He’s Here! He’s Here!

Sorry for my absence, but I’ve been buried in tiny diapers, toddler tantrums, and baby snuggles for the last week. Our little guy arrived last Tuesday morning at 9:31am and life has been whizzing by ever since!

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This is Bowen James and he is 7lbs 1oz, and 20 1/2 inches long. I don’t want to say he is the perfect baby, because I know it will bite me in the butt later, but he kind of is. He’s the sleepiest, hungriest, cuddliest little babe and he is the perfect addition to our little family.

 

His big sister, who is two, is having a serious case of ‘terrible twos’ as well as having to adjust to a new baby in the house. So some days are great and she gives him hundreds of kisses and brings me his diapers and blankets. Other days, she screams and kicks when mom has to feed the baby and can’t come play with her right away. Those days I feel like I spend a lot of time explaining to her that it won’t always be like this, one day he will be big enough to play with us. Of course, she gives zero f’s about all this right now and just wants mom’s full attention.

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Luckily my parents came in town to watch Hollis while Brian and I were in the hospital. It was so awesome having them here and relieved a LOT of my stress. Hollis was able to stay in her own house and continue a somewhat normal routine. She had their full attention and was spoiled to pieces. And I was able to return home from the hospital to a spotless house, laundry done, and yummy food to eat!

I knew splitting my time between two kiddos would be hard, but I wasn’t expecting to feel like such a terrible mom some days. (That’s what wine is for though right?) I know it will get better eventually and I will probably forget how hard these first weeks are. On a higher note, this is my second c-section and the recovery time was so much quicker this time around. Probably because I have a two year old to chase after and she doesn’t care how much pain I’m in, she needs her bananas RIGHT NOW.

 

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Kid’s Play Fridge/Pantry

Christmas is SO SOON!! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I’m so excited for Hollis to enjoy Christmas this year. I haven’t been this excited about the holidays since I was a kid. Hollis is 2 and she is obsessed  with all things Christmas. Santa, cookies, presents, carols, Christmas movies, ornaments, etc., etc. She  did the same at Halloween this year, just completely immersed herself in it and it is contagious. I find myself counting down the days along with her.  I think she is going to be really sad when it’s all over and the next major holiday is a few months away.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of Hollis’ Christmas presents was going to be a diy’d play pantry/fridge for her new play kitchen that she is getting from my parents. I originally planned on building one from scratch, there are a few plans on Pinterest, but ended up looking for a cabinet that I could make into one instead. I had seen someone take an upper cabinet, like one that would go above a fridge or stove, and turn it on its side to create a little play fridge. So I set my sites on that and headed to every home improvement store I could think of to find one. After seeing the prices of brand new cabinets, I quickly changed my mind. Then I remembered the Re-Store, they are full of used cabinets and other building materials from houses. As soon as I set foot inside the store, I knew I was going to leave with something that would work.

I found many small kitchen cabinets like the ones I had in mind, but then I stumbled upon a bathroom cabinet that I thought would work even better. It looks like a cabinet that you would hang above the toilet. Totally not what I envisioned, but once I saw it, I thought it would make an awesome pantry. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but after I considered how little work I would have to put into it, I felt better about the price. Literally all I had to do was paint it. Down the road I would like to add another shelf inside, but haven’t gotten to that yet.

IMG_2773I went with navy, because I love it, and also because her new kitchen will be navy too. The navy was a little too dark for the interior, it made it kind of hard to see, so I went with a light gray. The cabinet is solid wood and very sturdy, which was a big selling point for me. I sanded everything really good and gave it a couple of coats of paint.   IMG_2784 IMG_2786IMG_2787 IMG_2789 It’s really more pantry than fridge, but that’s okay. We desperately needed a place to house all of the play food and pots and pans. Before, we just had a small grocery cart to hold everything in. To find anything in it, Hollis had to empty out all the contents and usually I was the one who got to pick it up and put it all away….

IMG_2782Now it all has a home and we can close the doors and not see it! Everything is easy to find and messes still happen, but much less often. We ended up giving it to her before Christmas 1. because I’m terrible at surprises and 2. because I didn’t have anywhere to hide from her.

IMG_2801 IMG_2797So far she really loves it. The kitchen gets played with almost every day. She likes to rearrange all the things in her pantry.  Like I said, I think one more shelf in there would be really nice. There is plenty of room for it and there are already slots for adjusting shelves so it would be a really easy fix. I can’t wait for her to get her new kitchen to go with it!

 

 

 

Halloween 2015

I wasn’t expecting Halloween this year to be much different than last year. I really didn’t think Hollis would be that interested or pay much attention to it. But thanks to all the Disney Halloween specials we watched, she sort of became obsessed with it. I think all of the decorations were her favorite part. She would excitedly point out any witch, pumpkin or ghost she saw. She would also not so excitedly point out all the scary decorations too. She is not a fan of zombies and vampires just yet, she refers to them as “no-no guys”. Next year I’m really going to have to step up my Halloween decorations!

Hollis1I picked out her costume this year (she’s a butterfly), but I think next year I will let her have a lot more say in what costume she wants to wear. We took her trick or treating in a neighboring town where we go to church and know quite a few people. We mostly just went to houses we knew and some neighbors of theirs. Hollis started out a little shy, but once she realized she got “treats”, she was motivated to step out of that shyness a little bit. I was very proud of her and all of her “please” and “thank yous”.

I should have known she’d do fine after all of the practicing she did!

 

 

Toddler Room Update

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Hollis’ room so I thought I’d give a little update. Her room is constantly evolving and changing depending on her current needs. The biggest change being that we have taken down her crib (sob!) and put up her toddler bed. She has been sleeping in it for a while now and is doing really well sleeping through the night….just not sleeping through the night in her own room. She likes her toddler bed, but it allows a little too much freedom and she climbs out and wanders. I’m super paranoid about her wandering down the stairs in the middle of the night or getting into something she’s not supposed to, so for now we’ve moved her bed into our room where I can keep tabs on her until she gets used to staying put.

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com I also ended up getting her some new bedding for her big girl bed that she will use eventually and for now is an extra bed for when we have guests. I had my heart set on a nice white fluffy bedspread, but I just couldn’t find one that I really liked. I found this black and floral number at Target and liked how it brought out the black detail on the curtains and felt a little more cool and not so cutesy.

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com I also repurposed some furniture for her room. I love repurposing furniture, it’s such an easy way to save a little money and to customize a piece. The nightstand in her room is an old side table that Brian and I have had in every place we’ve lived together. It’s been many different colors and used for many different things. Most recently, I took it from orange to white and gold to match her room.

The dresser in her room was one of my first projects for her nursery in our old house. I painted it white and mint with some gold hardware to go in her mint green nursery, but I love that it still works in her new room too. Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com I picked up this little shelf at a flea market for a whopping $5 and thought I could use it in her room for books or toys. It was a nice sturdy shelf, but the finish was pretty worn and ugly.

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com I covered it with a good primer and gave it a fresh coat of paint. I added a back to it, because I kept picturing tiny toys falling behind it. I just used a piece of foam core board which I cut down to size, then sprayed it with adhesive and attached a fun fabric to it. After that I just attached the whole thing with some tiny nails.

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com I like how it turned out, but the shelves on it are actually quite short. It makes it hard to put very many books or toys on it. So I’ve moved it to the closet which was needing something for shoe storage. The shelves are just the right height for little shoes and there is room to grow for bigger shoes too. It really fits in there perfectly, happy accident!

Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com Well now you are up-to-date….I’m sure it will change again in a few weeks. Toddlers, am I right?!

And just for fun, here is another look from where it all started. Hollis' Room // thegoldbrickroad.com

 

Feelin’ Crafty: Pom Pom Curtains

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I’m completely exhausted from ours…in a good way! All the decorating, baking, traveling, shopping, eating, present opening, finding a home for all those awesome new gifts….It’s just a LOT of fun crammed into one holiday. Now I’m feeling re-charged and ready to get back to work. I’ve already even removed all signs of Christmas from the house.

It’s been nice to focus on family and enjoy all the things that come with Christmas and take a little break from any big projects. Although, I have been sneaking little projects in here and there. Most of my projects have been centered around Hollis’ bedroom. I’ve even been stepping out of my comfort zone and trying my hand at new projects, like sewing….which is WAY out of my comfort zone. It’s like, around the block from my comfort zone.

I knew when I bought Hollis’ curtains, that I wanted to add something to them to jazz them up a bit. I really wanted black and white curtains, but never found any that I liked for a toddler’s room. Then I saw these on Pinterest and was inspired to try it myself.  Luckily my mom and grandma had come for a visit a few months ago and gave me a nice little tutorial on how to use my sewing machine. After a quick lesson from them, it all felt a lot less intimidating.

Seriously, if I can do this project, anyone can. Here’s how I did it.

DIY Pom Pom Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.com

I bought just plain white panels from Target (I think they were $10 a panel) and found some black pom pom trim at Hobby Lobby (for $1.99 a yard) to add to them.

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You should iron out the panels first, but somehow I missed this step. Then I pinned the trim in place where I wanted to sew it. I almost skipped this step too, but I’m so glad I didn’t because it really helped keep things lined up while I ran it through the sewing machine. Just remember to take your pins out as you go so they don’t mess up your machine’s needle.

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Then I just went for it. The prepping took a while but was totally worth it.  I had to use both hands, one to hold the pom poms out of the way of the needle and one to feed the curtain through. Once I got in a good rhythm, each panel only took about five minutes to sew.

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Not too shabby for my first time using a sewing machine. This was definitely a good project for a beginner. I just put trim on the inside of my panels, but you could put it on the outside or even both inside and out.

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I seriously love them. I kind of want to add pom poms to every curtain in the house. I think they are youthful without being too cutesy or childish. And the whole project only took one afternoon. I’m sure it would probably be even faster if you actually have some sewing experience!

 

Love That New Carpet Smell

I got the best news the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The carpet company that is installing Hollis’ bedroom carpet called to tell me that they had an opening the following Monday, and would I like them to come install the carpet then instead of waiting until the 15th?…..Um, YES PLEASE!! The furniture that belongs in this room has been cluttering up the hallway and guest room for months and is slowing killing me inside. I think I’m most excited to finally have a place to put it all.

Cut to Monday and me dancing around excitedly awaiting my Hollis’ new carpet, only to get another phone call from them saying that the delivery van hit a deer on the way to our house…..only in the country people. So I had to stop my dancing and luckily only had to wait until the next day. Now we are enjoying that new carpet smell!

Here is what the room looked like with the old, smelly carpet.

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Here is what it looks like now. It smells and looks SO much better. Actually the entire second floor started to smell a whole lot better once we ripped out the old musty carpet.

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We really debated about whether we wanted to replace the old carpet with new carpet or refinish the hardwoods that are underneath. We decided carpet was our best bet right now since our daughter is just one and will be spending a lot of time playing on the floor. She loves her new carpet by the way!

Choosing carpet was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. There are so many choices out there these days. We went with a textured, low pile. Our floors upstairs are slightly uneven (just part of the charm of an old house). So we needed a low pile so that the doors could swing open and closed and clear the carpet. Even with that said, I am still going to have to trim about 1/4″ off the closet door so that it can swing shut without dragging on the carpet. We went with a taupe-y color and this swirl pattern. It’s nice and cushy, but the low-pile is nice and doesn’t get matted down.

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Like I said, I’ve been dying to get the bedroom furniture out of the hallway and back into this room. I waited about 3.5 mins after the carpet installer left to start moving things back into their proper place. I still have LOTS to do in here:

  • add pom-pom trim to curtains
  • find new bedding
  • hang more art
  • find some wall shelves
  • fix ceiling (more on that later)
  • move in the crib
  • find or make a headboard
  • make a canopy??…maybe
  • toy storage

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It’s so nice to have all of her things in one room again. And to have a clutter-free hallway again! Here is one more pic from where we started to where we are now. Pretty big change!

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Closety Goodness

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If someone asked me how excited I was about closets when I was a kid, they would’ve ranked right up there with lima beans and shopping for tube socks. Zero interest. But as an adult with a toddler and ALL of the things toddlers need, closets excite me more than a shirtless Ryan Gosling. I could talk about closets all day long….and I did. My poor husband had to listen to me go on and on about what I might do in my daughter’s closet to make it more functional. Poor guy….Although, I’m pretty sure he only listens to about 25% of the things that come out of my mouth.

I started demoing Hollis’ closet last week. I had to remove all of the shelves and the metal rod. I also went ahead and ripped out the old carpet. Here is what it looked like before I got started.

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Everything came out pretty easy, although I did have to recruit Brian to help me with one particularly stubborn board. I took everything out except 2 boards that run along the back of the closet. They were in there so good and were so sturdy, I decided to keep them and use them for supports. Most of the walls in our house are plaster and it can be a little iffy when attaching things to the wall. I had to attach a third board to match the other two so that I could attach my metal Closetmaid system to it.

Did you notice all of those cracks and holes?! Good’ol plaster. Luckily they were easy to fill and patch once everything was removed. Then I put a fresh coat of white paint over everything including the ceiling and trim. The trim had quite a bit of paint drippings on it from over the years, so I decided to just paint it so it all looked nice and clean. You can also see in the pic below where I ripped out the carpet and exposed the hardwood underneath. The floor isn’t in great shape, so I will probably put carpet over it if we have extra from Hollis’ room.

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Once my paint dried, I was able to attach the metal supports. I drilled them straight through the boards.

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Then I had to cut my metal shelves down to size and attach them to the supports. I wasn’t sure how high I wanted them so I had to put some things on the shelf to see what worked best. My favorite thing about this shelving system is that you can move the shelves around however you like. So when Hollis gets older and her clothes get larger, we can just move the shelf around to allow her more room. Which is awesome for me, because I moved that top shelf around a good seven times before I got it where I wanted it.

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Here it is with a few things in it! I haven’t moved everything over yet because she hasn’t officially moved in yet. I made the top shelf go all the way across the closet and the bottom shelf only about 2/3’s of the way across to allow for longer items to be hung when she gets older.

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I love it so much! It’s so bright and clean….I’m sure it won’t ever be this clean again. This whole project has me really excited to get started on my own closet!…and Brian’s too, I guess.