One Sassy Mama
thisoldhouse:

A grand Riverside, California, Queen Anne masterpiece, loaded with details, is available for FREE!

Dream House… I don’t want to live in California…but for THIS house I would reconsider. Note to self: talk to husband about jobs in Riverside.
New bumGenius diaper for Mr. E.

Give Us Your Opinion on Our Master Bath Remodel

Isn’t there something we all just LOVE about being asked our opinion? It gives weight to our ideas that we want to share with others. And when it is a solicited idea - even better!

So, we are gearing up to remodel our master bathroom in our 1950’s style ranch house. Being from the 50’s, the rooms are smaller and this extends to the Master bath too. Technically, it’s only a 3/4 bath: sink, toilet and shower stall. It’s very small & space is definitely an issue. I’ve been in powder rooms that were bigger. Before anyone suggests that we start knocking down walls - that’s not going to happen. We’re on a budget here and we’re determined to not to put any of this on the credit card or a HELOC. We’re (and by “we” I really mean, me) putting together a Pinterest board of ideas and products we like), have an Excel spreadsheet going to track costs, where to buy stuff, materials/tools needed.

So, here is where you come in. Currently we have a small cabinet base, topped with a sink. Question is: do we get a brand new cabinet bast & sink OR do we get a pedestal sink to ‘open’ it up?

Here is what Option A might look like:

And if the image is not displaying for some reason, you can head over to The Inspired Room to check it out.  This is very close to our current layout. Whatever vanity/cabinet we went with would be no wider than 24 inches. The obvious advantage would be storage space. We would also add recessed medicine cabinet, a cabinet that mounts on the wall above the toilet. Right now, the majority of my makeup & other toiletries are in the bath my kids use. I’d like to have everything in one place. If we went with this type, it would not necessarily need to be as bulky & squat as the one in this picture. It could be something along these lines too.

Foremost Hanley 22 in. Vanity and Vitreous China Sink in Charcoal Grey with Porcelain Vanity Top in White-HAGOS2417 at The Home Depot I never thought I'd say this...but I actually *like* the look of this one. I dislike the single hole faucet though - but might be willing to live with it. The color is lovely - charcoal gray to break up all the white.

Option B

If you were to reverse the location of the toilet & sink, this is pretty much how I pictured it in my head, right down to the tile & beadboard wainscotting. I love the clean classic lines of this pedestal sink. Clearly though the major downside is lack of storage space.

Overall, I realize these are easy, first world problems to have. But, we’ve lived with a lot of drawbacks (no outlets!) & I’m so excited to get started. I want a space that is lovely and functional. Plus, it needs to be attractive to potential buyers when we put it on the market, someday.

So now is your chance to weigh in! I’ll post the results of my informal polling in a week or two.

The List.I blogged a while back about one of my New Year “aspirations” was to finish at lot of niggling little projects in my life. So, I went about making a list of things. Some of these things are self explanatory. Others, I’d have to explain to give you the context. And I will, once I get to that particular one that merits an explanation. 
I look at this sometimes and feel hopeful. And other times, I look at it and think “what the hell were you thinking?”    But…I think it is important to try. You’ll notice that the one at the top of my list is “paint office”.  This has taken an unfortunate life of its own. The office space in our home has been the the bane of my home improvement projects from practically the day we moved in this house. It’s a long story. And once I get ready for the BIG REVEAL (someday!) all will be explained.  
But for now, I have to remind myself of something Sherry and John over at Young House Love believe. They write from their Introduction in their book the following: “This is just a little note about momentum, expectations, and self-defeating thoughts….We know it can be more than a little disheartening if you house-to-home journey isn’t moving as rapidly as you’d hoped.”  They go on to say that it look a very long time for their home to be transformed and that they had to keep plugging away at it, even going back and fixing stuff when it didn’t turn out the first time.
I am clinging to that idea and reminding myself of it. I have a plan now…and I am going to finish this office. If for no other reason, than I’m tired of all my craft goodies being packed away still. And our board games.

XO,

Darcy
I think life with the Tiny Humans is a lot like life in a psych ward somewhere in the former Soviet bloc - an experiment in sleep deprivation. This is me today after a sleepless night due to Mr.E’s awful 2 year molars. Hat tip to my friend  Joanna for sending this to me via Pinterest.
thisoldhouse:

Known among its Salem, Oregon, neighbors as the Tulip Cottage

  I don’t know that I want to live in Oregon, but I just adore this sweet cottage!
I feel much better now. Especially the “Psychologist” part. Like, deciphering why child is crying and screaming for apparently no reason. Although I’m surprised by how few “CEO” hours.  I also do WAY more freaking laundry every week.  If you go to salary.com’s site here, you can also see what a Working Mom is worth (add in her outside job salary too, of course). And if you really want to geek out you can calculate your individual salary here.

5 Children’s Picture Books I Am Crushing On, Part 1

OK, I get it: “crushing on” is bad grammar. Now that I’ve acknowledged that for you can we move on, please?

I have always loved children’s books. Even way before I had kids or was even married, I collected kids books. I could list A LOT more here, but for the sake of everyone, I’m keeping it to 5 for this posting.  Then hopefully, I can follow up with 5 more, for a total of 10. Some are brand new - and some have been around for awhile. They just all happen to be ones I love.  Remember that scene from “You’ve got Mail” where Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) is explaining to Joe Fox (played by Tom Hanks) how the books you read as a child become a part of you, a part of your identity - in a way that no other literature at other points in your life do? Well, yes. Exactly. That is precisely what makes children’s books so wonderful.

Yes, these are numbered…but I’m not listing them in a particular order of preference. I love them all.

1. Library Lion   Written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.

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This was a New York Times bestseller when it came out in 2006 and for good reason. The story follows a Lion, who decides to make himself at home in the dusty stacks of public library. He’s allowed to stay - but only if he can follow The Rules. It’s a wonderful tale of loyalty, friendship and when breaking a rule might, just might be justified.

2. The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash   Written by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by (the great) Steven Kellogg.

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I have loved this book for years…bordering on decades. I remember it from when *I* was a kid. It was one of those I bought when I was working for Borders because I loved it so much, I had to have it in my collection. I can spot a Steven Kellogg illustration a mile away too.  I love the wild, madcap tale of a girl’s school field trip to a farm.

3. I’ll Be There   Written by Ann Stott and illustrated by Matt Phelan

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Some books that cover the bond between a Mom and her Young Son, border on creepily obsessive (Love You Forever comes to mind). But this story is just lovely and perfect. It recognizes the bond and tender love…but also acknowledges the growing up part and the independence in moving away from Mama…in those small steps. Best if read with a couple of Kleenexes.

4. Tea Party Rules  Written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by K.G. Campbell

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As most of ya’ll know, I am the Mom of two boys. But I still try to get books that are fun and a teensy bit girly. Mainly, this is just for my benefit…but every once in a while…one jumps out that the Little Man likes too. Cub just wants cookies…and is willing to put up with a good deal to get said cookies. It’s hilarious.

5. Dream Animals (A Bedtime Journey)  Written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin.

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I love, love, love this book! I originally checked it out of the local library as an eBook on my Kindle. (As an aside, why the heck do they not have the hardcover copy? The eBook is just pitiful when it comes to lavish illustrations such as these.)  Well, at Alamosa Books (yay for local bookstores!) I picked up the physical copy. It is simply gorgeous. I love the whimsy of the these charming and sweet illustrations. If we decide to have a 3rd kid…I’m buying an extra copy, taking the book apart and framing the pages. Yes, they are that awesome.

Finishing the Unfinished

Did you know that according to Parade Magazine, that New Year’s resolutions only have an 8% success rate? I think that is crazy. And sad.

I’ve only done one New Year’s resolution and it was so long ago, I don’t even recall what it was.

So, I am not calling this idea of mine a resolution. Rather…it’s a project. To undertake wrapping up most of my unfinished projects. From crafts, to home improvement, to online courses. Things that I bought the supplies for, that have since been gathering dust. Things I got started and then lost steam on and gave up. Tasks that fell by the wayside, because I got sidetracked. Things I said I would master and then gave up because it got too hard and I was too discouraged.

I don’t have answers as to why I do this: not finish stuff I mean. And I fervently hope this does not become yet another unfinished task. But I don’t like this about myself - the giving up too easy part. I think  I have a lot of lovely qualities, but this is not one of them.

So, I want to make 2014 the year Completing the Unfinished…and just see where it takes me.

Finished Christmas Mantle.