Sunday, October 31, 2010

5 Tutorials I LOVE Right Now

I did a little blog stalking (as we all do, let's be honest) and am SO inspired by some of these moms and ladies in what they are accomplishing on top of their 9-5's (okay, maybe this job works a little overtime too). Anyway, enjoy!

1. Emily @ Jones Design Company suggests making this amazing book wreath.
This is literally TOP of my list of projects to complete (I actually just purchased my book for it yesterday at the local thrift store!). She's got some AWESOME tutorials so browse around her site!

2. Ashley @ Little Miss Momma made this hilariously cute timeout stool.
Even though Brecken isn't quite to the disciplining age, once he does get there, I'm for sure going to have to spend some time making one of these because how functional and cute is it?!

3. Imparting Grace gave me inspiration to get my pantry in order!
And to accompany a clean pantry and organized food stuff, I want to try the next one too:

4. Cannister Labels from StakerSensations shop on Etsy.
The trick with this one will be to find the exact right cannisters. I can't decide if I want to get clear cannisters (so that you can see what's inside as well) or solid like the ones above. Either way, anything that I can accessorize with vinyl these days is a project worth my time!

5. Isabella & Max is one of my favorite blogs to follow, and she has me analyzing every wall in my house to see which one I can transform to look like this:
The look of wallpaper, without the mess, and the ability to make it a feature wall. I just love this!

Anyway, there you have it! Be inspired with both huge projects and little ones. I'm working on a couple right now and will post them as soon as we return from vacation. I'm really all about the type of projects that I can accomplish in the span of naptime!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Linky Party

I never knew what a Linky Party was, but am feel like I'm an official blogger now. I linked up yesterday to one of my fav blogs to follow The Nester, on secrets to organizing. I shared with them our new Family Happenings Board which has been a huge help for the Carbonatto's in just the last couple of weeks. Check her out and Happy Saturday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Children Are the Orgasm of Life

Well that's a mighty bold statement Ashley.

"Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them."

This is one of the (odd) but insightful phrases on my lululemon bag (thanks Steph for being the car buddy up to the outlets).

At first when I saw it, I thought "geez...that's an interesting way to put it", but then I got to thinking that maybe there was some serious truth to that. Without indulging you too much into the Carbonatto household (Blake would die), I have come to know and appreciate SO much in the last (almost) 6 months from Brecken, and sort of agree (on some level) with the lovely people at Lululemon Athletica (aside from their clear genius in ability to make the cutest and most comfortablest hoodies in the world). Mind you, their target audience are not small children who would read this and proceed to ask mommy a bagillion totally awkward questions, so don't get your panties all in a bunch over it thinking about why this is inappropriate (and frankly, quite presumptious) on so many levels.

If Brecken were to hear (later in life) that he was considered the orgasm of life, he prolly might barf (as we all would when "behind-closed-door" references happen relating to our parents).

I always loved kids, but never was really around lots of them growing up. In fact, prior to Brecken being born, I could count the number of times that I even held a baby on one hand (Blake could too - it was one). And even though I heard it a million times before we held him, it really was true that "it's just different when it's your own".

I get SO much joy from being this little guy's mom. And unlike what Lululemon claims, the satisfaction FAR outlasts that of anything sexually related. This little boy is the ultimate high of life. {Leaving a legacy with him is what it's about}.

So dearest friends at Lululemon, I might have to disagree with you for once. Your hoodie design and tastes are exquisite, but really I'd be more apt to really agree that:

Children are the true money-suckers joy of life. Nothing about it is short-lived or fleeting. Raising your children is the real-meal-deal.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I'm kind of scattered this morning with what to write, so I'll just share whatever is top of mind:

Number 1 Random: This is week 3 of being a full-time SAHM, and because I'm in the house more (and have more time on my hands), I've been trying to improve my wife and mom skills with personalizing our house. You'll see I've added a new section on my blog to document some of the fun new things that I'm adding to our home, {because I want these blank walls to transform into our home}. Plus, it seriously helps for Blake and I to be on the same page every week.

For example, our new family schedule now hangs in our family room like this:

It was a super simple, and inexpensive project. One (okay two) trips to Ben Franklin and wah-la, we have a hub for our family schedule and meals for the week.

Materials consist of:
12x12 frame
12x12 scrapbook paper (here, I have chosen a classic spooookkkyy design for Halloween)
Day of the week magnets (clearance section)
12x12 metal sheet behind the scrapbook paper so that the magnets stick
2 Bistro Pens (that erase easily on any glass surface)
Vinyl decal of "Family Happenings"

Random Thought #2:
Isn't it funny what parents will do to make their kid laugh? I know that for Blake and I, we seriously make such fools of ourselves just to get a 2 second giggle from this kid. Here are a couple of recent examples:


Number 3 Random Thought:
Ryan yesterday challenged us to do some homework this week and determine what consumes your thoughts if you let your mind wander. Sometimes those "random" thoughts that enter your mind can either be what's keeping you from God, OR possibly, what the key is in connecting you more to God. {Sometimes it is in those unique "conversations" that God might be trying to reveal to you your unique purpose}. Needless to say, it was a new perspective on how I'm going to start enjoying those positive wanderous thoughts.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Trip #2

The weather didn't quite hold up as nicely as last weekend, but we still had a great time heading out to the pumpkin patch with the Lake Stevens Crew.

Brecken didn't seem to be all that interested in our photo sessions, but he was a good sport and was just taking in all of the sights.

And finally, out of the 9 pumpkins purchased, the only one to actually get carved...

Thanks Olsen's for hosting - can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Celebrating 27 Years

On Sunday and Monday, my family and friends went above and beyond to shower me with birthday love. It included a delicious dinner at one of my favs - Azul - to an unexpected limo ride with my husband! Most importantly though, SO many people donated to building a well for Charity:Water. We're just a few hundred shy now of changing the lives of an entire village. The generosity is overwhelming, but at the same time, {we believe whole-heartedly} that this is something that as Americans, we NEED to do - {give and share} the resources we're blessed with.

Here's to another year - I am looking forward to what God has in store for the 27th year of my life!

Monday, October 18, 2010


A friend just shared this with me - it's her devotion from this morning. How applicable this is to me in this season of life, and hopefully it will provide wisdom and insight for you too. Thanks for the birthday devotion Michelle!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Trip #1

We took a field trip yesterday out to Fox Hollows Farm in Issaquah for Brecken and many of his friends' first trip to the Pumpkin Patch.

Fox Hollows was a pretty cute little place with everything from a barn full of kittens, a bouncy house, pony rides and even a huge fire pit with materials for classic s'mores. We are so thankful to have friends that are in the same season of life with that we can share these milestone events with. {Everyone needs community, and we happen to LOVE ours}.

PS - a blogpost on a Sunday?! I love it, but miss it all at the same time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

It's another beautiful day in Seattle - seriously, beautiful. Sunny and prob 60 today. Love it. Woke up this morning, fed Brecken, got him changed (peed through his jammies again - the kid is a constant leaky faucet!), then sat down at my computer. Well to my joy, I had several new emails saying that we had a few more new donations, and they all had a theme: from my good friend Debt Ninja. Apparently today is National Bloggers Action Day with the theme being clean water, and so Debt Ninja decided to use his massive following (literally) to point them in the direction of raising money for our well!! He blogs about personal finance and I can't agree with him more to say that {there is no better use of your money (budgeted or non-budgeted) than to wastefully give it to others}. We're now at $3,518 and I really feel like we can do it.

Plus, with Charity:Water, your money goes into action right away. Check this out.

So in honor of an AWESOME random act of kindness, supporting National Bloggers Action Day and clean water, feel free to make a donation yourself! Seriously, only $10 gives someone clean water for 10 years. How can you say you don't have even $10?

Happy Friday and thank you again Debt Ninja - we owe ya. :) How about a trip to San Diego in February? Okay, perf (it's already booked ztsssss).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jake, Cake and Water

On Saturday, Blake and I hosted a fun special event to watch the Huskies (Jake), celebrate our birthdays (Cake), and invite our friends and family to come alongside us to build a well in the Central African Republic (Water). What a huge success this event was!

We are at just a little over $3,000 so far!

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have given to this, and continue to help us build the well.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thank You - A Glimpse

I wanted to share this with everyone. A personal thank you to EastLake from Scott Harrison, founder of Charity:Water. This is the first TANGIBLE glimpse of your money at work in a Bayakan Village in Central African Republic. {These people now have clean water for a lifetime} Amazing.

A Thank-You from Scott Harrison of charity: water from EastLake Church on Vimeo.

Our birthday celebration was a huge success - more to come on that tomorrow! I can't wait to see another well being built, in our name and the names of our friends and family who have generously given to the cause as well. No pun intended. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Introducing the SAHM's Club

What is SAHM's Club (pronounced Sam's Club - completely unrelated and unaffiliated with Walmart's knockoff version of Costco)? It is the new association of choice in the Carbonatto household {Stay At Home Mom}.

After much back and forth deliberation and prayer, Blake and I have decided for our family that one full time job for each of us is plenty, and thus I reluctantly have resigned from my position at EastLake. I'm sure there will be many nostalgic posts in the weeks to come as I wrap everything up, but today I thought I'd share the list of what we're most excited about in joining the SAHM's Club - one according to Blake and then the other according to me.

From Blake's perspective:
1. Brecken gets your full attention
2. I get more of your attention
3. Vacations don't need to be planned around your work schedule
4. Brecken gets a dedicated teacher/trainer everyday
5. Our house will be picked up more regularly
6. You will be less stressed out
7. We will have a weekly meal schedule
8. You get to participate in all play dates
9. We get our weekends back
10. I can come home to dinner during the week

From Ashley's perspective:
1. More time to watch the DVR'd episodes of One Tree Hill, Glee, Life Unexpected, and Modern Family
2. Lots of play dates with friends and babies alike
3. A better effort at {ATTEMPTING} a weekly meal schedule
4. Vacations?! Great, glad we can still afford those!
5. Stress will now only be coming from one source instead of a culmination of many
6. Need to get my butt in gear and figure out how to teach Brecken - not sure I'm qualified for that!
7. No more excuses as to why I can't cook dinner I out Pioneer Woman, Ashley's coming to town.
8. Will rekindle my {love-hate relationship with my running shoes}
9. I can now get back to my regularly scheduled dates with Matt & Meredith, Regis & Kelly, Drew, Ellen and all those appearing on HGTV.
10. Look for me to soon become a blogger-extraordinare (in theory)

As you can see, we don't quite see 100% eye-to-eye on what the expectations of a SAHM's Club Member are, but it is a work in progress and I'm confident that he will see the light sometime soon.
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