Around Town – Claude Moore Park – Loudoun County

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Since I’ve got a whole bunch of uncompleted projects which aren’t worthy of being photographed or posted as of yet, you get to see some pics from the last outing I took with the kids to Claude Moore Park in Sterling. Now that I’ve learned how to use manual mode in my DSLR camera I am slightly obsessed with nature photography. I feel a little guilty that most of my pictures of the kids are iPhone pics and then I have 200 gorgeous pictures of ducks and geese, but it’s so much easier to pull out my phone when the kids are doing something cute (or actually sitting still enough for a picture). I am hoping to get some good family pictures once the leaves start to turn and Jeremiah is done teething (my baby is teething!).

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To escape the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia I love to visit our local parks, Claude Moore park is in Sterling, and we drive past it to get to Costco every other week. I had taken the kids there once 2 years ago when we first moved here but, I didn’t get to see most of it. This time I had 3 kids plus my camera (4th baby) in tow, and it was gorgeous. I am really a country girl at heart, so I love finding these little pieces of heaven in our suburbs. Isaiah loves it when I drag them out on these little adventures, Ayanna hates it. I believe her exact words were “why can’t we live in the city where there is no nature.” Sigh. She irritates me now, but I know I was the exact same way at her age. I’m only now learning to appreciate the serenity that the country brings.

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The park was mostly closed for renovations so I’m not sure what the little tent was doing out there, but it was kind of dreamy. If I had a yard I would buy some canvas fabric (or a drop cloth) and try to copy this. Awww, if only I had a yard.

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This cabin was closed so we couldn’t get inside, but I think it’s usually open for visitors to explore. I would love to own a cabin like this as a guest house or a vacation spot, it is so charming.

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Now there’s a DIY idea for you handy people out there. A built in children’s seat on a picnic table, genius.

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I’m strangely obsessed with this over-exposed picture of a duck. I’m thinking about getting it as an engineer print and hanging it behind my couch. Then having people over just so we can stare at my phenomenal photography skills.

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So, there you have it. My little escape from the craziness that can be northern Virginia. I can’t wait for the leaves to turn so I can get out and photograph the local parks with orange leaves! If you are local and interested, here’s a link to Claude Moores’ site here.

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Shelves, chalkboards, and headboards @ Hometalk

Monday, September 15, 2014

Between a wet day at the soccer field on Saturday and a gorgeous day at the soccer field on Sunday I managed to finish up the shelves in the kids’ room. Their room is always changing, I think I’ve shown at least 4 different furniture arrangements so far on the blog. When you haven’t fully embraced minimalism and you have 5 people in a small space it’s like a constant game of Tetris trying to make everything fit, or at least it is for me…

My kids looooove stuffed animals and books so they’ve amassed a huge collection of both. Usually the stuffed animals are thrown on their bed during the day then moved to either the floor or the chair at night so they can sleep (with the exception of a few which they like to leave in bed with them), so I decided to use up some old plywood that I had left over from my headboard project and make a home for the stuffed animals.

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I picked up the shelf brackets from Lowe’s, they were only $1.96 each and I used some white paint that I already had. So, $8 for some added storage, can’t beat that. I like the Industrial look of the shelves and they are massive; I originally planned on using them over the dresser/changing table in the master bedroom but they were just too deep at 13″.

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This bookshelf used to be on the other wall with the bunk beds but it was blocking the stairs to the top bunk and also getting hit by the door when it was opened. It’s working much better on this wall. The ugly chair is part of our living room set but it doesn’t fit in there. I’ve been trying to sell it on Craigslist for weeks. It took me almost a year to convince Banjo we should get rid of it, but the price I got him to agree to is pretty high (of course) so there haven’t been any serious takers. Oh well,  I’ve already got some ideas for slip covering it (*spoiler alert* it involves a drop cloth and some fabric paint).

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I gave the chalk boards a little face lift as well. You may remember them from this picture; they used to be pink and green. I grabbed some black chalkboard paint from Joanne’s and used the same white paint that I used on the shelves. They fit in much better now. The wall is already pretty busy and it’s a small room so I needed some more neutral items. As you can see the kids have already broken them in. Kids-room---hometalk-5

So there you have it, makeover #453 for my kids’ room. Since the shelves were made with the leftover wood from my headboard project, I figured it would be an appropriate introduction to my clipboard at Hometalk.com which features 16 different DIY headboard projects from around the web. If you haven’t heard of Hometalk, you are missing out. It’s a site dedicated to all things home, decor and DIY and it’s a great site to find inspiration and instructions for projects around your home. You can follow boards and have discussions with the Hometalk community (among other things). You should definitely check it out and follow me!  I have a clip board full of DIY headboards for your viewing pleasure. Head on over to Hometalk for links and full instructions.

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Soul Food

Sunday, September 14, 2014

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