Looking Forward

A year ago I was blogging about nursery updates, bathroom makeovers and floor poufs. I worked 2 days a week at a non-profit and had the rest of the time completely to myself. I kept our house immaculate, did fun projects, ran errands, met friends for coffee and blogged. I loved my life.
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I snapped this full-length selfie a few minutes ago right before handing my beautiful 9mo baby girl off to my hubby, grabbing the laptop and forcing myself to a solo Starbucks blogging date. I like to call this my “pretend to be cute coffee shop” look. To be honest I am unshowered, I’ve been meaning to curl my air-dried hair for 2 days and I probably smell like breast milk. I love my life.

I also moved 500 miles away and have been living with my inlaws for 5 months. Even though it’s been an overall good experience, I am longing for our own space like crazy! Tomorrow marks the first day of spring which = more houses will be coming on the market. So today I am toasting my decaf hazelnut latte – here’s to finding a home and making it our own!

Our First Home

Hello again, my dear blog readers! It feels incredibly refreshing writing for this blog again. My last entry was on June 27th a couple of weeks after our baby girl was born. Since then our lives have been an absolute whirlwind! For reals. We sold our house, left the lives we had built in Memphis for 9 yrs and moved 500 miles away to Edmond, OK to be close to family.porchI had grandeur ideas about writing a “goodbye house” blog post, but it didn’t happen in the midst of all the chaos. I was a total crybaby the day we had to leave our first little home (I may have even circled the block and come back for one last look). But this is a story worth telling!

In the summer of ’04 we made a weekend trip to Memphis with my in-laws in search of a house for us to live in for 3 yrs (which turned into 9) while Ben was in grad school. Oh the best-laid plans…
monsHOUSE024This is the day we first looked at the house. Initially we weren’t too impressed, but after looking at several other houses it became the obvious choice. Little did I know how much I would end up loving this home and all the wonderful memories we would make over almost a decade here!
monsHOUSE026This was our first impression upon walking into the house. Wreaths with x-mas lights as window treatments and random trashcans.
monsHOUSE027 The dining room highlighted a space heater that came with the house – bonus!
monsHOUSE036Oh the kitchen! Dirty linoleum floors (that our puppy would later chew up), fake hunter green marble countertops and beige everywhere.
monsHOUSE028All 3 bedrooms were pretty much the same, one being slightly bigger than the others. Scuffed floors, ceiling fans that were falling apart and more beige.
monsHOUSE032The bathroom was pretty neutral, minus the window treatment and Coca-Cola light cover (which I vividly remember, but didn’t capture in this pic).

And that’s pretty much it – all 1,056 sq ft. Over the next 9 yrs we would put blood, sweat and tears into making this house our home. Besides a mini kitchen renovation we did everything ourselves. We got a puppy, had multiple career changes and brought home our baby girl here!

Stay tuned over the next several weeks as I document the transformation of our first home room by room.

New Gig

After much anticipation, I would like to introduce Evangeline Jane!
baby_girlWe may be a little biased, but we think she is the most beautiful baby in the whole world and we’ve been busy getting to know our little girl. I know I’ve made a lot of excuses for not blogging, but this one was legit.

So what direction will this blog go now that I’m a stay-at-home mama? I’m not quite sure yet. I do know that I desperately need an outlet and miss doing DIY and blogging, so don’t count me out yet! I told Ben that I may need internet access and a Keurig for this new gig:) I’ll keep y’all posted!

Refinishing a Dresser

I’ve had a lot of people comment on the dresser in the nursery and how we Ben transformed it. We loved the idea of using a piece of furniture we already had and refinishing it for our little girl! The dresser went from this…
dresser8to this…
dresser9I still can’t believe how great it turned out and how perfect it looks in the nursery! This project began back on a cold February day when Ben decided to use a hand sander he’d gotten for x-mas several years ago and never opened.
dresser5He wiped it down, took off all the hardware and sanded it first with 80 grit sandpaper to rough it up and then with 200 grit paper to smooth things out. This took less than 30 minutes – I think it took us longer to drag it outside!
dresser3Fast forward several months later (after much moaning, groaning and unhelpful nagging comments by an impatient pregnant lady). One Sunday Ben asked me if I would mind if he worked on the dresser in the living room while watching golf… my response, “Of course, go for it!!” Who knew it was that easy?!
dresser2First he pried off the bumpers in order to make the bottom of the dresser completely level. He then secured wood blocks on the underside of the dresser.
dresser1Then Ryan Gosling Ben screwed in $4 fence post caps into the corners and the wood blocks. You can see a lot more details than we documented at this link.
dresser4Next came the very long, drawn out process of priming, painting and sealing the dresser. Ben used 2 coat of Kilz Clean Start zero VOC primer, 3 coats of Olympic zero VOC semi-gloss paint (color matched to SW 7009 Pearly White) and 4 coats of non-toxic, odor free Safecoat Acrylacq – whew!
dresser6Just when he thought he could call this project DONE, I hesitantly reminded him that we still needed to redo the hardware. Not. A. Happy. Camper. He started by using 400 grit sandpaper to rough them up.
dresser7Then he sprayed 4 thin coats of Rostoleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint in the oil-rubbed bronze finish and let them dry outside for a few days. I was totally impressed with how well these turned out! I eventually want to do this to every gold doorknob in our house like in this post.
nursery_reveal3And here she is in all her beauty today! I can’t say this was the easiest project in the world, but it’s definitely the statement piece in the nursery! I absolutely love that Ben stuck with this and worked so hard on it. He MUST love me and his little girl because he does not enjoy DIY like I do:) What do y’all think?

The Big Nursery Reveal

Who’s ready for the highly anticipated nursery reveal?! I’m pretty sure the first night after we found out we were pregnant I began dreaming about designing the nursery for our little one:) So get comfy, grab an iced tea and enjoy!
nursery_reveal1Here’s the view when you first walk in the door. A decorator friend of mine did a nursery consultation several months ago which I stuck to pretty closely with a few twists of my own. I loved her vision and how it all came together!
nursery_reveal3Y’all, this dresser was a major labor of love by Ben for his little girl! He loosely used this tutorial to add the legs, then after 4 coats of paint, 3 coats of Acrylacq and spray painting the original hardware ORB later, it was finished! This was my dresser as a child so it has huge sentimental value to me.
nursery_reveal6This beautiful real cotton wreath was given to me by all my sweet hostesses at my Memphis shower and I think it really brings the entire nursery together! It adds texture and that “Southern” vintage feel I wanted. Look at those cute babies:)
nursery_reveal4I’m still absolutely loving the classic black crib which initially caught me off guard. I opted for no crib bumper and simple white sheets. My mom helped me make the crib skirt and I used the leftover fabric to add a couple of bows.
nursery_reveal7I got all of the art from Etsy and the frames are from IKEA.
nursery_reveal10I looked everywhere for a simple mobile and finally found the perfect one at a consignment sale. It was 1/2 off day so I scored this Pottery Barn find for $2.50!
nursery_reveal11These pillows were custom made for me by my friend Lauren. She used the same ribbon that lines the curtains.
nursery_reveal13This is my favorite baby gift! My mom (who has never quilted) decided to make a baby quilt for her granddaughter. I. absolutely. love. it. She worked so hard picking out the fabric and spent every waking moment trying to finish it before my shower. It is vintage, timeless and perfect!
nursery_reveal12I wrote a post about the curtains, but since then we also added a bamboo shade for extra room darkening and to break up all the white with some texture. We left the white blinds so that we can still have some privacy.
nursery_reveal8Originally we wanted a white rocker, but after finding this one on Craigslist for a fraction of the price we went for it. Since there is cream in the rug I think it totally works! The rug and rustic table came from Overstock.com. My mom helped me make the chevron floor pouf which I blogged about here.
nursery_reveal9I got this adorable print from the same Etsy store which has a golden retriever in a pile of leaves. This is our way of honoring our first child, Cali, in the nursery:)
nursery_reveal2Here’s a little bit of a wider shot of this side of the room. The lamp on the table came from Target and the rustic wood coat rack came from an antique mall. I love the little details hidden all around this room.
nursery_reveal15I found these cute and practical drawer organizers at IKEA. I’m still waiting to get over saying “Awww” every time I pick up a piece of cute baby girl clothing.
nursery_reveal16We knew from the beginning that we wanted to use the dresser as a changing station. We just purchased a changing pad which is secured to the dresser and the brown polka dot cover is from Target.
nursery_reveal17I still have a lot of organizing to do, but her little closet is coming together and the cute closet dividers are already coming in handy!
nursery_reveal18The car seat and main stroller will go in the car and the BOB jogging stroller will more than likely live in our dining room once we start using it regularly.
nursery_reveal19In keeping it real, this is what the nursery really looks like with all the baby gear out and about. Where are you supposed to put all of this stuff?!
middle_br1Here’s a “before” shot of what this room looked like just a few short months ago. It’s come a LONG way and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

I don’t think I could possibly find another angle of the nursery to take a pic of so it’s time to wrap up this reveal party. I’ll be 37 weeks this Friday so our baby girl could come any day now and we absolutely can’t wait to meet her! What do you think of our non-traditional, non-themed, vintage-inspired, simple nursery?

DIY Onesie Cupcakes

I recently went to a baby shower for a sweet friend and decided to make onesie cupcakes. This is a super simple and fun DIY project that always gets oohh’s and aahh’s (which we all know is secretly our goal at baby showers:)
diy_onesie9These are actually some others I did for another friend last fall. Aren’t they just so cute you could squish their little faces and eat them?!

Supply Breakdown:

  • 4 onesies
  • 4 receiving blankets
  • 4 rubber bands
  • 4 coffee filters
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • baker’s twine
  • a cupcake bakery box (you can get them at Michael’s or Joann’s)

diy_onesie1Fold the receiving blankets until they are 3″ wide.
diy_onesie2Lay a onesie over your fist and make an indent in the center.
diy_onesie3Take the inside of the onesie and tuck it into the center.
diy_onesie4Then lay the onesie at the end of one of the blankets and roll it up.
diy_onesie5Secure it with a rubber band, place in a coffee filter and tie with ribbon.
diy_onesie6Do a little dance that you finished one, rinse and repeat 3x’s.
diy_onesie7Place the cupcakes in the bakery box and tie it with baker’s twine.
diy_onesie8What a simple way to add the “wow” factor to some onesies and blankets!

Who can’t wait to go to their next baby shower to make these? Anyone else have a fun DIY baby shower present? Do you do happy dances during DIY projects? We’re hoping to finish up all the big nursery projects this weekend!

Living Room Updates

I about gave Ben a heart attack last week by making several big purchases including a BOB jogging stroller, maternity pics, a loveseat and a dresser! The Craigslist gods were smiling down upon me, what can I say?! Let’s begin by taking a look back at what our living room looked like before…
living_room_oldI’ve never felt like we had adequate seating in our living room. This was confirmed when we had some friends over and I watched a movie sitting in our chair. Most. Uncomfortable. Chair. Ever. We’re about to have a lot of company in the next few months when our little girl is born so I was on a mission!
pottery_barn_loveseat1Enter Mr. luscious microfiber Pottery Barn loveseat. This guy was sitting outside the PB Outlet last week begging for me to take him home! I kind of love that he only has 1 arm because it opens up the room. We decided that the other arm would have raised his price about $800 in the PB world, so we’re content:)
pottery_barn_loveseat2We just moved the couch down several feet and I sold the chair from Hades slipper chair on CL – good riddance! Ben has deemed it “his loveseat” since he can watch TV on it without turning his head to the side like on the couch.
craigslist_dresser1I’ve also been on the hunt for the perfect dresser to go under our TV for 6 months! I wanted it to be between 60-70″, have lots of storage, legs (instead of being flush with the floor) and to be dirt cheap. Every single time I found the “perfect” one on CL someone would snatch it up out from under me.
craigslist_dresser2This one was listed for $50 and after sending 3 emails without hearing anything back I decided to try something different. I offered the seller $20 more for it, they magically called and we picked it up that afternoon – whew! I’m thinking it would look great with a chalk paint makeover, but right now I’m loving it as is.
dvds1Confession: every CD and DVD we own has been in stacks on our guest bed for about 3 months now – the horror! These used to be stored in the dresser that we’re using in the nursery and it’s been driving me absolutely crazy!
dvd_storageThe BEST part about this dresser is the storage – 9 beautiful drawers! I plan on emptying our filing cabinet which is still in the nursery into a few of them and keep the bottom ones empty for toys. Also, no cords show behind this piece!
pottery_barn_console_table1Wonder where our cute PB console table went? We moved it to the dining room even though it’s a little squished in there. I plan on using this piece behind either the couch or loveseat in our next home which HAS to be bigger. Right now we’ll pretend that it’s a fancy buffet. I do love the blue under the frame montage.

I still have a couple of small projects in mind for the living room. What do you think about the updates? Anyone else hit a Craigslist wall trying to get a particular item? Am I in full-fledged nesting mode or what?!