Sunday, February 28, 2010

Decluttering The Devers - February 2010

I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to some of you (okay, all of you) that Emerson has A LOT of clothes.  I think, actually I know, the day I found out I was having a little girl I went shopping right away and bought at least five outfits.  I admit, I have a shopping problem habit, but I am not the only one that has contributed to Emerson's sizeable amount of clothing.  Yes, I have a partner in shopping crime....Mimi!!!  We have been shopping partners since before I can remember and luckily we have the same taste.  Shortly after Emerson was born, I introduced Mimi to Ebay, a source I had quickly grown to love for Emerson clothing.  We both tend to go overboard when it comes to dressing Emerson.  There, Danny I said it, I CAN go overboard, but I AM working on it.  I mean come on, clothes for girls are just SOOO CUTE!!! 

So, if you haven't figured it out yet our February Decluttering The Devers is about my "hobby" (and Danny's nemesis), Emerson's Clothes!!  Needless to say, they have taken over the house, at least 3 rooms of the house; her room, a bit of the bonus room and our guest room.  Even participating in consignment sales like  Upscale Resale (2x) and Kids EveryWear, we were still being engulfed in clothing.  I am embarassed to even show the pictures of these rooms.  If I participated in McMama's "Not Me Mondays", this would surely be a great topic for a post.  So, without further ado....this is what our guest room looked like before the "decluttering".  (In my defense, although it doesn't take away from anything, there was a fresh pile of laundry on top of the already existing pile.)
The Guest Room, Emerson's 2nd Closet

I know, I embarassed right now!!! 

I purchased four plastic storage bins and labeled them.....

Upscale Resale - I can take these clothes next week, YAY!! Guess it's time to start hanging and labeling!
Other Sales - KidsEveryWear, Once Upon a Child, etc.
Does Not Fit (Keep) - those outfits I just can't part with
May Fit Spring/Fall 2010- hopefully Em can wear these, if not, they will find there way into another bin

......and then I started sorting.  In fact, my Other Sales bin got so full, I had to add a second one. 
(Amy get ready, those are both coming to you!!)

Ahh, the final result was worth taking the time to DECLUTTER.  Anyone want to come spend the night?  I can actually have house guests again!!  Danny even said he might just sleep in the room since no one has stayed in there for so long.  I mean how could they sleep there, the bed was drowning in clothing, but not anymore.  Maybe it is a good idea for Danny to sleep in there, then I'd have the king to myself. 
Hmmm, oh honey.....!!!

I'm vowing that our guest bedroom will stay a guest bedroom.  Seriously, anyone want to come visit!!

Check out past decluttering projects by clicking on the links below:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pump It Up!!!!

Today, Emerson, Danny and I attended Tara's 5th birthday party at Pump It Up.  Tara is the older sister of Kayla, one of Emerson's classmates.  Emerson was actually invited (along with three more classmates) to help Kayla celebrate and not feel so "left out" amongst the big kids.  We were thrilled to be invited since this was the first party Emerson has ever been to at an indoor inflatable fun park. 

Upon entering Arena A, Emerson sized up the three different types of inflatables: a bounce basketball court, a small obstacle course, and the velcro wall.  A bit hesitant at first, it didn't take Emerson much time to jump (literally) right in and start bouncing.  Emerson, along with classmates Aurora, Julianne, and Kayla, had a great time running back and forth, bouncing, sliding, rolling, and climbing.  We all know that Emerson has a slight fear of slides...not sure where this comes from, because she will go down the Herman's slide all day long, but in public, she isn't a big fan.  So, Danny had to get in and coax her a bit, but once she did it in the obstacle inflatable, she followed up with two or three more times (it probably helped that her friends were doing it as well).

We were in Arena A for about 45 mintues and then it was time to move to Arena B.  (These people had changing rooms, and moving the differnt parties down to a science).  Arena B offered three more bounce style inflatables: a much larger obstacle challenge, a bouncy boxing ring, and a super duper slide (uh oh)!  Danny decided he would go up with Emerson the first time on the slide.  Actually, let me rephrase, Emerson decided Danny would go up with her the first time on the super duper slide.  Emerson wasn't a fan but after more coaxing from Danny she came down on her belly and was all smiles at the bottom.  After her first trip down, Emerson was ready to go again (by herself) and she successfully completed two more runs down the slide.  Had we conquered the fear?  On about the 4th or 5th trip up the ladder, with kids passing her and zooming down the slide, Emerson decided to pull her best  "feet in the ground like a stubborn bulldog" move and sit at the top of the slide.  She wasn't budging!  She wasn't upset, she wasn't crying, she was just determined she wasn't coming down.  We tried to build up her confidence and get her down but eventually Danny had to go back up and get her down, again with all smiles at the end.  Luckily it was time for a potty break and by the time we got back, it was time for a group picture and then a move into the party room. 

After the group picture, we headed into the party room.  Ahh, the party room brought much excitement to the kids with pizza, juice, chips, ice cream cake, and cookie cake, and I won't lie, the adults were just as excited.  Emerson had a great time playing, running, and laughing with all her "girlfriends", and the sugar helped (especially for a girl who doesn't get sugar much).  It is always nice to see a smile on your child's face and watch them have a great time just being young without a care in the world; those are the moments to cherish and store in your memory bank!

Thanks for inviting us Tara (and Kayla), we all had a great time laughing, boucing, eating, and watching you open presents.  Danny and I send a special thank you, we had three solid hours of quiet in the house when we got home, thanks to a pooped out, napping, party girl!!! 

Show-and-Tell #27 - Mickey Mouse Laptop

Well folks, I thought we might end the Disney Show-and-Tell streak this week, but lo and behold, when Emerson emerged from the bonus room with her Show-and-Tell item yesterday, it just happened to be her Mickey Mouse laptop.  Danny and I gave this to Emerson for Christmas as part of her Disney themed presents, you know, the ones you keep hearing about in all these Show-and-Tell posts. It is a pretty interesting little laptop with Games, Music, Numbers, and Letters settings.  I think Emerson's favorite thing though, is that she can sit on the couch next to Mommy and play with her laptop while Mommy plays with her own laptop.  I have to admit, Emerson's is much cooler than mine!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: What's Cookin'?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Show-and-Tell #26 - Princess Pinwheel

We took a week off of the Disney themed Show-and-Tells for a Valentine's Day themed S&T, but we are back in action this week.  Emerson got this "Princess Pinwheel" as part of her Disney present from Danny and me for Christmas.  Emerson loves to spin the wheel and name each princess.  I've included a picture of Emerson opening her present on Christmas morning.  Also, props to Danny for the pictures Friday morning....he was all by himself (I was at an event)
 and he did a great job getting some cute shots of Ms. Em!!!

Show-and-Tell #26
February 19, 2010
Princess Pinwheel

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The ABC's of Me

Recently I saw this on a blog and I thought it was a great idea.  We've all seen things like this in our inbox and on Facebook from time to time.  So, since I talk about Emerson so much on this blog, I thought it might be fun for my readers to learn a bit about me and maybe Danny (if I can talk him into doing it).  Maybe the next time I get one of these via my email or Facebook...I will pay more attention to it, fill it out and post it here.  Enjoy!!

A - Age: 31 (32 in June - UGH!!!)

B - Bed size: King (although I've heard a queen is better for your marriage :)!)

C - Chore you hate: unloading and loading the dishwasher

D - Dog's Name: Hogan (he'll be 12 in November)- such a sweet dog!!

E - Essential start your day item: a Diet Coke (or any diet soda with caffeine)

F - Favorite color: Black (I know it isn't considered a color, but I do love it.  My close seconds would be pink, lt. blue, green - in that order)

 G - Gold or Silver: Why isn't platinum a choice?  I would say mainly silver but I did jump on the fashion bandwagon last year with some gold accessories!

H - Height: 5' 3" (Yeah, I'm really short)

I - Instruments you play(ed): Sadly, I don't play any, but if I could have the magical talent of playing an instrument, I would either play the guitar or the piano.  

 J - Job title: Events Coordinator, but believe me, that's just a title. You would be amused at some of the things I do on a daily basis.

K - Kid(s): if you read this blog and you don't know that then you haven't been paying attention.  For those of you that don't read this blog, I have an adorable, sweet 2 1/2 year old named Emerson!!

L - Living arrangements: Just the three of us and the dog in a house that I am constantly creating projects for

M - Mom's name: Wanda, but Emerson calls her Mimi

N - Nicknames: Brookey, and Danny's nickname for me is KiKi

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: only when I gave birth to Emerson.  I stayed overnight when Danny broke his leg but I wasn't the patient, just a concerned girlfriend that slept in the hospital chair. 

 P - Pet Peeve: wow, too many to list. 

 Q - Quote from a movie: One of my favorite movie scenes of all time from the movie Pretty Woman...

R - Right or left handed: Right
Shop assistant: Hello, can I help you?

Vivian: I was in here yesterday, you wouldn't wait on me.
Shop assistant: Oh.
Vivian: You people work on commission, right?
Shop assistant: Yeah.
Vivian: Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.

S - Siblings: no siblings here, I used to love being an only child but as I have gotten older, I really miss not having a sibling.

T - Time you wake up: wrong week to ask...this week it was 5:30 pretty much every day, but most weeks it is b/w 6:00 and 6:30. 

U - Underwear: Yes, but I hate cotton underwear!

V - Vegetable you dislike: Collards, actually, it really isn't fair to say I hate them, because i have never tried them...but by the looks of them, I can tell you I don't think I would like them.  Cauliflower would be a very close second.

W - Ways you drink your coffee: I don't drink it much, usually after dessert in a fancy restaurant; but when I do drink it, usually it's with cream and sugar substitute (splenda, equal).  I do love a Starbucks every now and then, though!!

X- X-rays you've had: Teeth, Brain (no, I'm not crazy, it was for migraines), lungs and ankle

Y - Yummy food you make: I don't "make" food often, but when I do, I think I'm a decent cook.  Turkey/Havarti baked sandwiches, breakfast casserole, several different desserts, Cosi Salad, Sausage Dip and many many more!!

Z - Zoo favorite: Elephants, tigers, and bears, OH MY!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: First One, Literally!

I'm starting a new series on my blog called Wordless Wednesday.  I have a couple of blog friends who do this and after Amy posted it today, I thought I would join in the fun.  I mean, it's one picture....I can do that; quick, easy, and to the point.  So, needless to say, this will be the only Wordless Wednesday with words.  Enjoy the new series!!!

Emerson, on her first birthday.....after bath, after Cake!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Show-and-Tell #25 - Singing Valentine Dog

Ahh, there is a break in the Disney streak this week for a Valentine themed Show-and-Tell.  Emerson took her "Singing Valentine Dog" to school this week.  This dog was given to Emerson last Valentine's Day by Mimi and Birdie.  When his foot is pushed he sings "I Feel Good, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na" and his ears flap up and down as he moves side-to-side.  Very cute!! 

Show-and-Tell #25
February 12, 2010
Singing Valentine Dog

Here's some pictures of Emerson on Friday in her Valentine's outfit.  We hope you all had a great Valentine's day and got to spend it with the ones you love. 

Making Valentines!!

In honor of Valentine's Day today, I thought I would post about all the Valentine's fun Emerson and I had this week making our Valentine projects.  We worked on three separate projects this week, Valentines for classmates, cookies for Em's class party and popcorn gifts. 

On Wednesday night we tackled our first project, making Valentines for Emerson's classmates and Ivie and Macie.  I got the idea from the Poca Cosas blog.  She had a great post on Crafty Valentines and I fell in love with the "I Dig You" treat bags.  Upon seeing them on the blog, I immediately did an Ebay search for cheap shovels in red, white and pink.  We used this picture as our inspiration for our Valentines!!!

 Emerson had a great time sorting the chocolate (even sneaking a few into her mouth), counting the chocolates for each bag, stuffing the bags, and putting in the shovels.  What a great educational activity, sorting colors and counting chocolates...who wouldn't want to learn when chocolate is involved!!  I finished off the project by adding some printed cards with ribbon. 

Our first project finished!!!  These turned out so cute. 

We tackled the next two projects on Thursday night.  The first one was making cookies for the Valentine's Day party in Emerson's class.  Emerson really enjoyed rolling out the cookies, cutting them, and putting them on the cookie sheet.  Although I swear I have one, I couldn't find our rolling pin, so we actually used the small rolling pin from Emerson's cooking set in her new kitchen.  Emerson was also very excited to put on her personalized apron from the Hermans. 

We made the cookies first:
Butter, Eggs, Flour, Cookie Mix, and a spin with the mixer and we were ready to roll, literally!

Can't you tell Emerson had a blast!!!  The hardest part was waiting for them to come out of the oven.  We distracted her with dinner while they cooled off, and then it was time to decorate, oh what fun!!!  I dyed some frosting PINK (of course), iced the cookies, then I gave the decorations to Emerson and let her go to town.  We had one mishap (as you will see in the collage) but other than that, Emerson did a great job and figured it out pretty quickly.  We even let her ice her very own "special" cookie for her dessert that night. 

Our finished cookies.  Valentine's love cookies for Emerson's class party.  We hope everyone enjoyed the cookies as much as we enjoyed making them!!

The final project of our Valentine's trio was White Chocolate Popcorn from Make and Takes website.  Who couldn't resist this delicious treat??  Because we ran out of time, I ended up making this after Emerson went to bed that night.  I made several batches of this treat to give to Emerson's teachers.  Although messy, this was pretty easy to mak.  Popcorn, M&M's, peanuts, and white chocolate also make this pretty easy to eat!! 

All three of our projects ready for school the next day.  We had a great time making everything. 
Hopefully, we were able to spread a little bit of love around!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Marbles Kids Museum

We decided to try another one of the Triangle's great kids museums this morning (if you remember, we hit Kidzu a couple of weeks ago) and invited the Herman girls to join in the fun with us.  Not sure why we haven't been before now, but I think of all the museums in this area, Marbles Kids Museum is, by far, my new FAVORITE!!!  I absolutely loved it and I think all the girls did too!  There were so many interactive sections to the museum, actually, the entire museum is interactive and each section has it's own theme. 

The Splash! section of the museum has a lot to offer.  The girls put on their waterproof smocks for a little bit of water fun in the huge water bowls.  After we all got "splashed" a little bit, we decided to move to the other areas of the Splash! section.  The Under the Waves room provided the girls with plenty of jumping opportunities on bouncy balls while listening to the calming sounds of the ocean.  After jumping around, it was time to experiment in the U.S.S Science Submarine and then get washed away at sea on The Blue Marble pirate ship. 

After the Splash! section, we decided to head upstairs to IdeaWorks.  While Amy and Ivie took a potty break, Danny, Emerson, Macie and I decided to walk around IdeaWorks and check it out.  At our last corner turn, we came upon the Super Structures section that was full, and I mean FULL, of blocks.  The girls had a great time building "castles" (as Emerson called them).  After building castles, we rounded the last corner to find the Go Zone of IdeaWorks.  The Go Zone is a place that you can build and race your own car.  I have to admit, Emerson's car won every time it was raced.  I also have to admit that we didn't make it, we picked it up off the table pre-made.  So, to whomever made the super speedy car today at Marbles, we thank you, because Emerson was super excited that her car won each race!!  Idea Works also included a work bench area, a design and construct area, and an Art Loft that we didn't even make it to....oh well, maybe next time.

The IdeaWorks section filtered us into the special exhibit sections of the BB&T Storeybrook Forest.  The girls were more than willing to throw on a tutu and show us their moves at the ballet bar.  The Can Heroes section in Storeybrook Forest offered great views of the entire museum but you had to be willing to walk into the grates that were suspended in mid air.  I think the mommies were a bit nervous with the girls in there, but they sure loved looking down at all the excitement. 

The next special exhibit was Moneypalooza.  Basically, this is an exhibit to start teaching kids the importance of saving, earning, and sometimes, even spending money.  I think we could have spent all day in this section.  Emerson's two favorite sections were the Dog Walking section and the Pizzeria.  She earned (funny) money from a Marbles employee for walking her dog around the park. In the Pizzeria, Emerson got her apron and chef hat on, took a pizza order by phone, made her pizza (in a brick oven, even), boxed it up and sent it on its way to be delivered.  Too cute!! 

After all the fun and excitement of Moneypalooza, we realized it was almost time to head out for the day,  but not before playing in the Around Town section (a section we missed on the way in).  Around Town is filled with all the things you might find in your own town like buses, fire trucks, trains, and even a theatre.  Emerson also had a great time playing with the over-sized blocks at the museums entrance and we eventually had to tempt her away with getting a special "prize" in the gift shop.  (more on that later)

What a great way to spend a Saturday morning......
I see a trip back to Marbles in our VERY near future!!!

.....and, of course, I leave you with two of my favorites from today!!!

Show-and-Tell #24 - Cinderella Princess Wand

I told you our running Disney theme would spill over into the February Show-and-Tells.  This week's Show-and-Tell item is another souvenir from Disney World.  Emerson picked this out our first day in the Magic Kingdom.  What little girl wouldn't be able to resist Cinderella's Wand, especially with it's twinkling lights!!  I've included a photo (yet, fuzzy) of it all lit up.  Hopefully this wand will bring magic to our house for years to come. 
Show-and-Tell #24
February 5, 2010
Cinderella Princess Wand

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Decluttering The Devers - January 2010

After the New Year, you couldn't open a woman's magazine, read a blog or watch an HGTV show without hearing or reading about clutter and how to get rid of it.  Every blog I subscribe to talked about some form of organization for the New Year. 

Centsational Girl
Centsational Girl wrote about Kicking Clutter to the Curb and about how to Get Organized.  She even did Five Days to a Fresh Start where she charged her readers with a de-cluttering tasks for five consecutive days at the beginning of January.

Today's Creative Blog hit the nail on the head when she talked about Organizing Your Crafty Self (hello, that is what this post is about).  Her post I Can't Stop, gave great organization tips for common household items.

Miss Mustard Seed's Creative Blog

Miss Mustard Seed's Creative Blog had some great tips in her Organization Inspiration and Tips blog post.

Amy, my neighbor and good friend even started her own way of simplifying with Simplify Sunday.

So, in the spirit of all things New Year, I decided to get myself, my family, and our house RE-organized.  You see, two and half years ago this little angel came into our lives but with it she brought some chaos and organization went out the window.  I once considered myself a pretty organized person.  My house was neat and organized, my life was neat and organized....but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.  Toys have taken over my living room and bonus room, childrens clothes have taken over my guest bedroom, and trikes, wagons, and outdoor toys have taken over my garage.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it for the world but it is time to bring a sense of organization back to the Dever Household.  It is time to make organization a priority again and stop putting it second or third on the list of things to do.  I want everything in our house to have a place, wait, let me rephrase that, I want everything in our house to have a correct place, an easily found place, a PURPOSEFUL place!  I want to get rid of the stacks, the junk, the piles, the bags, the not needed, the unnecessary, the never used.  I want the organization I once had BACK!!


I decided to do this over the course of 2010; not as a resolution, I HATE resolutions.  (If you want to change, do it today, don't wait for the New Year.)  I decided I would take 12 key areas of our house that are problem areas and I would do one per month, any more than that would be unrealistic with our crazy lives.  Sure, there might be some months that I can get two projects done but anything above 12 will be a bonus.  So, 12 projects in 12 months.  Closets, junk drawers, bookcases, the garage, Emerson's clothes; all of them (and then some) will get an overhaul.  I want to do these right, I want to take time and I really want to make a permanent and lasting change.  I want these changes to make real improvements in our house and in our lives. 

I decided to start with a project that really needed my help; my CRAFT CABINET.  Yes, cabinet!  I am not lucky enough to have an entire room devoted to crafts (not yet at least).  So, right now I have to settle for a cabinet in our laundry room. One day, I hope to have a room in my house solely devoted to the art of CRAFTING. 

I'd take any of these!!!!

Are you drooling yet?  I certainly am.  Anyways, back to the cabinet at hand.  So my craft cabinet used to be organized but then somehow (not sure how it happened), it got to the point that it looked like this.....

Yes, I am blushing now and totally embarrassed that I even showed that to you, but I have to be honest with everyone and with myself.  Now you know why I decided to do this project first, not to mention that I have a lot of crafty projects coming up soon.  I decided to start from scratch and take everything out of the cabinet and I do mean EVERYTHING...

I bought some IKEA storage boxes during our last trip to IKEA in hopes that this project might one day take place.  I (heart) IKEA KASSETT storage boxes; they make organization so easy!!


AHHHHH, do you hear the angels singing and the harps playing!!!  Look at that cabinet now.  I am so satisfied with the final outcome and I even have room to spare.  Michaels and Hobby Lobby are calling my name!!!  Everything has a place and a label.  Paint, Ribbon, Glue Guns, Supplies, Brushes, Pens, Note cards, and even an Idea Book. All of it has its own place and its own BOX.  These boxes make it easy to just pull out what you need and leave what you don't.  So Easy and soooooo ORGANIZED!!!  One project down, eleven more to go.