Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Projects!

So since I haven't posted much like at all this summer I thought I would send out a little post to catch you up on what I have been up to this summer. 

Aside from running my girls back and forth between playdates, fun day time activities, cheer/dance/tumble/camp/etc. I had a little time to work on some fun creative non house-y projects...take a look!

I saved myself BIG BUCKS when we went to the beach this summer by bringing our own beach toys from home...I was able to make both of my girls their very own beach bucket full of everything you would want at the beach to make an awesome sand castle...all for about 1/8 the price that these same items were being sold at the beach side stands and shops down in Padre. Just a little prep work and a quick trip to the dollar store gave them more than they could have asked for and gave me hours of peace and relaxation while we were at the beach. 

This was also our first long road trip with a was about 12 hours of driving each way (we stopped half way in San Antonio each time making four 5-6 hour long road trips) To keep the girls entertained along the way and in the hotel I got cutesy'd up some dollar store totes with some trim and fabric paint that I had on hand. Coloring books, etch-a-sketchs, books, small toys, glow sticks, and stickers filled up the bag and they were perfect to have the girls pull out when they didn't feel like sleeping or watching a movie, would you believe me when I say we drove almost 24 hours and we didn't have a single meltdown from either of my kids the entire way?!

One of the (many) volunteer activities I participate in is the elementary school's PTA. This is my first year on the Executive Board as the is a glimpse at my PTA binder...I have TONS of little tips and tricks for PTA volunteers, Room Moms and teachers Helpers that I have picked up over the last 4 years...I can't wait to share them with you!

One of my "jobs" this year as the PTA Historian is to keep up with the schools Calendar and Digital Scrapbook...two jobs that are right up my alley! Our school recently got a facelift and we changed our calendar display...I am in the process of turning this blank board in to the Curtsinger Command Center. I am really excited to have a blank canvas to work with! 

Speaking of Command Centers...I am working on mine this week...look for a VERY detailed post on my new wall calendar and command center set up coming later this week!

I feel like my whole world revolves around Calendars...and sometimes I'm ok with that! Here is a little peak at my new school year MOMager book...its incredible. and I love it and I can't wait to share it with you! I have big HUGE awesome plans on MOMager based things coming in September and I just know y'all are going to love it (Here's a little includes a bunch of freebie downloads and some super in depth posts about MOMaging!)

I know I said I worked on NON house based projects this summer but I just can't go a week without making some kind of tweak to my humble a bowed...this was in the middle of a big tweak that I am still finishing up...Sometimes you gotta make a mess to make some progress!

And lastly...I turned myself in to a project! I have turned myself in to a bit of gym rat this summer as I prepare to run my very first ever 5k this upcoming October...I've lost about 6lbs this summer....making it a total of 26lbs that I have lost in the last 18 months :) What's my secret? I bust my hiney at the gym 4-6 days a week...there is no such thing as a short cut, you get out what you put in! I also got a new more blonde for me, Its back to my regular shade of cherry brown :)

As I sit here enjoying my coffee on the last Monday of Summer Vacation its nice to look back and see some of the projects both big and small that I have accomplished in the last 13 weeks. All things considered, it was a great first summer at Oxford Place and I wouldn't have wanted to spend it anywhere else but here. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prissy Girl Pink: A Room Fit for my Diva Girl!

We have done lots of little projects over the summer over here at Oxford Place, but this was the one I was most excited about :) 

Decorating my Mini Me's bedroom has always been my favorite room to do anytime we move...she started with a pink and green princess nursery...then a sweet french themed toddlers room....

her preschool room had pretty pink and purple stripes and a Ballerina theme...

when Kindergarten came around she was all about being a Rock Star...her room even had a real pink drum Set :) 

First grade she was way in to Skulls and Paul Frank Monkeys so we did a girly Skurvy room complete with a full chalkboard wall

Needless to say, shes been one lucky kiddo when it came to cool room styles.

But once we moved to Oxford Place I told her that the room she has going to be the room she keeps until she is out of elementary school, so she needs to pick wisely and not just go for something she loves now. 

So after some deliberation, she told me she wants something "Diva..and sparkly....and pink...but not like princess pink ok?"

I did my very best to meet all of her expectations, and I think I did a very good job:

Welcome to The Diva Den 

Don't those curtains just leave you breathless?! Would you believe me if I told you I got them for $20 from IKEA?!  The black curtains are just cheapo tab curtains from walmart...they were too short to hang all the way down, but they look stunning pulled back.

The Duvet, sheets, sparkle ribbon pillow and lamp are all from Target, the polka dot pillow is from IKEA.Her bed was my child hood bed that I spray painted a glossy about doing what you can with what you have! 

The Computer/Camera really distort the shade of pink that is on the wall...we used Valspar's Very Berry and it really was the PERFECT shade of deep magenta pink. All of the things hanging on the wall came from Garage sales...they were all the most hideous shade of brassy gold but they look incredible now after a few coats of glossy black spray paint. 

To the right of her bed, and behind her door is where all her many bags hang...Backpacks, Cheer & Dance Bags and her cutesy Summer bag that I made before we went Road Trippin' in July. They are hanging on a basic coat hook from IKEA. The Cork board was from Hobby Lobby...I bought it with a 40% off coupon then spray painted it a metallic silver; then I hot glued a white feather boa around the edges to make it a little more Glam :) The mirror is just a basic full length mirror from Walmart.

Here is a view from the other corner of the room....I am standing right next to her night stand that the lamp is sitting on, below the nightstand is a metal bucket that holds all of her stuffed animals. We painted the rest of her walls in Behrs "Classic Silver." 

This is one of my favorite spots of the whole room...I dreamt about it! I even scribbled random notes about it in my Ramblings Book. The desk is from IKEA and I put a garage sale found mirror at eye level so this area could double as a vanity. The sconces were also garage sale finds. The "Samantha" letters and crown are from Hobby Lobby.

So wanna know the big secret.....this whole room was done for less than $200....we shopped our home...made use of what we had...scoured garage sales and really used every ounce of our creative spirit to pull this room off just before school started on a next to nothing budget. And I think it came out looking like a million bucks. 

My girl is nothing if not a hard worker. She spends anywhere between 6-10 hours at the cheer gym every week and another 4-6 hours in the dance studio...add to that competitions and private School, Friends, Family, and everything else that comes in the life of a 2nd grader and she handles every single bit of it with a positive attitude, and she gives her all 110% of the time. So a room that is full of fluff and sparkle is the least that I could give to her to let her know just how proud I am of what kind of girl she is turning out to be :) 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where I'm Going: The Blog, My Etsy Store...all of it

Its so nice to be back in the bloggy world. I can't tell you how many times I would sit and think to myself this summer that "I need to blog about this!" But for those of you who are know that a single blog post can take anywhere between 45min and 3 hours to write, edit and post...and unfortunately, I just didn't have that kind of time consecutively throughout the summer. 

However, my hiatus has given me a chance to really think about what I want to do with this blog and with my store. 

When i first started blogging back in May, it was to chronical our projects in our new house...then I threw my MOMager stuff in to the mix to keep everything in one place and in a matter of days, I had created a beast...I opened the shop, did a giveaway, kept blogging...all while trying to move and get settled in plus keep up with my day to day life. And as is with most situations when you bite off more than you can choke.

And that is exactly what I did. 

There wasn't enough hours in the day...not enough of me to go around. If I was able to blog, I was being snippy to my kids, I was holed up in my office for hours at a time, not really enjoying our summer vacation. I was trying to poorly manage an etsy store that was dealing out a product that I wasn't 100% happy with on an interface that I wasn't completely comfortable with. This lead to way more apologies on my part than I wanted to hand out. 

When I introduced my MOMager System it was to make this great point that we are not all the same...and what works for me, might not work for you, the customization of the system was the key focus. And I lost that....Sending out mass produced printables was not what I wanted to do...I wanted to help people really take hold of their time and their households and truely MOMage them. I wanted them to use this system as the end all be all of planning systems and not as just another planner to throw in the pile. 

I wanted to sell you my ideas...not a one size fits all product.

If all you were looking for was a planner, I can tell you gushing, highly held, ring from the roof top reviews of both the MOM Agenda and the Erin Condrin Planner.

But if your really looking for a system that is going to work, and work for you gotta be willing to put in the effort. 

and so do I.

So that is where I am right now....I understand that people are busy, and some arn't super computer savvy and that's why they like printables...but everything I have created, is already out any color you want...with chevron pattern or polka dots. Because how hard can it be to create a week at a glance printable? 

With all that being said, the conclusion is this...the ETSY store is going to remain closed for a least until I can come up with a plan that I am proud of. One that has been poured over and edited and something that I feel really good about.

Ideally, it would be a 100% fully custom planning system for each person....but lets be honest, thats pricey...and time consuming.....but is it worth it? Would you buy that? What would you pay to have someone sit with you and pick your brain and help you find the best way to MOMage your home? $75 $100....$50 for an hour? Would you want one simple book or a full system that covers every area of your home? I'll be honest...I have 7 different binders/calendars/notebooks that I keep running to manage everything in our lives...but yours is going to be different depending on the size and stages of your family. 

I really want to let y'all explore, in as much detail as I can give, all of my planning tools and maybe you can figure out how to duplicate it...and hopefully through all of this I will find a neat and tidy way to produce a product that can be purchased for those who just don't want to DIY this project. 

I know this wasn't the news you were hoping for...but as they say:

 All Good Things Are Worth Waiting For :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm Back! Where have I been...

Hello dear friends! long time no talk! Like many of you, I have had a CRAZY busy summer...add in the "training" of a two year old to forgo her beloved "fufu" (pacifier), start sleeping in her big girl bed and the beginning stages of potty training, things got just down right insane. BUT WAIT! There is more! ha...add a 7 year old that is just doesn't know how to take a break and decided to join a summer cheer squad, as well as take summer dance classes...on top of her competitive squads twice weekly summer conditioning schedule AND Camps...and playdates...and vacations.........................................oh ya, and there is this little thing called our new house that is in the middle of about 8 different mini renos at any given time...Point being, I've barely had time for showers this summer, much less blog posting.

But I'm back now! I've got a whole bunch of posts waiting in the wings for y'all to get me through these last couple weeks of summer then I should be back to posting on a regular basis once school gets started for both my girls after labor day. 

as for now...wanna see what we have been up to this summer? its been a blast :) 

We had a super fun 4th of July in our little town square. 
Americana Dreams at their finest 
Me and my mini me 

My girls posing on one of the old fire trucks
My silly girl enjoying some ice cream while we waited for the firework show

Then We Went on a Texas Road Trip!
First Stop! Texas Hill Country!

We stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa...the girls had a blast "toobing" the lazy river 
While I relaxed with a few magazines and some adult beverages :) 

We even had a chance to make smores by the campfire! 

Next Stop...San Antonio, Texas! Here we are in front of the Alamo.
We took a night time boat ride through the riverwalk.

Then we made it to the coast in South Padre Island for some fun in the sun! 

We stayed at The Pearl South Padre...what a view! 

Oh ya...and we snuck in a cheer competition while we were in Padre...that's my girl at the top of the pyramid!

Her Summer Squad did a great job and came home with a Silver medal and High point plaque!

And now we are back! 

we have spent the last couple weeks going through dance auditions, figuring out fall schedules, and getting ready for back to school.

I have also been SUPER busy on house projects and I can't wait to show them all to y'all!

I know many of y'all have been wondering what is going on with my ETSY store...I'll explain it all tomorrow, I have lots of explinations as to "where I'm going" with this whole blog thing coming at y'all first thing tomorrow....and later this week I'll show you what projects I've been working on this summer :)