home about before & after

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday

Do we like this five on Friday thing? Yes? No? Whatever? It seems to be the one place I can keep all of my ramblings brief and abbreviated (sort of).  

So let's get to it! Here's what five things I'm talking about today...


The husband's birthday was this past week, and I got him a Ninja Blender. Birthdays are just so romantic & fun when you're old, right? To be fair, he's been talking about this thing for about 2 years now. And if I'm being truthful, this gift is a win-win for everyone since I'd be using it too. But as it turns out, I'm just meh about it. I had such high hopes for this thing. But my green smoothie didn't blend so well and I felt like I was chewing on a lawn. The husband on the other hand is a fan...sort of (I suppose that's good to know since it was his gift). But then he later admitted that he didn't notice much difference between it and our 10-year old Oster blender. And then he broke a glass after making this smoothie. So never mind. He doesn't really like it now. 

We're off to a rough start with this thing. #birthdaygiftwin

I've seen several DIY kids kitchen sets out there, but this one seems up my alley. Like, I could probably put this together myself. It's basic yet still adorable that even if it doesn't turn out looking exactly like this, our 17-month old will still think it's awesome anyway. I mean, it's not like she's judging me on my creative abilities. Then again, she's my child, so she probably is.


I've been wearing the hell out of this sweater since I bought it 2 weeks ago. To work, out to dinner, to birthday parties...there is a 100% chance you've seen me wearing this more than once in a week. It's like I've morphed into Jenny from the block (don't laugh, you know you think the JLo line at Kohl's is cute).


I didn't think I'd be able to say this in 2014, but the temperatures have risen to over 50 freaking degrees this week. So naturally, that called for floral pants.

Funny Weekend Ecard: It's Friday. Please commence losing your shit, in excited anticipation of the weekend.

And with that, I'm off to enjoy my weekend. TGIF y'all!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday friends, happy Friday.


My Peep consumption has totally gotten out of control. The fact that Wegmans started stocking Easter candy the day after Valentine's day became a huge issue for me...oh, since like, the day after Valentine's day. God help me, we have two more weeks left of this nonsense.

Peeps as an accompaniment to wine? Sure, why not.
A new season of OC Housewives premieres in less than two weeks!

I'm looking forward to the change of scenery, since the Beverly Hills ladies (yawn, sigh, yawn) are boring me. We get it...everyone is against Lisa, Joyce is still awkwardly trying to fit in, Yolanda got her hair cut, and Andy is going to blow his brains out if he has to talk to these women for one more minute. I'm so over it, I can barely get through the THIRD episode of the reunion.  #firstworldproblems 
All this talk of how I've lost my creative decorating juices, and now I'm itching. This fabric is on my radar & earmarked for a little pillow makeover.  The same pillow makeover that I'll get around to sharing photos of...oh, in 2024.

 Dalmation Spot, Black & White


The husband and I are going out of town this weekend. I've turned into a ninja since we've entered the toddler stage & I'm excited to give my go-go gadget arms and legs a rest for two days (and to sleep past 7:00 a.m....and to eat at the pace of a normal human...and to read a magazine without interruption...and to sleep. Did I mention sleep?)

Is it Memorial Day weekend yet.
My friend Jen started a blog!
Chasing Sunshine
Jen and I go way back to our days as event planners, when we were footloose & fancy free, working insane-ass hours, and bringing home dimes for all our hard work. Ah, the good old days. Now we're responsible adults who have to care for little people, and we trade almost daily stories about how we should have child-proofed our homes ages ago. Well, at least none of our children has been caught playing with knives (that I'm aware of) so we must be doing something right. Go check her out!
And because your Friday wouldn't be complete without the sight of this little one...
TGIF y'all. Go party your asses off (with or without that party hat)!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Additional ramblings (otherwise known as "Remember when I used to DIY?")

Anyone remember when I started this blog and talked about DIY, décor and all the fun stuff we were doing around the house?

Yeah, me either.

The truth of the matter is that stuff just isn't happening anymore. With a toddler, it's practically impossible. Not to mention I've lost most of my motivation when it comes to making any changes or updates to this house. Folks, we've pretty much done it all. And at the recommendation of our realtor, it's wise of us to stop. We're currently still (very much) on the house hunt. But it's slow going, and slim pickings these days. And did I mention we're picky? I'm pretty sure our realtor sits in his office & shakes his head with each house we turn down. You know, when he's not out selling houses to clients who aren't lunatics.   
So since I don't do anything décor related anymore and some people seem to enjoy when I ramble (or maybe that's just me), let's do this again, shall we?

So my beloved Dayton Flyers didn't advance to the Final Four. I'm sad. Who doesn't love a Cinderella story? It was a good run Flyers, good run. Does anyone else have any weird superstitions? Because I do. I made a conscious effort not to wash Emme's UD t-shirt during the tourney. And yes, I can see all of you think-a-lots out there examining this one. I let my child wear a dirty shirt three times over the course of two weeks. What's impressive to note is that I'm remarkably good at keeping a clean child, so no one was really the wiser. But last week I decided it was a little gross to keep up this charade. The husband was like, "no, you can't wash it!" and I was all, "ahh, whatever...our child's not a hobo" (or something like that) and into the wash it went. And believe it or not, deep down, the crazy woman inside of me thinks that washing the shirt had something to do with Saturday's loss. I know, have another cocktail Katie (don't worry, I did).

My child. Wearing a clean t-shirt.
So the day prior (the same day as the 'Great T-shirt Wash of 2014') my lovely came down with a cold. She recovered in time for her bestie's 1st birthday party the next day (whew), but after a horribly long, painful day (for me), I decided she needed a little Triaminic to help her sleep. The two night's leading up to that evening weren't pretty. So some cough meds were really the only answer at that point. Anyway, the administration of the medicine didn't go so well, and most of the Triaminic ended up on the back of her head (don't ask). Let's just say this, the following night I decided the "come out of nowhere and pin your child down while she's watching Disney Jr." method wasn't the correct approach. The following morning, her head was a crusty, grape scented mess. And this is what she looked like after I attempted to comb her hair:

Which brings me to my next point. I've heard this stuff is great. I'm thinking about trying it.

It says, "For curls, tangles, frizzies and bed head". SOLD. If all goes according to plan & this stuff works, I'm thinking to convince the company that this should be their before pic:

And! Because at some point (in 2014) I'm planning to share pictures of Emme's playroom, I'll leave you with this sneak peek...

And no, my princess isn't sitting pretty and having tea parties all the live long day. But for the short moment that this room appeared put together...ahhh, it sure was nice. More to come!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Is this thing on: The Sequel (and other random musings)

Oh hey.

Is this thing on? I think the last time I said that I was sleepless in Seattle and navigating my way through new mommyhood. But now I have a toddler, I work, I manage a household (and all it's members), and I have no time for this blog. I love it & I love to write--really, I do. It's just that sometimes at the end of the day, I just want to zone out and watch an hour of whatever Housewives season we're currently in. And sleep. Yes, sleep.

I'm not totally sure how you pick up and start blogging again after being away for almost three months. So I think I'll just start talking as if I never took a break in the first place.

First up? We have a toddler, folks. One with really bad hair when she wakes up from a nap.

Exhibit A:

On a good day she looks like this:

And on St. Patrick's day she looks like this:

She's just shy of turning 17 months and wow...that was fast! She keeps us on our toes, that's for sure. She's so awesome & I know every mom says it, but I don't know what we did before her arrival (my guess is that I was watching way more reality t.v. than you could shake a stick at). She's talking & mimicking A LOT these days. Which means I have to watch my god damn f*&!ing mouth now. Great. Which, by the way, is really hard to do when you have a dog who never stops barking. And half the time he's barking at air. (And now you just got a glimpse of what our household is like on a daily basis. Your welcome.). Which would explain why this sometimes happens:


Anyhoo. Moving along.

I've been meaning to do a post on toddler meals for so long now. When I started (and never finished) the original post on this topic it was months ago. And since then, we've been all over the board. It seems teething--as well as a very opinionated 17-month old--are the reasons why mealtimes can be a down right challenge at times. I will say this--Emme is a pretty good eater on most days. I'm sure this is likely to change over the years (or the next 10 minutes), but for now it's all about providing a protein, grain, fruit and veggie with every meal (as well as striving for variety...something I struggle with on the daily). That doesn't mean all of those things actually make it into her mouth during each meal. But at least I'm holding up my end of the bargain.


Right now I swear by the Weelicious cook books. They're the bomb. If I was in the business of writing cookbooks (of which I am not) I would have written these for sure. They're typically my go to cookbooks when I'm trying to meal plan for the week. Which I usually do on Sundays. And then I head straight to Wegmans where I go to battle with the entire city of Buffalo (who also thinks shopping on a Sunday is a greeeeaaaaat idea).

I often sometimes get anxiety trying to put meals together for a toddler & two adults. The family cook book is right on...I can usually find something that's interesting, healthy, and pleases the three of us. Usually. So to sum things up, I love these books. Also, I need Xanex to grocery shop or pack lunches.

In other news....

So after we had a child, the old scrapbook room/office/store all my junk room turned into Emme's playroom. And I know, I still have not shared pics of the space. But for right now you should know that it is finished, it's awesome, and it helps keep our living room from looking like a daycare facility (most days anyway). The husband has his room/office, but for whatever reason he wasn't super welcoming when it came time to find a place for my stuff. So I purchased (with the help of my in-laws--in the form of a birthday gift) this shelf/cabinet:

It's awesome. I found it on Amazon. It came a little nicked and battered, but nothing overly noticeable. It was super easy to put together too (i.e., it didn't require the use of the husband or a drill). Also, I finally have a place to corral all my stuff (that isn't on the dining room table)! And since all my belongings are on display, I have no choice but to keep things looking good and organized in there. Unfortunately--and it didn't take long--little hands have figured out a way to get inside this thing, so I don't know how long things will stay looking like this. The other good news is that this thing replaced the stupid wine fridge...that we still have yet to get rid of. Anyone want to buy a wine fridge? Anyone?? Please? I've been reduced to begging.


Cabinet: Amazon
Wire baskets: Hobby Lobby
File folder storage & turquoise box: HomeGoods
Horsehead book end: thrifted

And if you're not too busy this evening, think about tuning in to watch my alma mater, the University of Dayton, take on Stanford in the NCAA tourney, won't you? I know someone who won't be watching. In fact, she could give a crap.

Whew...this was fun. It's good to be back!

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's the new year, y'all

Oh hey, 2014. Nice to see you. We had a great Christmas, new year's, and 2013...but now it's time to move on, clear the clutter, get back to basics. In so many words, it's time to simplify. I think that's my one little word for this year. Which makes this type A freak just a little bit excited for what's to come (clear away the clutter! get organized! live with less!). We'll see if the husband plays along...probably not...still worth a shot though....

So that's about it folks. I hope everyone's Christmas was just as awesome as ours. And now I'm off to work on 2014. And shovel snow. Because that's all we do now that we decided not to hire the plow guy this season (yep, this was the year we so were not going to need him....famous.last.words).

See you soon! xoxo

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry, merry

Christmas might be less than 15 days away (wait...what...I've only completed 1/4 of my shopping?? True story.), but when it came to decorating I didn't drag my feet. Want to hear another true story? I did it before Thanksgiving (cue the collective gasps!). I know, I know, but come on...Christmas was shoved down our throats by Halloween, it just felt right people.

I consider it an accomplishment that I got to things so quickly this year. Last year at this time I was still in a new mama, 'I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night' mode. The fact that I actually bought gifts or put ANY decorations up last year was nothing short of a miracle. And then I got the stomach flu on Christmas day. Yep, that happened.

I decided to go traditional & classic this year....golds, reds, rustic, vintage, etc. I really only decorate two rooms in the house--dining & living rooms. Aside from our bedrooms, they're the two rooms that we spend the most time in (and that our guests see too...obvs). I used to decorate one room more modern & in blue tones, the other more traditional. And frankly, that felt a little too chaotic for me this year. So gold, red, rustic & vintage it was!


(my mom made our stockings to go with the theme--bonus!)
(I have no clue how I've kept little hands away from this set up...it's as if she doesn't see it...a true Christmas miracle!)
We even decorated the outside this year! Which is a total first. Unless of course you're counting the year we decorated the lawn with pre-lit reindeer...that stayed out until March. For the record, we've never once put them out again. That year was just too embarrassing. Again, another true story, folks. This girl don't lie.
(pay no mind to the old doormat...that I should have tossed)
And then there's the tree. Ah, the Christmas tree! I was fully expecting we'd have to put an electric fence around the thing. But by some miracle of all miracles, Emme seems to be completely clueless that we have a large, living tree in the middle of our living room. I kept ornaments minimal and up high, as to not entice little hands to touch. My mom gave Emme a little dog ornament that she placed on a low lying branch (obviously, grandparents think this sort of stuff is funny). Aside from the few times she's pointed to it, she generally stays away. I can't say this is going to happen again next year, but we've seemed to dodge a bullet so far this year. So far being the key phrase.



(the angelic cherub reading under the tree)


There's a bit of a method to my madness this year now that a little person is in the mix. You gotta decorate high, keep non-breakables down low, and there's got to be plenty of distractions for said little person...you know, to keep from reminding her that there are a lot of things that she shouldn't be touching (this also prevents parents from saying "no" 8,000 times a day). Like, stuffed santas (!!!) that are way more fun that that breakable santa mama put up on the mantle. No, no...that santa is noooo fun.
And oh my god, that playing piano Snoopy! This was my mom's and she didn't want it anymore. But we knew who would! It didn't take long for little fingers to figure out how to press the on/off button. I think she was a little confused by the music and movement at first. But this thing has become an endless source of entertainment (and distraction from the tree). To the point where she carries it around the house now. Oh well, you pick your battles. It could be worse, she could be carrying knives.
I've also kept a bunch of kid friendly Christmas toys in her playroom. Which, I know, I know...that post is coming soon. I've been finished with that room for ages! But anyway, a stuffed Santa Snoopy and other assorted Christmas toys keep her occupied too. The Little People Nativity set is a big hit as well (she plays with that daily). I've also left a stack of Christmas books on her little table. Which we've tried reading to her on several occasions and she pushes them away (for the record, there are like, 3 books out of the 800 we have that actually hold her interest....so no offense Christmas).
And just because I love sharing....behold! This year's visit to Santa...

Meh. Unimpressed.
And because everyone has already received their cards...Merry Christmas 2013 from the Keefe's!

I was planning to send out a card with a couple of pictures, and then found this one....so there you go, it's a Keefe family photo explosion! More of us to love this holiday season. We ordered our cards through Shutterfly as they were having a pretty amazefest sale around Thanksgiving (yep, ordered the cards then too!). I'm a huge fan of the Shutterfly/Tiny Prints/Wedding Paper Divas family and was *this* close to ordering a different card with Tiny Prints. But man, they knocked it out of the park with their cards this year (as always). For those of you who are still dragging your feet, get your holiday card on HERE!
And now it's time to get cracking on that shopping! Merry Christmas to me??

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Emme's first birthday

If I don't do this now, she'll be 16....

(yep, loved her hat just as much as she loves bows on her head...not)
All the photos were taken by my fabulously talented friend, Liz of Elizabeth Lee Millen Images. If you are local, check her out! I said it before, and I'll say it again...hands down best money I spent that day. This is just a fraction of the pictures she took too. I was completely overwhelmed & in awe of what she captured that day. 
A good friend's mom made the cake & cookies...again, worth the money. There will be plenty of years for me to make a good old-fashioned cake myself, but the big ONE called for the pros to take care of business. We were *this close* to having the food catered too (hello, effortless party!), but if you know the husband, well....yeah, that didn't happen. Sorry to our party guests who I promised Fat Bob's (I tried, guys. I tried).
The rest of the party elements were DIY. I made the burlap banner. There was obviously an easier way of doing it, but I chose the hard and long way. That thing took for-ever to finish. I'm lucky I finished before her 5th birthday. The good news is that I can use it for future birthdays, as well as interchanging names. Winning. The "Emme at One" sign is from Lacey Fields purchased through Etsy. The bonus was that she printed and shipped it to me. Because ain't nobody got time for printing things (especially when I have a banner to make)!
I picked up the flowers & baby's breath from Wegmans & the mason jars were ones we had laying around the house. I just added a little burlap & lace. And voila!
And the important thing is that I survived the first year. I don't think people give moms very much credit for all the work they do, but now that I am one, well...I get it. I think this party was just as much a parental survival celebration as it was a birthday party for Emme.
So there you have it! Emme's first birthday party (in a nutshell).
Girlfriend is getting cake & ice cream with mom & dad next year...