Room To Lounge

There is one room in our house that is in constant flux. The playroom. I’m ALWAYS in there cleaning, picking up toys, rearranging things to accommodate our (quickly) growing children. It seems like every few months the kids’ needs change, and thus, so does the playroom.

I’m so grateful we have a room to use just for the kids to play in. Especially since we don’t have a finished basement and our bedrooms are all upstairs, it’s nice for the kids to have a safe place on the main floor to play where I can keep close watch of them. I’m especially grateful for it this Summer because it has been too hot to play outside some days, like this ENTIRE WEEK. While it has been so hot, we’ve been having afternoon movie time. I turn the lights off, close the curtains, make a comfy pillow fort, grab some snacks and lay down and watch a movie, or two. This movie time is awesome because 1. it’s a cool distraction from outside and 2. both kids usually fall asleep!

I noticed that the rooms current layout was not very accommodating for movie time, or even just lounging, especially for us adults when we are in there. The room is large, but has two large picture windows and two large door openings. Our t.v. has been on the wall in the corner which made it tricky to comfortably place a sofa without it being in the center of the room. The t.v. placement was one of those decisions we made hastily when we first moved in, without really knowing where we would need/want it.

Here is a look at the previous layout. Basically the sofa was in the middle of the room, and the four corners were separate little play areas. I liked this layout while the kids were smaller, because they could both play with their own toys in separate corners. These days, they are more into the same toys and need more room to spread out and play.

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Since the room is somewhat long and narrow, I decided to split it in half and dedicate half to a ‘lounge’ area and half to the play area. This required moving the wall mounted t.v. and praying that the cable cord would reach to the new spot. Luckily it did with a little finesse.

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I moved all of our toy storage onto one wall and painted the old bookshelf a glossy white to make it look more like one unit. I got really lucky that it all fit nicely onto that one wall and then centered the t.v. above it.

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I also got lucky that our sofa/futon just barely fit along the back wall.  I wish I had a little more room for an end table or two, but I may end up finding a long narrow table to go behind it. I’m not too worried about it right now, because the futon will be replaced one of these days when the kids are older. Right now though, we are loving having a futon in this space for movie watching, naps, and when we have extra guests staying with us.

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I love that it feels cozy, but there is still plenty of room for the kids to get out their toys in this area. Lots of Duplo building goes on in this space. We had a hard time getting our tent out without moving things around before, and now there is plenty of room for it.

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Hollis did end up losing her painted house mural, but I promised I would fix up her little kitchen area as a compromise. The Ikea kitchen needed some paint touch-ups and while I was at it, I just ended up giving it a whole new farmhouse makeover. I still have a shelf to hang for her baby doll accessories and I let her pick some artwork to hang along the walls.

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Bowen is a big fan of the kitchen lately too. I have plans for a little tool/garage area for him on the opposite wall. He is getting a workbench for Christmas this year so I have a little time before I focus on that. I’m sure Hollis will enjoy it as well.

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I’m sure this room will change again, but so far I’m really happy with this new layout. The kids seem to be really happy with it too. It just feels so much bigger and more open. I love makeovers that just require a little furniture rearranging and minimal paint…and that are totally FREE!!

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Magnolia

So unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper. I’m a fan. Obviously they are big into the whole modern farmhouse vibe and so am I. So when Brian had a work trip in San Antonio, TX he easily talked me into going with him (and our littles) by promising me a stop in Waco to see the Magnolia Silos. And trust me, I earned the stop by being stuck in a hotel for a week with two kids under the age of three….

Waco is about an eight hour drive for us, so we left in the evening and drove as far as we could so the kids could sleep for most of the drive. We stopped at a hotel about an hour outside of Waco so we could wake up and only have a little bit of a drive and get to the silos right after they opened. I HIGHLY suggest getting there when they open or soon after on a weekday. It was already busy, but there were still plenty of free parking spaces left and while the store and bakery were bustling with lots of people, we didn’t have to stand in line or anything.

I follow the Magnolia store on Instagram so I was prepared for everything to be beautiful, and it was. As someone who worked in retail for half of their life, I fully appreciated all the work that goes into setting displays and watching people rearrange and touch all of your hard work. I can also sympathize with all of the refolding of t-shirts that must go on in that place! The store was really clean and open and if there was something you wanted to look at but couldn’t because there was a crowd in the way, it was usually in another place or two. Things were a little pricey in my opinion, it was priced a lot like Anthropologie or West Elm. I got a t-shirt $28 and a couple candles for $26 a pop.

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We also stopped into the bakery, which is so, so tiny. It looked so much bigger on t.v.! It was worth the stop though, Brian and I both got a warmed, cheddar, bacon and chive biscuit….heavenly. I NEED that recipe in my life. I’m really kicking myself for not getting some cupcakes to go. It’s one of my biggest regrets.

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The kids’ favorite spot was the large, faux grass yard. I loved it too. It was a great way for the kids to run out some energy before we had to get back in the car and drive to San Antonio. I loved the fake grass because it looked nice and kept the kids clean…I am now wishing our lawn was fake grass. There were bins full of balls and outdoor games, but we didn’t even need them, Hollis ran laps while Bo took some wobbly steps.

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There were also big swing sets at the far edge of the lawn, but we didn’t get on them. I was impressed with how clean and tidy everything was. I can only imagine how full this lawn in on the weekends!

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There were also a couple of rows of food trucks and tons of picnic tables and places to sit. We would’ve loved to try some of them, but we were there too early. Next time, maybe. Although, I could just live on biscuits every time I go and be perfectly happy about it. They also had tours you could take that would drive you by some of the housed the Gaines’ have done. We didn’t have time for anything like that, but it would’ve been fun to see them.

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Brian even ran into someone he knew there, because of course he did, he knows everybody. We couldn’t leave without taking the obligatory picture out in front of the Magnolia sign. The employees were spread out all over the place and were all very friendly. There were a few outside the store that offered to take your picture for free, which I gladly obliged since there are only about six pictures of all four of us together in the universe. I don’t even care that we aren’t all looking at the camera….All in all, it was a good trip and I’m glad we had the opportunity to do it, and I would do it again anytime!

And Just Like That He’s One…

 

That big ‘ol meany, Father Time came and switched out my tiny infant for a big one year old…so rude.

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I can’t believe an entire year has passed since my little Bo was born. I remember the day vividly and it honestly feels like yesterday. The last few months I’ve been noticing just how much he’s starting to look and act more like a little boy and less like a baby. Then this week he got sick (just yucky cold stuff) and he is so cuddly and clingy and just wants me to hold him and rock him, and I can’t help but soak every second of it in even though he feels so huge in my arms now.

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We celebrated last weekend and I’m so glad we did, because he was just starting to get sick then and wasn’t feeling as awful as he is right now. I am also super glad I thought to take his pics last week because he definitely wouldn’t feel up to it now. We went with a ‘manly’ outdoor theme. It felt fitting since he was a lumberjack for Halloween and he is just all boy in every way. His first words after ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ were ‘vroom-vroom’. He loves tractors and cars, working with his tools, and getting into everything. He is also a bottomless pit when it comes to food…the eating never ends.

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We kept things simple and just ordered pizza for the party. My mom made Bowen a little bear cake which was perfect for my baby bear. She also set out snacks like, teddy grahams, gummy worms and moose droppings (aka Twix). We had the party at Gigi’s (my grandma) house. Gigi is home recovering from knee surgery so we wanted to bring the party to her. It was very casual and relaxing with just family hanging out and chatting.

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After watching my mom make this bear cake with fur, I’m dying to see what other animal cakes we can make. Give me all the animal cakes!…just give me all the cake.

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My dad also helped out and made this adorable lumberjack photo board. It turned out so cute and was a lot of fun. I have also decided my brother Shaun, looks like the ultimate hipster lumberjack with his black rimmed glasses. bobirthday

While I’m sad my baby isn’t so babyish anymore, I am really amazed at how much he has grown and changed into my sweet little boy. He is walking and climbing and learning new things every day. It makes me so happy to see that look of determination on his face as he toddles around the room making a mess of everything in his path. Happy birthday my little Bozilla!

 

 

Mini Room Update: Hollis’ Room

I’m currently waiting (Impatiently) for some goodies for Bo’s nursery. So while I wait, I thought I’d do a little update on Hollis’ room which she now has all to herself again. She’s pretty psyched to have her room back and a somewhat safe place to hide her things that she doesn’t want little brother to slobber on…I get it kid. I do.

Not a whole lot has changed in her room, I didn’t paint or anything crazy like that. The biggest change for her was that we moved her twin size trundle-bed to Bowen’s room and moved the mammoth queen sleigh bed to her room. Her room is quite a bit larger than his, so it just made more sense for it to be in her room and it’s a really nice, comfy bed that we don’t want to part with yet. She loves it so far and she still has plenty of room to play with her dollhouse and other toys. Other than that, all I really did was take out Bo’s things and add in a few more girly things of Hollis’.

Here is how it looked while the kids shared…I have to admit, I miss it this way a little bit.

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And here it is now that it’s all Hollis’.

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You may recognize this display shelf from a previous post. We were using it as a simple dollhouse for Hollis when she was younger, but now that she is a bit older, I’ve decided to entrust her with my old dollhouse…(insert nervous face emoji here). So now we are using it to display all of her favorite little things. I hung it low enough for her to reach everything and high enough for little brother to NOT reach everything. 🙂

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Hollis is obsessed with this dollhouse, as was I. I still may be. It’s just so dang cute. Everything in it is from when I was a kid. So to say it’s old and fragile is an understatement.

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I tried to keep things pretty simple. I’m really glad I painted everything neutral the last time we updated the room. Her toys and accessories have so much color (PINK.) that I just really don’t miss color on the walls. Hopefully it will stay this way, and this clean, for a while!

 

 

Inpsirado: Colorful Modern Farmhouse Kid’s Room

bos-room-2Since the holidays, our family has been passing around a nasty cold back and forth to each other. Pretty typical stuff this time of year, but it’s baby Bo’s first time getting sick and he’s been having a rough time sleeping and resting thanks to a stuffy nose and cough. In an effort to help him get a little more peace and quiet, I went ahead and moved his crib into the guest room so his big sister doesn’t keep him up anymore than he is now.

I had planned on my little ones sharing a room for a couple of years, basically when Bowen was ready to move to a big boy bed. I liked having the kids in one room where all the little toys (aka mess) could stay together and all the essentials little ones need (wipes, diaper cream, medicine, etc.)  could be easy to grab for both kids. I also really enjoyed having a designated guest room that was always clean and ready to go without having to do any deep thinking of where guests would sleep. Ultimately I decided that it wasn’t fair to keep Bo from having his own space for the chance that we might have a guest for a brief time. We have a few good options for sleeping arrangements for when we do have guests, it will just require a little moving around, no big deal.

So since this was kind of a spur of the moment decision, I have some planning I need to do for how to decorate little man’s room. The walls are a Kelly green (Valspar’s Woodlawn Promised Land) and while I may paint in the future (you all know I love to paint), I still really like the green and am going to try to make it work. The room is the smallest of the three bedrooms. It has three windows on three of the walls, a closet and a built-in desk on the fourth wall so there is not a whole of open wall space. I like that the wall color adds some interest since I don’t have room to hang  a lot of artwork.

Here is what it looks like now.

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The lack of wall space also makes furniture placement a little tricky. We had a large, queen sleigh bed in the room while it was a guest room, but have decided to move it into Hollis’ room because she has the room to accommodate it. We moved her twin trundle daybed (which turns into a king size bed or 2 twins) into Bo’s room which gives him a lot more floor space to move around and to play. Right now I have the bed and his crib both in the space, so once the crib is out and he’s ready to use his big bed, I will add in some functional toy storage for him. I have big plans for the closet in his room, which is a good size, but I want to tweak it a bit to be able to fit a dresser in it and keep from having a dresser take up precious space in the room. The built-in desk helps a lot since it provides some good shelving and doesn’t take up anymore floor space.

Here is the plan I’ve come up with so far. I have already ordered the gray buffalo check bedding and have mostly been working off of that. I found some super cute (little kid) bedding at Target that I just about jumped on, but decided on something more classic and timeless. I love me some buffalo check, and I think the soft gray will be easy to work with if I ever do decided to paint.

Colorful Modern Farmhouse Kid's Room // thegoldbrickroad.com

Clockwise From top left: Globe, Wire Basket, Plaid ThrowBest Things Print, Hardest Print, Rug, Valspar Woodlawn Promised Land Paint, HamperExploring Pillow, Velvet Pillow, Curtains, Cage Light, Bedding

 

As you can see, I’m trying to keep with the modern farmhouse style that we have going on in our home. I’m also trying to tie in the green and make it work, but we will see how it turns out!

 

 

Christmas 2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! My toddler is super into the holidays this year and I have been taking a little time off from projects to spend as much time with my little munchkins as possible.  I always enjoy the holidays, but they are even more fun with little kids who believe in all the magic and stories you tell them!

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We visited the North Pole in Colorado back in July and while we were there we signed Hollis up to receive a letter from Santa. We didn’t do one for Bowen because he doesn’t really get it yet, but Hollis was so excited to get hers. I think I read it 40 times in the days leading up to Christmas.  It also helped with all of the threats I made to her that Santa wouldn’t bring her presents if she was naughty. She is so, so naughty these days (three-year olds, am I right?!),  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the year when I can’t use Santa as leverage! We are definitely going to do Santa letters again next year (one for Bo too!) and as many years as they will let me.

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I have dreaded taking the kids to see Santa because of impending freak outs, and waiting in long lines with very small, impatient children. Hollis has never been up for it in the past anyways.  But when Brian’s uncle told us he was dressing up as Santa at the Fort Hays basketball game, we decided to brave it. I talked to Hollis about it for a couple of days prior, and she promised me that she would sit on his lap. When the time came, she was a little hesitant, but once she was on his lap, she was good to go. I think it really helped that Uncle Rich was our first Santa.  My little stoic man Bo just sat there and took everything in like a champ.

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We spread our Christmas across three days with four different celebrations. We got to spend time with lots of family and got spoiled with food and gifts. I usually spend lots of time stressing about what to get everyone and worrying about whether or not I got everyone equally awesome gifts. This year I took a different route and made some handmade gifts. It was a lot of fun creating things for people and doing my favorite thing, DIY/crafting. It’s not something I would do every year, but it was fun to do something a little different for a change. They were so much fun to make that I am hoping to make myself one, and when I do I will try to do a little tutorial on it.

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I still can’t believe that the holidays are already over, but I am looking forward to taking all the decorations down and putting things back in their normal place…like my coffee table I had to put the Christmas tree on this year to keep it away from my busy-body 10 month old! I have a long list of projects I want to get to this year and I can’t wait to get back in the groove and get started on them. Hope you all had a merry everything!

 

Fall (Cleaning) Is My Jam

So pumped that Fall is here. It is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The weather has been amazing and the kids and I have been enjoying trips to the park and the zoo here (which is free!). I love opening up the windows and airing out this old farm house before the temp drops and we have to close up everything and hibernate indoors.

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Fall for me is also when I go on a major cleaning/purging spree. Spring cleaning doesn’t really happen in my house, Fall cleaning is more my jam. I don’t know if it’s the crisp Fall weather that puts an extra spring in my step and motivates me to clean, or the thought of being trapped indoors all Winter. Whatever the reason, I feel a huge urge to get rid of old clothes, toys, decor and revamp all the rooms in the house. I like to just declutter and get a fresh start.

My plan of attack for purging is to go in each room of the house and pull out anything that isn’t working for me anymore or anything that has wandered into a room that belongs in another room. Once I go through each room, then I go through the closets and storage areas. I have learned that if I go through the stored items first, I end up keeping a lot of things I don’t really need. If I go through the rooms first, then I have a much clearer idea of what I need to hang on to and what I can let go of.

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I also go through every clothes closet and dresser to get rid of out of season things and anything that doesn’t fit or get worn often. I have been downsizing my stash of baby clothes the past week too. It is hard, but I’m trying to let go of some baby things (not everything) but I’m starting with the excess clothes. I try to sneak out toys and books that the kids no longer pay attention to. I have learned to put things in a tote and hold on to the tote for a month or two. If they don’t notice the items are missing, than I usually feel like it is safe to go ahead and donate them.

IMG_2667My favorite part of Fall cleaning is that each room also gets a mini makeover. Whether that is just swapping out throw pillows, rearranging the furniture, or giving it a fresh coat of paint. I just like to switch things up to try something new and keep from getting bored. Anyone else do Fall cleaning?…Just me?