Sunday, September 4, 2011

Who Doesn't Love A Good Deal?

There's this website.  It's called Pinterest.  And it's A-MA-ZING!!!

Think of it as a bunch of cork boards that you can designate for different categories: decor ideas, craft tutorials, clothing tutorials, printables, etc.  Pretty much anything that inspires you.  You then take a picture of that thing, and "pin" it to that board.  Only, these boards are all virtual, and the photos that you pin to them will take you directly to the original website that you found it at.

The reason I love it so much is because I am constantly searching through craft and decorating ideas, looking for inspiration, and I've been in search of a good way to keep all the things I someday want to do in one place.  And the price is sure right...totally, 100% free!

Here's my home Pinterest page, with all my boards (so far).

Doesn't it must make you giddy with organized-ness?  Ok, maybe that's just me.

On a different, but related subject, I recently had the chance to return to my favorite Goodwill in Forest Grove.  Many hours were spent searching for treasures in that particular Goodwill while I was in college, and no other Goodwill store has ever measured up.

Well, on Friday, I met Aunt Diane in Forest Grove to join her on the trek to Tillamook to pick up her new puppy from the breeder.  Little Miss Roxie is absolutely divine, with such a sweet temperament;  I'm so glad Aunt Diane now has her in her life!  When we got back to the Grove, I took the opportunity to check out both the Restore and Goodwill in Forest Grove, hoping to find some treasures needed for projects I currently have pinned on my boards.  Boy, did I make out like a bandit!

First, at Restore, I found a great side table for only $5!  Right now, it's a dark green with a lot of scratches and stuff.  But soon, all those scratches will be sanded out, and it will be refinished with a distressed white.  Here's the table, pre-refinish (cause I haven't finished the darn thing yet!).

I also found a milk vase - you know, one of those old fashioned white glass vases - for only $0.99.  I had been looking for one that didn't scream "way too out of date", to be used in the below tutorial.

This is my version: vase from Goodwill, stick from the tree in our backyard, yarn from my sizable stash.  Total cost: $0.99

There are three other projects (besides refinishing the table) that I have most of the supplies for, which I got at Goodwill for under $8.  I will post those as I finish them.  Gotta love decorating on a budget!!!  I'm so excited about getting our living room all painted and decorated, I think it's soon going to be my favorite room.  I'm drawing all of my inspiration for the colors from a great painting I found on sale at Fred Meyer's a few weeks ago.  I absolutely love the style and colors, and I think it's going to make a great centerpiece for the room!

Oh the joys of finally being in a house that we (believe) will be in for years to come, and can decorate however we see fit, because WE OWN IT!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Warning! VERY VERY long photo post!

Levi (left) & Asher enjoying their wagon in the backyard...our grass isn't that green anymore. 

Newberg ladder truck helping control the Burn to Learn. 

Three generations of Labunski men! 

The boys fishing with Daddy and Papa for the first time.

 Gigi helping Levi fish.

Lazy morning in the Labunski household. 

My first fondant cake for Fourth of July. 

Levi rockin' the sunglasses. 

Levi with his new baseball glove. 

Asher with his new baseball glove.

As a reference, the fireplace before.

After Nathan pulled off all the nasty fake rock facade.

Nathan and his dad after pulling out the fireplace.

The hole in the wall, where the fireplace and some really pieced-together drywall use to be.

 The filled hole, just waiting for taping, mudding, texturing, and painting.

The tv mounted on the wall after Nathan and his dad got all the wiring done. 

 Levi at the Air Museum playground.


The barn just down the road from the house I grew up in. 

 Elkhorn Mountains from the Interpretive Center, after my mostly uphill 5k.

 Our house with the beautiful rhododendrons out front.

 Sweet Baby James on his first birthday!

Luminaria at Relay for Life for Marla and Uncle Denny.

 Enjoying the fountains at Discovery Meadows park.

Chowing down on hamburgers on the patio.

 Asher (left) and Levi with their new tape measures.

Boys' first sparklers on Fourth of July.

Levi's first Dilly Bar.

Asher's first Dilly Bar.

On the beach at Arch Cape with Papa and Gigi.

Playing in the sand. 

Dancing with Gigi & Papa to the live band at the potluck we went to at Arch Cape.

 Entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park (if you couldn't tell).

Ok, I promise I'm done.

Mt. Rainier 2011

Would you believe that, for all the traveling and camping I did growing up, I have never ever been to Mt. Rainier?  Well, I haven't.  Nathan, on the other hand, grew up camping there.  So I had no idea what all the hype was about when Nathan's mom, sister, and aunt would talk about Mt. Rainier in such glowing terms.

Thankfully, Nathan's Aunt Diane fixed that problem.  She sent out an email a couple months ago asking if anyone would like to join her for a few days at her two tent camp site.  I somehow managed to  get the days off, and we headed up there on Tuesday afternoon to join her, Nathan's mom, Kate, Eliot & Sweet Baby James for a couple of days.  We arrived just in time to provide a spaghetti dinner for everyone, and then enjoy some s'mores, courtesy of Kate & Eliot.

I had to admit, I was a little nervous about taking the boys tent camping for the first time, but I think their couple of trips in the camper with Gigi and Papa helped prepare them.  They did great!  They were pretty good about keeping themselves entertained during the times that we were busy making meals and such, and had no problem falling asleep (and staying asleep) in the tent that night.  This, in and of itself, was a minor miracle, because it was SOOOOOO COLD that night!!!  Of course, the boys were probably toasty warm, because they ended up with the mummy bags that are rated for 0 degrees, while Nathan and I had some thin flannel sleeping bags and froze our butts off all night!

The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast of blueberry pancakes with Aunt Diane and just kind of hung around until Kate & Eliot showed up to say goodbye.  We then joined Jan up at Paradise Inn, had some lunch (highway robbery, I tell you...$25 for two bbq shredded pork sandwiches, four small bags of chips, and one soda!!!), then took the boys on a hike to Myrtle falls.  At 1 mile round trip, it was the shortest hike from the Inn, and was absolutely beautiful.

The boys did a great job, we only carried them for the last .2 miles on the way up.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy the entire time so we never really got to see the mountain itself, but the wild flowers were out and absolutely beautiful, and the views were breathtaking.

After hiking a mile and a game of "chase Aunt Diane" at the Visitor's Center, the boys crashed for a fantastically long nap in the tent before dinner.  They were sleeping so hard, that Levi stayed asleep through us waking up Asher, Asher crying while we changed him, and then us packing up a bunch of the stuff in the tent.  He was SO ticked when we finally woke him up, ha ha ha!

Because of how cold it had been the night before and then all of Wednesday, we all decided to cut the trip short a day and head home that night after dinner.  We enjoyed some tacos made by Diane, packed up our ridiculous amount of packing stuff, and finally hit the road around 7 pm.  The mountain made a surprise appearance at the last possible moment, just after we turned onto Hwy 7, and it was so beautiful!  We were on track to get home around 10:30, but somehow managed to hit some major construction on Hwy 205 just outside of Portland, and ended up not getting home until around, that pissed the boys off!  But wow did our hot showers and warm, soft bed feel good!

All in all, I'd say our first camping trip with the boys was a total success, and I can't wait to do it again! Maybe next time the mountain will actually be visible, lol!  And now, some photos!

 Levi (left) & Asher enjoying their first ever pita pocket sandwich, a Morgan family camping staple.

The boys and Aunt Diane in the 'kitchen', with the HUGE tent we were in.  Thanks for the loan, Mom! 

 Diane's tent in the other half of the camp site.

Not sure what Levi is doing here...maybe telling Daddy that it's time to go on our hike, already! 

See those clouds?  That's where the mountain is, I swear! 

Looking toward Paradise Inn from the Visitor's Center. 

The top of the 1 mile round trip hike.  We were at 5600 feet and it was about 45 degrees.  But so pretty!

Top of Myrtle Falls. 

The creek above the falls, looking toward where the mountain would be if it weren't covered by clouds. 

 Daddy and Levi on the bridge.

 Levi (left) and Asher in front of the creek.

Myrtle Falls. 

Daddy and the boys on the hike back down to the Inn. 

Magenta Indian Paint Brush...this has always been my favorite wild flower.

The End!