Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vintage Valentines (Re-Post)

With this crazy winter wonderland Seattle is experiencing, I figured it was a great time for crafting.  Here is an oldie but goodie of how I created some Vintage Valentines that Brecken passed out to his ladies last year.

For the full tutorial, click here - SUPER easy and uses stuff you already have at home I'm sure.

Linking today to:
Whipperberry Friday Flair

Monday, January 16, 2012


We'll see how long it takes me to get through writing this post...

When Blake and I first moved back to Seattle, settling down and starting a family was top of our priority list.  We weren't exactly quite yet in the market for a baby, so we thought the next best thing would be the perfect addition to our family - a puppy!

We named him Dempsey (after our UW roots - not Patrick), and were instantly smitten.  He was the cutest little thing this side of the Mississippi.  Our family had begun!

I remember not being able to focus at work those first few months because I was so anxious to get home and play with our new puppy!  As with any new little baby/puppy, EVERYTHING he did was the cutest and definitely recordable/photographable.  :)

So cute right?
He was our instant companion, and snuggle buddy at all hours of the day.  For a little guy, his fetching and athletic abilities were what shocked us the most - boy, did he like to play!

Needless to say, he didn't lack attention at all.

All of our trips, outings, and adventures now involved this new addition to our family.  He also obviously was front and center for Family Christmas cards now too - because he MADE us a family.

Life was bliss.

We couldn't wait to add kids into the mix, and have them love and play with Dempsey the same way that we did.

I remember laying in bed the night before I was induced for Brecken, and Blake & I were talking about how much we wished Dempsey was there with us (he was at a spender) to share in the anxiousness we felt as we were about to add to the family again the next morning.

An unexpected thing happened though when Brecken came along: all of a sudden our beloved first fur-baby went down on the totem pole one notch, and was overtaken in our hearts by our first real baby.

The bubble had popped: Dempsey was a dog.  Not a baby. (it's hard to even find any pictures with Dempsey in them since Brecken has been born).
Dempsey meeting Brecken for the first time
The good news: they were fast friends!  Dempsey saw Brecken as a prime candidate to be his new #1 fetching/chasing partner, and all was bliss.

Life caught up with us though, and as time has passed, and baby #2 on the way entered the Carbonatto future, we had to come to the heartbreaking conclusion that maybe we weren't the best family fit for Dempsey anymore.
With his litter mate (the yellow thing).  
Our former weekend walks and runs were now spent on playdates with Brecken's friends, and out and about letting him explore the world.  In non-dog friendly places.  :(
Our favorite tilt the head to the side like "What" look
Our life had changed.

Oh my word, this has been a heartbreaking decision.  One that Blake and I have gone back and forth on for many many months.  Ultimately though, BECAUSE we love Dempsey so much, and because we love our family so much, we knew in our heart of hearts that Dempsey would get the life, attention, and exercise that he deserved with a family who was in a different season of life.

The vision of my boys having their best companion be Dempsey, has faded.

But we are bittersweetly grateful that we were able to be the answer to someone else's prayer.  Two new little kids are so anxious to make Dempsey their number 1, and we couldn't be more thrilled for them. 

We know the joy that he brings.  We know it well.   Dempsey will now have the life that he deserves and will love the new family.

It doesn't make the heartbreak hurt any less, but we do know that our hearts will soon fall in love all over again wi th our newest soon-to-be-addition, Brenner.

Thank goodness for social media too because we will get to see (via Facebook) the new family's guaranteed love and same smitten feeling for Dempsey.

We love you Demps.  We're going to miss your craziness; your at-times annoying cuddling in bed; your constant antics that kept us on our toes.

We won't soon forget the one that started our family.  

The one that slept with me on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night when pregnancy was getting the best of me.  The first one always to let us know when Brecken was awake - it was playtime!

So many fun adventures, and memories with you.  And now many more for you to come.

Love you puppy.
Loves camping.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Making Money Blogging

Did everyone read Thrifty Decor Chick's SUPER informative post the other day about the infamous subject for mommy-bloggers - How Do you Make Money Blogging???  There's really no way around it, advertising seems to be the way to bring in extra cash.  

Well, does advertising confuse anyone else, or is it just me??  It's time consuming to find advertisers, and to check out potential advertisers that contact me.  Because in the meantime, I've got a tazmanian devil toddler storming through my house.

So I got an email the other day from a fellow blogger. Ninja, who writes at Punch Debt In The Face, has been blogging for almost three years now. He's built quite a name for himself in the personal finance blogosphere. (Yeah, personal finance is not my cup of tea either).  Not only does he have a couple thousand subscribers, but he's actually found a way to make money blogging, without selling his soul to the devil. 

In fact, he made $11,000 in 2011 from his blog.


Now I don't know about you, but it's taken me over a year to make my first $100 (thank you Google Adsense), but I'd willingly accept much more for 2012. :) 

From what I understand, there are apparently a few ways to make money blogging:

1) Adsense. As you can see, I have adsense ads running on One in the SAHM, but let's be honest. Unless you are getting crazy amounts of traffic, it's darn near impossible to actually get compensated for running the ads (hence one year+ for $100). 

2) Affiliate Advertising. This is great in theory, but often results in a blog becoming spammy and pushing products that I couldn't care less about. How weird would it be if I suddenly tried to get you all to sign up for a new credit card?  Real weird. 

3) Private ads. About once or twice a month I get emails from different marketing and PR firms asking if I'd be interested in putting text links up on my blog. Most of them either are, or at least come across, as very bland and superficial. It's hard for me to figure out if the email is legitimate or a big fat waste of time. So instead of trying to negotiate a deal, I delete the emails and move on with my life. 

Okay, so why am I bringing up advertising on a "mommy blog"? 

Well, Ninja's email asked me if I'd be interested in actually making a little money from my blog. At first I was skeptical. Figured it was just another spammy email. I was wrong. 

Ninja has been working with private advertisers for the last couple years and he's learned how to differentiate the legitimate from the sketchy. Nearly all of his $11,000 blog income this year was the direct result of private advertising on his blog. 

Since he has the knowledge of how to monetize a blog, he's started an ad brokering service to help us small bloggers out. There is NO fee to join.

While I don't plan to get rich through this partnership, I should be able to bring home at least a few thousand dollars this year. I'd be a fool to turn down free money, right? 

I don't want to bore you with the specifics of how the deal works, but if you are interested in making a little money from your mommy blog, let me know and I can put you in touch with Ninja or you can email him directly at

And in case you are wondering, No, I was not compensated in any way for writing about this. Just figured I wasn't the only one that wouldn't mind a little extra cash in my pocket. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Week (In Pics)

In effort to take more pictures, here's a recap of my week as seen thru the lens of my iPhone:

I mentioned that a lot of the interiors in the house have been going in lately and I was able to sneak a pic of our super fun/beautiful backsplash and tiled guest shower.
Downstairs Guest Shower
Our Master Bath hasn't quite yet been grouted, but I'm in LOVE with the tile/subway glass tile accents.  Colors are a little hard to see, but just trust me - they look AMAZE!
Master bath shower

This little man just melts my heart.

Blake and I were able to sneak away for a (surprise) overnight date, and this is the view that I woke up to yesterday morning.  Love tank full.  :)

Went antique shopping in Snohomish because I'm chomping at the bit to start getting this house decorated.  I pinned this picture the other day of a fun entryway, 

and then discovered this gem.  
Just need to make sure that the measurements work in my space and she will be mine!

And then I also showed you some room inspiration boards the other day, and found this antique sled that would go PERFECT with Brecken's vintage ski theme in his room.

And then finally, I got to celebrate one of my great friends' birthdays this week at none other than the BINGO hall.  Yep, you read that right: my friends and I play BINGO (insert jokes here).

Such a great week.  Thank you iPhone for helping me to remember the little things.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Designing a Nursery

Next up on my agenda of decision-making for the new house is oh-yeah, I'm having another boy and he needs a room!

I found this Ah-MAZING website called Lay Baby Lay, where she puts together these beautiful inspiration boards of to-die-for nurseries and kid spaces.

Here are some of my favs I found:

This very well could be a winner, winner chicken dinner for the new nursery...

I love aeronautical right now...

I like this one for Brecken's Big Boy room potentially, but I'd use vintage ski posters instead of hunting.  I don't really do guns.  Or animals...

You're obsessed too right?

Are you having a baby or know someone who needs a nursery designed?  Send them to this website for inspiration!  Seriously, they'll get lost clicking on everything for hours.

Or send them to this website too.  She won me over just with the title of her blog.  :)

Amaze balls.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Function or Sophistication?

The house is progressing wonderfully!
We have a driveway!
Some of the interior finishes have been installed in the recent weeks including kitchen granite, backsplash, light fixtures and cupboards!  It's so fun to see everything coming together.

Our focus lately has been how to layout our family room.  Now, if you remember, the overall layout of our house is a "great room" feel, so we have a pretty big space to fill.

I always had in my head that we'd plop in two full sizes couches (perpendicular to each other) and 86 the sectional out of our lives for a more sophisticated look (that's what my friends at HGTV would tell me I think).  We went couch shopping this week though, and there are some pretty nice sectionals out there that seem to be extremely functional as well.

So here I am with yet another homebuilding/decorating dilemma:  
classy sophistication of 2 couches or family function of a sectional?

Some quick pros and cons:

The particular sectional that we're looking at is a modular sectional, meaning we have the ability to rearrange, and add (which we would do) to the existing "set".  We could comfortably seat everyone.  Always.

Couches make me feel a little bit more like a grown up.  And are cheaper.  With tufted reversible cushions.

What are your pros and cons of a sectional versus couches?

Here are some other elements for the room that I've pinned lately to give you an idea of the direction that I'm THINKING I'm going:

Built-ins on either side of the fireplace.  Love.

A couple accent chairs to compliment the sofa of choice...

A little bit of shabby chic...

Chunky stripes WILL exist somewhere in my house...possibly as great room curtains?

Or maybe in the adjoining dining room...

Textured, colored, and neutral throw pillows...

So as you can see - I'm still in the idea stage, but we need to order our couch if we want something to sit on when we move in.

What's your vote?

Sectional (in a grey vintage fabric):

(It wouldn't let me link a picture - sorry!)


Two couches (in the same grey vintage fabric):

Did I mention that the Sectional would be twice as expensive and not here for 3 months?

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Feature & Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  

We had a riveting night ringing in the New Year east coast style, so that we could be home and in bed by 10:30.  :)  Oh the life of a pregnant parent...

I'm so excited to start this year off with a feature on the wonderful site "Or So She Says".

Mariel regularly features some great recipes, decorating tips and just general life knowledge that most women should have in their back pocket.

Go over and see my guest post, and say hello!
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