Friday, August 17, 2018

Summer lemonade stand & we survived the first week of school!

With the craziness of back to school, I haven't had a chance to write about our first lemonade stand! Mariam and Layla had been asking me all summer and I kept pushing it back until I realized summer vacation was about to be over. We did it the Saturday before school started and they killed it. Sold out of everything! It wasn't just fresh squeezed lemonade, homemade chocolate chip cookies were also sold.

We were out there for a few hours and the weather seemed questionable at times, and Ava made me carry her a lot, but it was worth it. At night when I peeled off my shirt to shower and my arms were sore and I realized how physically tired I was, I thought about how we as mother's sacrifice so much for their children. It was me who squeezed all the lemons and baked all the cookies, but all the glory went to them and it was 100% worth it. The pride they had when they sold everything and the excitement of reaching their goal was a great feeling for me. With their earnings they bought something quite special that they are soooo excited about and have been wanting for awhile. I'll be sharing what it is soon!

How cute are these treat bags from Target!

We had a cooler with ice under the table and more cookies that we would refill. So fun!

Onto school this week. It was a great first week! I'm so relieved Mariam who started kindergarten didn't give me a hard time at all! 

2nd grade

10th grade


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Thoughts on mothering

The girls and H are coming back from Texas tonight. Spending the past 5 days with just Ava here was really good for me. Sure I had to be her all day entertainer but there was a lot of down time to just breathe, to be, to reflect on mothering. Parenting 4 children is harder than I ever imagined! I don't always know what I'm doing, but I try my best and I work myself to the ground for them. Case in point, that sometimes is the problem and I have to remember to not drown in my own storm.

The initial reason I decided to stay back with Ava because I know the progress she had made with sleep could regress. All of my friends tell me that when they've gone on vacation with their toddlers and come back, they've needed to re-sleep train them a bit again. The second reason I stayed back even though I did want to see all the family is because I needed to be a little bit selfish....if it's even considered selfish. I needed to take care of me and I needed this break. I do think I have a healthy balance of getting out with H, or my friends and the junior league and I have a community of wonderful neighbors, and my identity isn't just wrapped up into being a mom, because I'm also a creative and an entrepreneur, but still. I was getting pretty burnt-out. It is some consolation that it's summer and most stay at home moms are literally losing their minds. Ha! 

The issue these days has been that I've been doing and doing...and doing, going through all the motions of what a good mother is supposed to do, but my attitude towards it--my mood, left much to be desired. I was plain tired and overworked. I was getting easily irritated, impatient and short with the girls, and it wasn't good. I even felt bad because I remember there was a time when this was all I ever wanted in life. "God, if I could just be H's wife and have children." How could I be so frustrated when this was all I ever wanted? My neighbor and I were recently talking about happiness in life and she made an interesting point when she mentioned that life isn't always going to bring happiness. It can, but in the ordinary days, it's up to you to create your own happiness.

Contrary to what some people might think, I don't always have it together all the time--nobody does. Life can be hard, messy, disappointing, and stressful. This goes for everyone, and if you're a mother, it's even harder because you not only have to worry about yourself, that worry is doubled, quadrupled, or more. Children don't come with a handbook and I'm a work in progress. I may have 4 children, but I'm no expert because every personality is different! I've gone through the same milestones with my girls, yes I have some experience with children, but my girls are all different! Their moods are different, their way of thinking is different than the other. What I think I may have figured out for one may not necessarily work for the other. The important thing is that I try my best and it's always good to vent to a few caring friends or family. I'm so thankful I also have my faith to see me through and I'm never alone. I truly am blessed with my 4 girls and a loving husband. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Hello August!


At this point it's been like almost a month since I've blogged. Every week I have all these intentions to jot down some thoughts, and every week it doesn't happen. I remember at the end of the school year right before summer started I was like, "I'm going to have so much more time to dedicate to my business, and to also find time to relax a bit, blog more." Errr yeahhhh.....that hasn't quite happened. If anything I've had less time to dedicate to my business. I've pretty much just been able to fit in the bare minimum, but it is what it is. I'm still happy with the way things are and I trust in God's timing. Right now my kids need me most, and we've been busy most of the summer working on our sunroom renovation which turned out to be a much bigger project than anticipated. 

My nephew and my brother were also here in July, Serena's been busy with her volunteering and I've had a few Junior League commitments. I've been trying to keep the girl's busy with fun activities outside the house and also trying to stay sane while in the house if you know what I mean. I've pretty much reached that "end of the summer" breaking point where I need some of these kids to get back to school. Haha! With that being said Hank and the girls (minus Ava) just left to Texas this morning. It's just going to be me and miss Ava for the next 5 days! A rambunctious 2 year old can be tough sometimes, but I'm so excited about relaxing more, having the house stay neat, and not cook for 6 people! Also looking forward to getting some quality one on one time with Ava.

Sunroom Renovation

Here is the most current picture as of yesterday and a few from before. So before we started this project the whole point of it was just to change the floor because we had leftover flooring in the attic, and scrape the popcorn off the ceiling because of an old leak. Two things. That was supposed to be it! It turned into sooooo much more than that, and I will explain everything in a separate post because it's a long laundry list of things that had to be done and still need to be done. 

I've been sharing a lot of updates on my instagram stories @itsapinklifefj if this is your sort of thing. H and I are very much DIY people so it's been fun, but also a little frustrating at times. We found a handyman who has been doing the custom millwork to fit the doors and sidelights in. Who would of thought it would be so complicated and it's getting a little expensive, but it looks like we only need him to come twice more some time next week, though there is still a lot to be done. He'll help Hank with some finishing touches on the doors and rewire the electricity so we can put a nice light in. 

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Blue & white living room with a touch of gold

I've been trying to blog for the past two weeks but summer. What can I say? My nephew flew in from Houston last week and I've been keeping the kids busy. We're also in the midst of renovating the Florida room. I was able to steal some time right now and I've been meaning to share our completed living room. It's finally complete!

I'm not sure if I mentioned it in the past  but when I first was thinking of how to decorate the living room, I didn't really have a plan. I knew I wanted this particular type of TV credenza so that was the first thing I found and I just built on that and the paint color I chose for it. The experts say that's a good starting point. Find a statement piece for the room and just go from there. The credenza I found used and ugly on Craigslist. Here is how it looked when I bought it. I believe it was around $200. It's solid wood.

Here are some before pictures. Our house was built in 1979 and when we bought it two years ago, let's just say it needed lot's of love. Everything seemed to be original in the house except a few things like the showers and toilets. Thank goodness the previous owners splurged on luxurious showers! Oh they also put in hurricane impact windows and sliding doors. Love that!

It was very much a family affair. When we bought the house we only had 9 days to get it move in ready. H is in banking but he's also super handy and talented. He can figure out how to do anything. Between him and my brother they were able to get the house ready in time. Serena and I also did our part and one of her friends helped a bit. I have a lot more before pics too of the rest of the house that I'll be sharing once I get to the corresponding post. 

Even baby Ava helped...

and the girls were troopers with all the Home Depot trips

I did my best to source everything here below, though a lot of the decor was from HomeGoods which doesn't have their products online. HomeGoods is life!

Coffee table: {Joss & Main}
Decor on coffee table: See my previous post here
Loveseat: {City Furniture}
French gold & crystal 6 light chandelier: I first found this light on Joss & Main, but it's sold at different sites like Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon. You can do a reverse image of a product and it can show you the site that has it cheapest. I believe we bought it from Amazon. Overstock}
Art on walls: Slava Brodinsky custom framed at Hobby Lobby
Rug: HomeGoods
Faux fur blanket: HomeGoods
Weave basket: HomeGoods
Gold vase and faux flowers on TV credenza: Hobby Lobby
Blue and white pillows on large sofa: {Burlington}
White crochet pillows on loveseat: {Bed bath & beyond}
Paint color in living room: Glidden whitecliff beige
TV credenza paint color: Glidden Sea spray

For the most part I think everything is done in here though I have been on the hunt for a small end table to either fit between the sofas or at the corner of the living room by the family picture. You don't have to spend a ton to get your house the way you want it. My best advice for doing things on a budget is patience. Don't buy on impulse. I went to several different stores looking for what I had in mind and often times I'd walk out with nothing and just go back weeks later, or continue scouring the internet. My first place online for wood pieces is always Offer up. I am a decent painter now, but it took practice and mistakes.

Have a great Monday! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The modern and chic coffee table you never knew you needed

The kids actually went to sleep pretty fast tonight thank God! Let me tell you, bedtimes have been a bit stressful for me...who am I kidding? Very stressful these days, because Ava only wants me to put her down. She's very much going through a "mommy only" phase. So at bedtime just when I think one or two, or all three are ready to drift off into dreamland, they need yet another sip of water, or they decided they need a stuffed animal to sleep with, or they do in fact need to use the bathroom. Arghhh!!! Sometimes it takes forever for them to get settled and then I've had it. I console myself with the fact that one day bedtime will get easier, and then chocolate. Hey, but on the Ava sleeping front, she had 4 good nights in a row this week. That's great progress! 

I've gone off on a tangent here about bedtime when we're supposed to be talking about coffee tables. I've actually been on the hunt for awhile even before we bought our new sofas. I knew I wanted one with a white table top, or all white, so it wouldn't of mattered what sofa's I bought, it was going to match. Usually my first stop is Offer Up. I am very much a bargain shopper. If I can buy it used and refurbish it myself, that's the route I'll go first. I didn't see anything that I really liked so I moved to looking at new one's online. I ended up falling in love with one from Joss & Main and it's the perfect size for our living room! The white table top and gold legs are super chic and fit my color palette perfectly. 

Gold & White coffee table: {Joss & Main}
White tray: Similar {Here}
Teal glass votive candle holder: {Target}
White faux flowers: HomeGoods
Gold peacock box: {Target}

I love how the neutral setting allows me to easily interchange items when I get the urge. Also, all the Opalhouse decor from Target was all marked down on clearance when I bought it, but showing regular price online. The tray was actually only $5.

Here are a few other gorgeous coffee tables that I considered, though if you have small children and are paranoid like me, you may not want anything that's glass or has corners. 

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Little frozen treats for my sweets...

Happy Monday all. We had a low key weekend. I actually relaxed this weekend and watched a lot of soccer. Have you been watching the World Cup? Gosh it really makes me miss playing soccer. The last time I played on a team was when I was 28. I actually quit because we were trying to conceive again and I didn't want to do anything that was too strenuous. Here we are years later with 4 girls. Crazy how life works.

It's been so hot already that we couldn't pass up buying some freezer ice pop molds recently. My girl's have a sweet tooth just like me so I try to find healthy alternatives. We're a big fan of making homemade limeade so we made some the other day and froze it in molds for popsicles. I'm not a fan of store bought popsicles for them.

Here's what you need to make limeade:

7-8 limes
About half a cup of sugar

Cut your limes in half

Squeeze them in your pitcher

Once you've squeezed your limes, then add water to fill and finally sugar. 

Just pour in the molds, top, and freeze for a few hours. Enjoy the leftover limeade with dinner. 

Freezer Ice pops: {Walmart}

When I bought these, they were only 96 cents, but they are now advertised for $5.98. My one complaint would be that they are a little hard to pull out once frozen, but I saw on one review that you can run them under warm water before you pull them out. 

Here a a few other yummy recipes for freezer ice pops:

Blueberry yogurt ice pops:
Strawberry yogurt ice pops:
Strawberry cheescake yogurt pops:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

DIY open picture frame display with crystals!

I realize I haven't blogged in about 2 weeks. I thought things were going to get a lot calmer now that the kids are out of school and I had grand plans to write at least 3 times a week again, but life! What can I tell you? It happens when we are busy making plans. I've really just been busy with the kids and Serena has a pretty busy schedule this summer as well, so driving to and from here and there is still several times a week. It is what it is though and while I'm still going to bed exhausted and waking up exhausted, I feel pretty content and happy these days. I've been tackling a lot of house projects and the creativity of it feeds my soul.

For a couple months now, Serena has been telling me that she wants to display several pictures on her main wall. If it was up to her she would have just rolled up a piece of tape, stuck it on the back and haphazardly placed them on the wall. I told her I could do her one better and suggested we make some sort of frame and keep it nice and neat. In my mind I envisioned an ornate decorative white frame, with crystal beaded string and the little clothes pins. I'd say in the end she met me halfway. 

I was watching Offer up for a while for a huge cheap picture frame, but when I would look I couldn't find anything under $30. Last week we went to Walmart and she ended up choosing a plain black frame for $18. Not too bad I suppose but after I started painting the frame, it dawned on me that I should have looked at Goodwill. Ah you live and you learn though.

Alright so here's what you're going to need for this project:

* Frame of your choice
* String of your choice. Don't get sewing thread. Use skinny twine, leather cord or nylon thread.
* Push pins
* Clothespins of your choice. You can find several different types in Michael's
* Drilled crystals or any other embellishments

First you want to take out the glass or plastic in frame so it's completely open and then paint it if you're changing the color. 

Another tip for you is if you are going to paint the frame, wood would be best. This is plastic and it was a bit of a pain. Wood is much easier to paint.

Walla! One white frame ready.

So the next thing you want to do is lay the frame down so the front part is on the floor, and with a pencil mark where you want each cord to go. In our case we just used a 4x6 picture to measure one bottom from the next. Next, grab a push pin and tie several knots on the pin part.

Push the pin with the string down into the frame. On the other side pull it taut and repeat on the other side. Do that for each row. We did 3 rows. 

One thing though, if you are using drilled crystals or gems, be sure to thread them on first before you push the pin in on the other side. 


When I was trying to get the inner part of the frame off, I accidentally knocked off the hook for the nail to go on and secure in the wall, so I used command strips instead. I hope this tutorial was helpful! Have a great Wednesday.