Oh Hey.

Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been. Well, I have no real excuse except that summer is busy around here! Plus, O is older now and my time often goes to doing all kinds of awesome growing up stuff with her. And then she suddenly started preschool and I’m all like, “Whoa, I have a little time on my hands!” But I have kept up on my projects and I hope to be posting more consistently now that O is in school.

So here’s what’s new:

I’ve been dabbling in hand lettering and loving it. I made these for my sister because, Champagne.

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I still love Sherry & John from Young House Love. I pre-ordered their new book and celebrated like it was Christmas morning when it arrived.

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I’m planning to go to Books by the Banks and meet them (again) and have this book signed like I did the other. Last time I saw them they took an Instagram picture during their author Q&A and I ended up in it (see me… holding up their book on the right?).

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Really, I’m only a little obsessed. Imagine my surprise thrill when they responded to my celebratory Instagram post. So now I need to brush up on my rhyming skills.

I’ve been working still (10 years!) as a professional Nanny and with my sisters in our sweet little family company. Just another day at the office.IMG_9665

And of course I’ve got some furniture projects going. In fact, I have more than a few. Hubby made a rule that if something comes in (to my garage/studio), something else must go out. So I’m choosy on projects but I’ve got some fun new things I’m trying with them!

I’ve also been playing with my camera more. I used to take pictures constantly but I got away from it. Who wants to carry a baby, diaper bay and a camera everywhere, right? This is one of my “make time to do things you love” things. So far, lots of fun!

And of course, cooking. Tomato basil soup was my firsy soup of the season and I’m dying to make more. So delish. Still playing with the recipe a bit more but I’ll share eventually. For now it’s just a really pretty picture on this blog (posting for accountability).  

More to come. Promise!

Eye LOVE You

Its been a while since I’ve updated about O’s glasses. The truth is, for a long while there wasn’t much change. She wore her glasses daily and patched 3 hours a day since our last appointment. Things were going well so we just went for her annual exam. Before I bore you with the (important but not exciting) medical details, let me tell you about all the things this little kid is up to.

She’s hilarious. And I think she knows it. She also chats me up all day long: at home, in the car, at the store, at work. She just keeps going.

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She started preschool a few weeks ago! It’s her first year and I think we were all a little nervous and excited. It makes me feel like she’s a real kid now… not a baby or a toddler. I’m so proud of her for diving into school head first! Every day she asks if she *gets* to go to school today. She’s made new friends, learned all kinds of things and is so proud of each piece of work she brings home. It makes my heart so full to see her so happy! The photo below is her on her first day of school. Isn’t she just beaming with joy?!

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O has been into imaginative play, dress up and even super heroes! Here she is dressed as “Glasses Girl”. Her superpower is “sight”.

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Other than that she’s been just a darling three and a half year old. And she won’t let you forget that “and a half” part either. She loved summer, the pool and is quite the little yogi.

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And now for her vision update:

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We made the appointment as a family (which we try to make happen as often as possible). O has always been cooperative at the exams but I think now that she can fully communicate it is even more helpful. Her prescription changed a bit. Her left eye increased from +5.50 to +7.00. This is her weaker eye (the one that was crossing) so we aren’t super surprised by this. The doc also says that he’s getting better exams from her every time as so his prescription might change a bit just because he gets better information from each exam (that the one before). Her left eye had begun crossing a bit so we knew a new prescription was going to be necessary. Her right eye stayed at +4.50. The only other change was that she developed (or we’ve finally discovered – due to increasingly more effective exams) an astigmatism. So basically she has an irregular shaped cornea or lens (I hadn’t thought to ask the doc which one) which causes some blurred/fuzzy vision. This is treatable/correctable with glasses as well. We won’t be patching for a while so we can see exactly how well her left eye does with the new prescription. We’ll know more about that after our next appointment in December.

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Above is the “before”… Her old glasses. We stuck with the Mira-flex because they’ve been so fantastically durable and fit her well. We let her choose her own frame color. The funny part is she chose the same color as before… but the only ones have faded to a soft pink. Below is after. We’ve already noticed her eyes staying straight!

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So proud of you, O! Eye LOVE you!

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You can read more about O’s adventure in glasses here or #glassesareglam on Instagram.

Summer Sale in Hilda’s Etsy Shop

I know I haven’t posted in a while… but that is actually a good thing because I’ve been super busy painting all summer. I have been posting new listings in my Etsy shop and doing tons of custom orders (YAY!). But I’ve run into a bit of a problem. I have quite a few pieces taking up space and I need to sell them. I need all that space for my next 3 projects! I have a teak dining table, mid-century modern dining set (with chairs) and a large coffee table to work on… but I need to make room to do so!

Enter coupon code: 30SUMMER in my Etsy shop for 30% off an purchase of $20 or more during August! All items included: jewelry, photography, furniture!

So this detailed mirror drops from $85 to $60!

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And this one drops from $125 to $87.50!

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This dresser is now $276.50 down from $395.00!

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Picnic and Ladybug Themed Baby Shower           

Everybody knows I love a good party! Especially a baby shower … remember the Little Man Mustache themed bash we threw for Kait? I recently had the opportunity to throw a couple’s shower for my cousin and his sweet wife. Luckily, a couple other friends wanted to host a similar shower so w joined forces to throw a quite adorable “Baby-Q”. The couple is expecting a baby girl this summer and her name is Larkin. Her initials will be LDY and so the ladybug/picnic theme was born. The girls who hosted with me were super clever and creative so we knew we could do some pretty amazing stuff. Take a peek:

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A onesie clothes line decorated the hall and was home to the thank you cards. We left the envelopes and pens out so guests could self-address them.

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Ah, the bar. The most popular spot at any party. Part of the fun of a couples shower is serving adult beverages. Am I right? No worries, we had raspberry lemonade and flavored water too.

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We played up the “picnic” vibe buy serving drinks in jelly jars. The burlap pennant banner was made by fellow hostess Liz and I want one myself! How adorable!

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Stacy, another creative hostess ordered koozies as party favors. They read “Happy Hour’s Newest Member / Larkin July 2015”. We displayed them in a basket lined with red bandannas for more of the picnic feel.

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We placed a chalkboard next to the bar (and bucket of beer) so people knew the options and that koozies were theirs to keep.

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Having fresh fruit and drink dispensers was a fun twist on the picnic presentation.

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The food table was all red and picnic-y too! Fresh flowers in mason jars, red and white plates and napkins added some flare.

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Another chalkboard was near the door so we could be sure guests addressed an envelope and received these adorable ladybug themed cookie bags. They were specially made by Grandma-to-be Trish (my awesome Aunt).

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Her talent is amazing! She had never made ladybugs before but these couldn’t be more perfect. And they were delicious too!

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It’s not a party without a few family pics!  Above: My sister Susie, cousin/dad-to-be Ryan, my mom (who so graciously lent me her house to throw yet another party), and myself.

Below: Myself, hostess Stacy, Mom-to-be Ariana, hostess Liz. It was blazing hot out if you’re wondering what happened to my hair. These girls are a blast and I had so much fun dreaming up this Baby-Q with them. What a team!

Squared

  You may remember that I helped a friend hang a grid of mirrors last month. I had also been meaning to try it in my own house but I was struggling on where I’d want to hang a grid of mirrors. I bought 10 of the same mirrors we used at Erika’s house and they sat in a pile on the buffet in the kitchen. For some reason I couldn’t commit to a grid of mirrors. Then I realized that the square mirror frames would make the perfect frame for Instagram photos. I started by thing to pry the mirrors out of the frames. Let me tell you- those things are cemented in and I almost lost a few fingers. So trust me when I day that I recommend Modge Podge. You like having fingers, don’t you? Thought so.

What I used:

Ikea MALMA mirrors ($1.99 each!)

-Printed Instagram photos (I use the Walgreens app. They stay in 4″x4″ format, are super affordable and they are usually ready in an hour!)

-Modge Podge

-Paint brush, ruler, sharpie, scissors

-Hammer, nails, level

 First, I laid out all of the photos I had printed. I had chosen to print photos I had Instagrammed of food. I thought it would be a fun addition to the kitchen. I recommend that gallery walls have some so of theme, whether it is a color theme or subject matter. It should make sense to any guest that enters your home. I had about 20 to choose from and had to narrow them to 10. I asked Hubby to help me weed through them. It was easy to toss out photos that were lower quality or had bad lighting. In the end he convinced me that 8 was a better number and wouldn’t clutter the wall we had chosen. He even used one of my favorite design principles on me, “Less is sometimes more.” Sold! Eight it was. We opted for 2 rows of 4. Also considered: 3 rows of 3 to make a square gallery of nine images. These are the 8 we landed on. Hubby pointed out another theme: circles. All of the photos had circular subjects and it wasn’t even on purpose.    Next I measured the mirror space to see if I needed to cut down the pictures. The mirror was just under 3 and 3/4″ so I marked my ruler and got to trimming. I noticed that the photos I had used the instagram filter frame/borders on fit perfectly after removing the borders. Had I known this I would have printed all of my images with borders to save a little effort. After trimming, I was ready to glue the photos directly on the mirrors. I applied a thin layer of Modge Podge to mirror and pressed my photos in place. Some of the photos were snug and needed convincing to fit the corners in but I was patient and gentle. Trimming and gluing took less than 15 minutes! I let it all dry overnight (mostly because of my schedule… you could definitely move directly on to hanging from the point).  Next I gridded out my gallery all on paper with my wall measurements in hand. I moved the buffet and climbed up on a chair. I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy putting nail holes all over my walls… especially since I’ve painted each room in my house at least once since we’ve moved in. Just pounding holes into my hard work but I think you will agree that it was so worth it. Take a peek:

                  All in all I’m really happy with the way it looks and glad I chose to go with photos over mirrors. I even like how it looks as I enter from the family room.

I don’t hate the price tag either! 8 frames x $1.99 each = 15.92! I already had the other supplies. Can you believe this is a $16 gallery wall?!?!

PSST… you can follow me on Instagram by clicking on the Instagram link to the right (in the sidebar) or by finding @hildagotrocks on Instagram. I’m also on Bloglovin’ + Facebook + Twitter which are linked in the side bar as well.

A walk in Old Milford

The other day O and I had some errands to run in an area of town that is one of my favorites: Old Milford. We parked in from of “The Mercantile Mall” and decided to pop in a take a peek.   If the store fronts are adorable. And they are the perfect indication of what you’ll be finding inside… charming finds for every part of your life. I knew I was in for some fun. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. I just can’t wait to go back on my own so I can stroll through without a little one hurrying me.             

New Sights: An Update on O’s Eyes

O just had a check up at the Ophthalmologist this week. As you may recall from my original vision post, O is seen by the same doctor who treated my husband 30+ years ago. The doctor just moved to a new office not far from the old one… but we felt like we were in a whole new world. The new office was a stark contrast from the old school office we were used too. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that our doc kept his old equipment along with adding all kinds of new technology. Below is his classic set of equipment, followed by the new stuff.     O did a little better at identifying the shapes this time…. because they were actual shapes. His old tests were of a classic desktop telephone, a duck and a stick figure on a bike. Most kids didn’t even know what the phone was! But I also think the thinner lines in these illustrations simplified it for O. O brought along her doctor kit. She often pretends to be looking in our eyes. I’m glad she’s so interested! And she continues to be very cooperative and well behaved for the doc and nurse staff.

Her exam showed that her lense prescription is doing its job and her muscles are responding well to patching. We were told to continue patching the right eye 3 hours each day and an appointment was scheduled for later in the summer. Over all, all is well!

Garage Sale-ing 

Thats right, it’s a verb. I had the pleasure of hitting up about a dozen garage sales this weekend with Katie from Nerdy Girl Writes. We met bright and early, coffee in hand and headed out into garage saler’s paradise.


 We filled our first carload before 9am. And my car is pretty roomy.

Katie scored an entire vintage patio furniture set and a solid teak adirondack chair and ottoman for less than $50. She also scored a ouija board fkr the purpose of framing as graphic art. I’m kind of jealous. I’m sure she’ll be posting all about it but I have to admit I was impressed. That girl can negotiate!

We made a few trips back to my garage, her car and her garage as well as swinging by and borrowing a car for more cargo space. Between the 2 of us we filled 5 car loads. But the patio furniture was easily 3 loads alone.

Here are my spoils.


I’m so pumped about the icecream parlor chair I scored. The pillows are outdoor fabric so they well be going on out deck. Liv will love the magnetic chalk board and the wicker trunk as soon as they each get a coat of paint. The smaller wicker box is actually a file box. 1 was relieved to find this because I have out plastic one and haven’t found a cabinet or anything I like for the same purpose. I’m also excited about the jig saw. Every DIY girl’s dream. Haha! Everything else will likely be redone and sold on my Facebook page or etsy shop.

I’m not morning person but I will say that this was a Saturday morning (and like $65) well spent.

Maple Dresser in Chalk Paint

I recently finished this dresser. It was given to me by someone who knew I could give it a new life and a new home. After quite a bit of elbow grease and lovin’ this thing has a whole new attitude!  And it is for sale! 

Chalk paint in Benjamin Moore Waterfall, distressed and washed in custom mixed Minwax dark stains. Sealed in satin polycrylic (not wax). Solid maple dresser with PLENTY of details and even dovetail joints! I’ve chosen to keep the original brass hardware and repainted it in oil rubbed bronze. Measures 44″ wide, 35″ tall, 20″ deep with drawers at 5.5″ vertical depth Shallow drawers- may be best as a child’s dresser, accent piece, bedside table or even a bar or tv stand! $350 in Cincinnati area! Hurry, price goes up when I list it in my etsy shop at the end of the month! Email hildagotrocks@gmail.com or message me on Hilda’s Facebook page!

             

Navy Chic

I wanted to share a few pics from a project I did with my friend in her new house. Erika’s family room has a wall that was built out to cover an old fireplace (by the previous owner). At first she talked about putting built ins on either side, but later she came to me with an even better and more affordable idea: paint stripes on the protruding wall. Whoa. Why hadn’t I thought of that!?! I freaking love stripes!

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So we got to it one evening after work with a level, Frog Tape, and a great paint color. She chose Behr Vintage Velvet. It has a rich navy vibe with a hint of indigo. When we put the first coat on it was quite purple looking. Admittedly, I got nervous but the second coat had me sold. Between coats Erika painted her sofa table (serving as TV stand for now) navy to blend in a bit more. Above: Erika putting the room back together. But you can see all the elements of the room. I really thing the navy pulls it all together.

Below: A panorama of the room. On the far left you can see that she decided to paint the inside of the door with the same Vintage Velvet. I’m a huge fan of bringing the front door color to the inside of the house… as I’ve done it with mine a few times.

Below: You can see that the striped wall stands out and created a dark pace in the back corner of the room. On a whim we opted to try a full length closet mirror that she had upstairs to reflect lamp light and give the corner something it was missing. The mirror serves purpose as a light source but doesn’t take away from the room or create a busy corner. We’ve all hung wall art where it doesn’t belong. Sometimes less really is more.

  Below: The opposite corner of the room has more natural light with the window and Erika added a cool open shelf to match her coffee table (IKEA VITTSJO). When we were all finished with paint we took a few minutes to grid out a cluster of some small square mirrors (IKEA MALMA) over the couch. 

That wall of mirrors costs less than $25 but makes a great impact. 

In the end Erika made a bold choice by making an awkward wall into the statement piece of the room. Now it feels like a key architectural element and really brings the whole room together. I’m so in love with he ruse of mirrors that I got some for my own house!