I’m back, bitches

I'm back, bitches // Kelsey, Especially

‘sup, bitches? I’m back! After my little rant last week I hid from the world for two days, spent a few hours at work on Friday and then headed out of town with Shannon. We were on the road by noon on Friday for a trip to BFE, Virginia that we planned way back in November. It didn’t quite go as planned, but it was really nice to get away for a bit. Mucho more details (and pho’os of things besides our faces) to come!

For now, here’s a shit ton of #ksselfies to reassure you that I’m very much still here even though sometimes I want to punch life in the face in a not good way. Yes, these are all from our weekend. No, this isn’t it. Yes, there’s more. A lot more. Stay tuned.

#blizzard2015

Snow day // Kelsey, EspeciallySnow day // Kelsey, EspeciallySnow day // Kelsey, Especially

Whaddup Internet people? Who else woke up to weather this morning? If you’re a stateside reader living anywhere east of…well, basically anywhere ever in the entirety of the United States, then you probably woke up to weather this morning (*ahem* Catherine *ahem*). It’s not bad down here in DC, but it was enough to send everyone into a panic just in time for the morning commute, which would’ve definitely been a shit show had life not been delayed by 2 hours for everyone today. Both Shannon and I work for employers that follow the federal government’s inclement weather policy (takes the guesswork out on our end) and were pretty stoked to wake up at 4:30 this morning to a 2-hour delay. Except that we both decided that a 2-hour delay meant we should go in extra early.

Shannon was out the door before 5:00, and I started getting ready to leave on time too (the kids and I usually leave by 5:30), but then daycare sent out an email just after Shannon left stating they weren’t opening until 8:30 today. Oh, joy.

This morning worked out well for the kids. They got to sleep in, have waffles for breakfast while watching cartoons, and play in the snow…finally. They’ve been waiting for snow for weeks now and were really, really excited that weather finally happened. True story: when I woke Emma up for school yesterday morning she didn’t want to get out of bed so I tried to coax her out with an excited, “It’s going to snow today!” But she just rolled away from me and gave me a straight up #notimpressed answer – “But not enough” – and kept on sleeping. Girl was stoked this morning that the snow this morning was “enough”. And about that pro mask, don’t ask. Weird/cool shit like that is one of the kids’ perks of having both parents in the military.

This morning was a shit show for me. I got no time to do homework that I’d planned on catching up on, had the recycling knocked out of my hand and strewn all over the front yard by a gust of wind as I walked out the door to take it to the curb, and had my driver’s seat piled in snow after I opened the door at the same fucking time the wind whipped into high gear. Plus, Madden fell on his face in the parking lot at school, which didn’t phase him at all but completely mess-ified everything he was carrying with salt and muddy, slushy snow. Awesome.

Tonight: beer. Lots of it.

+

Related: A snow day last year

How to weekend with kids in the winter

Pool days // Kelsey, Especially

The (indoor) pool, duh.

…nuff said.

Pool days // Kelsey, Especially Pool days // Kelsey, Especially Pool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, EspeciallyPool days // Kelsey, Especially

We’ve had a good run with the indoor pool thing this month. We’ve found our way to one of the two local indoor pools on three of the four weekends so far this month (so yeah, these photos are from three different weekends and randomly ordered), but sadly I think our swim days in January have come to an end. Unless we squeeze it in some time on Saturday (doubtful…other radtastic plans), we won’t make it this upcoming weekend because like every other God-fearing, freedom-loving American, our Sunday this weekend is booked solid with the Super Bowl and everything that goes with it, which is pretty much just pure gluttony (AKA: copious amounts of food and alcohol). In an attempt to be at least quasi-healthy and productive on Sunday, we plan to hit up our local farmers market first thing (which is an outdoor market that has apparently been open since December?!) and then hunker down for Game Day.

Because best believe there are exactly zero minutes available this Sunday to dedicate to anything other than finding fresh ingredients for salsa and guac at the farmers market, making said fresh salsa and guac back at home, and pigging out on said homemade fresh salsa and guac on salty tortilla chips while watching the Seahawks shit on the Pats, with our feet on the coffee table, our pants unbuttoned, and a beer in both hands at all times. Are we ready for some football? Are we ready for some football?! FUCK YEAH, WE ARE. It’s an exciting time to be an American, people, albeit also bittersweet since after this weekend football disappears for six months. Boo. #football #forever

What about you all? Are you ready for the Super Bowl? Has #deflategate seeped into international news (#leavebelichickalone…who can pull the reference?!)? Have you been swimming at all this winter? Or to a farmers market? Did you know they hold outdoor farmers markets during winter?! Whaaaaa?

+

Related: more winter weekending (but outside), some warm-weather weekending, and fingers crossed that the weather forecast for this evening/tomorrow morning brings the kids a Tuesday filled with some of this.

Working with what we’ve got | our no-entryway entryway

There are a lot of things in life that suck, especially the things that you’re kind of just stuck with and have no control over changing. Like the radio when you’re riding in someone else’s car. Or your best friend’s awful taste in men (Les is great, Morgan; I was making a generalization, not talking about you, I promise!). Or having a no-entryway entryway in a house that you don’t own. Especially when you have three kids and three adults living (most days) under the same roof. There’s a lot of stuff that goes along with all those people – shoes, wallets, bags and backpacks, coats and scarves, umbrellas, keys, whatever. A lot of stuff that has to be kept close to the door. WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN THERE’S NO COAT CLOSET OR ENTRYWAY, OR EVEN A SMALL HALLWAY?!

Well, obviously, hit up Ikea and Target and Home Goods. And get as creative as you can when you don’t have much to work with in terms of money, time, or space.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

So that’s our “entryway” space. All 40-ish square feet of it. Not very entryway-ish, right? I know. “And where’s all your shit?” Fair question. Out of sight is where, because I came up with the most killer storage set-up.

First, I finally got rid of the gross black shoe cabinet we had before. Nothing against the actual shoe cabinet itself except that it first broke the first day we had it; it was black (way too dark for my taste, clearly); and it was too…something…heavy?…for our walls and was a toppling-over disaster waiting to happen. I replaced the tall black Hemnes shoe cabinet with a much shorter and deeper white Hemnes dresser from Ikea, which is exactly what I wanted to put in this space when we first moved in over two years ago. Side note: living less than 3 miles from an Ikea is a very dangerous thing, people. The kids’ daycare is literally right next door – I have developed the most incredible consumer self-control since living here.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

The top drawer holds all of the adults’ “pocket stuff”. RJ is the only one who has a actual contained bin to hold his things because he’s a dude and not very neat/doesn’t care by default. His stuff is on the left. Mine is on the right. When Shannon moves in, her stuff will get the center spot, which is where my outdoor WOD gloves + WOD whiteboard live in the meantime.

My side doesn’t really have anything of mine that I use day-to-day, mostly because I don’t carry much with me and 99% of what I do carry with me can fit in my phone case. My side is where I store extra hair ties and a brush for Emma, and extra pairs of socks for both kids because getting out of the house each morning before 5:30 a.m. isn’t the easiest task in the world and someone ALWAYS forgets one of these two key items. Having them right next to the door v. all the fucking way upstairs makes grabbing them in a hurry a cinch. And yes, that drawer always looks like that. The stuff we keep inside doesn’t really slide around. It’s awesome.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, EspeciallyNo entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

The middle drawer holds the grownups’ shoes. I spent a whopping $5-ish bucks on a rubber “boot tray” at Target (here) to protect the Ikea particle board drawer bottoms in a successful-thus-far attempt to prolong the life of the dresser. As you can see, it fits pretty much perfectly. There’s enough room for each adult in the house to keep one main pair of shoes in this drawer. My flip flops and go-to work flats are super compact, so I cheat and stack those on the side. Shannon’s shoes usually end up in the middle, but she wasn’t here on Wednesday when I took these photos so her shoes get no blog photo love. Womp.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, EspeciallyNo entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

The bottom drawer is the deepest drawer, vertically speaking. It holds the kids’ shoes. Each kid has their own Ikea basket to hold their most commonly worn pairs of shoes. The baskets fit perfectly in the bottom drawer both horizontally and vertically, and despite what it looks like in the first photo below, they do not “drag” or get caught when shutting the drawer.

The two baskets on either end are these and the one in the center is this one. They’re so cheap that if you go this route with your kids, you could make them pay for their baskets themselves.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, EspeciallyNo entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

Small seasonal items – scarves, gloves, umbrellas – are kept in a desktop file holder from The Container Store (genius, right?). I bought three of these things years ago (and for way less than $20 a pop) and since I no longer have a traditional office set-up (or room for one), I had to find a way to repurpose them. The other two live in each of the kiddos’ rooms as library book holders.

That sticker on the hardwood is a special edition installation by one of our little live-in artists. They’re all over our kitchen floor, too. I can feel your jealousy from here.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

Coats go on an over-the-door towel rack that faces into the half-bath. Not ideal, but it keeps them out of sight and off the floor. This particular one is over half a decade old from a Home Goods somewhere along the way.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

The only items that don’t live in out-of-sight storage are the kids’ backpacks. Those are stashed on top of the black Ikea stool (they don’t sell that particular patterned cover anymore) each night when the kids come home from “school”. That lovely little DKNY purse on the banister is Madden’s. The other side is covered in Ninja Turtle stickers. Don’t ask – it’s a different story for a different day.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

It’s been a few months since I overhauled this space and I’m still super in love with it. Shannon and I would like to eventually replace that “meh” circular mirror with a rectangular beveled mirror (like this one, but for not as much money and hung horizontally) and figure out a new solution for everyone’s keys, but overall this space is working really well for us. It’s definitely a lot prettier and more functional than it was before. Win/win, for sure.

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

The living room walls are Benjamin Moore Light Pewter (totally original since it’s not revere pewter). The back of the front door is Benjamin Moore Light Pistachio. Both look in real life exactly like they’re depicted in the photo: a grey so light you can’t tell it’s grey until it’s next to white, and a shade darker than a spoonful of Yoplait key lime yogurt.

Pretty much everything else not mentioned/linked in the post is from Ikea (frames, fiddle leaf fig), Target (small bowls), or Home Goods (lamp, candle, planter holding the fiddle leaf fig and planter under the black stool). The Washington, D.C. postcard is from the International Spy Museum gift shop. And yes, those are real .50 cal rounds on top of the stack of books. (I’ll wait while you scroll back up to look more closely.)

No entry entryway // Kelsey, Especially

Also, the books are more than just decoration; they’re ones that have actually been read and they for real actually live in exactly the spot they were photographed. Not a single thing* inside or atop or surrounding the Hemnes dresser was styled for this post. This is exactly how this space looks on any given day, which means YES, there’s a lot of pops of pink floating around my house. Pink. FOREVER.

*Except, obviously, the opening and closing of doors and drawers. What you see above is how the space usually looks, in case you were about to get super literal on me.

+

Related: our front door DIY makeovera tour of our living room (outdated but still fun to look through nonetheless), and my home “office”.

An early Christmas surprise

Generally speaking, consciously choosing to venture anywhere near a mall during the last weekend before Christmas when you have absolutely no legitimate reason to do so – no Christmas shopping left to do, nothing to pick up, no scheduled appointments – is a horrible, awful, no-good idea. So naturally, this is exactly what Shannon and I decided to do yesterday morning…with two toddlers in tow.

We let the kids run wild for a bit at the indoor playground at one end of the mall, and then trekked all the way to the Build-A-Bear at the other end. For anyone wondering, walking from end-to-end of a mall on a holiday-ish weekend with two toddlers who insist on walking instead of being carried takes approximately forever and is precisely zero percent enjoyable. Never. Again. Although, the kids did have a great time once we made it into Build-A-Bear. We’d been promising them a super secret early Christmas surprise all morning, and when Emma finally saw the Build-A-Bear store her whole face lit up and she sprinted inside. Madden followed suit without hesitation.

Kelsey, EspeciallyKelsey, Especially Kelsey, EspeciallyKelsey, Especially Kelsey, Especially Kelsey, Especially

Madden cycled through the Superman bear and the Batman bear before finally deciding on the Elsa bear because, as he explained, he wanted “the one with sprinkles” – the Elsa bear has sparkly fur. Emma was quick to choose a pink My Little Pony. Obvs. Emma’s been to Build-A-Bear a handful of times and was a pro at it all – choosing music, stuffing her “pet”, cleaning it, dressing it, naming it. Madden had only been to Build-A-Bear once before, and he was so young his first time I don’t think he remembered the place at all. Emma very gladly showed him the ropes.

Shannon and I walked away with bears, too! I chose a pink bear (naturally), and Shannon chose the cutest bear ever (I think the oversized head is what makes it so cute), and we outfitted our bears in Redskins and Steelers uniforms because DUH. On the way out of the mall we stopped at a photo booth and took a few photos with our new “pets” together, although they didn’t really make it into any of the photos. Oops!

Kelsey, Especially

An expensive day for sure (Thank you, Shannon, for treating us to some random holiday cheer. We love youuuu!) but so, so fun. And that photo booth? Only $4 for THREE photo strips. Definitely going to be finding our way back there.

Related: our holiday trip to Build-A-Bear last year and another super secret special surprise

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 12 |