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Second Chance Studio

Trying to figure it out one step at a time.

Updated: 2018-04-24T06:55:33.912-05:00


2013 in Photos


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Happy New Year everyone!!! 
2013 was another great year.  I can't wait to see where 2014 takes us.

Gone Missing


I  did not mean to go missing for over 3 months.  Yikes!!!  Life was so busy at the end of the school year.  I was doing good to keep my head above water.  Then summer was here and I lacked motivation to post.  Now school is already back in.  I really can't believe 3 months has passed.  Let me catch you up on the last 3 months.At the end of the school year Harper was in the school's performance of Annie. She played a Star-To-Be which was the perfect part for her.  She put in lots of hours of practice, which definitely paid off. We were so proud of her. Miller was one of two players on his baseball team picked to be on the All-Star team.  Miller played great.  He even hit an over the fence home run, which made his year.  He decided to try out for the summer travel team.  He made it, so we spent the summer watching baseball. Although it was tiring, it was a great way to spend the summer.Harper went to Girl Scout camp for the first time.  She spent two nights away from home. She would have stayed the whole week if I would have let her.  Miller was fine to be home with us. We celebrated birthdays.  Miller turned 7.Harper turned 9.  We celebrated by having a girls night out.  We got pedicures and ate at her favorite restaurant.  It was nice to have some girl time.Mitch and I escaped to Asheville for a couple of days without children.  We ate, drank, and did a little hiking.  But mostly we ate and drank.  It was a nice break after the busy end of the school year and birthday extravaganzas.Once we had a free weekend, Mitch and I tackled a little bedroom remodel.  We took down the wood on the ceiling, painted the ceiling and walls, and replaced the curtains with shades.  I still have some finishing touches then I will post some after photos. Finally it was time for vacation.  We stopped in Atlanta to go to a Braves game on the way to the beach.We decided to go to Orange Beach this year.  Check out our view.  It was perfect.We made it back home just in time to start school.  This was their first full week of school.  The photo above sums things up really well right now.  Miller being mischievous and Harper yelling at him. It looks like they are ready to take on this school year.  So how was your summer? [...]

Super Easy Gallery Wall Tutorial


We are slowly making our way through the house with new fresh paint.  The latest area we tackled was our hallway.  I thought I would show you how we hung up our photos in a few easy steps. The first thing you are going to want to do is grab some ugly wrapping paper that you will probably never use.  Mine happened to be lined, which is even better.Lay out your frames how you would like for them to be on the wall.  Then flip them over.Take a photo of the frames just in case you forget the correct order.  Then trace each of the frames.  You will need to measure to see where the nail will need to go for each one.  Make sure to mark where the nail hole will need to go on the wrapping paper.Once you are finished measure to make sure you know where you want your gallery wall to be.  We measured to make sure it was centered on this wall.  Then tape it to the wall using painter's tape.Put a nail in each of the spots you marked on the wrapping paper.Here's a photo of all the nails in the wall.Tear the wrapping paper off the wall.Then hang your photos on the wall.  Super easy, right?Much better. [...]

Catching Up on The Kids


Since all I have time to do these days is chase my kids from one activity to the next, I thought it was only appropriate to do a post on what is going on with the kids these days.Harper is playing softball for the first time this year and she loves it.  She has tried soccer and basketball in the past, but truthfully I don't think she was quite old enough to appreciate a team sport. She is really enjoying being part of the team this time around. I think she is doing really well for her first time on the field. Harper's schedule is so jam packed right now.  I have already told her that next year she can't participate in so many activities.  It's just too much for everyone.  Right now this is what she is doing: taekwondo, softball, Awana, Kids Rock marathon training, practicing for her part in the school's performance of Annie, and Brownies.  Luckily chorus just wrapped up so no more 7:30 am practices on Wednesday morning.  So as you can see I need to be better at saying no because she wants to do everything.  It's just so hard when the things she wants to do are so different and benefit her in different ways.  She had her mile run at school yesterday.  She finished in 7:29, so she beat her time in the fall by 7 seconds. She was very proud of herself.Harper is still doing really well in school.  Every time I see her teacher she compliments Harper. She always tells me she is such a joy to have in class.  She is currently reading the first Harry Potter book.  It is fun to see her so into a book. Miller is playing baseball again this year.  This is his 5th season.  You can really tell that he understands the game now.  He still needs to practice his fielding and catching, but he has improved so much.  This is his last season in this age group.  Next year he will move up, so it will be interesting to see him play with kids that are older.  I think he will do well with the challenge.Miller's schedule is not out of control.  Thank goodness.  He is also training to run the Kids Rock marathon.  I was really surprised that we were able to talk him into it, but he is excited to run that last mile with a huge audience.Miller had his mile run at school yesterday too.  He ran his mile in 8:20.  He said he was the first person to finish in his class.  Miller is doing well in school too.  Homework is a challenge on most days, but I am amazed at how well he does once he is focused on what he is doing.  He is reading really well too.  Reading at bedtime is no longer a battle, which is nice.  Is it bad that I am already counting down the days until school is out?  I hope I can make it through the next 2 months without losing my mind.   [...]

Spring Break 2013


Yikes.  I can't believe it has almost been a month since I posted anything here.  Life has been busy and I have not had much motivation to blog. I took last week off of work to spend time with the kids for Spring Break.  We did some stuff locally and then on Thursday and Friday we headed to Chattanooga.  We packed our two days there with all kinds of fun stuff.  I took tons of photos so I will just show you some of my favorites.We started with a trip to Rock City.  If you are ever in Chattanooga, you must go there.  I can't believe this was my first time.The kids loved all of the gnomes everywhere.I think this is the only photo I am in, so I had to include it.Miller is obviously scared of goblins.Harper is my little dare devil.Can you tell Miller is not my dare devil?  He is holding on for dear life.The kids loved the Fairyland Caverns. The next stop was Ruby Falls.  It was crowded so we had to wait in line for awhile.  The tour was long and a little boring, but the Falls were amazing.   We spent the night at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  We slept in one of the train cars.  It was pretty cool.On Friday we ventured to the Aquarium.   Shark Attack!!!! The jellyfish are always my favorite.We ended the trip with a Wild Cave tour at Raccoon Mountain.  We crawled and climbed around the cave for about 1.5 hours.  The kids had a blast.  We were covered in mud when we finished.   What have you guys been up to? [...]

Harper's Room


We are finally pretty much finished with Harper's room.  Mitch still wants to make some shelves above the desk and we need to put up some more artwork, but for the most part her room is done.

I made the curtains for under her bed this weekend. Mitch hung a PVC pipe under the bed to use as a curtain rod.  He also built a desk for her.  She said all that it was missing was a laptop.  

I thought she would use the space under the loft to hang out, but she decided her American Girl dolls wanted to hang out under there instead.


We did manage to get some artwork up over her dresser.

Now we can move onto the next room.

American Girl Doll Dress


I actually have something crafty to show today.  I made a birthday present for one of Harper's friends a couple of weeks ago.  She requested a dress made with lace.

I thought it was sweet that her friend wanted me to make her doll a dress.  The best part of it though was I did not spend a dime making it.  I used material I had on hand.  Gotta love that.

I used Simplicity 4786 as a starting point.

The back is velcro so it should be easy to get on and off.  I didn't get to see her open it, but Harper said she liked it.  

This Makes Me Happy


Isn't it great how just the smallest things can really brighten your day?  A couple of weeks ago I actually pulled out the sewing machine and made these pillows.


I found the flower print at Joann's and already had the chevron and yellow prints.  I really feel like the pillows really tie everything together.  The splash of color is still making me happy two weeks later.

Now I just need to put up some artwork, which is the story of my life right now.  

We have been working on Harper's room the last few weekends.  Her grandfather built her a loft bed. So we painted her room and the loft bed. Once we have it all put back together I will take some photos.  She is very excited about her new room.  

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day!!!

The kids wanted to make photo valentines again this year.  I showed them several ideas, but they were stuck on the "Rock On" theme with pop rocks attached.


This is very much like Harper's valentine last year. She really wanted to do another one this year, so that's what we did.  She processed hers using picmonkey.  Miller lost interest after the photo shoot, so I processed his for him.  He didn't want any funky colors.

We have been battling the funk at our house this week.  Miller had strep throat over the weekend.  Then Harper starting feeling bad on Monday.  Instead of strep she has the flu.  Ugh.  She had the flu back in December too.  I mean what are the odds of her getting strain A and B?  We all got the flu shot after our bout with the flu in December, but I guess it didn't really help Harper.  Poor thing.  Hopefully the rest of us will dodge this round.

I hope everyone has a healthy Valentine's Day!!!



The kids were out of school on Friday because we got a dusting of snow.  I seriously think the school system just wanted to use a snow day because the roads were completely clear.  The snow was gone by mid morning so the kids didn't get to play in it too much.  Then we woke up Saturday to another dusting of snow.  This time we took advantage of it and did some sledding.

The snow was gone again by lunch time, but at least we got to have a little bit of snow fun.  

Fun at the Circus


We went to the Circus a few weeks ago.  Here are some of the photo highlights.

Cousin love....

The elephants never disappoint.

That guy is blindfolded. Crazy, huh?


Can you tell we had a great seats?  


Brown Belt


Harper tested for her Brown Belt on Saturday.  She was supposed to test back in December, but she had the flu on the day of the testing.  She was heartbroken that she wasn't able to test. So needless to say, she was ready and well prepared this time around.

It is so fun to watch her.  Sometimes it amazes me how far she has come since she was a white belt. She broke both of these boards on the first try.

There were 19 kids that tested and she was the only one to get an outstanding testing award. I might be a little biased, but she definitely earned it.

I am so proud of you Harper!!

Close Enough


We have slowly put the house back together again.  There are still pictures to be hung and a few random projects we want to do, but for the most part we are done remodeling for awhile.  The goal now is to save up as much money as we can so that we can finish off our garage into a bonus room for the kids.  So the rooms don't look exactly like we want them to yet, but they are close enough to show you some pictures.The first thing Mitch worked on over Christmas Break was a new media console.  He mounted the TV on the wall so he wanted something smaller and more modern for this space.  I love how it turned out. So the next thing we did was painted the piece of furniture that was there and moved it to the playroom.  We had to remove the old entertainment center first, which was quite the chore.  Let's just say I am glad that is behind us.  The room feels so much more open now. We moved the table to where the computer was and moved the computer into the left hand corner.  As you can tell the table is being primarily used for Lego construction right now.   I told you we still need to hang some pictures.Here you can see the computer.  Mitch wants to build a desk, but for now this is working.The bench that was in the laundry room got moved to the foyer.  We discovered that we did not really use all the bins when they were out in the laundry room.  I am hoping they get utilized more now.  I just cleaned up the bookshelf on the left.Here's another look at the other side of the media console. We would like to get a big comfy chair to put in the corner. It feels so good to have our house back together again.  Hopefully I am done moving furniture around for a few weeks.   [...]



Hey everyone!!!  I am still alive.  Although I have written about a dozen blog posts in my head, getting them actually posted has been really hard for me.  I think the biggest problem is my lack of photos.  I just have found that I am constantly forgetting my camera and so many things have been going undocumented.  We have been working like crazy on the house, so hopefully I can find time to pick up my camera and take some photos to show you guys.  

I have decided that instead of resolutions this year I would choose a word that symbolizes what I plan to accomplish this year.  I think balance sums it up.  I am really can to try to find balance in all areas of my life this year.

My Sweet Niece


My sweet niece, Eden, was born on Saturday.  Isn't she the most precious thing ever?
Harper is very smitten with her.

So are her brother and sister.


Welcome to the world sweet girl.

Elfie and a Christmas Parade


Well, Elfie is back again this year.  
Harper has decided she has some very important questions that need to be answered.
We also participated in the local Christmas Parade on Saturday with Harper's brownie troop.  It was a perfect day.  Can you tell from the red faces that it was in the 70's.  The girls (and Miller) had a blast.

Neverending Projects


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We took full advantage of the long weekend.  I have been horrible about remembering my camera lately, so I have no photos to show.  I am not sure what is wrong with me lately.  I think that is a big reason I have not been blogging very much.  I don't have any photos to share. Anyway, I thought I would show you what we have been up to in regards to the house.  Mitch built us a nice dining room table last week.  He was able to reuse the legs from our old craft table so he only had to buy the wood for the top of the table.  He is still in the process of sealing it.  I think he has at least one more coat to go.   Mitch originally made the table below that we were using as a craft table and then a computer desk. Before the kids were born we had one whole room dedicated to a dining room, which is why the table was so big.  Now with our limited space it just doesn't make sense any more.   The plan is to make a built in computer area with shelves, so we decided to take this table apart and use the legs for our new table.   We also felt like the round table that we had did not fit the space very well. So the plan was to put the new table in the corner where the round table is in the photo below.  Now we aren't too sure.  We may make an eating area in the playroom/study. I really liked the openness after removing the round table, so I am not sure about adding a table back in there now.  Who knows what we will end up doing.  Mitch and I like to change our minds and rearrange furniture every couple of weeks.    The last time I showed you our living room it looked like this.  A few weeks ago we bought a new couch that fits the space a little better. We searched and searched to find a sectional to fit our strange space.  We finally settled on the one below.  It's from American Signature.  We are loving it so far.  It's nice that we can all sit on the couch comfortably and it fits the space perfectly.  It always cracks me up when I upload my photos and see Bailey photobombing my photos.    Eventhough our house is still very much a work in progress, every little project brings us closer to having the house put back together just the way we want it.   Maybe one day I will have a final reveal to show you of all the rooms finished.   Since we removed the craft table from the playroom, I was actually able to find a place for the Christmas tree.  Yeah!!  I borrowed a small desk from work for the computer so we still have a place for the computer until we can figure out what we are doing in this room.    Happy Tuesday everyone!! [...]

Fall Fun


We raked up the last of our leaves yesterday.  Of course all the kids wanted to do was play in the leaves.  It did make for some nice photo opportunities though.  I have been horrible about taking photos, so it was fun to spend some time snapping photos of the kids.   Be prepared for photo overload.     Happy Monday everyone!!  [...]

University of Tennessee Football Game


Mitch and I both graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  We have made it back for a few football games over the years, but have never taken the kids.  We decided they were probably old enough to enjoy a game.   So this weekend we took them to their very first game.  We all had a blast. Here's Harper sporting her new UT shirt courtesy of her Grammie.  We got to Knoxville early enough to see the band make its way to the stadium. We walked around a little bit before the game.  Harper was able to participate in a demonstration by the Physics department. Then we made our way to Neyland Stadium. The day started out a bit cold, but warmed up as the day went on.  We all had a great time. I was surprised that the kids never did get bored at the game. I think we have decided to make this an annual tradition. [...]

Halloween 2012


 This year for Halloween Miller decided to dress up as a knight and Harper dressed up as a dutch girl. Harper's costume belongs to her Grammie.  It was a costume she wore when she was a little girl. The kids carved their pumpkins last Friday so they are looking a little shriveled.  She's just missing wooden shoes.  I think those would have made trick or treating more difficult though.   Miller with one less tooth.  Miller has been way into The Lord of the Rings lately.  See the ring hanging on the necklace around his neck?  Miller has never really been into dress up, but he has been wearing this costume around.  It is so cute to see him get into character.   The kids had a blast trick or treating with their friends.  It was another successful Halloween. Now I have to figure out what to do with the mountain of candy they brought home.   Have a great weekend!! [...]

Catching Up On The Kids


 It's been a couple of months since I did a catching up on the kids post, so here is what they are up to these days. They both had all of last week off for Fall Break.  Miller especially liked all of the time off of school.  They got to hang out with their cousins and grandparents for part of the week.  Then we took a day trip to Mammoth Cave on Thursday.   Miller's baseball season wrapped up on Saturday.  He really improved this season.  I think things have finally clicked into place for him.  Although it was fun to watch him play this season, I am glad the season is over.  Miller seems to be enjoying school this year.  In the last month his interest in reading has skyrocketed.  He is constantly asking us to spell things and trying to read anything in sight.  It is so exciting that he is interested in learning and we are not having to force him to read every night.  He is obsessed with Legos, The Avengers, and The Lord of the Rings.  Miller lost his very first tooth yesterday.  As soon as I get a good photo, I will post it.     Harper is still a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do.  She goes several days a week, which keeps us all busy.  She is still enjoying Brownies.  They have participated in some fun events this year.  Her favorite was a synchronized swimming class they took at the local recreation center.  She has also joined a Destination Imagination team at her school.  She is really excited about it.  Third grade is definitely more challenging this year, but she seems to be taking it all in stride.   I will be back on Thursday with some photos from Halloween. [...]

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe


 You know we are all about smoothies at my house.  Well, if you are like me I can't get enough of pumpkin right now.  This smoothie definitely satisfies that craving.  The kids love it too.  It makes the perfect after school treat.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie- serves 4


1 can of pureed pumpkin ( I use the organic stuff from Whole Foods)
2 bananas (frozen would make it extra yummy)
2 cups of milk of choice (I use almond milk)
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend away and enjoy.  Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to make it extra special.(image)

A Day In The Life- Tuesday- Part 2


Well, here's the rest of my Tuesday.   I am not going to detail every bit of my work day because that would just be to hard to document.  I will just include the important stuff like what I ate.9:30 am- I decide to have a second cup of green tea.  10:05 am- I drink my green smoothie.  It was extra good today.  It must have been all those sttrawberries.11:30 am- Lunch.  We order out on Tuesdays.  Today we chose Panera.  I had a cup of vegetarian black bean soup and half a greek salad.  2:20 pm- I eat an apple for a snack.  2:50 pm- I am still hungry so I snack on some wasabi rice crackers.3:00 pm- I leave work.3:13 pm- I get home, check the mail, and change clothes.3:30 pm- I make the kids a snack- a cut up pear and graham cracker with nutella.  I make myself one too.  Then I decide I need another one.3:40 pm- The kids are home.  They run to see what I made them for a snack.  They eat their snack while watching a little TV.  I let them eat their snack and chill out for awhile, so I can sneak in a workout. 3:45 pm- I look through the kids folders.  Sign Miller's behavior chart.  He got a smiley face today. Sign Harper's planner and Tuesday packet.  I check to make sure that Harper doesn't have any homework.3:50 pm- I grab some water and get ready to workout.  I am doing Jillian Michael's Body Revolution workout # 8.3:55 pm- I start working out.4:30 pm- I am finished working out.  I rest for a minute then get started throwing together something for dinner.  Miller has a baseball game tonight so I have to make something that is easy to eat and quick to make.  I am making breakfast burritos for the adults and ham and cheese roll ups for the kids.4:35 pm- I decide to make the kids lunches for tomorrow while I have all the ingredients out for ham and cheese roll-ups.  Harper has to be at school at 7:30 tomorrow so my Wednesday morning will be a little crazy.5:00 pm- The kids lunches are made.  They sit down to eat their dinner.  Mitch and I also sit down and eat our dinner really quick. 5:10 pm- Miller gets dressed for baseball.  I pack up snacks for the game. I get Miller's water bottle ready.  I  clean myself up and change out of my sweaty clothes. 5:25 pm- We head to the baseball field. 5:38 pm- We arrive at the ball field.  Harper and I go for a quick walk since the game doesn't start until 6:00.6:00 pm- Harper and I watch Miller's game.  Mitch is the coach so he is busy on the field.  Harper and I help out in the dug out.7:30 pm- The game is over.  We hand out snacks and wait for all the players to leave.  We head home.7:47 pm- We get home and bathe the kids really fast. I change into PJs and wash my face.8:00 pm- Harper brushes her teeth and gets in bed to read.  Miller decides he now wants to eat his dinner.  While he eats, he reads me his assigned book for the day. 8:14 pm- Miller brushes his teeth and gets into bed.  I read to him until 8:30 and it's lights out for both kids.8:35 pm- Miller has requested overnight oats for breakfast tomorrow.  I get the ingredients all mixed up.8:42 pm- Miller is up.  He wants me to lay with him.  I tell myself that he won't want me to do this much longer so I should enjoy it, but I am actually frustrated.  I am ready to go to bed myself.8:45 pm- I leave Miller's room.  I sit down[...]

A Day In The Life- Tuesday- Part 1


It's been awhile since I have done A Day In The Life post, so I felt like one was due.  I love looking back on these and realizing how much has changed or not changed.  So here is my Tuesday morning documented.  I am breaking it up into 2 parts so that it is not one huge boring post. 6:21 am- Miller's awake, which means I am awake.  He plops in front of the TV and I go shower.6:53 am- I am showered and dressed for work.  I even applied some makeup.6:54 am- I ask Miller what he wants for breakfast.  He wants cinnamon toast and eggs.  I start getting the toast ready.  I also get all of our vitamins out. The kids get a multivitamin and a probiotic.  Mitch and I take a vitamin D, probiotic, and an emergen-c.7:00 am- I wake up Harper.  I ask her what she wants for breakfast.  She wants cereal.7:05 am- I pour Harper's cereal while Miller's toast is toasting.  Then get started on his eggs. I also unload the dishwasher while the eggs are cooking.7:10 am- Breakfast is on the table.  The kids sit down to eat. 7:15am- I get my breakfast ready.  I usually take a bowl of oatmeal with me to eat at work.  I start getting all the ingredients together to make a green smoothie.  7:20 am- I blend up the green smoothie.  I pour mine into a mason jar and Mitch's into his klean kanteen.  I rinse out the blender and put it into the dishwasher. 7:25 am- I fill up Harper's water bottle and put it in her backpack.  Then pack them snacks.  Miller wants a bar of some sort every day.  Harper prefers to have something that she can snack on while she works.  So she usually gets some sort of cracker or pretzel.  The kids are buying their lunch today, so I don't have to pack lunches. 7:30 am- The kids are finished eating.  They bring their plates to the kitchen and I load them into the dishwasher.  Miller also checks the weather on the computer.  He likes to know how he needs to dress for the day.7:31 am- Harper is in her room getting ready for school.  I help Miller find some pants to wear because he didn't want to wear any of the pants in his drawer.  Lucky for me the pants he wanted to wear were in the dryer.  7:34 am- Miller brushes his teeth.  I blow dry my hair and straighten it.7:45 am- Miller is all dressed and has his shoes on.  I brush my teeth and check on Harper.  She is all ready to go.  She just needs to brush her teeth. 7:48 am- I have some extra time so I check my e-mail then get sucked into Pinterest for a few minutes.7:55 am- We get ready to walk out the door.  Miller decides he needs a band aid on his finger.  So I slap a band aid on him reallly quick.  We grab backpacks and jackets and jump into the car.  I tried to get Miller in this photo too, but he ran away from me.   7:59 am- We leave the house and head to my friend's house to pick up her girls.  We carpool with them.  I take them in the morning and she brings them home in the afternoon.  8:03 am- We drive to school.8:11 am- I drop the kids off at school and drive to work.8:20 am- I get to work.  I turn on my computer, fill up my water bottle, make some tea, and get my oatmeal all ready.8:30 am- Time to work.  Here's my view. The leaves are starting to change.  Woohoo.I will be back tomorrow with the rest o[...]

Boogie Board Writing Tablet Cover


 Have you seen these Boogie Boards?   They are LCD writing tablets.  I think they are pretty cool.  They are perfect for jotting down math problems or just doodling.  I kind of want one for myself. : )We got one for my niece for her birthday.  It seemed kind of boring on its own, so I decided to make a case for it.  I used an old hard back book and covered it with fabric.  I did take photos so if anyone is interested just leave a comment and I will get a tutorial together.
Here's the front. 

and the back.

Anyone else been up to anything crafty?