A Busy Mom's Best Friend

Do you know how hard it is to paint your fingernails when you may have to bounce a baby or pop in a paci at a moment's notice? Very hard.

Enter my new nail polish.

I grabbed this bottle of Express Finish - 50 Second polish and it lives up to its name. I was able to get two coats on and dried in plenty of time to scoop up my little man for a diaper change. It gets bonus points for being fall's super trendy gray.
Just so ya know, no one paid me or perked me for mentioning this product. It's just something I picked up at the drugstore and fell in love with.

I Can't Think of a Name For This Post

Fall is just around the corner and I am excited for two reasons. 1) Football season is almost here. 2) Football season means an increase in Peyton Manning commercials, clips and public appearances.

You should know this - I love Peyton Manning. Not in a sexy, put him on my "list," sort of way.* I want him to be my friend. I want to have him over for cook-outs and play flag football with him - even though he would TOTALLY kick my ass. I am not a Colts fan, and a few years ago I didn't give him much thought. Then he hosted SNL. He was in lots of great sketches, but his United Way "commercial" blew me away.

He just seems so witty and down to earth. So who's your imaginary celebrity best friend?

*For the record my list is (in no particular order): Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Seth Avett, James Franco, Justin Timberlake.

A New Critter

Last weekend my dear friend Libby stopped by the house to bring us dinner, meet Luke and do some quality catching up. I hadn't seen her in a while so it was wonderful to spend some time with her.

In addition to some yummy food, she brought a surprise for Luke.

Because I read her blog, I instantly recognized this little fella as one of her handmade plush monster toys. She plans to set up an Etsy shop to sell them. It's not up yet, but you can follow her for more information.

He is made of soft shearling so he is more than ready to be cuddled! His paws are a classic green and aqua plaid, which just happens to match the nursery. I love happy accidents like that! How can I not notice her iconic 'L' signature. That's been her trademark for as long as I can remember.

For lack of a better place to put him, I sat him on my entry table. But he matches the mail caddy so well he might just stay there until Luke is big enough to play with him!

Pop over to Libby's blog and show her some love!

What's better than cheap ad space? Free ad space, that's what!

Are you a young design professional doing freelance work? Do you have a new Etsy shop? Promote your business here, for free!

That's right, free.

I have decided to offer advertising space here on gimmeakiss*, but since I'm new to the game I want to ease into it. While I'm learning the ropes I am going to give free ad space to any qualifying business.

Do I qualify?
I am looking for small artistic ventures. You could be a web designer, painter, sculptor, photographer or clothing designer. Any new business you can think of, I want to support you!

What do I get?
A free 150 x 150 ad - of your own design - at the top of my sidebar for 3 weeks. Ads will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

What's the catch?
No catch. The ad is absolutely free. All I ask for in return is a little blog love. If you like something I post, please share it on your blog, Facebook or Twitter. If you don't like it, then don't post it. There are no minimum linkbacks required. It's that simple.

Where do I sign up?
E-mail me at gimmeakiss dot blog at gmail dot com and tell me a little bit about yourself and your business. If you have the type of business I'm looking for (don't worry, I'm not too picky) all you have to do is send me a jpg and - BOOM! - you have yourself a free ad.

Feel free to share this opportunity with your friends and readers!

Ooh, Ooh That Smell*

*Ronnie Van Zant not included.
We have two cats. They provide us with joy, affection and hours of entertainment. They also provide us with lots of poop. In order to combat the smell, and the kitty litter they track all over the house, we have gone through several litter boxes trying to find the right one.
Our most recent litter box was great at keeping litter at bay, but it did nothing to mitigate the odor. With two cats, no amount of baking soda or frequent scooping could keep things smelling fresh. It got to the point that the litter box smelled so bad we couldn't stand to be in the same room with it.
Deciding where to put the litter box was the easy part - move it to the hall bathroom so the exhaust fan could suck the smell out - but keeping the bathroom guest friendly was the tricky part.
After lots of thinking, the hubby and I designed the following solution:
In the hall bathroom, the litter box is now tucked discreetly under the sink. The cats access the litter box by going through a cat door into the linen closet, then they pass through the wall - the hole is framed out with a duct fitting (below) - into the inside of the vanity. The odor escapes through a vent by the toilet.
duct fitting, as seen from bathroom vanity
The bathroom door remains closed to maximize the efficiency of the exhaust fan. When a guest is in the bathroom they are none the wiser to our new set up. The changes are also discreet enough that a future buyer might not even notice it - how often do you get on your hands and knees to look at a linen closet?

The best part is this project was fairly cheap and easy. We spent less than $35 for the cat door, duct fitting and vent. Then the hubby cut some quick holes with a saw (already owned) and he popped everything in place. Voila!
We've had this going for almost a week, but we noticed the difference immediately - no more stink!

Nursery Closet

Luke has gotten so many cute clothes! In order to keep them organized I whipped up this simple project during his morning nap.

I want him to get as much wear out of his wardrobe as possible. To make sure nothing falls through the cracks, I sorted his clothes by size. This way I don't have to go digging through drawers and bins as he gets bigger and needs to go up a size. So, in less than an hour and with materials I already had on hand I made these clothespin markers for his closet.

All I did was cut some simple shapes out of cardstock and then labeled them with colored pencils. I chose different shades of blue and green to tie the closet into the nursery color scheme and I used my corner punch to round the edges - but I left one corner square to make things more interesting. I could have made more elaborate tags, but this project had to be quick and dirty. I had to get it done before Luke woke up wanting his mid-morning snack!

After each tag was labeled I used the broad side of the colored pencil tip to fill in the background, giving it a nice tone on tone effect. I also like how the subtle coloring brings out the texture of the cardstock. It almost looks like grass cloth!

After the paper tags were complete, all I did was add a square of magnetic tape to the back of each tag and another square to a handful of wooden clothespins. This way I can always swap out the tags to suit his wardrobe without wasting clothespins.

Here's one in action, clipped to his closet shelf.

I just love simple solutions that don't take lots of time or money! It's also worth noting that I did the project, took the photos AND wrote the blog post all in one day. My mommy multi-tasking skills are improving!

New Use For An Old Favorite

The hubby and I have been at a decorating stalemate for quite some time now. He has a trophy case from his childhood that he just can't let go of. Now, to be fair, his grandfather made it for him - and it was one of the last things he made before he cut off his finger with a wood router - so I very much understand the sentimental value. However, just because I appreciate its history does not mean I instantly fell in love with it. It is well crafted and a very nice piece, but it is made of heavy grained, warm-toned oak - not my favorite wood finish. Also, it has ornate brass hardware that I would love to replace, but hubby's attached to that too.

In our old apartment the trophy case was in the office (a room few visitors saw) because I refused to put it anywhere else. Then when we moved it sat in the closet for a long time because we couldn't agree what to do with it. He wanted to put it in the nursery. I said sure, as long as I could paint it white. He looked at me as if I suggested we take it out back and burn it. So in the closet it sat.

Last week I took advantage of a napping baby and decided to re-organize the kitchen to make room for baby stuff. Part of this organization included finding a new home for my spices. Up until now, all my spices had been in a plastic rolling cart parked next to the base cabinets. It was tacky, cheap and didn't really fit. I also had been begging the hubby to install a simple shelf over the stove for my spices and he still hadn't gotten around to it.

He saw this as a golden opportunity and he seized it. He suggested we hang the trophy case in the kitchen to display our spices and whatever else I wanted to put in it. He even said he was willing to let me change out the hardware if I was willing to hang the case in a public room of the house. Once we brought it into the kitchen, I realized the wood pretty much matched the cabinets and wood floors and actually looks pretty darn good in the kitchen. As soon as it was on the wall I loaded it up with spices, oils, sauces and a few decorative items.

You may remember the canisters I found for a steal at a yard sale. As cute as they looked next to my Kitchenaid mixer, I put them on top of the spice rack to free up some counter space.

Here's something else you might remember from an old post: my measuring spoon shadow box. I already had it on display in the kitchen, but I moved it to the spice rack to add some color and interest.

One pleasant surprise was finding a new home for my shot glass collection. As tacky as collecting shot glasses may be, I buy one every time the hubby and I go on vacation together. The tiny shelf at the bottom of the spice rack is the perfect height for displaying my collection.

While we're on the subject, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite shot glasses from Gettysburg, PA. When the hubby and I were road tripping with some friends we stopped and spent the afternoon at the famous Civil War battlefield and I couldn't pass up this souvenir.

To add to my collection, sometimes my mom brings me a shot glass from her travels. I sprinkled them throughout the rack to spice things up (pun fully intended). The 'LOVE' glass is from Philadelphia and the smaller glass bears the logo for my mom's office. The one with the toothpicks (below) is my Paula Dean "Hey Y'all!" shot glass and it's sitting next to my NC State shot glass, which is quite possibly the most awesome thing ever. On the back are markings for a single, double, triple and quadruple shot labeled Tar Heels, Blue Devils, Deacons and Wolfpack, respectively. (For those of you not well versed in the ACC, the first three are NC State's major rivals.)

After I got the spice rack loaded and decorated I headed out to my hardware store to replace the god-awful handles. We kept the original hinges, so the new handles still had to be brass, but I found these sleek and simple babies for the perfect middle ground.

So there you have it. This is quite possibly the biggest compromise to date in my marriage. What do you think?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin