where each board went. He then sanded, stained and sealed them all.
Once the boards were ready he nailed them on to the wall using our guides to make sure they were nailed on to the wall studs. The last piece was the frame on top. The chalkboard is actually even with the boards on the side so we saved some money there. The frame is the only one overlapping which makes it look like it's placed on top of the wood wall. 
My husband routed the back of the white frame using a Rabbeting bit like this one...
adjusted to the thickness of the plank boards so that that they would fit under the frame. Doing this also helps in that you don't have to worry about being an 1/8 or 1/4 of an inch off in your board measurements because the frame will cover everything nicely.
I am LOVING our new wall! I can't stop looking at it. 
I've got a tutorial coming up of how my husband made the boards super smooth to touch. He worked REALLY hard on this and it totally shows! I wish ya'll could run your hands on the wood because it's so smooth! If you would like to try this DIY tutorial make sure to check back for how to make your boards smooth.

Here is a before and after of this wall. I don't HATE the before but the cubbies were a little in the way so I am in LOVE with the after. It's totally different and brings so much character to our little home.
Stay tuned! There's a couple more posts coming like the farmhouse table, the complete mini dining room makeover and that "how to make your boards smooth" tutorial as well.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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