Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{Pin}spired Week 3: A love/hate relationship with owls

Let's talk about Owls. For me, they are a hit or miss. Basically, they are either cute, like my {Pin}spiration for this week...

Awwww, so cute. I want you.

Anthropologie cookie jar ($68! *gah!*)

Urban Zoologie Owl Fabric


*shudder* There are no words.

"I am going to peck your eyeballs out."

If I saw this about to jump out of a tree at me I would absolutely DIE. Right there under the tree. After peeing my pants.

Anyhew...I also have pictures of decorating with old books in my Pintrest. There is something magical about old books. I even found a book printed in the 1800's! WOW.

{pinned here}

{pinned here}

So...then I saw this on Pintrest too. The old books...the bird sitting on top...{ding ding ding...on goes the lightbulb} See where I'm going with this? :)

So, I went to our local thrift store, (Hello, Rainbows End!) and found ALL of these things!

an old lamp ($6), old books ($3 each), and these owls ($6 for the pair)

I love how the books add a pop of color to the room. And I love my new little friends.

And the fact that they don't scare me. :)

OH!!! That totally reminds me...another cute owl is the no sew felt owl plush on my tutorial list on the sidebar! If you would like the tutorial and the template click {HERE}!

Linked up to:
A Turtles Life for Me
Trendy Treehouse
Thrifty Decorating

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thank You, Sassy Sites and Sew Country Chick!

What a great way to start the day! I was going through the feed of my favorite blogs and all of the sudden I see my rag the preview picture...on a blog that wasn't mine. *squeel!* It was featured on Sassy Sites as the most viewed link up from Friday's Linky party!

Then, I scrolled some more and there it was again! This time on Sew Country Chick.

I'm so excited! Sometimes I wonder if my blog really just bores the heck out of this really made my day! Kind of like a couple of great big hugs!

Thank you Sassy Sites and Sew Country Chick! I am absolutely tickled. :)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Happy Thursday, everyone! One more day until the weekend...yaaaay! I've been a busy bee painting and nailing up chair rail in the toy's ALMOST done! A few more finishing touches and I'll have the big reveal. :)

Ahem. Now, are you ready for this week's list of my favorite things??? Ready, set, go.

1. CoverGirl Wetslicks Lip Gloss

I probably have every color they make of these. They aren't sticky, they moisturize and they have good lasting power. My favorites are:

Clear Radiance-The perfect clear lip gloss. You can wear it alone or over your favorite lip color. It has a light, sweet taste.

Crush- a pretty peach color. I love this in the spring and summer. A hint of shimmer, but not so much that it doesn't look natural-ish. It tastes yummy, too. Like...a sweet peachy cotton candy-ish flavor.
Like this.

Honey Talks- I love this one. It leaves your lips looking seductively nude. It tastes good, too. Like...brown sugar vanilla.

Like this.

Yes...these lip glosses are a Natalie staple. I always, always, ALWAYS have one with me.

2. Crest Pro Health Whitening Toothpaste
I've tried a lot of toothpastes, and so far this is my go-to toothpaste. My mouth feels awesome when I'm done brushing...good stuff.

3. Land O Lakes Butter

This butter is like Heaven. When I cook, I only cook with REAL butter. Yes, I know it's got more fat, but it's got a zillion times more flavor. I may be related to Paula Deen somehow. And, if you are going to bake chocolate chip cookies, you HAVE to use real butter!!! It will taste SOOO much better and they even look better. I don't know why Pocahontas is sitting on the package holding a box of's pretty dang random if you ask me. I didn't know the Native American's even had butter. But...whatevs.

4. is my go-to fabric place. We don't have any fabric stores here in our little valley...well, we have Walmart and a quaint little quilt shop downtown, but nothing that carries the good stuff like Michael Miller or Amy Buttler or Henry Alexander.

They are where I got all of my Kumari Garden fabrics for the girls' room's quilts and curtains. They pretty much always have a sale going on, plus 20% off coupons at coupon cabin AND they have free shipping on all orders over $35. I've looked at the same fabrics from etsy and stuff, and they are ALWAYS cheaper at

I'm just about to order some of Robert Kaufman's Remix fabrics for the toy room.

5. Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn

My FABULOUSLY AMAZING friend Mandy introduced me to this. I remember the first time she gave me a bag of it...I thought, "white cheddar flavored popcorn???" And from the first piece of popcorn I was hooked. I can eat a whole bag in one sitting. Which I'm not sure whether that's good or bad. Either way, I love this stuff. It's whole grain, right? Can't be THAT bad for you. :)
*that was totally the little diet devil sitting on my shoulder*

And there you go! A few of my favorite things. Do you use any of these, too???


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bathroom Printables


I wanted some printables to hang in my bathroom. So, these (BELOW) are what I came up with. :)  If you would like a set of them for your home, you can find them here in my etsy shop! It's only $10 for the whole set! I'll email you the 8x10 jpgs for you to print out to your hearts content! Ready...set...go! :)

{Lesson Learned} "Helpful" Toddlers!!!

Scene: Natalie walks out of bathroom.

Kate is smiling holding the paint roller covered in lime green paint. "See Mom, I help you paint!"


"!!!! Oh my gosh...oh my gosh..." *looking around frantically for more "help"*

(dreading husband coming home and seeing the carpet....)

(goal for not yelling this week= OVER)

*laugh or cry??? A little of both?*

If she wasn't so dang cute and proud of herself for helping me I'd be a little more upset.

This is why you should not go to the bathroom without bringing your 2 year old with you when you are trying to paint a room. *sigh*

"Every child is an Artist."
- Pablo Picasso


Stephen Update: The Roller Coaster Ride Continues

The latest update...

The Roller Coaster ride continues...
Stephen was released from LeBonheur this morning in record time and we quickly made our way over to St. Jude for an appointment with the Radiation Oncologist. He was well aware of the situation and ran through some options with us. We sat and talked with him a while trying to decide the best course of action based on the idea that both the belly and the brain lesions were Rhabdoid tumor. We walked away from the meeting with a firm plan in place. We then went upstairs and got ice cream!

With an hour between appointments, we got in our van and headed to Target House for lunch. Yes, we had ice cream before lunch. While we were still in the St. Jude parking lot, Brent's phone rang. It was Stephen's doctor. He had news already on the brain biopsy. News we didn't expect. The spot in Stephen's head is not cancer. That's right it is NOT cancer. (Don't get too excited just yet.) The tissue they pulled out, while it was abnormal, was not cancerous but necrotic tissue of some sort. That is just a fancy way of saying it was dead. We don't know if it was dead brain tissue, dead cancer cells or dead yeast. What we DO know is that when they did a "silver stain" on the tissue they saw yeast growing. YEAST!!! So it is official. The yeast that had been in his shunt, was in his brain. It found a nice little spot and set up camp and hung out, just waiting until we stopped the Fluconozole. This little area of yeast is going to be very hard to treat. Having yeast in your brain is very bad. VERY. They will treat again with Fluconozole and hope it works!

So, now we go on with the decision making process about the tumor in his belly. The pathology came back on that tumor as well. It is Rhadbdoid tumor. When it is in the brain it is call Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). When it is elsewhere in the body it is called Malignant Rhabdoid tumor (MRT). Or Rhabdoid tumor of the Kidney if it is found in the Kidney (RTK).

We are now dealing with another primary tumor. It didn't spread from the brain into the belly. That doesn't happen because there is a barrier between the brain and the blood. The only way it could have spread from the brain in to the belly would be through the shunt. This was the reason I was so adamant that they not place the shunt in his belly when his spinal fluid was so full of cancer. The shunt didn't get placed in his belly until after radiation. At that point the cancer was gone. Also, because the tumor is in the pelvis and not the belly we know it isn't metastatic disease. It is it's own brand new disease.

Like we have mentioned before, they cannot remove the tumor surgically. It is wrapped around the sciatic nerve and is connected to a major vein. That is why it is growing so fast. It has a great blood supply.

This is what we know about ATRT; It is a genetic disease. It begins because of a mutation of a certain gene. There are different forms of this mutation. The "worst" form is called a germline mutation, which appears in every cell of the body. The germline mutation means that this Rhabdoid tumor can appear anytime and anywhere in the body. You can kill the cancer in one area just to find it appear in another a short time later. As has happened here. We do not have the finding back yet on Stephen's genetic testing but because he has a second primary site, he most likely has the germline mutation.

With all this said, we still have the same decision to make. Do we move forward with aggressive treatment and try to "cure" this tumor? Or do we do high dose radiation on the tumor to slow it down and take Stephen home to enjoy the rest of his life? This may seem an easy decision to some. I have read MANY blogs like this one about children with ATRT. Every family is different. Some families fight and fight and fight until the end. Some take off the gloves and chose to go home and enjoy the time they have left. No choice is the wrong choice. Every family has to face this monster in their own way.

As we see it, we have three choices.

#1 No treatment. Come home. This choice would be to let the cancer go unchecked. It would more quickly take Stephen from us. It would also more quickly end his suffering.

#2 Three weeks of Palliative radiation. Come home. This is high dose radiation done over 15 days to try to slow down or even stop the cancer for a time. This option could possibly allow Stephen some more time to feel good before the cancer takes hold again. It would possibly allow our little family more time with Stephen before he is once again taken by pain and narcotics.

#3 Six weeks of "curative" radiation. Followed by 5 rounds (5 months) of chemo, followed by an attempt at surgery (mostly likely it will still be impossible to remove) followed by more radiation. This option is looking to cure this tumor. It would take 7-9 months to complete.

We have to look at everything we know about this cancer and it's treatments. We also have to factor in everything Stephen has been through. We have to look at future suffering, both from end of life and from treatments. We have to make a decision that is in Stephen's best interest, not our own. I promised myself in the beginning that I would not cause Stephen more suffering just because I don't want to let him go. I will try to live up to that promise.

We have made a decision and will spend some time tonight in prayer. We will sleep on it. If it is right, we'll know it. We will let you all know tomorrow what that decision is. What we ask, is that whatever the decision is, that all of you as our friends and loved ones support us in that decision. You may look at the situation and think that you would do it differently, and you might. We will make the right decision for Stephen and for our family and hopefully we will find peace.

Tonight I would ask that your prayers for us be for clarity. So that we can see clearly our path.


{biting nails}


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

{Toy Room Design Plans}

I have been busy designing a toy room for the kids. Right now, the room is basically a catch all room *gag*. Boring beige not fun for a kid! So, over the next few weeks I'll be working on getting this room done. And, I'll be sharing the transformation with you! These are the plans I have so far.

I wanted colors that are happy and really pop! This is going to be a bright, fun, exciting room for the kids! The top half of the walls are going to be painted Valspar's Summer Splash (5002-9C ), and the bottom half of the wall will be Valspar Citrus Tickle (6008-9C). Just the names of those paint colors make me smile. :) The accent colors are a darker pink, red, and a sunshine yellow. I bought the trim last weekend and the paint yesterday. I'm anxious to get started!

I'm also planning on putting up some sort of a chalk board area on our walls. {Hopefully this will keep Little Miss Kate from drawing on the walls elsewhere!}

Remember last week I said I was going to make some printable wall art for the kids' bathroom? Well, I did! (That's for another post *wink wink*) And, I made some for the toy room while I was at it! These will be put into some 5 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. frames that I got from the thrift store for $1 each! They will be spray painted red and hung on the walls. I can't wait to see how they turn out! Stay tuned for a 8x10 version of these printables for YOU! :)

I always wanted a bean bag when I was a kid. I remember one fall I took a giant trash bag and filled it with leaves- thinking I was so genius- and within about 5 minutes it was a flat crunchy mess. So sad. So, we got the kids each a bean bag in their choice of color. This way, they each have their own and there will be no fighting over who gets which bean bag.

I have an old coffee table from when my husband and I were first married that is going to get a makeover! I'm turning it into a bench like the one below and will make a cushion and some accent pillows. I found some fabric ideas for the pillows...haven't decided on which ones yet. But, something bright and happy! :)

And, if I'm still feeling ambitious, I'll make a pennant banner with some matching fabric!

And there you have it! What do you think? If you have any suggestions or tips, send them my way! :) I'm so excited to get started!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nat's Top Ten Pins of the Week

Hello, hello! What a crazy week! I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for a new week to start! However, looking at the bright side, I found some WONDERFUL pins this week. So, without much further adieu, here is this week's edition of Nat's Top Ten Pins of the Week!

1. Home Sweet Home: DIY wainscoting

I just found this awesome blog (through this Pin!) called Centsational Girl and I seriously love her blog. There are all kinds of really awesome step by step DIY home improvement projects and stuff there. I would love to do this wainscoting somewhere in my house. I guess a lot of other people do, too! This baby was re-pinned 99 times!

2. Gotta Do This: St. Patrick's Day Themed Party

It's coming up soon! Not sure why we even celebrate it, but hey. How cute is this!?! I would love to throw this party, and I'm not even Irish. Seriously, SO CUTE. I love the gum ball display and the jell-o cups.

3. Beauty Bin: How to Get Perfect Eyebrows

Really. I've always wanted to know how to do this...

So has she.

4. *DROOL* Frozen Hot Chocolate

Saw this and thought of my sister, Rachel. (Hiiii Rachel! Love you! Miss you!!! All the way in in Paradise....sigh)

Frozen Hot Chocolate. I remember when we were teenagers she would get these from Dairy Queen all the time. And right now, it's at this strange point in the seasons where hot chocolate sounds too hot and ice cream sounds too cold. Surely this counts as middle ground? It sure looks good...

5. Good Laugh of the Week

I laugh out loud EVERY time I see this! Isn't this so true? For me it is, anyway. I see these GENIUS ideas on Pintrest and am like, "Dude...I can TOTALLY do this." So I do it. Only not very well. I'm seriously contemplating starting up a "Failure Friday" every week to prove to you that I am so not perfect! You should have seen the so-called Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies I tried to make this week....definitely NOT perfect. Harder than peanut brittle. So sad.

6. Things To Remember

This quote really struck me. There seems to have been a lot of yelling in our home lately. "Kate! Let go of my doll!", "Good grief, guys! STOP FIGHTING!!!", "Mommm, can you wipe me!?!" (hahah) Maybe it's just because we've all got cabin fever from winter or something...but it really does detract from the spirit and feel of the home. I would love to print, frame, and hang this in our home. Especially in the play room. Such a great quote by such a great person.

7. Ooh La La Outfits

I am loving these colors together! And totally digging the hoodie. Who knew you could make a hoodie look cute and casual? Oh, YOU did? Well...why didn't you tell me!?! Love it.

8. Gotta Do This: Alphabet Magnets

These would be so cute and easy to do! Great for little ones learning their alphabet and way better than those cheap old plastic ones that always fall off of the fridge. I'm making a few sets of these for some special little kiddos in my life for sure!

9. Fitness Love

Ah. The dreaded inner thighs. You tell them to go away and they just don't take you seriously. Well, do these 10 inner thigh exercises and they will! I've been doing them and I can tell a difference. So can my husband, which means that they really do work.

10. Freebie: Alphabet Picture Printables

Cuuute!!! Free photo letters! There are literally HUNDREDS of each letter. You just pick the ones you want, download them, print them, and display them however you want! I am definitely doing this!

Well, there you go! Hopefully you found something that struck your fancy! Have a FABULOUS rest of your weekend!