Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Hollis family GREW!

Before the rumors start flying, let me clarifying that our family is not growing by the addition of a human baby!

Two weeks ago, our family expanded with the addition of a new little fur baby!

We hadn't planned on getting a new dog anytime soon. We knew eventually we wanted a new puppy, but we figured it would be awhile before we got another one. This summer, Kevin has been away at Airman Leadership School in Montgomery, AL. He was about 2 hours away from us. Part of his class they had to do a service project, so his class went to Pet Smart to help out on a Saturday while the humane society brought pets in for adoption. It gave him serious puppy fever, and I won't lie, seeing the pics of all the pets made me want a puppy BAD. Kevin was convinced he was going to bring a puppy home that night (since he could come home on weekends), but I told him that was just too far to bring a dog back.

So to lift his spirits, I got online and started looking at the local shelters to see if I could find a puppy.

Then I saw him. I came across this site for the Birmingham Area Adoption & Rescue Center (BAARC). They had a litter of pups up for adoption that were only 6 weeks old. Someone found them abadoned in some hedges by an apartment complex. I immediately called Kevin and told him to go straight to the shelter when he left Pet Smart. We got there literally 5 minutes before they closed.. and we ended up coming home with a puppy.


DUKE! (Short for Marmaduke)
Sir Duke is part collie and husky. He is such a beautiful dog! I cannot wait to see what he looks like when he is full grown! This picture was taken just last night. He has def grown in the past 2 weeks. He was so small and fragile when we adopted him. Adopting a rescue dog is nothing like going to the pet store and buying a dog. Duke was a street puppy so he needed a lot of TLC when he came to our family. He was completely infested with ticks and fleas. He was only 6 weeks old so he was still too small for flea and tick medicine.. so we had to keep bathing him in dawn dishsoap (to drown the fleas) and then brush him and pick anything off of him. We spent about 4 hours rebathing and picking at him. A couple days later, the in store vet at Pet Smart recommended a medicine that was good for a dog so small, although we were sure by then we had gotten everything off him. He also became very sick shortly after coming to us. He ended up going for an emergency visit to the vet where they discovered he had a severe case of worms. Now after two weeks, Mr Duke is finally putting some meat on his lil bones!
 This is Duke a few days after he joined our family. He was such a sluggish little dog... which is no suprise because of how sick he was
Duke the night he came to join our family!
He loves Rosalie! They are constantly together and he loves to follow her everywhere!
All three of my kids!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Playroom Makeover

Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm a psychopath, OCD, organizer. In my mind, there is no such thing as being too organized.

When we moved into our house, I could NOT wait to tear into the playroom and start organizing and make it all cute and fun.

We lived in our house for almost a month before I decided what I wanted to decorate the playroom in. It hit me one morning... by lunch time, Rosalie and I were at Target. The next morning, Kevin and I were at Lowes buying paint lol.

I started off by figuring out how I could organize her toys and make it that everything could be easily accessed. After a trip to Target.. I pretty much had a grip on how I wanted all the toys organized.

This was pre-designing the toyroom. I kept the 9 cube organizer how it is. All of the empty slots have books in them. The bins have little stuffed animals and what not in them. The top bags have blocks in one and play food in another. (I ordered them from thirty-one). The kitchen stayed where it was, but I organized the cart beside it. It now has a bin of play food and bin of all her utensils, and then some electronic toys on the bottom.

Next, I bought a cute bench organizer at Target. Instead of putting a cushion on it, I decided to use it as a place to put all of Rosalie's weeble stuff on top of it. It's at a perfect level for her to play. The owl bin has all her weebles and weeble cars in.

I also scored an adorable mini bin organizer. It was exactly what I needed! (Although I was super disgusted in the colors they had). Rosalie is big into little things. I hate that she skipped the toddler toy age. She likes to play with bigger kid stuff.. she loves the mini lalaloopsies and littlest pet shop. Before you judge me, she's very good with them. She doesn't stick them in her mouth or anything.. We started by buying her a pack of Littlest Pet Shops because she carried this little puppy around from her dollhouse and she fell in love. She totes them everywhere. Now every time we're out, she gets a new one and my mom is constantly buying them for her. So this mini organizer was exactly what we needed. One bin has potato head pieces, one has littlest pet shop, another has cars, and another has lalaloopsy pieces.

Next was the closet. I organized all her coloring stuff on one shelf and of course I made it a high shelf that she can't reach. I moved some baby toys up that she no longer plays with and board games that she can't get into. I got a crate for all her balls and a hook on shelf for all her puzzles. I got a huge circle bin from Target to put all her stuffed animals in.  

Next I painted and started decorating. We decided to go with a soft neutral color. Rosalie's bedroom is extremely pink and girly, so we wanted her playroom to be something fun. When I first painted the green, I hated it. It looked soo bright. After it dried, I loved it!

Then went up the wall decals!

After the wall decals.. I FINALLY got the curtains up!

I didn't get a picture of it, but to the right corner that isn't pictured, I have a huge utility stand. You can get them at Home Depot or Lowes and I even believe Target has them. I got 2 big fabric bins from my mom (that she had bought at Target). One has baby dolls, one has stuffed animals. I also got 2 more little fabric bins. I put baby dolls in one and her big lalaloopsies in the other. I'll have to get a picture because it looks great and she loves it! The bins have handles so she can pull them right off the shelf and get what she wants. 

I hope this may have inspired you to get more organized or help with organizing a toy room!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Are you totally shocked to hear from me? ha! I know, way past due.

So much as happened here in the Hollis house. Lets give a run down.

We made to to the states, safe and sound, and the flight went surprisingly smooth. Budders and Rosalie both did fine; and by the time we landed I wasn't ready to pull my hair out. We enjoyed our time in PA, which really seemed to fly by. Kevin and I took 3 days after we arrived and went to Alabama and house hunted. We found two houses that we absolutely loved. We put an offer in on the house that Kevin loved the most first. At the time when we put our offer in, 2 other people did as well. Our offer didn't get picked. Kevin was bummed, but I told him that everything happens for a reason (not to sound cliche). Our realtor hasn't exactly been the best so it took about 3 weeks to get a final contract on our second house (which was actually my first pick house).

Also while we were home, my husband bought me a new car for my birthday/mother's day! We needed a second vehicle and Kevin said that the new car could be a family car since I complain how not so family friendly our Wrangler is. Granted, the Wrangler has 4 doors and I LOVE it.. but it's so hard to get Rosalie's stroller in and out of the back.. plus there's barely any room for groceries. I told him I wanted something used since we bought the Wrangler new and the payment is ridiculous on it. We started looking at used Patriots and Libertys. (Well the newer Libertys, but used). The Liberty, as much as I LOVED it, was thrown out right off the bat because they are terrible on gas and we needed something was okay on gas for when we travelled between Alabama and Pennsylvania. We were pretty much set on a Patriot, but when we went to look at cars, I fell in love with a 2011 Compass (it was used).  We took it for a test drive and I loved it. When they started crunching the numbers, it was seriously only about $30 more a month to get a brand new one. Kevin got a military discount, plus my brother scored us an awesome deal on it (They actually took off $100 more than what the mark up was!) and he got us free splash guards thrown in. Needless to say, after 6 hours at the dealership, we left there with a 2012 Jeep Compass.

Ain't she perttyyy! :)

We had a really nice Easter with all of our family. It was the first Easter that Kevin actually got to spend with Rosalie. We had dinner at my parents house and my mom had an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Rosalie had a blast!

 Might as well been Christmas.. she made out like a bandit 
 Hunting for eggs
 Wild woman
My lil family

We left for Alabama the week after Easter. We made it a two day trip. We stopped 6 hours in at Wytheville, VA. It actually ended up being 7 hours because there was construction and we got tied up. The next day we finished out the trip. Both Rosalie and Buddy did excellent in the car. We stayed in Fultondale, Al for 5 nights, and then we got to move into our house! The people we are buying our house from are so wonderful. They let us move in early and are paying them super cheap rent until we can close on the house. (Prayers please that everything goes smoothly between now and closing. Up until this point, there has just been so many hiccups!) They also left their trampoline for Rosalie which SHE LOVES. It does need a new net, but we're not buying anything like that until we close on the house and it's a done deal.

Our stuff (the house hold goods and unaccompanied) all beat us to Alabama! We were so excited when we found out all our stuff arrived early. Our HHG arrived 1 week early and our UB arrived almost 3 weeks early. We had it set up that the day that we could move into the house our stuff was delivered. We didn't get to start unpacking until after 3 that day. They only brought TWO movers to unload over 6,000 lbs of stuff so Kevin helped them. Of course Rosalie was being a tyrant so I couldn't do anything until the movers were done. After they left, we had to meet the owners of the house at the Water Authority to get the water switched to our name. We didn't get much done that day. Kevin got our bed together and I got the kitchen mostly unpacked and the bathrooms cleaned. 

The next morning I got up at 6 because I couldn't stop thinking about all the stuff needing unpacked and started tackling the livingroom. Around 9, my mom, dad, John, and Jacob arrived. Buddy went NUTS. He was so excited to see them. It's so cute how attached he is to my mom and dad. It was seriously such a blessing to have my parents here. They helped SO much! My dad also went and picked up our livingroom furniture and our dining set for us so we didn't have to pay to have it delivered. They even stayed a day extra to help us open our swimming pool! I am so lucky to have such wonderful parents.

We are absolutely LOVING Alabama. We live in the suburbs, but in 10 minutes we can be at major shopping. That's something we're not use to. The weather is beautiful and the people are all so friendly. I've met a couple of girls so far (which isn't exactly easy to do because it's a VERY small base) and the girls I've met so far are awesome! Kevin absolutely loves his shop and he only works Tues-Fri.

Since we settled into our new home, I decided to start working on my weight again. I'm just so unhappy with myself so I figured it was time to get serious and do something about it. Ultimately, my goal for the summer is 34.6 lbs. I know, odd number, but it puts me at an even number. hahah! Just this past week I'm down 6 lbs already.  I have a long road ahead of me, but I can't wait to be happy with myself again!

Now, the moment you've been waiting for... Welcome to Casa di Hollis!

The side yard
Our new Home! This pic I took from the realtors site because I haven't gotten pictures out front yet!
The upstairs bathroom
 More upstairs bathroom
And More.
Kevin's mancave. I took this before the movers came. We haven't made it down there yet to start unpacking. 
Out back
 The mancave bathroom. YES. The closet is BRIGHT PINK. I'm not sure what the reasoning is with that.. but I'm actually going to paint it. I'm thinking powder blue since the stuff I have for in there is lighthouse themed and is all blue, white, and tan. Eventually I'm going to have Kevin put doors on it.
 The Princess' Room!

 CLOSETS! oh how we missed you! 


Our room!

The kitchen
From the kitchen you can go into the downstairs bathroom, the basement, or the livingroom (off to the right there)

If you can't see it, above the dishwasher is a BUILT IN cutting board into the counter! It is AWESOME! OH and first thing we are doing when we close on the house is start replacing the kitchen appliances. The oven is sooo old and I hate it.

A PANTRY!!! It still needs tons of organizing
 An actual laundryroom! 
The door to the left goes out to the back deck.. 

The playroom. This is actually the master bedroom. It's the biggest bedroom in the house and is downstairs. We didn't want to be on a different floor than Rosalie so we decided to make it into a playroom and take one of the bedrooms upstairs. Our bedroom upstairs is bigger than the one we had in Italy anyways lol

No curtains or anything are hung in here yet and no decorating has been done because I'm undecided on how I want to decorate. It was the only room I didn't have "planned" out before we moved because I wasn't sure if we would have an actual playroom or not.
Door to the far left goes to the livingroom, the middle goes to a bathroom, and the right is a walk in closet.
 We decided to turn the walk in closet in the master bedroom (AKA playroom) into a toy storage and a place for me to do my bows. 
The previous owners just put in new shelving and it hasn't been repainted yet so that's on my to do list.

The downstairs bathroom, which has just pretty much become Rosalie's designated bathroom.

 The livingroom. The fireplace is a REAL log fireplace. It is probably my favorite thing in the house.
From the livingroom you can see into the playroom. It's nice to have a little place for her off of the livingroom that way my livingroom looks like a livingroom and not a playroom. Granted, toys still get brought out to the livingroom, but it's nothing like what it was in Italy.

From the upstairs looking into the livingroom.

So that's that. I hope you enjoyed the tour of our new home! I know that we absolutely love it and it really truly does feel like home!!!