Distractions

Thursday, December 13 2012

Updates and project progress around here is slow lately, mostly because there are so many fun distractions:

tree decorating,

tree

visiting that man in red,

santa

and, general goofiness, of course.

jadagoof

However, somehow, after investing in and applying 7 gallons of paint for our two-tone basement (don’t worry, someday it will be revealed), I was motivated to paint a little bit of chevron for our focal TV wall, as well.  Of course it is not done yet either, but  here is a quick sneak peek of the two-tone colors and the chevron pattern.

chevwallone

Notice, not all the chevron is connected yet, nor is the area beneath the ceiling done.  I painted this on two separate nights when the only thing on was football.  Sneaking away to the downstairs to “stencil” does not appeal to my husband, although he really likes how it is looking.  The progress shown has taken me a total of four hours…uh hum, did I mention my addiction to HGTV?  Honestly, this wall should be done.  Oh well…

Distractions.  Distractions.

Enjoy!

Laura

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

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Kartwheels

Tuesday, November 27 2012

It doesn’t seem possible that life could have engulfed us like this; twisting us around and spitting us out the other side into late November!  It’s been a true whirlwind of birthdays, holidays, and travels.  Of course, the added dailiness tossed in as well; work, school   programs, practices, painting (up-date on this soon), and trying to balance it all.  I try to look back, about a month ago (when I lasted posted something), and I  am not sure where one event stopped and another started.  I have a feeling that this scenario might play out throughout our holiday season, as well.  Hopefully, I will be better at documenting it, however.

In preparation of Halloween this year, beginning to feel overwhelmed, I decided (just barely), to say ‘”No” to the expectation of throwing the best costume party EVER for a third year in a row.  Saying ‘No’ meant I didn’t have to entertain and feed 60 some people while most of them were souped up on sugar and about to run rapid in the streets.  Containing my own wild beasts ~ or, I guess, pirates and chicken ~ was all I felt up to amid the Halloween chaos.  And, I truly enjoyed the event this year, more so than I remember…well, except the year our chicken was born.  Mindful of our three-year old’s Halloween birthday, we celebrated extra hard three times that week as well.  I did not think my children could handle any more sugar without numerous meltdowns and bellyaches.  So, on November 1st, I tore down all the Halloween decorations and declared all celebrations OVER.

Detox began.

And,so did the countdown to Thanksgiving…

…as did the basement painting, which ate up all of our free time (AKA when the kids are asleep) in that three-week time span.

But we ended our whirlwind in a beautiful paradise with so much to be thankful for.  So, much to appreciate and so much life to soak up.  So much time without schedules to keep, appointments to attend, and routines to follow.  So much time to focus on the importance of smiles and being together.  So much so, that computers and blog posting were farthest from my mind.

Is this place for real?

This little man was ready to explore our magical island at 5 am every morning.

From swimming with dolphins

to hunting for sea turtles,

to enjoying the multitude of colorful sandy beaches,

we packed a lot in!

And, that’s what happened to November!

I have to admit that this vacation has given me a new sense of calm; island rejuvenation of some kind.  We came back feeling refreshed to conquer our routines and schedules again, for another quick four weeks, I suppose.

Bring on the holidaze!

I’m ready.

Laura

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Two-Tone

Tuesday, October 23 2012

I can hear my husband ripping painters’ tape in the basement.

The project this time, painting and organizing the basement into something of an inviting movie-watching area.  And, since this project feels so “big”, so “all-encompassing” to me right now, we are merely focusing on our tiny (hint of sarcasm)victory of picking out of paint colors.  Yahoo!  In the past, this great feat has taken many months of time-sucking trips to paint stores for swatches and samples.  It was very common, when we were ‘going gray‘ throughout the upstairs sections of our house, that our walls resembled a patchwork quilt.  But, this time, we picked some colors and stuck with ‘em!  Heck! I may be getting better at this, after all.

So, our basement, a-very-close-to-the-color-of-poop, chocolate brown, not only is in need of a new color scheme, it needs a lighter color palette all together.  This is going to be hard for me since I tend to lean towards darker shades.  So, to compromise, we chose both; light and dark, that is.  After seeing this inspirational image of a bathroom with split wall color, I decided this concept would work well in our basement.

Not only will the lower walls get a darker, more kid friendly color, we will create a brighter space by adding the upper section a much lighter shade…perfect.  We hope.
So the colors we chose are:
Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore
and, 
 Aged Beige by Behr
Both of the colors read as softer, warm tones, not cold steely gray.
And, yes, the chair rail is up to divide the space already.
So, there you have it, a two-tone room in the making.  I can’t wait to cover up those ugly brown walls!
“Keep rippin’ that tape!”
~Laura
Images: 1 & 2) Houzz.com, 3) Google Images

Good Times with Gray and Pink Room Reveal

Thursday, October 18 2012

I recently revealed this dresser that we tweaked for our seven year old’s newly decorated bedroom.

Cute as can be and functioning well so far.  Finally, with a clean room this past weekend, I clicked some shots of the rest of the space. Taking advantage of the mere 2 or so hours before the messes started morphing in the middle of the floor once more, we have a room reveal to share.   Some final  pictures follow, but first, a quick reminder of our starting point.

Actually, this is really the only picture that I have of the room before, and the mess in this picture is not far from the caliber of mess that this room still reaches from time to time.  Now, however, we do have much more storage, with each paper and toy having its designated spot…whether it ends up in that spot is another story.

The end result.  Well, almost.  I still plan to add a valance over the window, and perhaps a fun little rug somewhere, too.  But the colors are so much more calming.  We love hanging out in this relaxing room, with plenty of cozy and inviting spots to curl up with a good book; one of Jada’s favorite things to do.

This picture shows the real colors better, without the window glare.

My favorite addition to this room might just be the 3D butterflies.  Not forgetting to mention this killer headboard, AND the awesome custom-made window seat, of course!

Having started this in May, yikes, I am ready to leave this room alone for a bit and call it done for now.  Some day my motivation will draw me back to that naked window.

For now, here are a few more shots of the room.  I love where the grey and pink meet.

Room Sources:

Paint Colors: Wild Rose BM, Graceful Gray Behr, White Dove BM (trim)

Wall Art:  Land of Nod, Art.com, IKEA (Frames Target and IKEA)

Pillow Covers: Flamingo Pillow (West Elm), Dots and Giraffe Print (Etsy)

Bookshelf: Old Target purchase, painted back board yellow

Star Mirror: IKEA spray-painted Silver

High Shelf: IKEA LACK

Butterflies: Umbra.com

More info on this room can be found here, and here.

And, just in case you needed something to look forward too…

Right now, on top of soccer Saturdays and flag football Sundays, we have suddenly switched gears to the lowest level of the house, by interest of Rory.  Yep, that’s right, we are suddenly full swing into yet another project, redecorating the basement.  In other words, football season started.  I wonder what sparked his interest?  Do the words, ‘man cave‘ mean anything?  We have big plans for our basement space, which will be written about soon.  Just for fun, this is what we are dealing with:

Lots of space and potential…but Brown!  for a basement?!  The color is in the process of changing to another shade of grey, which we can’t get enough of apparently.  We are currently looking for a really warm super light grey to lighten up the space without making it feel too ‘cold’.  Any ideas?  Please share.

I’ll be back with some updates soon on that end.

~Laura

Images: All Laura for monkeysonmyback

Hemnes Hack

Wednesday, October 10 2012

If you remember, we were pondering some customization details for a HEMNES dresser purchased recently for Miss Jada’s room.

We started with this.  A dresser that was too tall for her to see in the top drawer, while the bottoms of the rest of the shallow drawers were caving out due to the repetitive shoving of clothes that did not fit.

For our needs, this IKEA HEMNES did fit in many ways; large and short with deep drawers.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.

The drawers are extra deep and the bottoms of the drawers are a rigid, colorful yellow and white stripe board; a pleasant surprise that matched our room perfectly!  Overall this dresser is very heavy-duty.  So much so, that I never did fully complete my idea of dipping the legs in pink…once this thing is put together, there is no moving it! ( I write this in case anyone is considering the purchase of this beast of a dresser, not because anyone told me to.)  For us, beasty dressers are good.

Here is our simple customization of our HEMNES dresser.

Jada loved the look of the shapes around the knobs in one of the inspiration photos,  and we decided together that it would be fun to add a pattern to the outside, as well.  She commented on how she really liked the boys’ curtains and thought we could glue some of the left over fabric to the outside…”maybe?” she asked, hopeful.  Of course, I had some other ideas up my sleeve.

Instead of taping off 12 perfect squares in the exact middle of the drawer and making them all level (which they would have never been), we went vinyl!  The squares are simple vinyl squares 4″ x 4″ and the chevron is a 4′ x 3′ vinyl sticker as well.

Jada chose the yellow knobs and it really makes that color pop in the room.  Such a sweet and personalized touch, especially because she choose the look of  the dresser on her own.

We are really pleased with how it turned out.  Now, if she would just clean her room so we could reveal the rest of it!

Dresser: Ikea HEMNES

Small Vase: Ikea

Mod Flower Poster and Frame: Ikea

Square Tray: CB2 (spray painted silver)

Vinyl squares and chevron stickers: Uppercase Living

Yellow drawer knobs: Myknobs.com

~Laura

Images: 1, 3-6) Laura for Monkeysonmyback 2) Ikea.com

Halloween Inspiration

Friday, October 5th 2012

I am trying to find a way to match my kids’ excitement about the upcoming Halloween celebration.  They anxiously and patiently waited until yesterday, the fourth day of October, when Daddy hauled the three huge decor boxes out of the basement and yelled, “Let’s decorate, Guys!”  (Mind you, this ritual usually happens on the 1st day of October.)  So, off they went.  Z put himself in charge of blaring the Halloween CD as he stuck ghost-puff stickers all over his face, while Jada wrapped the balusters in cob webs and fake plastic spiders, and Aris tore out all the orange lights by demand of his father and plugged them all in making sure they worked.  Borris the Spider is now greeting anyone who dares come to the front porch doorway, and Dead Bones lay glowing around the front yard gravestones.  I love watching the family work as a team, deciding where each small decoration goes…and,… I. did. nothing!  Notta!  I did not decorate one Halloween thing…yet.

I am a bit behind in my excitement, you see.  I am usually the one yanking the heavy boxes from the basement, or pleading that it be done, way before the 1st day of the month.  But this year, everything seems so fast….

Okay, so I went out searching for a little inspiration, internet style, of course.

Check it out! Chevron pumpkins!  Someone else loves chevron as much as I do?This looks like it would be easy with a little painter’s tape and spray paint.

Under the Carolina Moon via Polyvore

Country Living

Such cute little ghosts!  Are these those accordion wedding bells that you can buy at craft stores?  I think so!

Laura Lindquist / Pinterest via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

Simple decor idea.

Halloween

Cobweb mat and broom stick, Simple.  I love it!  Too bad our front porch is filled with a fog blower, Borris, and a screaming Zombie head!

Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Craft Projects - Country... via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

A bigger front porch idea.  There are so many things I love about this arrangement…#1 No Spider!…#2 The trees…#3 the black candles in the lantern with white pumpkin…I could go on and on.

Halloween!

Loving the white pumpkin look, of course.  These even look a little sparkly, too.

halloween centerpiece halloween-decor

This simple wreath looks like a spray painted craft wreath; silvery-white, ghosts and ribbon.

#halloween decor

And, for the little monsters…

I was considering this, but I know it would get ripped down way before Halloween! However, I still might do this for Trick-or-Treat night.  Too cool! Glowing eyeballs, perhaps?

Totally doing this

Ha Ha!

My daughter would LOVE this.

And, of course, some yummy treats…

Boo! I’d serve these with a Witches Stew!

Fun idea for Halloween

I must admit, after a good three hours of searching and pinning and searching some more,  I am getting a bit more motivated and excited about Halloween.  I found a lot of yummy recipes to try, along with some fun-looking crafts to tackle, if time.

 Who knows, we just might happen to cross paths with a pumpkin patch this weekend?

Halloween decor garden

~Laura

Images 1) Countryliving.com, 2-3) Martha Stewart blog, Halloween section, All others searched key words Halloween Decor on Pinterest, origional sources unknown.

Random Living Room Finds

Thursday, September 27 2012

Tonight I got totally distracted dreamshopping online (I didn’t really buy anything).  I really had no mission in mind at all, but occasionally I sit down to tweak a few of my past mood board sets; changing things up a bit.

So, tonight I was focused on the living room, which was first posted about a year ago.  Crazy! One. Whole. Year. YIKES! I thought I’d be further along than what we actually are, but at the same time,  nothing happens very quickly around here, except maybe meal time!  (Snail’s pace, I say!)

So, anyway, here is a little update.

First from the original plan:

Cozy Family Room

Cozy Family Room by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

The past year included painting the 20 ft. cathedral walls, purchasing the rug, two white leather chairs and the couch with a chaise lounge on one end!  Whew!  Just typing that brought back exhausting memories.

Here are the Living Room purchases:

Living Room

Living Room by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

Yep.  After 25 paint swatches on the walls for about 3 months straight last summer, and green painters tape mapping out about 4 different seating options, then waiting another three months for our sofa sectional to be delivered, that is where we are!  Deep breath.

We are very happy with our paint color and our furniture purchases, but I am constantly looking at other decor options.

Random Living Room Finds Worth Finding

Random Living Room Finds Worth Finding by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

It’s fun and very distracting.  Suddenly, 10 minutes of an innocent blog check turns into 2 hours of surfing, pinning, and organizing.  The room is coming together nicely though. Slowly, but nicely.

~Laura

Images: Laura for monkeysonmyback on Polyvore.com. 

Rock On! An Educational Game

Friday, September 21 2012

When I was little, I collected sea shells, caught turtles and snakes, and made piles and piles of papers which I stapled together and called ‘magazines.’  It must have driven my mom crazy!  My kids collect rocks.  From the shiny little pebbles, to the rough and jagged larger version.  Yep, rocks!  It really used to drive me crazy.  I had pebbles in the wash machine, rocks in the cup holders of the van, in jacket pockets, in my purse, and just piling up and up.  “You don’t need any more rocks!”  I’d beg…but, boy, was I wrong!

For my daughter’s birthday last year, she received this box of rocks.  Some may have second-guessed receiving a box of rocks, but this box contained the most intricate collection of beautiful stones, rocks, and colorful game boards.  Her interest in collecting ‘ugly’ landscape rocks was blown away by this amazing assortment of geology.

The game is called Rock On! (by iLaughnLearn) and was invented when a mother of four answered her six-year-old son’s request for a geology themed birthday party.  She ordered some rocks and created a game board.  After many tweaks from the original, this Rock On! game is rock solid!  The game not only keeps the kids engaged with its brightly colored pieces, it teaches kids (and adults) while they play.

I am so impressed with the fact that the rocks are not plastic, myself.  I mean, check out this short collection of a few, my favorite the Green Calcite.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. And since the birth of ROCK ON! my children’s fascination with the earth’s elements has resulted in some amazing collections and their geology knowledge is equally amazing. But maybe most important of all, some of our best times together are now spent in nature looking for treasures the earth has to offer,” says Melissa Weisner, creator of Rock ON!  

We certainly agree!

Here are two of my kids setting out the Rock On! game.  They often spend equally as much time matching the rocks with the cards and copying down the interesting facts located on the playing cards.  This game encourages education on so many levels, and might I add, without having them stare at a computer screen or TV!

Perhaps my favorite part about this amazingly beautiful display is the container in which it comes.  No matter how scattered these rocks become, the clean up is so simple, with each rock having its place, which does not include a spot in my cup holders!

Rock on!….

~Laura

Images: Laura @ monkeysonmyback

I like sharing great finds and this educational game is one of them.  I was not compensated in any way for this write up.  

To find out more about Rock On!, click here, here, and here.

Lights out

Friday, September 14 2012

It’s getting dark earlier. Today, I noticed the angle of the afternoon sun casting longer shadows over my students during class.  I can feel the calmness of the sun’s warm rays, instead of the intense blasting heat.  Yep, close to the Flatirons already, casting an eerie sort of glaze upon the trees, the sun is.  The angle of the light almost makes a shimmer across the landscape.  This happens every year around this time, Septemberish, that the sun and the mountains get ‘closer together’ much quicker. Of course, you are thinking, that’s what happens in the Fall.  Earth rotation, etc..  But,  I feel at 5, 400 some feet, this is ever-so noticeable.  I didn’t grow up here.  I don’t recall noticing this change in my Midwest living years.  (I was younger then, and clueless).  For me, though, this casting of the sun brings with it such a calm and peaceful announcement, “Fall is here.

I love this time of the year.  The smell of Fall, the crispness of the morning.  It’s still amazing to me how the morning temperature can be 50 degrees, but the warm Colorado sun can reach 80 degrees by day’s end.  I am embracing this gentle change of Fall.  Embracing  before the wind-whipping, snow-twirling, winter air rushes down those mountainsides.

The sun went down behind the mountain tonight around 7pm.

Not only are we reminded of our days getting shorter, but someone (who shall remain nameless) has also reminded me of something else I have been putting off this summer; updating the lighting in our family room.  It’s dark in our family room.  It’s like living in a cave when we can’t rely on the summer sun to cast a nice glow into the late night hours. Okay.  Yes, I have put this off for at least a year, first ordering a couch, then waiting for some chairs…always seems to be something else.  Realistically, however, one can not read a book or magazine with the glow of our TV, and it’s time to look into some lighting purchases.

I’m not really sure what I want, which is part of my procrastination.  My goal is to provide a light source near each seating arrangement.  The chairs/couch shown are similar to, or are the exact pieces we have already in our room.  The couch has a console behind it for the lamp to sit on, obviously.

Lighting Ideas

I like the sleek, clean look of these pieces.  I don’t know if it’s too much of the same thing or if it provides unity in decor?

Here’s the quick rundown:

The ceiling fan; modern and hopefully brighter and less squeaky than the one we have.  I’ve always liked the look of the arc style floor lamps, see no. 2, which hopefully can tuck nicely behind or alongside the chair.  I am considering a swing arm lamp behind one of our chairs, such as in No. 3, to provide more floor space for plants and shelves and things.  This busy base table lamp (no. 4), which would sit on our bookshelf console already behind the couch, will mix up that slick silver just a bit, and hopefully not get kicked off the table by a small boy’s foot. This may be a plan, but I have not yet committed.

Have you purchased any lighting lately that you are happy with?

We shall see when I actually get around to this.  I am still working on Miss Jada’s dresser customization.  So, in the mean time, as the earth continues to rotate, and someone continues to complain about not being able to see the remote, I will continue to enjoy the daylight we have left and maybe, just maybe, go to bed a little bit earlier.

Lights out.

~laura

Images: 1) Fairview High School, Boulder, CO Google Image 2) Source Polyvore

Pondering.

Friday, September 7th 2012

Today I purchased this dresser for Miss Jada’s room make-over.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.

IKEA, HEMNES

It is not exactly what we had planned, but this HEMNES from IKEA is roomy and straight; two of our main criteria.

We are considering adding a bit of personal touch to it, somehow.

What do you think?  Do you see any inspirational ideas below?

cg dresser left side

Think design ideas.  Jada is all about Pink!

Furniture Trends | perfectly imperfect | painted furniture

Perfectly Imperfect

I have a feeling that there might be a bit too much pink in this room after it’s all said and done.  But I also have to remember it’s not my room.

Below is my top inspiration picture.

Via

Those HEMNES legs might have it in them to add a bit of pink to that bad boy.  The dresser will sit against a Graceful Gray (Behr) wall.  Yellow looks great with grey.  Maybe a pop of an unexpected color like turquoise will win out?

Honestly, we are still pondering it all.

~ Laura