Spring ORC-The Loft No.1

The Spring One Room Challenge has been postponed until May, but I am going to post to the original schedule because I am well underway with the room and I am using this as motivation to finish. The room I chose was our Loft. It is the landing at the top of our stairs on the second floor.

The Loft has been our kids playroom since we moved into the house. In the beginning we didn’t have any storage or furniture. We just threw everything up there because it just was NOT a priority. This room has evolved so many times. I never really had a solid plan. I built some different storage units but they weren’t well thought out for the toys we had and the storage we needed.

This is what it looked like when we bought the house. The day we moved in we ripped this carpet out. People have different standards for pets… we prefer they go to the bathroom OUTSIDE. Thankfully it was just carpet and padding, not the sub floor, but I rolled KILLZ on it anyway.

Later we discovered there was wallpaper and a boarder up, which had been painted over. That was NOT fun to remove. There were a few rooms in the house where they painted over a boarder and then put up thin moulding around it so I had ZERO clue there was actual wallpaper under it! We removed the paper and painted the walls this gray.

I tried to find the earliest pictures. This is right after we moved in, painted and put in new carpet.

Paint is Cathedral Gray by Behr in Satin (babies/toyroom/handprints must be durable)

I spent the first year living here painting the ENTIRE house. It was nice to let Alaire play in this space while I worked. Sometimes it was a disaster but at least it was in one room.

At some point I built these Pottery Barn inspired shelves from anawhite.com. A lot of the play furniture is built from plans on her site. As our kids have gotten older we have added and removed toys and storage. I ended up selling all of the white shelving units, the kitchen set, and food stand. We also upgraded our tv during the decade at some point!

The best thing we did at this point was sell and donate EVERYTHING except what the girls actually love. This is a tricky room because as kids grow their favorites and interests grow, so its not a one and done type clean out. These areas have to be managed annually. It’s just life.

If you feel overwhelmed by toys and trinkets, here is my advice you didn’t ask for: QUIT BUYING IT. Ask friends and family not to either. I know it might seem harsh but people buy too much crap for our kids. My kids don’t need trinkets and toys for everything that has ever happened to them. Items don’t replace memories or relationships. It causes stress on your kids and you! (Unless you are a unicorn and it doesn’t bother you!). Bring less in and you have to clean less out.

Onto the current “BEFORE”

This is what the loft looks like now. Christmas 2018 I bought the white bookshelves and the desks. The girls love to do art, drawing and play school. They wanted to turn part of the loft into a “classroom”. I bought some stuff to do it but then didn’t completely set it up.

Flash forward… now we are in quarantine and doing school from home. I not only have a lot of the supplies on hand to update/refresh/finish this space, but now I have more motivation too!

My goal for this room is to have a clean, light, functional space where my kids can play, work on homework (homeschool temporarily) play games and just have fun. I want a space that is easy on the eyes, yet functional, comfortable, and flexible as well. This room is the view from my bedroom and the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs.

Loft To Do List:

  • clean out all excess books/toys/games/supplies
  • paint room
  • paint connecting stairwell
  • paint baseboards and door trim
  • desk chairs
  • hang bulletin boards and storage above desks
  • replace all plugs and switches
  • trim out windows
  • update window treatments
  • add chalkboard and map
  • add framed marker board
  • ledge for markers/chalk
  • makeover kids table
  • update seating/couch
  • storage for craft/school supplies
  • finish AG Doll House
  • replace fan
  • remove track lighting for can lights
  • add task lighting above desks
  • artwork/plants/decor

It is a “lofty” list… no pun intended but I am hoping for the best. I am going to try to get all of this done in the next 8 weeks. Obviously given current circumstances and access to supplies online, I could run into a few projects not being able to be completed right now. I am just going to do my best to get as many items checked off with what I can get a hold of and what I have on hand.

I will be posting here on the blog everything Thursday for the next 7 weeks with updates and projects completed! Also follow along on instagram @itsannamariepalmer for additional content, stories and photos of the process Wish me luck!

Master Bedroom No. 2

I shared my To Do List on the post “ Master Bedroom No. 1 .” I’m sure you were thinking it was a bit daunting! Don’t worry I already completed a handful of the items on it!

If you don’t remember the current “Before”… it was GREEN… very GREEN!!!!

Drew and I were getting ready to go on a 10 year anniversary trip to Greece the last two weeks of September, so I started this project in August and used the trip as motivation to get the room put back together before we left. (I need time restraints sometimes to get motivated)

Baby mattress was for a child who used to wander in too often at night… I actually highly recommend having one under your bed for said times.

The first project I did was build a custom upholstered bed. I will share a full tutorial for this bed very soon! It was a large project, but very doable, even for a beginner DIY project. You don’t even know how excited I was when it all worked out the way I had planned in my head. I will share a TON of step by step photos and details on the fabric in the tutorial post.

The next and biggest project was painting this room. This took me a hot minute, but the transformation was so good. I LOVE coming into this room now. I wanted a big bold accent wall in a moody blue green and a clean white for the remaining walls.

I decided to paint the main accent wall and the baseboards the same color too. I kept the hanging side lamps because they are so functional and on remote switches. I love that they don’t take up any nightstand surface space too. I still liked the cork shades for a natural element and texture as well.

At this point I decided that I wanted to build out a custom closet and get rid of all of our dressers and other bedroom furniture. I want to use the space to have more seating without feeling crowded. It wasn’t functioning to come into the main bedroom and then back and forth to the closet to get clothes. Our closet is very large and it would be a shame to not bring it to its full potential!!! (ammmiirighhht ladies???)

We priced the furniture to sell and got it out right away. For a temporary solution we bought two plastic drawer sets and put them in our closet. Realistically we each only needed a few drawers to replace the dressers. This is a good way to see what we actually need to function when I make over the closet.

Source List:

Bedding: Duvet- Micro Texture Duvet Cover Set – Project 62™ + Nate Berkus™ Lumbar Pillow- Hearth and Hand with Magnolia @Target

Hanging Lamp: Wooden Bracket- Ikea EKBY VALTER (discontinued) and replaced with Ikea SANDSHULT. Hemma Plug-in Light Fixture Cord Drum Shade- Ikea cork Shade (discontinued). Any Large Drum Shade would work!

Paint: Midnight in the Tropics by Behr in Eggshell. Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore in Eggshell

To Do List for Master Bedroom:

  • Build new upholstered king sized bed
  • Sell bedroom set and move clothes into closet
  • Paint walls
  • Hang new curtains and rods
  • Nightstands
  • Electronics/Charger Solution
  • Replace all plug-ins and switches
  • Replace Baseboards
  • Frame out windows
  • Add a couch or daybed
  • Full Length Mirror between windows
  • Faux Fireplace and/or TV built in
  • Add minimal bookshelves/Update Office area
  • Accent Chairs/End of Bed Bench
  • Artwork/photos/plants/decor

Master Bedroom No. 1

This is the listing photo on my master bedroom. The room is big. That’s the best thing it had going for it. I feel like I could sneeze looking at those curtains. So dirty!!! As with most of the house, I could see the potential. This house is a very open, spacious floor plan, but the previous owners REALLY made us have to look past the decor.

Fun Fact: We made an offer on this house without Drew seeing it in person. Talk about the ultimate trust test!

This picture was taken August 2019, but it has pretty much looked the same since we moved in. (June 2011). I painted the room this green after we moved in, which looks really bright in this picture, but it’s probably more like the window wall in person. NO EXCUSES it’s terrible. I didn’t love the color from the beginning, but its a LARGE undertaking to paint this room and other things just always took precedence. When we bought I was going through an “overwhelmed by going from decorating a little town house or apartment to a large family home” phase. I tried to paint every room something different. Let’s just say, it didn’t need to be done. Live and learn.

Over the years from 2011-2019 I did the following to this room:

  • filled a million nail/ screw holes and painted the walls
  • hung new curtains
  • replaced the ceiling fan
  • put in new carpet
  • hung bedside hanging lamps
  • towel hooks in hallway
This is the wall across from the bed. The door on the left goes out to the loft and the stairs going down to the main floor.
This is the wall to the left of the door going out to the loft. The hallway to the closet and the bathroom is the opening on the left.

Overall, we have not done much in here. It’s such an amazing space and has so much potential. It was killing me that we could possibly leave this home and had never used this or ENJOYED this space. The area by the door always seemed to be an overflow dumping ground for random items, fix it and donation piles. It’s right off of the loft/playroom and the stairs, so that seems to happen.

Last summer I decided when the kids went back to school I was going to make over this room. I felt like we really deserved a place to relax and unwind at the end of the day. I wanted it to be a room we put some effort into because our whole family spends a decent amount of time in here. I have made over kids bedrooms multiple times and I was ready to put in some thought into my own!

This is the hallway off the main bedroom. The door on the left is our closet, the door on the right is the master bathroom.

I knew I wanted to paint, declutter, get rid of all of the main furniture, and get a big high back upholstered bed. I also knew I could build one, so I waited until Drew was on a work trip for a week to attempt it before selling all of our furniture. (He doesn’t LOVE construction zones and I like the element of surprise and a deadline to keep me motivated.)

I feel like there are a million things to do in this room, not even including the closet and bathroom. Here is my main project list:

To Do List for Master Bedroom:

  • Build new upholstered king sized bed
  • Sell bedroom set and move clothes into closet
  • Paint walls
  • Hang new curtains and rods
  • Nightstands
  • Electronics/Charger Solution
  • Replace all plug-ins and switches
  • Replace Baseboards
  • Frame out windows
  • Add a couch or daybed
  • Full Length Mirror between windows
  • Faux Fireplace and/or TV built in
  • Add minimal bookshelves/Update Office area
  • Accent Chairs/End of Bed Bench
  • Artwork/photos/plants/decor

Oh crap, LOL that’s a lot left to do, but I try not to get overwhelmed. Some stuff is 100% going to happen and some are just ideas! It doesn’t all have to happen at once either!

This is basically my “BEFORE” post and I will be sharing what we have done to this room, what it looks like now (obviously with before and after pictures), along with all of the continuing projects as we do them!

Thanks for stopping and comeback for No. 2 update soon!

10 Reasons to NOT take a Girls Trip

(or night out)

I have been a mom for 10 years. A decade. I, like most of you have shed blood, sweat and tears over these precious babies. I love them so damn much. There aren’t words. Little tears pop out when I think about it too much. How lucky I am to be their mom. Sometimes tears pop out if I think about how many days and hours I spend wiping asses, floors, and cabinet doors. Don’t think for a minute I don’t know some day my heart will ache when they quit making these messes and they don’t crawl into my bed to hug me before sun comes up. I already know it will. I miss the little chubby babies they once were and the silly toddlers and soon I’ll mis this age right now. That hurts too, and it’s hard to live in the now and have the 20/20 vision that only comes with looking in the rearview.

I’m in the thick of it. It’s the filling of a donut. First bite is just the dry dough, no pudding, but then you find it. Its heavy and sweet and you think it lasts forever, but it doesn’t and pretty soon you’ve eaten it all and you are back to the dry donut you had at the very beginning.

I’m going to tell you right now. I can’t end up a dry donut butt with no pudding. I can’t only enjoy the middle. I WON’T. I REFUSE. I will love every damn moment of this motherhood…. But I don’t need to be here with my kids 24/7 to be a good mama who loves her kids and neither do you. You were someone before and you will be someone after. You do not have to wait though, YOU CAN BE SOMEONE IN THE MIDDLE YEARS. Is it harder to make happen? YES of course it is, but it’s not impossible.

Last weekend I took one night- 24 hours off from being a mom, a wife, a house manager, a taxi driver and even from my new gig-half assed-housewife (kidding but…). I didn’t go anywhere spectacular or over the top, but trust me when I say I can have a REAL good time anywhere. My friend has a lake house and we usually go for one night in the winter. It’s a few hours away and I love riding in the car, getting ready together, getting midnight snacks at the gas station. It takes me back to being in my early 20’s and I love it! I’ve taken all kinds of girls trips with ALL sorts of people and it doesn’t matter if they are expensive and somewhere warm or just one night out-they are all an escape from the daily grind. We all deserve time away from the regular scheduled programming once in a while.

Do you take time off for yourself and your girlfriends or even a solo trip or night away? Yes? Great! Keep it up because it’s important for your sanity. One of my biggest mom goals is to NOT star in my own Lifetime Movie and this is one of the things I do to try to keep the streak going.

If you are the type of girl who just CAN. NOT. LEAVE. THE. KIDS. well, keep reading because here are my top 10 reasons to seal the deal that you are doing the right thing for yourself.

TOP 10 reasons to SKIP the Girls TRIP/ Nights Off From Your Kids:

  1. Your kids would find out there is more than one way to put them to bed at night.
  2. Your spouse might do all of the things you’ve been thinking you wish he would, but you can’t quit doing all of them because you want them done “right”. What would you have to complain about then?
  3. You don’t want to experience the bear hug from your whole family when they missed you even if it was “just one night”.
  4. Your kids would appreciate you even more after realizing how much you do for them in your absence.
  5. You can’t. You just can’t. It will be social suicide. What would you have to complain about with Gina, your BFF who also never leaves her kids? You would be on the losing side of the battle of who gets less time away from being a mom.
  6. You will DEFINITELY get kicked out of your Facebook group “Martyr Moms” when someone tags you in pictures in a bikini cannon balling into a pool.
  7. You will avoid the euphoria and peace that comes from taking an actual break from regular life.
  8. You would have to start over at day one when you are competing for who hasn’t had a night out in the longest with your spouse.
  9. You are saving your kids from finding out that you have friends besides them and you actually enjoy doing something besides changing diapers, taxi driving kids to practices and vacuuming the floor. They could even find out what’s under your mom bun-Thank god you aren’t going to let your hair down!
  10. You won’t have to make memories, cry laughing over old ones, eat a ton of junk food, maybe drink a few drinks or fountain sodas, burn your tongue on frozen pizzas and dance to your favorite rap songs at a dive bar before crashing in a bed without any short people showing up.

All jokes aside, I hope all of you mamas realize how important you are.

I hope you know that if no one tells you how hard your job is- I see you and I know you are doing your best.

We all are doing our best with what we have and where we are now. I won’t babysit your kids for you-I’m not THAT nice, but I will have you back if that side-eyed mom from school is talking smack about you.

Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Make sure you are taking a break. You can’t do it all and you don’t NEED to do it all. These babies are watching. These little girls are seeing how they should treat themselves by looking at us.

This mom job doesn’t come with paid time off, so you have to MAKE it happen. You won’t regret it, I promise. Unfortunately, no one is going to step in and say “sweetie you are about 3 weeks from having a 2 year old meltdown at the grocery store, it’s time you schedule a break for yourself”.

If you saw my Instagram stories this week, then you know what I’m talking about when I say you might even have fun with a $3 pretend turd from a roadside gas station! Dream big my friends!

Keep reaching for the stars and enjoy the long weekend with your family or friends!

P.S. I know someone will message me and tell me that they don’t want to go out with friends, they don’t want to be away from their family/kids/spouse/hot mess house. Okay that’s great, but you are an outlier. This message isn’t for you. (see big red X in the corner of the browser window.) It’s for the women who feel guilty or have a hard time doing something they WANT to do for themselves!

Friday Favorites No. 4

I don’t know how but it’s Friday again and the last day of January! We have a pretty full weekend over here! My girls and Drew have a Father/Daughter Dance on Saturday, tonight we have pizza night (thank you 6lb 7 oz baby Jesus!) and of course it’t the best day of the year for food and FOOTBALL… the Super Bowl! NFL is lyyyyyyfe for my husband and I love me some football party food so I’m just as excited! I will be making a crazy food spread with my favorite buffalo wings! I’m also going to attempt to make some team sugar cookies for our guests. Maybe half-assed housewife will make a cameo!

And now to what you all came here for… Friday Favorites!

Lover Block Hot Pink Graphic Sweatshirt– Beware this is a HUGE online boutique. They put out new stuff everyday and its beautiful!!!! Check their website and subscribe to their emails. They give out a lot of 20% off discount codes. E-mail me if you can’t find one!

NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee- and NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner in Whipped Caviar-and These two are my favorite combo right now. I am very pale during the winter, but the berry color is perfect. It looks great on warmer skin too. I am wearing it in the picture above too!

Walmart Animal Print Comfiest PJS EVER!– They look like high waters in the picture but they aren’t. The top has a drawstring waist and its cute! They are lightweight but warm. In store you can buy separates. I bought a medium and its roomy. I saw a few other prints but they were picked over for sizing.

Christen Michael Glow Eye Revive– I just went and picked this up today I was dying without it all week. I love Christen and I’ve shared her products before. She’s a friend, her products have a clean list of ingredients, and the smell is just so fresh and amazing. This is corny but its like a drink for under the eyes. Here in the fabulous STL the weather is 70 one day and snowing the next. My skin reacts quickly to it and I need the moisture!!!! Tell Christen you know me for free shipping… JK she ALWAYS has free shipping if you aren’t local!

Well that’s all folks! Thanks for spending your time here and I hope you find something fun for yourself!

Friday Favorites No. 3

Hey Ya’ll I hope you have had a fabulous week. Am I a homeschool mom now? These kids I tell ya! We had school today… I was shocked I’ll be honest. It seems like my kids have not gone a full week since November. Probably because they haven’t. Anyone else dying for a normal routine?!?

If you have been living under a rock, then I will tell you this week I ran the pilot episode of “The Half-Assed Housewife Cooking Show”. Don’t worry, Season One got picked up and it’s a go people!

Here’s some of my favorites this week (and the last few weeks too… its been a while. Click the picture or the captions for the links!).

Kiehl's Since 1851 - Ultra Facial Cream 1.7 oz/ 50 mL

1.Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer– I reviewed this dryer this week and loved it. A handful of people did say it was hard on their hair and caused frizzy hair. Watch the temp and make sure to use some heat protectant or smoothing product. This is on sale right now for $38 (you save $21!!!)

2. Leopard High Waisted Fitness Leggings– These are ridic… and amazing. I thought I might wear them just at home, but that’s lame I wore them to the gym last week and they were fun! I always am motivated by new workout clothes! The price point is great too, especially for fun prints!

3. Filas Sport Ottoman Sweatshirt in Hush Aqua- I shared this shirt yesterday. I loved it! It’s not too thick and not too thin. I don’t love a lot of layers, especially with crew necks. This is the best weight! I used an additional 25% off coupon with the sale price and got it for under $20!

4. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream– Sephora just picked up Kiehl’s brand over the holidays. If you have ever used their stuff you know its not full of junk and works well. Anything I’ve ever bought from them is awesome! This is a great medium weight moisturizer for day or night. I put oils on my face at night and after they soak in, I top it with this!

5. Lace Sleeved Top-$10… YES 10 doll hairs. I sized up after reading reviews. Did I say this is 10 dollars?!?!?! Its great for transitioning Winter to Spring… WHICH IS COMING SOMETIME!

Moving on!

Happy New Year!

I love this time of year! I get really tired the last few days of winter break, I’m sure none of you can relate LOL. My whole family needs rest and relaxing. It’s the best few days we spend together. We have nothing to do, no where to go, no where to be. Did I shower? Did I put on real clothes? Probably not.

2019 was a good year for the Palmers, but also a pretty exhausting one. All good things, but I’m glad it’s over none the less. It was probably the most demanding year for my husband’s job that we have ever had, which has the trickle down effect on myself and the girls. He traveled A LOT. It does, however, make me thankful for our little family, our traditions and the time we have together. We had some great things happen this year too, but I’m ready for the next episode.

I always take the first few weeks of January to re-evaluate our lives, commitments, systems, and the flow of our home. The kids have gone back to school and we have almost recovered from the aftermath of the holidays. (still have to put all of my holiday trees away.) Every single year I get better and better at getting rid of mental, physical and scheduling clutter (aka shit we don’t need, need to be doing or need to be thinking we need to be doing!) I don’t really do resolutions, but I am a planner so I do get intentional about what I’m doing in the next year and how I’m going to make it happen.

I have done a lot of methods to get all of my goals and “to-dos” down on paper. This year I bought the Power Sheets Goal Planner by Cultivate what matters. Its a pretty intense in depth goal planner. I have been working on filling it out the last few weeks. I’m excited to see if it is motivational for me! If anyone has used it in the past I would love to hear your thoughts.

If you know me personally, you know I’ve dabbled in a few businesses, careers, been a full time SAHM (stay at home mom), been a work from home/stay at home mom, part-time volunteer, substitute teacher, student and pretty much everything in-between.

I’m going to go out on a limb here being super vulnerable and not the kind from the bachelor when you get out of the limo and have to come up with some weird stunt. I am really good at a lot of pieces of my life, but this part is something I struggle with. I have SO. DANG. MANY. interests and things I LOVE to do, that I want to learn more about. It’s really hard for me to do one thing. I get excited and I lose focus. Before I had kids and even when I was a teenager I always had multiple jobs. I loved it. I love working and I love changes of pace.

I have, however, been a hair stylist for about 14 years. It has been such a great gig, especially when my kids were little. I could make my own schedule and work super part time. Back story-I moved to the St. Louis area about 10 years ago, 9 months pregnant and didn’t know a soul. I found a moms group and doing hair again just fell into my lap. A handful of the women used the same stylist and she was moving to Brazil of all things. I ended up meeting great friends and clients that I love dearly. I worked at a salon one day a week to keep my license after I had Alaire and then put a salon into my house soon after we bought it in 2011. It was super convenient but after about 8 years I got tired of the house traffic and I became a little neurotic about the hair in my house. It was hard to work when my husband traveled and my kids were home for the summers. They needed me and it became more work than it was worth. I opened a studio salon for a few years in there somewhere and then I ended up renting a space 2 days a week most currently. It’s the best place. The owner is amazing. The studio and the rental were my happy places doing hair.

I love it so much, but over the years I have gone back and forth on whether or not this is what I should be doing. I also developed severe eczema on my hands when I started doing hair. (Not to be rude, but I’ll be blunt, please spare me cures for it. I HAVE DONE EVERYTHING. Western medicine and homeopathic, food sensitivities, outdoor allergies, skin testing, you freaking name it- I have done it. I’ve seen every dermatologist, allergist and witch doctor this side of the Mississippi.) I have had eczema, have my whole life, maybe always will, but hair color BLOWS IT UP! Bad, like REAL BAD. I can maintain it pretty well and I know what triggers it but the chemicals just do it wrong.

Okay I went off on a tangent. The point is, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I really want to be doing (I’ve actually been STRUGGLING with this for years) I think I know what it is that I want to be doing, but I’ve been scared to dive in and go for it. I was reading something once about this subject and the author was describing being scared to fail. I read it to Drew and he assured me I am NOT scared to fail but scared to succeed… HOLY SHIT he’s right I am. So dumb but it has some truth. What is it that I want to do then? It’s not one thing. It’s not a 9-5. It isn’t what everyone else is doing. It might be misunderstood or criticized by people who don’t get it. (okay that made it sounds like its something weird-LOL its not) That’s okay they don’t have to live my life. As annoying and frustrating as my hopping around has been for me at times and probably for my husband, I have really enjoyed the last decade with my babies and the time to work through this career path thing I’ve been doing.

So flash forward…

A few weeks ago, my husband got a new job that he’s been working his butt off to get for years. I am so proud of him. He deserves it. Because we’ve known he would apply for this job, we’ve also been in a little bit of life limbo. We bought a house 8 years ago, but for the last 3-4 years, we have thought we might not permanently live here. There have been possible opportunities I have put on hold and things we haven’t done because “if we move”. I feel like for the last 2 years that’s always in the back of my mind. When he got the job we requested to move to Minneapolis. It got denied. I won’t lie, I was disappointed. I was slightly relieved too. I was torn on which would be better.

Moving back would mean closer to some family and in a city I love, but we are established here in St.Louis and we are happy to be here too. I tell myself I can be happy anywhere. It’s true! Plus my kids might die with the weather. They are 100% STL people.

So what’s the point of telling you all of this? It leads me to what I want to say. I am officially stepping back from the chair. I won’t be doing hair anymore in the salon. I will miss my clients dearly. The good thing is most of them are friends. I will set them up with a wonderful stylist that will take the best care of them!

What am I going to do then you ask? Oh you didn’t ask? LOL Sorry I’m going to tell you anyway. I am going to work full time on my blog. I have a lot of ideas and plans for it and I’m excited to go all in. Yup, another suburban mom with an outlet and an insta account. If you saw my first Outfit of the Day on Instagram stories a few weeks ago, then you understand why I feel confident with moving forward with this decision.(kidding!). Now, if you are done rolling your eyes and exhaling for all to hear…

I’m now going to get cheesy and I’m glad I don’t have to look you in the eyes to say this because I’d start laughing or get embarrassed and run off stage. (I actually did that once on NYE at a piano bar LOL… ask Drew.. he makes fun of me at least once a week for it.) This has been on my heart for A LONG time. My gifts are being sat on. I’m not doing what I’m best at or what gives me life. I have done a lot of work to get here. This didn’t happen overnight. Maybe I wasted a shitload of time and resources, but here I am. Maybe you don’t get it. Maybe you grew up wanting to be one thing and went to school graduated and are doing that career. I’m happy for you! Sometimes I wish I was wired that way… but I’m not. I have tried and failed- a lot. If you made it this far, thank you. For being supportive, curious, nosey, a friend- whatever your reason. I hope that you will follow along with me on whatever it is this is going to be.

2020 is already off to a great start. I have a lot of goals mapped out. Some of them are calling a friend or planning to see people that I’ve been meaning to visit and some are big and exciting like gutting my bathroom. (That’s exciting for me! LOL)

So back to that, do you goal plan or have resolutions? Do you check back in later in the year to see if you’ve done them? I haven’t always, but I have been the last few years and it has worked really well! I’ll have to share some awesome ways to brain dump all of your goals and habits you want to add into your life sometime.

This blog post. This decision. These are two goals I just checked off my list! Thanks for reading/listening/being my therapist. Send me your address I owe you $150 check.

Keep reaching for the stars!

Friday Favorites No. 2

I hope you all had a great week! I’ve been doing a mini makeover on my kids bathroom this week and it’s almost done. I hurt myself in the process so the last few things are taking me a little longer than normal. Here are some of my favorite things this week I wanted to share with you. The links are clickable through the pictures!

1.Girls Jumper- I just bought this for Stella for our family pictures this weekend (if it doesn’t rain!) So cute. I ordered Stella the biggest size 5/6 and as reviews said, the waist is snug. She’s very lean so it works but if there was a bigger size I would have gone up! Here is the shirt she’s wearing underneath.

2. LuluLemon Align DUPES- These aren’t Lulus BUT they are the under $25 version. They are relatively lightweight, sleek but not super shiny, naked feeling fitness tights/leggings. They also have the seamless waistband. I bought them in black to test them out but I will be buying fun colors because I can justify fun prints with this price tag. If you want a great review of other dupes check out this review on LaurenGleisberg.com. Obviously get these on ASAP for your after Thanksgiving dinner/ shopping pants!!!!

3. Packing Cubes- I am sure you have seen these before, but I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome they are. If you are traveling for the holidays, if you share suitcases between spouses or kids, then you NEED THEM. They save your life and possibly your marriage. It’s amazing how well you can pack and how much you can fit without shifting or having to dig. I need to write a whole post on these, that’s how much I love them. Everyone in my family has a set and right now there is an amazon coupon for $6 off.

4. Good Cook Meal Prep Containers- I found these in Target stores and on amazon which is linked in the picture. These are awesome for kids and adults. I often pack a hot thermos for my kids lunch and these are low profile and you can pack 2 -half cup potions for sides. They are also great if you are running low on snacks and want to send a little of two without multiple containers! They are as pretty as they are functional!

5. tre’ Stique Matte Lip Color and Shiny Balm in Florece Fig- I received this in a sample box, and I can’t remember which one but I LOVE IT. I have it in my purse because color is great for everyday and it looks smooth even when your lips are dry this time of year. The magnetic closing lid is awesome too!

Friday Favorites

Here are a few of my favorite things this week. Click through the pictures to get the link.

  1. Two peas & Their Pod Cookbook- So good! Like SO GOOD. If you are questioning my judgement check out her instagram. I’ve made so many recipes already and have LOVED every. single. one.
  2. Christen Michel Strawberry Crush Exfoliating Cleanser- If your skin is taking a hit from the weather changes this is going to be your bff. Also, try it on your lips. Christen made her dream into a reality with her own skin care line and I’m lucky to call her a friend. (She is local to STL if you are too, and need an esthetician!)
  3. Leopard Print Apple Watch band- I bought a 3 pack for under $15 dollars and love the quality and fun prints! This one is my favorite and is basically a neutral!
  4. Starbucks Winter Blend @ Costco- So good and its on sale $6 off right now!
  5. Make up Eraser Glove- I love these cloths an just found mini ones on sale at target, but I ran across this glove and I think its perfect for eye make up removal. Just add water. I cannot use make up remover on my eyes. EVERYTHING burns but these are SO soft and gentle!

Have a great weekend!

Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa Review

This post was sponsored by Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa. All opinions are my own unbiased review.

This is Luna Rose Cupcake Palmer. She is our family’s goldendoodle. We adopted her almost two years ago. (My then three year old helped with the name LOL!)

Luna Rose Cupcake Palmer heading to play camp.

We have two daughters, who really haven’t been around big dogs in their life. We had Belle, an 8 pound poodle mix previously. She really left the kids alone. She wasn’t into playing and she was older when the girls were born. Luna, however, is a different story. She is a very big and happy dog. She LOVES to play and requires a lot of attention right now.

When Luna was about 10 weeks old, we started looking into training programs. We wanted the girls to learn to train her and for Luna to see them as her leaders. I looked into a lot of different local places and options but ended up choosing Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa in O’Fallon, Missouri. They offer day training, board and train, boarding, full service grooming and even play camp during the weekdays.

We fell in love with the facility and the staff. They were so helpful and listened to all of our concerns and questions. We met with Miranda, the trainer, for a consultation and decided to start right away. We ended up choosing the two week day training to do basic obedience training. We dropped her off at 7:30 every morning and picked her by 6:30 every night. We decided to not do overnight training because she had just come to our house and she slept in her crate without any crying or barking from night one. I DID NOT want to mess that up! She was so exhausted and she LOVED going back every day. After a few days Luna could already heel on a leash and walk really well. We were so happy with the obedience training.

Moving to current times. Luna was about 10 pounds when she did her obedience training. She is now 60 pounds. The behaviors at a few months old are a lot different than at almost two years old.

The number one thing I knew going into this ,and that I still have to remind myself of, is that when she is acting out or driving me crazy, I have to look at what we are doing or NOT doing. The key to keeping the training is to practice it. CONSISTENCY!

After speaking with the owner of Yuppy Puppy, Jessica, she suggested Luna come back for a training refresher. Luna is now in her “teenage rebellion” stage and we were starting to not enjoy her the way we wanted to.

We didn’t want to feel annoyed and on defense with her all of the time. She was stealing hand towels and shoes to get attention. Not destroying them, but just taking and running to get us to chase her. She also would try to take giant hair bows out of my little Stella’s hair. That was a BIG NO! We also wanted to work with her when guests come over. She would get super excited, but didn’t know how to handle it. She was overwhelming to people coming in the door.

We met with the trainer Oscar, who Luna sees when she goes to play camp. (I need to write a review on that sometime, because it is also an amazing option!) She knows him by name and gets very excited when she sees him. He was very enthusiastic and confident that he could help her with the new and current issues and build upon what Miranda already had taught Luna. We decided to do a two week refresher day training again.

Once again Luna loved every single day and we noticed right away that she was listening and more engaged. Every night we got a communication folder upon picking her up. Oscar wrote down what they did and any notes he had for us. We wrote anything that happened at home good or bad for feedback. I loved this because I got to write what was working and what still needed work throughout the process. We even ended up brining in a bag of “triggers” from home. We took a pair of shoes, a unicorn headband, a JoJo bow, and a kitchen towel. I thought that was key for us because there are a lot more items at home that she reacts to.

At the end of the the two weeks we had an hour private lesson. He went over all of the things he taught her. He gave us SO many tips and tricks as to how to get Luna to do what we wanted based on her personality and situation. Any and every question we had was answered. We also decided that in the future we would like to do a few private lessons at home to work on transitions especially with guests. Oscar explained to us that Luna has a hard time not getting overly excited during transitions, especially new people coming over. This made sense. He really educated us on how Luna sees things. Sometimes the things that we viewed as her not being obedient were her getting anxious. She wasn’t trying to be rebellious.

At Yuppy Puppy, they are willing to use whatever works for each specific dog. Some dogs respond to food and praise and some don’t. For Luna we used an e-collar. I was very hesitant in the beginning, but after seeing how they use it I felt more comfortable. The collar goes from 1-100. Oscar was using it on a level 2 and Luna was responding so well. With consistent practice, we barely need to use it.

Luna on the “climb” graduating from training.

One of my favorite things that they learn in all of the training is the use of the climb. I purchased one right away! It can be a rug or an actual dog climb like ours. The dog is trained to stay on the climb when they are given the command until the command “free” is given. They can do whatever they want while on the climb. It is a safe, calm place for them. It’s a great place for them to calm down or for redirection. They can stand, sit, lay down, even sleep if they want. We are working with Luna on getting on the climb when we eat dinner and when someone comes to the door. Slowly, over time, you can have them stay on the climb for longer increments of time.

Luna LOVES the attention that her training and practice gets her. When her behavior slips, our family tries to do about 2-5 minutes each of practicing her tricks and training. It is a GAME CHANGER. It doesn’t take much effort or time to get her back to listening and feeling more relaxed.

It is easy to think that every dog should fit into this same little box and the reality is that they are just like us. They all have their own quirks, personalities and issues. Yuppy Puppy Training with Miranda and Oscar was such a great experience. We are enjoying having a dog again. Luna definitely still has things to work on, but we feel confident knowing that we have a resource to help us and the skills to help her. We are so grateful to have found this place that has become a second home for Luna.