Thursday, April 24, 2014

Two and a Half Birthdays

We recently celebrated two birthdays!

Clara turned 4 in March, and Oaken just turned 7. It sure is amazing how time flies, huh? I feel like just the other day my first baby boy was born and I became a mommy for the first time. I was honestly so terrified to even be left alone with the little guy the first couple of days and now he is an independent, wonderful big brother.

Because no birthday post would be complete without some throw back pics...

That's my boy! Oaken is the sweetest kid around and I'm so proud of they way he has grown up. Even his teachers comment on how well mannered and sweet he is in school. I am one proud mommy!

Everyone was feeling a little under the weather this year on his birthday, but we still managed to make him his requested Lego cakes!

The cakes were by no means perfect, or beautiful, but I tried my hardest with what we had and Oaken fully appreciated it. Oaken was bummed that his friends didn't get to come over to celebrate, but I bet their parents are grateful not to have received the flu as a party favor.

To celebrate Clara's birthday, we spent the weekend in Pennsylvania with my parents. Of course, Clara requested a special cake of her own as well.

Our girls are absolutely obsessed with Hello Kitty. Based on the fact that I did not plan this cake at all, I think it actually turned out fairly well. Sorry for the poor lighting, but I had remembered just before we dug into the cake that I should probably snap a quick iPhone picture.

And a collage for Clara....

Isn't she just so adorable? Clara is also such a sweet girl. How did we luck out and get such sweet kiddos? She is absolutely infatuated with her baby brother and does the best job of making him laugh! I can't believe how much she has grown.

Finally, in reference to the "Half Birthday": baby Cullen is now 6 months old!

Cullen is such a happy little guy and truly makes our family complete. I'd have to say that Justin and I are some very proud parents!

He is still not sleeping through the night, and actually gets up at about every hour to nurse. Though I am absolutely exhausted in the morning, I can't complain about spending the extra time with my little man. Being gone 12+ hours a day for work is the pits and it's all to obvious that time just flies when kids are growing up. I will never, ever, ever wish away any stage of my children's childhood. I am thankful for every single minute that I get to spend with them.

This post seriously makes my heart ache. Their growing up is so bitter-sweet. I miss those itty bitty babies so much. It's been so much fun watching them grow over the years, but sometimes I wish I could just hop into a time machine back to those first few days after their births and soak up all of the newborn snuggles I can. Looking through all of their pictures just to pick out these few was so hard. If only I could slow down time,spend less time at work, and more time cuddling!

Tell me, what is the one thing that you miss most about your little ones?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ye Olde To Do List

I am an avid list maker.

Writing things down as the pop into my head helps me stay sane when I try to remember that thing I thought about 15 minutes before something shiny caught my attention. I'm a mom, and lists prevent me from totally loosing it. Who doesn't like a list for the sole pleasure of crossing something off of that list?

Today I share with you: The Master To-Do List.

This is a document that I add to in order to organize all of the items that we want and need to do around the house. I thought it might be good to share with you a break down of these things so that you have a better idea of what direction we're going in each space. In the past, I've tended to jump around from post to post showing you random projects that we've done here and there without an idea of the bigger picture.

Well, here's the bigger picture! Probably the biggest picture you could could get. And of course, this list is constantly morphing as we continue to live in the home and as our needs are changing.

Front Exterior

To Do:
  • paint the shutters, door and trim
  • replace the light
  • spruce up the house numbers
  • new roof 

Back Yard

To Do:

  • power wash siding
  • power wash and treat seal split rail fence
  • add grass seed to bare patch where the previous owner had a trampoline
  • purchase/assemble play set for the kids
  • get patio furniture
  • fix/paint or replace the shed

Living Room

To Do:
  • paint
  • purchase new slipcover
  • hang new curtain rod
  • hang curtains
  • repaint or touch up entertainment center dresser
  • organize entryway
  • hang art or photos
  • paint hallway and trim
  • add window trim
  • run electric into ceiling - the ceiling fan in this room currently runs off of a cord run up the wall from the outlet
  • add crown molding
  • replace carpet with hardwood 
  • add a cute office nook to the closet

Half Bath

To Do:
  • Paint walls and trim
  • paint vanity
  • replace faucet, mirror, light and toilet paper holder 
  • add a changing station for baby Cullen
  • hang artwork
  • new toilet
  • replace flooring


To Do:
  • add an island with stools
  • replace light fixture?
  • paint
  • refinish cabinets
  • replace counter top
  • replace sink
  • replace back-splash
  • replace appliances with stainless steel
  • replace flooring

To Do:
  • organize
  • prettify- paint and new shelves?
Dining Nook 
This picture is from the original listing and does not include our current dining set.

To Do:
  • paint
  • create accent wall
  • replace our table and chairs
  • hang art
  • replace flooring
 Pictured here are the basement steps, but the "to-do" items apply to our two sets of stairs.

To Do:
  • replace carpet, add runner
  • spruce up banister with new stain
  • update light in stairwell
Master Bedroom

To Do:
  • paint walls 
  • fix/replace ceiling fan/light
  • run electric into ceiling - the ceiling fan in this room currently runs off of a cord run up the wall from the outlet
  • organize closet
  • paint stripes on focal wall
  • hang artwork
  • hang curtains
  • purchase new curtain rods
  • new bedding
  • accent rug?
  • finish Cullen's space (mobile, crib, fitted sheet, quilt)
  • under bed storage
  • create a tufted headboard
  • make a bed skirt
  • add crown molding
  • add window trim

Master Bathroom
 This is a picture taken when we first viewed the house and does not include our stuff. However, I think it does a pretty good job of representing just how dreadful this space is. Yikes... I must also add that the toilet seat cover is definitely not ours and did not convey with the home.  Thank goodness.

To Do:
  • paint
  • replace flooring
  • replace mirror
  • replace light
  • paint vanity
  • replace faucet
  • spruce up shelf nook 
  • extend shower into shelf nook eventually - The little "trap door" beneath the shelving is completely empty and serves no purpose. It would be really nice to expand that itty bitty teeny weeny shower into that empty space.

Kids Bath 
Another picture from our initial viewing. Again, not our shower curtain, rug or toiletries.

To Do:
  • paint
  • replace/paint flooring
  • replace mirror
  • replace light
  • paint vanity
  • replace faucet
  • replace towel bar with hooks for each kid
  • replace curtain bar
  • replace shower head
  • hang new shower curtain

Girls Room

To Do:
  • paint
  • figure out a fun but classy and feminine design
  • add crown molding
  • find new bedding
  • purchase new beds
  • figure out organization solution for closet
  • make bed skirts
  • add curtains and rod
  • hang art work
  • add ceiling light
Boys Room

To Do:
  • paint
  • add crown molding
  • organize closet
  • refinish dresser?
  • swap out curtains and curtain rod
  • hang art work
  • install ceiling light
  • incorporate Lego storage

Laundry Room

To Do:
  • finish space
  • refinish cabinets
  • refinish counter (Ardex Feather Finish?)
  • replace w/d with front loaders and add counter on top
  • come up with a new flooring solution
  • replace water heater with a tankless?


To Do:
  • update lighting
  • add HVAC
  • new flooring (eventually)
  • add built in storage?
  • board and batten walls?
  • paint
  • new window
  • organize sewing space
  • add window treatments

To Do Throughout the House:
  • replace all door hinges and knobs with non-brass hardware 
  • replace all outlets, outlet covers and switch plates with all new white version

I think that about wraps up the current list and I'm sure it will change 100 times before we get around to all of the rooms. Wow, we have a lot to do yet!

Tell me, what's on your to-do list? Are you feeling slightly overwhelmed by it's length like I am?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kitchen Island Creation

When I said the other day that we have trouble focusing on just one space, I wasn't kidding. It's been really hard for us to see even one room through to completion at this point. The bottom line is that we have had to balance budget, time, and priorities.

The toilet and paint were both priorities in the half bath. We'll get around to the rest of that to-do list when we have time...eventually!

One of the big priorities for the house was to find a way to give ourselves some extra prep space in the kitchen. The kitchen had a big empty space right in the middle that just beckoned an island.

Please excuse the itty bitty picture from the listing. It apparently escaped my mind to take a better "before" picture of this space.

Though I would love to have one of these:

The cost is totally prohibitive. Womp, womp. However, we did come up with a plan that is shaping up fairly nicely!

(Stock unfinished base cabinet + beadboard + butcher block countertop = kitchen island)

It's still a work in progress, but we're super happy with the functionality that it's given us so far. All we need to do is give the base a final coat of paint, pick out hardware for the drawer, and give the top one last coat of butcher block sealant.

This project has completely been Justin's baby from the start. (And he has done an awesome job!) All I did was help pick out the stools.

We picked these up at Target for a whole $50 for the pair. SCORE! They might not be super trendy, but they are functional and the seat totally matches the counter top.

The kids are totally obsessed with the stools and the island, giving them another place to hang out and color while we prep dinner. Everyone is happy, happy, happy!!

We think we might eventually swap out the counter for something thicker, but for right now, we are happy that it provides us the additional counter space we desperately needed. Once we have the island 100% complete, I'll be sure to put a more detailed post together about how it was made.

Next: to decide on a shade of paint for the walls in the kitchen!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Current State of [Master Bedroom] Affairs

Walls are painted and pictures were finally taken!

As you may have noticed, there have been a few additions made in here as well. Like the fact that we have a bed, nightstands, and table lamps. Cullen's crib is assembled, and we even have some curtains. Hooray!

At the same time, we have a ways to go until we reach the overall look of my inspirational mood board, but I feel pretty good that we are continuing to make progress and check items off the ol' to-do list:

- paint the walls with the base color
- tape off and paint stripes on the wall behind the headboard
- use existing headboard to mimic the tufted inspiration piece
- find night stands and table lamps
- purchase and assemble crib
- make a mobile to hang above Cullen's crib
- find and hang curtains
- find and hang mirror or other art for above headboard
- find/make console table for under TV? (This hinges on whether we actually decide to put a TV in here.)
- find/make bedding
- make a bed skirt
- finish nightstands (paint and/or stain)
- add a few colorful pillows to the bed
- add crown molding
- trim the windows
- swap out brass hinges and door knobs

A few to-do items have also been added to the master list. However, this may still be the first "complete" space in the house! I mean, at least we have all of the main pieces and everything else is just an enhancement from here.

I have to admit that I have not yet even begun to tackle the stripe wall. I'm first trying to prep myself for potential frustration there. The next thing that I must do, is make a bed skirt. If you look really closely at the bottom of this next picture, you can see the junk currently under our bed.

You can also see where Justin (hubs) and Cullen lounged on the bed during my little photo session and I forgot to smooth out the comforter again. Whoops!

Overall, I am super happy with the changes that we have made so far.

The  before and after shot above really show how much more "us" the room now feels. It's amazing what a can of paint can do. 

Tell me, what is your "go-to" color that makes you feel more at home?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Getting Moody in the Master

Last weekend, I did a little painting in the master bedroom. It's been a little slow going with the "makeover" progress in the house lately, but we've really been trying to focus the majority of our efforts on getting organized. No one likes to see piles of stuff just laying around their house or have closets packed full of stuff that doesn't belong there. It's been over a month since we moved in; we really need to get on that!

All I can show you today is the color of the master bedroom:

Since I really don't have much of an update to share with you on the master yet, I thought I would share the mood board I put together instead.

 Here's the overall to-do list for this room:

- paint the walls with the base color
- tape off and paint stripes on the wall behind the headboard
- use existing headboard to mimic the tufted inspiration piece
- find night stands and table lamps
- purchase and assemble crib (While our babies are still nursing, I like them to be close for all of those night time feedings. The pack-n-play just wasn't cutting it anymore, so we broke down and bought a new crib.)
- make a mobile to hang above Cullen's crib
- find and hang curtains
- find and hang mirror or other art for above headboard
- find/make console table for under tv
- find/make bedding

Ummm, yea, so pretty much start from scratch! At least I have a base coat of paint on the walls...

If you haven't yet checked out the Home Tour, here's what we're starting with:

It should be quite a transformation.

We're going to have to get a little creative to get this kind of look on our budget though. We most certainly don't have $1,000 to spend on a headboard! I have the room painted with it's base color, but still have the stripes to tackle yet. Wish me luck, because I am totally nervous that they will turn out wavy or crooked. Can't wait to get a progress pic posted.

Anyone have tips for me when it comes to painting stripes? I could use all the help I can get on this one!