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!

 

 

Shared Room Update

Writing this post after a good nights sleep. A night of sleep without a toddler foot in my ribs. A night of sleep without a tiny arm landing on my face. A night of sleep where I got to lay comfortably in any position my little heart desired. No numb arms, no body parts hanging off the bed, no rolling over and silently praying I don’t wake someone up.

The reason for this awesome nights sleep?!

The kids’ room is finally done and they are both sleeping…wait for it….IN THEIR OWN BEDS!! (high fives self!)

I decided before Bowen was even born that the kids would share a room for a while. How long? I don’t know yet, but right now they are both doing really good sharing and seem to enjoy having the other one near by. I enjoy having all of the diapers and little clothes and toys (and messes) all in one room. I also really like getting to keep our guest room for now. It’s nice to have a room clean and ready for guest at any given time.

I posted earlier about the ceiling in the kids’ room needing to be addressed. We thought long and hard (two years) about what we could cover it with. There were a surprising amount of options out there. We wanted something cheap, easy to apply, and of course, I wanted something that looked cool and fit in with our farmhouse. I loved the way rustic wood covered ceilings looked but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Also this house is old, like a hundred years old, so the walls and floors and ceilings are not even close to being perfectly square. I knew that cutting pieces of wood to fit would be a nightmare and I wanted something easy to work with.

shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

So….I ended up using faux wood peel and stick vinyl. The price was right and the look was right. We started with just a few to experiment and see how it looked and if it would even work. Right away, we loved how it looked and we also quickly realized that the sticky backside of the tiles were not enough to fight gravity and stay on the ceiling. We tried different adhesives, but ultimately the only thing that really kept the tiles up was a nail gun and brad nails. Is this a project I would recommend for everyone? No. So I won’t be doing a tutorial on it right now. Only time will tell if it was worth it or not. Since our ceiling was covered in paper (i.e. no texture), and in horrible shape, we felt we really didn’t have anything to lose with trying this. I will say that the tiles themselves were really easy to work with. (I’m already trying to think of other projects I can use them on) They were light and easy to score and cut to size. We love how it turned out and are crossing our fingers that it holds up well for a long time.

Here is what the room looked like before…

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I ended up painting that gray wall to match the other three walls. With the ceiling being significantly darker, I wanted to lighten up the rest of the room as much as possible. We also switched out Hollis’ queen size bed for a trundle/daybed that my parents gave us. It gives the kids so much more room for play space and the trundle rolls out an pops up to match up with the other mattress to make a king size bed. It’s really versatile and Hollis loves it. shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com IMG_0903

I also added some simple, black and white artwork. (More on that soon.) And I ended up painting the curtain rods from gold to black to brink out the black pom-pom trim on the curtains.  shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

I also switched out the gray shelves and gold brackets. I tried to tie in the rustic “wood” ceiling with some rustic wood shelves and painted the brackets black. It was fun to add some special things for Bowen like daddy’s red tractors,  a sailboat Brian and I bought years ago that’s followed us from house to house, and of course, his outfit he wore home from the hospital.  shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

I needed another shelf for the room, but I wanted something that wasn’t too matchy-matchy with the other shelves. I immediately thought of this green one I found in the attic a while back. I loved the shade of green and that it was already rustic looking. The corbels on the shelf don’t match (one’s a closed circle and one is open) and there are like 20 holes in the front of it where I assume people have drove nails through it to hang since I couldn’t find any other trace of hanging hardware. I love all the quirky-ness of it and I love that it an be used in the house again. shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

I added two large D-rings on the back to hang it. I love these things! shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com  It’s perfect for Hollis’ special little things too and adds some nice color to the room.  shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

 

So that’s it for now. I really like how it turned out. It fits in more with the modern farmhouse look I’ve been going with lately.  I think I can officially cross this room off my to-do list…at least for a while!

DIY: Rustic Farmhouse Shelves

We’ve been living here on the farm for two years now. That’s so crazy to me. I love how peaceful and serene it is. I love having cows for neighbors. But the best thing about living on a farm is when we find cool, old stuff.

And by we, I mean my husband usually. He gets to work out in the fields and pastures and explore the old buildings on the farm. He brings all kinds of cool things home. His latest find was this piece of old wood siding. I told him I needed some wood for shelves I wanted to make in the bathroom and Voila! he brought this gem to me.

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I immediately loved the hole in it and all the marks and roughness of it. I hosed down about a half-inch of dirt and grime off of it and then cut it to the size I needed. The board was 7″ deep which was perfect for my small shelves. I cut 2, 30″ long pieces from it.

IMG_3160.JPGAfter I had them cut, I got out the power sander and went to town. I wanted to keep all of the ruggedness, but take off the grime that I couldn’t wash off. I also wanted to smooth out anything that might snag something or give someone a splinter. Then I gave them 3 coats of a clear Minwax Polyacrylic stain in a satin finish.

I have had these box shelves in the bathroom above the toilet pretty much since we moved in. They were fine for a bit of decoration, but they felt small and insignificant. I really wanted to add something more substantial and have room to put out things like towels and wash cloths for guests.

IMG_3165I went with simple, black metal brackets. I love how rugged the edges are and that you can see all the knots and grooves in the wood. The clear stain really helped seal everything and show off the imperfections that we loved so much.

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The black hardware really added some nice contrast to the blue and white bathroom. I added some more black accessories to tie things together. I also spray painted the hooks on the towel rack black to match. I took down our brushed nickel hand towel ring and replaced it with one of the big, black metal hooks I found in one of the closets to add some more of the farmhouse feel.

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I like that the shelves are deep enough to set out towels for guests, but don’t protrude too far into the narrow bathroom. And all the black accents help tie in the shower curtain which kind of felt a little out-of-place before.

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So that’s it. I’m kind of obsessed with these guys. Can’t wait to see what Brian brings home from the farm next!

 

 

 

Garden Table

My days are quite chaotic lately with a 2 year old and 2 month old. I’ve learned if I want to get anything done, that morning is my best bet. I can almost guarantee a nap from Bowen around 10am, (and now that I’ve typed that and shouted it out on the interwebs, he will probably never do it again…) so while he’s napping, Hollis and I head out to the yard to work in our garden. The weather is so perfect that time of day, it’s not super hot and Hollis gets to run around and work up an appetite for lunch. It’s our favorite time of day.

I especially love our new garden table.  I showed Brian some pics that I had pinned of garden beds I was thinking of making and he volunteered to build me one. I was planning on helping and taking process photos for the blog, but he and his dad built it in one afternoon and didn’t think to take any pics because, you know…they are not bloggers. So this isn’t a typical DIY post, but you can still see the outcome and get an idea of how they built it.

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The whole thing is 30″ x 60″ and 40″ tall. Brian used 4″ x 4″ posts for the legs and 2″ x 12″ boards for the sides. We also bought some durable window screening to lay across the bottom and allow water to drain. They used 2″ x 4″ boards for support underneath the screen and also across the legs for support.

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We used pre-treated wood, but we still need to paint or stain everything so it will last longer. IMG_3148

We still have our garden from last year where we planted potatoes, asparagus, okra, zucchini and squash. So in our table we planted some brussel sprouts, chives, green onions, cilantro, rosemary, carrots and one eggplant just to see how it does. So far everything is doing really well. Our brussel sprouts have quadrupled in size in just a couple of weeks. I love that I don’t have to bend over and break my back pulling weeds and the rabbits can’t reach my green goods.

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I also planted some Zinia’s  and Mums in my pots to try to keep bugs away….we’ll see if it works!

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Brian and I have had really good luck planting tomatoes in pots. Last year we tried them in the ground in our garden and they did okay, but not nearly as well as when we pot them. So this year we decided to stick with what works for us and went back to planting them in large plastic tubs, I’ve got Roma’s in a tub on one side of the table and cherry tomatoes in a tub on the other side.

I know it’s still early, but so far I’m LOVING my garden table. The size is much more manageable for me than our large ground garden. It doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. Maybe next year I can talk Brian into building me a second one….:)

Inspirado: Garden Goals

The weather here in Kansas has been so awesome the last few weeks, it is really feeling like Spring these days. We’ve enjoyed being able to play outside and take walks, but it also has us thinking about our garden plans. I’m also very aware of our lack-luster landscaping and projects I’d love to tackle outdoors when I get the okay from my doctor.

Last year I wrote about our garden, and while it was mildly successful, it wasn’t a home run. It was definitely a learning process for us. I’m glad we did it, because we were able to figure out what worked and what didn’t. We decided this year that we would probably do better with some sort of raised garden beds. We just couldn’t keep the weeds or the rabbits out of our garden last year. We also are scaling back on how many things we should plant, I think we planted too many varieties of things last year and it was hard to keep track of what was what. So this year we are trying to plan things out a little better and keep simple.

I’ve been on Pinterest oohing and ahhing over other people’s beautiful gardens, because what else is there to do when your up at 3:30am feeding the baby? Here’s my faves so far…

 

These simple, counter-height garden beds are exactly what I’ve been picturing in my head. I’m just afraid with the crazy winds we get out here, that we may have to shorten them a bit to keep them from blowing over.

These might be a little too low for us, but I like the idea of gravel around the garden beds to keep from having to mow or trim around them. It would also be nice to water and not have to walk around in the mud. It just looks so nice and clean.

This is so smart. You wouldn’t have to worry about wood rot, there is a spigot to drain water, and you wouldn’t have to assemble anything. But….I’m not sure how expensive they are though, so they could get costly.

I love this look. These are up against a fence, but I think you could build standing garden beds with this similar look fairly easily.

This garden is just too pretty not to share. It is seriously #gardengoals. I would feel so zen working in this garden.

Not sure exactly which direction we will go with, but hopefully we will have better luck than last year!

 

Favorite Make-Ahead Meals

For once, our freezer is stocked. I still feel like it’s not enough, but I have no room for anymore stuff, so I guess it will have to do! I’ve been making a few extra meals each week for the last few weeks to stock up on meals for when the baby comes. I’ve learned that anytime I make a casserole, to just make two of them and freeze the other one. It really doesn’t take anymore time and saves me from cooking a meal on another day. It’s so handy that I will continue to do it from now on to have an easy meal for busy nights or nights that we just don’t feel like cooking. I thought I’d leave a few of my favorite make-ahead meal recipes here for anyone who wants them!

1. Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

Confession: I don’t love ground beef. I never have. BUT we raise cattle and my husband loves beef, so we end up eating it more than I would like. My trick to eating it, is to change it up…often. Casseroles allow me to do that. This sloppy joe tater tot casserole is a crowd pleaser. I like that you can easily adjust it to make a little or a lot and it freezes really well. It’s also really easy to add veggies to, like corn or peppers.

2. Runza Casserole

We call this Bierock Casserole here in Kansas. I didn’t know what Bierocks were until I met my husband. If you’ve never had one, try one! They are hearty and filling and delicious. Bierocks are usually a mix of beef, cabbage, onions, and seasoning baked inside of a roll. They are great to freeze and pull out for lunches on the go, but they can be somewhat time consuming. What I love about this casserole version is that it’s soooo much easier. You still get all the yummy flavor of a Bierock without having to stuff individual rolls.

3. Chicken Pot Pie

Who doesn’t love dinner in pie form? Crazy people, that’s who. I love chicken pot pie. It’s so easy to customize with your favorite seasonings and veggies. Sometimes I make pie crust from scratch and sometimes I don’t. Just depends on my mood and how much time I have. Sometimes we do a savory beef version to change things up, but I’m pretty partial to the chicken version.

4. Eggplant Parmesan

This is my favorite. I could eat egglplant parm every day. Throw in a basket of bread sticks and I’m a happy gal. Luckily my husband likes it too. You could make it with meat sauce if you wanted to, but I like this as a meatless meal for a change.

5. Shredded Chicken

I love having shredded chicken ready to go. I don’t have a recipe really, but I usually just throw about 4-5 chicken breasts (I use frozen most of the time) in our crockpot and add salt, pepper, and garlic and let it cook all day on low. Then I just shred it with two forks and put it in a freezer bag. I use it on salads, paninis, soups, casseroles, pizza, etc. I also like to make a batch with red, yellow and green peppers and some fajita or taco seasoning for a quick meal of burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, or tacos.

I also love to freeze lasagna, enchiladas, chili, marinated chicken and breakfast sandwiches and burritos. I love to cook, but man is it nice to have some things all ready to go on busy night!

What are your favorite make-ahead meals? Or quick meals for busy nights?

 

DIY Basket Swag Light

IMG_2936I hate to admit this, but sometimes my husband has a good idea….it doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes he surprises me.

We have this corner of our living room that is apparently where light goes to die. Literally. I had a lamp there and it just died and had to be trashed. It broke an embarrassingly long time ago and since then we’ve been living with a dark, dreary corner. We also have these ceiling hooks that have been there since we moved in and I kept meaning to take them down, but never got around to it. This is a case where my procrastination has paid off, because for months I’ve been seeing so many awesome swag lights all over the interwebs. I decided keeping those hooks, which are conveniently placed right by an outlet, and finding a cool swag light would the best solution to my problem.

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So I searched and searched for the perfect light. Something like this caged pendant light is what I had in mind. I almost pulled the trigger on one, but then Brian told be he had seen an old egg basket in one of the buildings on the farm and that it would make a cool light. So I waited not knowing what the heck this basket was going to look like or if it would work with the light cord we needed to buy. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised with what he brought home. It was perfect. I even liked the chipped, yellow paint. So all I had to purchase was a light cord and a light bulb.

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The only thing I didn’t really like was the baskets handle hanging down. I was also afraid it would be a little too tempting for our toddler to grab and try to swing from. I wanted to remove it, but once again, Brian chimed in and said I might want it on there some day. He’s right, and if I remove it, it will just get lost and I’ll never find it when I decide I want it. So instead, I grabbed some wire I had on hand, it’s basically fishing wire but silver. I think it is really meant for making jewelry, but I just wrapped a little around the handle and basket and tied it. Viola.

 

After that, all I had to do was thread my light cord through the hole and add a light bulb.

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I’m really happy with our new light. And I like that it was a collaborative effort and my husband can’t complain about it, because it was his idea too. My light cord and Edison bulb together cost about $25, so not too bad on the wallet either. Maybe someday I’ll break down and paint it, but for now, I’m really liking the yellow, vintage vibe.