gallamore west: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Activity Room Reveal

We're still in between two homes and sometimes I feel like nothing is getting accomplished because we're too busy running back and forth between the two places.  

But then I stop and think about it... and I realize that we've done a lot in a short time with three little boys, two homes, one full-time job... all while it's summertime in one of the most FUN places ever {which means that we stop what we're doing every 5 minutes to head out to the pool, the zoo, the beach, or whatever fun place that we think of}.  Plus we've had a few rounds of company already... so really we're packing in the summer fun AND getting things done!  

Or at least that's what I'm trying to convince myself of in this blog post :)

While I still haven't had a chance to get anything up on the walls in this room, it still has made major progress and I couldn't wait any longer to share it with you!  It's one big room that we're using for our boys' "Activity Room" {art, coloring, reading, tv, relaxing, etc.} along with my "Craft Corner" in the other side of the room... more on that SOON!

Here is what the "Activity Room" looks like now... curtains have been re-hung & sewed to length {more on our free curtain makeover coming shortly}, new activity table and easel, repurposed "craft" cans {aka, old formula cans}, updated ceiling fans... 

I hot glued burlap on Luke's old formula cans, lined the top and bottom with ribbon, and attached chalkboard labels.  They now hold art supplies in the Activity Area.

Updated ceiling fans {kind of a bad picture because it was on... humid day in San Diego!}

{This is the old fan... circa 1980}

Sometimes the idea in my head doesn't quite work out.  Here's an example.... we thought we could nicely fit all of their toys in this room.

But that was clearly NOT going to work!

The toys have a new home in the bedroom and this room is dedicated to reading, creating, crafting, and relaxing.  

It's totally crying out for something on the walls and some pillows on the couch, but major progress has been made, right?  You could barely see the couch a few weeks ago... ugh.  More pictures shortly... I'll be sharing details on my free curtain re-do and some fun stuff on the walls :)  And Craft Corners pictures too! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Best Day Ever

My boys have this little saying that they use 
to describe a really, really good day...
"The Best Day Ever!"

I think it's actually a song from Sponge Bob, but whatever.  I'm going to pretend that my boys don't watch that show 
{just like they don't eat sugar and that they are actually sticking to their 8 PM bedtime this summer... haaa!}  
Yesterday it's Mama's turn... 
it was The Best Day Ever!

It started with brunch in La Jolla with two of my favorite college friends, and my red-headed, blue-eyed date who was adorable until he started choking on a Gerber's Puff {just a little} and projectile vomited all over his whole outfit, my cute jeans, and the floor... wow!  My expectations of a great day must be pretty low, right?  But don't worry, it gets better from here.  

These girls are precious to me.  We don't see each other as much as we'd like to, but that's okay because when we do get together, I'm reminded of how much I love them. These girls are REAL... we've seen each other through finding love, marriages, divorce, heartbreak, pregnancy, miscarriage, raising children, finding our careers {and me quitting mine to stay home} and more.  Hanging out with these two friends is a breath of fresh air and reminder that girlfriends are a true treasure.

After brunch, I hurried home to drop off my freshly changed, napping cutie patootie with Hubs who was installing new ceiling fans {wahoo!!} and headed out the door {no, I did not change my jeans... they got even dirtier later} to check out a couple of nearby shops I've had my eye on and didn't want to venture into with 3 curious boys.  Ohhhh, am I so ever glad I waited!  I only had about 15 minutes to spend, but I could've spent hours here.  These vintage/handmade/antique shops are just a mile away from our new house and they are serious goldmines for a vintage loving Mama like myself.  I didn't buy anything because I was in such a hurry... must go back sooooon {like tomorrow morning}.

Then I hit the road to meet my parents and my two "big boys" in the gorgeous mountains of San Diego, in the adorable town of Julian.  It was a Pioneer Day celebration for the Julian branch of the LDS Church, where my parents go to church.   Honestly, I didn't quite "get" why they love it out there until I saw their church and this event today.  We're already excited to go back next year... it was THAT much fun!
{Their church building is so cute and tiny... 4 rows of pews, plus some chairs in the chapel!}

While waiting for them to arrive with the precious cargo, I saw a Mama turkey and her eight little babies {turkeyettes?!} meander across the church parking lot.

Then my munchkins arrived, dressed adorably, and the fun started.  There were train rides on the little gold mine train through a Manzanilla Tree Forest...

panning for gold {they got to trade in their gold for 
Red Vines at the Trading Post!}...

walking on the rope bridge...

or the 4 year old stick version of the bridge...

pumping water in buckets...

horseback riding!...

bucket brigading...

pie eating contest...

and so many other fun things.  

{My personal favorite was the fresh scones... more like donuts or funnel cake, topped with homemade jam and powdered sugar}.

I couldn't believe how quickly the evening flew by and before I knew it, we were headed home at dusk, the perfect time for spotting deer.  And oh, was it the perfect time!  We saw 10 deer {1 buck, 7 does, and 2 cute babies!} on our way home.  

Seriously, is there a PAUSE button in life?  
Because I want to push it right now.

If you're looking for a trip back in history while in San Diego County, here's where we went {about an hour and a half east of downtown}:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer days should be just. like. this.

You know those times when life is just GOOD?  
Like really, really good... 
so good that you want it to stay
just. like. this.

We've had a few of those crazy good days lately.  
Our usual packed calendar is mostly empty these days, 
and we LOVE it 
just. like. this.

It's not that we aren't busy...
We are busy unpacking those straggling boxes, 
figuring out where to hang what and all that fun stuff, 
and having so much family fun along the way.

On Thursday I got the boys ready for "shopping at Ikea" which I thought they'd complain about, but they actually really like Ikea so they were excited about it.  But really, Ikea was just a quick stop on a surprise visit to the boys current favorite place in the whole wide world... The World Famous San Diego Zoo.  

And seriously, it's "World Famous" for good reason.  
We go ALL THE TIME and always find 
something new, 
something different, 
something amazing.  
{On this zoo trip, we were loving the tortoises!}

But the boys were having sooo much fun at Ikea, 
sitting in EVERY single chair, 
touching EVERY single pillow, 
feeling EVERY single curtain panel, 
laying on EVERY single bed,
and trying on EVERY hamper lid as hats! 
{Okay, clearly this picture was taken on a different day... 
but seriously, they do THE SAME THING with the hamper lids every time!}

I finally had to tell them that we needed to go a little quicker because there was a "surprise" after Ikea.  

It took them just 3 guesses... 
A new toy?  
An ice cream?  {not the surprise, but we had one anyway} 
The Zoo?  

And so we were off to the Zoo for the 2nd time this week.  We got there right in time to see a dress rehearsal of the newest show {FINALLY... a new show at the Zoo.  I remember the old one from when I was a kid... seriously, it was practically prehistoric}.

And I KNOW the boys had a fabulous time because I saw this drawing by Sam on their new Ikea easel the next morning.  

I really, really hope we have more days this summer that are

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Beachy" Burlap Subway Art!

Don't you just love it when a project pops into your mind and it actually come out like that picture in your mind?  Well, that's kind of how this one worked out {except for a pretty major measurement error...oops!  But in the end I think I like it better this way.}

I'm transforming a blank slate Sun Room into a "Beachy" Sun Room and I'm loving it!  There are Subway Art projects all over blog land right now.  Here's my take on it...

I love this project because...

1) I'm seriously crushing on burlap these days {just ask my friend Jen about how much we love it!}

2) I love making and treasuring memories... every beach I chose for this project are places that we've been to and loved, and the frame is very special to me too... more on that at the end of this post.

3) Total cost= about $4 for some burlap and paint.  I had everything else around the house already!

{Chincoteague Island, BC... that's Before Children, so circa 2001-2003}

Here's what I did...

I measured the size of my frame onto a piece of cardboard from one of our millions of moving boxes...  totally measured it wrong, but I'll get to that soon.  Oh, and there are my toes too! 

Cut the burlap {based off of my incorrect measurements}
{I ironed it to take out the wrinkles BEFORE taking the water out of the iron and somehow it dripped.  Ever smelled wet burlap and wet cardboard= ugh.  Next time I'll make sure my iron is water-free!}

Brainstormed with the Hubs about all of the beaches we've been to and loved {he had a MUCH better memory about this than I did... I almost gave up on this project before ever starting because I could not remember more than 10 locations... I ended up writing down 24 and not even being able to fit all of them!}

I cut my own stencils from all the fonts I have on my Cricut cartridges using freezer paper.  I cut about 2-3 locations then ironed them on as I went.  I'm a "jump in and do it" crafter so I didn't draw out a sketch of what I wanted it to look like.  I just tried to vary the fonts so no 2 locations touching each other had the same font, and I tried to spread out the beaches so that I mixed beach locations {rather than clumping them together by geography}.

Then I just went for it... a VERY time-consuming project, but I love the end result so it was definitely worth that 2 AM bedtime :)

Once I had them all ironed on nicely, I measured again and realized that I cut my cardboard and burlap about 6 inches too wide and had to figure out which beaches would get cut off {so my sincerest apologizes go to Dana Point, Crown Point, and PB... which I added at the end because I couldn't leave off the location where my husband and I MET for the 1st time!} 

I used clothespins to hold the burlap onto the cardboard for hot gluing, then wrapped the burlap onto the back, about 1-2 inches around and glued it down.  **If I do this again, I would definitely do this step BEFORE ironing on all of those stencils**

Now the fun part... paint that burlap beauty!  I used Jamaican Sea by Folk Art and just one little tiny bottle surprising covered the whole thing... although I was REALLY squeezing it out at the end.

I painted about 3 beach names, then stopped to pull of the freezer paper stencils.  If you paint the whole thing, then pull them off, you'll have paper stuck all over the place {trust me on this} so pull it off as you go. 

Let it dry {oh, my ridiculous impatience kicks in at this step every time... good thing this dried quickly!}, put it in my frame, and hang it... love it. 

 A side note, but a very important one for me... I KNEW I wanted to use this particular frame because it was a wedding gift from my Uncle Larry and Aunt Susan.  My Aunt was a beautiful, sweet woman who passed away from cancer.  We honestly haven't used the frame for a few years and have had multiple garage sales where I almost put it out for sale, and at the last minute held it back every time.  I am SO glad that I did.  It now holds memories of my Aunt Susan, along with memories of many fun beach trips with my own little family.

 It even got compliments before it was hanging on the wall.  And I'm so glad because I am loving it!

I love linking up some of to these fun parties! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Compassion: A little lesson for me from my boys

We're loving it here.  We're staying super busy

organizing areas in our new home...

enjoying ridiculously gorgeous weather...

being silly...

 getting to know really nice neighbors...
making new friends...
{haven't pulled out my camera with them... yet}


checking out new parks {and forgetting to bring my camera}...

{this project is now done and waiting to be hung so I can show you... I loooove it!}

loving their first Padres game...

 and swimming {almost} daily!
{oh, and just in case you see this hideous bumble bee death trap at Wally World... save your 7 bucks.  It's the lamest thing I ever bought... your kid will practically drown while in it, the antennae are in the perfect location for chewing, and that sunshade stayed up for about a milli-second tops.  Back to the store for sure!}

But the other day we saw something sad...
a dead baby lizard in the bottom of the pool.

I was kind of grossed out, 
but the boys had a very different reaction
{before jumping right in and swimming with it before I had the chance to get 
the skimmer to the bottom of the deep end and scoop it out... and then I was REALLY grossed out!}

"Oh, that is SO sad."

"I feel so bad for its Mom and Dad."

"Mommy, will it go to lizard heaven?"

"I just feel SO sad for the little lizard."

I love seeing my boys sweet, loving personalities shine in little moments like this. We had a similar conversation about a dead gopher they saw a few weeks ago.  Did I mention that we're loving that we live in the "country" part of San Diego?  Tonight while night swimming we saw a BAT... eeeeeek!


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