birthday month!

June has just flown right by! I'm not okay with it. Not at all. Summer is like.. my time. I think I thrive in summer- endless snow cones and popsicles, the smell of sunscreen and the occasional sunburn paired with aloe vera, more relaxed schedules, and fresh strawberries sold the size of your head. Pool days, splash pads, and backyard sprinklers. It's the 4 months of the year that reminds me of being back home (where summer lasts...like 10 months a year ;-) 

This June however things seemed to have been too busy! I can't put my finger on what exactly, but we haven't had enough of those lazy days. (I'm coming for ya July...we have big anti-plans). 

Mine and James' birthday are only six days apart! Sandwiched in between Mother's and Father's day- it's a big long month of US. Hah! James turned 31 this year and I turned 28. I have to admit...I actually thought I already was 28. So my birthday was just a formal confirmation of what I already knew to be true. When I was a late teenager and in my early 20s I used to think 28 was so OLD. So established and mature. Like, 28 year-olds had their junk together. 

I feel none of the above, however. I don't FEEL old. I feel like the best is yet to come and I'm just getting to my prime. I suppose that's a good thing. Now I look at people in their 30s the same way--so established...they definitely have their minivan-carpooling-soccer momming-junk together. 

Enough on my philosophies of life! For James' birthday we went with the girls to Tucanos, a Brazilian steakhouse, and then had cheesecake with his cousin and family a few days later. For my birthday we went to dinner and a movie while the girls had a sleepover at Grandma's so we could sleep in Saturday morning! It was glorious. 

The next week I went with some friends to The Cheesecake Factory! A night full of calories and good conversation for sure. 

Cheers to another year! We're off to Florida in just a few days and I CAN'T WAIT!!!!


living room update #2!

Another living room update! I left it kind of half-done and it sat that way for a long time. In my first post about it, I talked about why it wasn't working:

Then I updated it to this: 

And now it looks like this!

I finally got my act together enough to paint our small entertainment center white and thought I'd try out chalk paint! How I haven't experimented yet with that yet is beyond me. It was time.
Enter huge DIY fail.
The first name you typically associate with chalk paint is Annie Sloan- the original chalk paint. Harder to find, and a bit pricier. I thought I'd try out a newer brand that was much, much cheaper- basically a chalk paint powder you add to any color latex paint (BB Frosch). FAIL FAIL FAIL. The paint didn't stick at all, and I ended up selling the whole thing for $25. Lesson learned- you get what you pay for. The beauty of chalk paint is it takes very little prep work- no sanding- and will stick to virtually any surface. But this one sure didn't. 
So not only did I waste money on crappy paint products, now I needed a whole new entertainment center! *eyeroll 

Magically, my neighbor was selling this at a yard sale and the little portion of my brain that looks at things and automatically assesses how I can DIY them started to DING DING DING! Winna' winna' chicken dinna'! 

I bought. For $35. :-D
And I bought the only kind of chalk paint you should ever buy- Annie Sloan. After talking with the sweet lady at the store who had dried paint in her hair and on her hands (I want to be like her when I'm that old), she told me the difference between the cheaper mix-in brands and Annie Sloan is how it's made. It's not simply a chalky additive mixed in with latex paint, it's formulated differently- which is why it works so much better than other brands. 
Trust me. It's worth the money. 

I wiped it all down with a damp rag and got to painting- three coats of old white, and 2 coats of french linen on the back. And look how GORGEOUS!

After the first few strokes I was amazed at the difference between this stuff and the "other" stuff. When it was dry I even took my fingernail to it to see how it would hold up and NOTHING came off. 

I was a bit intimidated by the waxing process, but it really wasn't as scary as I thought it might be. THIS video and THIS video were really helpful to see someone doing it, and THIS blog post has lots of good info generally if you're new to it like I was. 
Don't be scared- take the plunge. I promise you'll never go back. 

I love how this piece just came back to life! 

I'm so in love with how it turned out. 

When this project was underway I was also eyeing new area rugs. I hated the darker rug we had before- it was really chosen out of practically purposes (aka it hides stains well). But I was over that. With my couches being so dark and heavy I needed a lighter rug to balance it out. Which means it's time to implement some stricter eating in the living room rules for my kids. In the name of style. 
I spent HOURS looking at rugs online. I'm not even exaggerating. I wanted a natural fiber rug in a pattern I liked, that was a neutral color and would tie in my couches and floor. No small order.

I finally found THIS one from West Elm and loooove it! It's a jute chenille blend and has the durability of jute but is very soft to walk on. 
I bought a cheap vinyl tablecloth to put down on it when my girls do occasionally watch movies with snacks, because I'm a reasonable person. ;-) And I really can't have a movie night without treats.

All in all I love how these two small changes have really completed the look I want in  my living room! 

As always- on to the next project!