Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo

There is only ONE thing I hate about Fall.


Spiders don’t bother me outside. That’s their home, I respect that. It’s when they decide to make their way into my home that bothers me. Fall seems to make all the spiders think it’s okay to just come on in…..But it’s not okay. It’s very much NOT okay.

Luckily Brian arranged to have our whole house sprayed yesterday. (My hero.) Which meant that Hollis and (preggo) I had to be out of the house for a couple of hours. So we headed to good ‘ol wally world for groceries.  After we got our groceries, I decided to wander to the other side of the store, which I very rarely do. Mostly because the toys are over there and I like Hollis to think that there are no toys at the grocery store. But I really needed a new doormat for outside before the weather starts to get yucky. While I was picking one out, I started to realize how sad our little front porch has become and I was suddenly inspired to jazz it up a little.

Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com This pic is a little old so just picture those flowers in the pot dead as doornails. And our cute little moose blew off the porch one too many times and lost an antler and part of his face. Tragic. So he had to be thrown away. I told you it was a sad little porch.

Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com I picked up these 3″ letters at Walmart because I had the perfect piece of wood to mount them to. I’ve been wanting to make a welcome sign of some sort for a long time. I spray painted them a bright yellow so they would stand out against the wood. Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com Here’s the wood I wanted to use. Brian found it out in one of the pastures and we both thought it was too cool to get rid of. It’s just been sort of laying around our front yard while we tried to come up with a use for it. My original idea was to use a wood burning tool and carve the word ‘welcome’ into it, but as you can see it turned out less than stellar. So I gave up on that idea and decided to nail these little letters onto instead. IMG_2539 I painted my letters and laid them out where I wanted them. Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com Then I just hammered them in with some finishing nails. Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com I just leaned it up against the wall. It’s a pretty substantial piece of wood, and really hard to move with one person. So I think it will be okay just leaning. (Crosses fingers.)

Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com We got this old metal rocker from Brian’s mom’s porch. She got all new furniture and gave this guy to us. It’s in really good shape, but needs a new happy color.

Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com I have had red in mind since I laid eyes on this chair. And after picking out a new doormat, I decided it was meant to be. Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com It only took one coat and this puppy looks brand new. I really like the red with our aqua colored front door.

Quick (Cheap) Porch Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com So I know it’s not really Pintrest-worthy, but a definite improvement. The pops of color feel much more inviting. I am noticing from these pics just how dirty our siding is! I also really want to replace that screen door with a full-view storm door. We never use the screen part anyway but we do need a storm door of some sort. I have a new porch light too….it’s been sitting in a closet since we moved in. I really need to get on that. So I guess I still have some work to do, but overall, not too shabby for a quick afternoon project and a trip to Walmart!


Goodbye Pink, Hello Beige

I admit it was a little sad for me to paint over the pink walls in Hollis’ room. But that sadness only lasted about 4.5 seconds. After I got that first coat of beige on the walls, I was actually really excited and motivated to finish it out. Beige is NOT usually my favorite, but in this case it really freshened up the room and made for an awesome blank canvas. I could think more clearly in there and it instantly felt calmer. Perfect for a little toddler and brand new baby to rest and get a FULL nights sleep. Right? Crossing my fingers on that one.

The room is not anywhere near finished, but I thought I would give a quick update on the paint I picked so you can see what direction things are heading in. We started out with a bubblegum pink, and now things are getting a nice, neutral face lift. The cheapest face lift ever. In fact, it was totally free so far. I ended up using leftover paint from the playroom and kitchen.

Here’s where we started:

IMG_20150114_142726 IMG_1765I decided to go with a light beige on three walls and a dark gray accent wall as a backdrop for the beds.

IMG_2355 IMG_2352 IMG_2344I kept the gold polka dot wall decals that were over Hollis’ bed because I want to keep the things she really likes. I’m so glad I ended up getting those decals instead of painting them on. They were really easy to remove and add to the other wall. I even used the left over large dots I had and framed them to hang over the crib to tie them in on the baby’s side.

IMG_2368I also ended up painting the dresser from white/mint to the same gray as the wall. It was sort of a spontaneous makeover, but I’m glad I did it, I think it ties in with the gray wall so much better. And I LOVE it with the gold handles.

So that’s it. It felt really good to just pull everything out of the room and start over. I’m slowly adding things back into the room, but I’m trying not to overdo it. I really want to keep the calm, peaceful feeling I’m getting from the room now, but I definitely plan on adding in some color and fun!


State Fair 2015

The Kansas state fair is here for the week and since we had a good time there last year, we decided to make a trip there again this year. We knew Hollis would have more fun this time around, she’s such a little people-watcher like her mom. Our plan was to get up early Sunday and get there when they opened the gates and I’m so glad we did. We were able to navigate all the buildings before they got too crowded and the weather was cool and beautiful.

State Fair 2015 // thegoldbrickroad.com IMG_2380 IMG_2399

It was a sea of tractors, trailers and other farm equipment….Oh, and this fuel trailer Hollis is modeling with that Brian has at the show to sell.

State Fair 2015 // thegoldbrickroad.com

I really enjoyed the buildings full of original artwork and photography, and cool, random things like this sculpture made of butter.

Capture2 IMG_2396 IMG_2385   IMG_2387 IMG_2397

The smell of funnel cakes and fried everything were in the air.  I was surrounded by ice cream, fried cheese curds, gyros, nachos, chili dogs, kettle corn and about a thousand other delicious things. I was so overwhelmed with my choices that all I ended up getting was  corn dog and lemonade….uugghhh. I was kicking myself on the way home that I didn’t indulge in something I can’t get normally. Oh well, there is always next year!

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Hollis is still not quite ready for rides by herself (next year she’ll probably be ready), but she was obsessed with this little train that went all around the fair. Luckily it was one I could ride with her so she patiently waited in line with me and we waved bye to daddy. She made train noises the whole time and loved waving at all the little kiddos we passed.

0913151227She loved the train so much that she passed out not long afterwards and slept the entire way home! State fair success.


So….I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a complete lunatic. Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant, maybe not, but I’m gonna go ahead and go with that explanation.

I want to redo Hollis’ room.

I know what you’re thinking. You JUST did her room! I know, I know….see, I told you, I’m a lunatic.

Here’s the thing. We are going to have a baby (duh) and we don’t know the sex of the baby yet, but either way, the baby and Hollis will be sharing a room. Now if it’s a boy, he will only share temporarily (1 or 2 years??), then the guest room will become his permanent room. If we have another girl, she will stay put in Hollis’ room. I’d like them to share for a while because I REALLY like having a designated guest room and I literally just did that room. Also, since Hollis is still little, it would be nice if all of the toys, diapers, and other baby stuff can just stay in one room where it’s easily accessible for both kiddos.

Now here’s where the real lunacy comes in play. I like Hollis’ room, but I don’t love it. I wanted it pink, but the pink I got just isn’t right. I was going for more of a blush, ballerina pink, but it turned out more bubble gum pink. I knew it wasn’t right when I painted it, but I somehow believed that I could make it work or make myself like it….but I just don’t. I also feel a little bad, a.) bringing a baby boy home to a super girly room, or b.) bringing a baby girl home to a room that was really made for her sister and has nothing of her own in it.

I figure bringing home another baby is a great excuse to fix the paint that I don’t really like and go in  a different direction. I’m thinking of going in more of a neutral direction, not boring, just neutral. I figure if the walls are neutral, I can customize each kiddos space with bedding and accessories.

Here is what the room looks like now…

IMG_20150114_142726IMG_2259And here is some inspiration for the new room….

I really like the black walls, but I’m not sure I can commit to that. I do love how the colors play off of it though.

I really love this one, I love all the colors and I could commit to one dark wall for sure.

I like how light and airy this room feels with just subtle pops of color.

This is such a great gallery wall and such an easy way to bring in color while keeping the walls neutral.

I feel like there is so much character in this room even though the colors are very neutral and subtle.

LOVE these shelves! So much personality in such a neutral space.

Brian thinks I’m nuts for starting this project now and not waiting, but I tried to explain to him that it’s already September which is practically Halloween, which is basically Thanksgiving, which means it’s Christmas and then BAM!….the baby is here. So yeah….that’s what is happening in my crazy pregnant lady brain. (Although, I’m sure the hubs would argue that I’m this crazy alllll the time!)

Best Diaper Bag for Two Littles

Okay Mamas, I need help! I hate diaper bag shopping, it’s stressing me out. I managed to avoid using a ‘real’ diaper bag with Hollis by using other bags and purses, but now that I’m adding a second baby to the mix, I am realizing I desperately need to invest in a good diaper bag.

The problem is, I’m picky….and cheap. BUT, I’m willing to splurge a little this time on a good bag now that I’m toting around twice the amount of stuff. I’m especially willing to splurge if I can use the bag beyond using it for a diaper bag. I have a few requirements: 1. I don’t want it to look like an obvious diaper bag 2. This sucker needs to be rooooomy. I like big bags and I cannot lie. 3. Easy to clean 4. Reasonably priced. I don’t want to spend a small fortune on this thing.

Here are my contenders thus far:

diaper bags

1. Skip Hop Grand Central. At $89, I like the price, but this bag still looks like a diaper bag to me. A cute diaper bag, but a diaper bag none the less. It has insulated side bottle pockets, water-resistant lining, and comes with stroller straps.

2. Honest Everything Tote. This one retails for $170, which isn’t too bad. I like that it is functional and stylish. It could definitely be used as a purse later in life.  The lining is wipeable and pvc-free, 2 insulated interior pockets, plenty of outer pockets and storage.

3. Lily Jade Madeline Bag. At $285 this is the priceiest bag I looked at. Not sure I can justify spending almost $300 on a diaper bag, but I do love it! It can be worn as a backpack, shoulder bag or a crossbody bag. It also has a detachable, washable interior baby organizer which is just so smart.

4. Timi and Leslie Charlie Bag. This one runs around $160 which I actually think is a very fair price. I love the look, I would never guess this was a diaper bag. Timi and Leslie have a lot of great bags that don’t look anything like diaper bags. It comes with a matching clutch to hold moms stuff, water-resistant, and super roomy. This bag would make a great weekend bag for after it has done duty as a diaper bag.

5. Skip Hop Forma Backpack. This bag is only $70, the cheapest bag I’ve looked at so far. I’m not completely sold on a backpack, but I do love the idea of being totally hands-free. There are two insulated pockets for bottles and two removable storage cubes that tuck into the front pocket. The downside is that it can only be worn as a backpack.

6. Timi and Leslie Dawn Bag.  Just like the Charlie bag, this one also retails for $160. I just love how stylish their bags are. It comes with an insulated bottle tote, dirty clothes sack, stroller straps and a matching wristlet for mom.

7. Legacy BFF- The First Lady.  This bag runs around $180. I think this bag is super cute, I’m a sucker for black and white stripes. It is machine washable, has exterior insulated bottle pockets, and can be worn as a messenger or tote. The best part is that it comes with crumb drains! Crumbs are my biggest nemesis, they are constantly at the bottom of my bag and it drives me insane!

So moms, I need to know what is your fave diaper bag?! I would really like to know what moms of multiples and moms with two or more littles use!

Sharing My Toys

So I don’t usually consider myself much of a hoarder, but as a child I was definitely a hoarder….a hoarder of toys. My poor parents attic is full of my old dolls, Barbies, books. I finally got around to going up there a few months ago (before it got super hot) and pulled down a few things that I thought Hollis might be able to play with. One of those beloved things was my dollhouse and furniture. I built it myself (mostly, dad helped some) when I was a kid and I can’t believe it’s survived as long as it has.

After getting it down from the attic, I knew it would need some TLC, but the repairs are slightly more extensive than I thought. Everything is fixable, I just need to get out the wood glue and put it to work. It will be time-consuming, and I haven’t really had the time to get to it yet. The problem is Hollis LOVES the dollhouse. She thinks it’s the coolest thing…which it is. Unfortunately, every time she touches it, something breaks. Not her fault, of course, it’s just old and not toddler-friendly. Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comLuckily, while I was in the attic, I snagged a shadow box my grandpa had built me before I ever got my dollhouse. He knew I wanted a dollhouse one day and in the meantime I was collecting tiny furniture for it. I would set up little rooms in it and display my adorable, tiny things. It dawned on me that Hollis might love doing the same thing and this would be WAY more toddler-friendly for her.

Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comHollis has been playing with it like this for a little while now, but I want to dress it up a little bit since I think she will get a lot of use out of it. I cleaned it up and made a minor repair. There are plexiglass panels that slide down in front of it so that it becomes more of a display case. I went ahead and took them out for now because I don’t want Hollis dropping them down on her little fingers.

Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comI pulled out some leftover paint and some old scrapbook paper. Then I cut down my paper to fit inside of each box.

Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comSharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comI think it turned out pretty cute, and it was fast and easy. It’s looking much more like a dollhouse now and we can still use it for other things down the road.

Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.com

Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comIt is much more simple (and safer) than the dollhouse. I like that everything is at her reach and easy for her to get to. She could care less that it’s missing all the bells and whistles. The rooms are also really easy to switch out which helps keep her from getting super bored Sharing My Toys // thegoldbrickroad.comThe little munchkin has been playing with it non-stop so I think it is a success! Hooray for free toys! I can’t wait to get back in the attic and find more goodies for her.