Hall Bath Makeover

Early nesting? Perhaps. We've been slowly working through various DIY projects around this house since we purchased it in September 2012. Now with the baby on the way and my belly growing, we're kicking it into high gear and trying to knock out a few more things from our lengthy wish list before the fall.

Over the weekend we added fresh mulch to the front flower beds, mowed, replaced the exterior light at the deck, and gave the hall bathroom upstairs a much needed makeover.

As with other rooms in this house, the hall bathroom was functional. The walls had been painted prior to us purchasing in Sherwin Williams 'Kilim Beige'. It's a nice neutral, but a bit dark for the bathroom and, with a flat finish, every bit of splashed water and soap was leaving stains - similar to our half bath downstairs. The only changes we had made in here prior to this past weekend were replacing the shower head, necessary repairs to the toilet including replacing the seat, and installing a curved shower rod bar.

Here's a quick look at the before taken with my iPhone literally as we began clearing the room on Saturday in preparation for painting. Okay, but certainly nothing fancy.

As we are still using the shower curtain and towels from our old house, I decided to use a similar color I had painted there and liked. I just went a shade darker this time. It's Benjamin Moore 'Spring Blossom'. A fresh, light green color.

Dylan helped me and managed to paint everything within his reach. Even climbing our 2-step step ladder (with me behind him) to reach a little higher.

Next we removed the old makeup style light fixture and replaced it with a new 4 bulb fixture. Prettier and, honestly, I think it provides better lighting. Certainly not as harsh as those makeup bulbs.

We also removed the old towel bar (something else that I never liked when we bought this house) and replaced it with a new, more stylish option times 2. It's always nice to have extra room to hang towels when we have company so we bought two 24-inch long towel rods and stacked them near the tub/shower for easy reach. My mom has done this in 2 bathrooms in her house and I knew it was an idea I wanted to copy. She even provided me with the heights (67" and 37-1/2" above the floor).

The entire process took time on both Saturday and Sunday, but was completely worth it. Even Dylan commented to me how nice it looked now. A quick side-by-side comparison look back and it's pretty obvious the drastic difference those small changes made.

Eventually we will replace the faucets (for now they work so no reason to), update the toilet paper holder & hand towel ring to match the new towel bars, and I would like to frame out the mirror with trim or possibly replace. So expect future updates. It'll probably just be a while. We have other projects needing attention including the kitchen. Remember that one? We haven't forgotten. It's just taking time, but it looks like we finally chose a granite color so progress on that soon!

Cost breakdown: about $150
1 gallon Behr Ultra, color match Benjamin Moore 'Spring Blossom', eggshell finish $27 (after $5 rebate)
Hampton Bay 4-Light Vanity model #705207 $60
Round plastic electrical box (for light install) $2
2 Delta 24-inch Windmere towel bars $53


Baby Girl

So grateful on Monday to hear that our newest little family member is growing and looking totally healthy! Also fun to learn that Dylan was right all along - he's getting a little sister.

Supplies: DHD January blueprint template; Blossom and Claire kits by Karen Funk; Gidget paper pack by Gennifer Bursett; Spring Menagerie collaboration from Design House Digital.



Can I stress that word enough?? It's easy to get lost in the craziness of life and forget to be grateful. I assure you, I had a bit of forgetfulness yesterday. But as I write this, I'm glad it was just a moment and that I'm finding a lot to be grateful for lately ...

Morning Sickness - say what?? Yes, I am very grateful for morning sickness. This pregnancy has been far rougher on me. I've been much sicker and I am grateful for this. After 2 miscarriages, I'll happily be sick (and accept that Zofran prescription from my OB - thank you, doctor) as I know it's all a sign everything is going well.

Weekend Trip - we pulled off a weekend trip to Virginia with my sister, brother-in-law and brother to surprise my mom for her birthday yesterday. So grateful we could all manage to be there, surprise her and have quality time together. Such a fun time. Counting down to our next get together.

The Breakdown - so, no, of course I'm not grateful our car broke down yesterday. This would be that point of "forgetfulness" I mentioned in the beginning. We weren't quite halfway home on a 4 and a half hour trip. I was grateful though that we were all okay, we had nearby family that came to our assistance and we had AAA who towed our car to a local mechanic. The car can't be seen until this morning so we had to leave it and rent a car to get home, but again, we're all safe. That is by far the most important thing. I was already looking back and laughing last night. It'll just go down as one of those trips that you never forget and keep retelling the tale in years to come.

Now, the reason we had to get home last night and other thing I am very grateful for right now - our Ultrasound Appointment today! This morning we get our 3rd peek at our baby and, assuming this little one participates, we'll learn whether we're having a boy or girl. Dylan has been firm in his belief from the beginning that he's getting a sister. As for Trent and me? We haven't a clue. All we want is healthy. Either is a blessing.

What are you grateful for right now?


The Word that Makes Me Cringe

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I used to simply laugh (okay I still sort of do) whenever I saw or heard a certain 5 letter word that made my dear friend, Allison, cringe. Don't dare use the word around her. It appears it offends others too. I found the perfect example recently while reading Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan:

I thought I was free from any sort of word having that power over me. Then it hit me. It comes across in social media A LOT for some reason. I think it's simply common in the South, though it never was in my family or those around me growing up.

What's the word? Sissy.

I cringe every time someone (usually a mom) uses that word to describe a girl. Typically her own daughter.

I know their meaning is supposed to be an affectionate form of 'sister.' I know. But I can not separate the word from the main definition: n. A person regarded as effeminate or cowardly. adj. Feeble and cowardly. (source: Oxford Dictionaries) So the thought that runs through my head every time (after the cringe) is why, why would you call your child that?

Do you have a word that makes you cringe? Dare to share? Let me know in the comments. I promise to try to refrain from using it around you. [Keyword "try" - right, Allison? ;)  ]


Master Closet DIY Shelving

Our master closet has needed a little work from day 1. Overall, it was in good condition. Larger than that in our previous house. Plenty of hanging space, but only one skinny shelving unit. Next to the shelving, behind the door, was a leftover dead space with only a tie rack. We've discussed adding shelving here and finally, Trent got us started 2 weekends ago.

He took measurements and cleared the space. Then we headed to Lowe's to purchase 1x12 utility shelving boards.

Trent constructed the shelving in our garage. Dylan and I grabbed rollers and painted it glossy white to match the existing shelving. Our DIY house projects are truly family affairs.

Finally, Trent put it in place in our master closet while I completed the paint - painting the wall behind in white and touching up the shelving.

I took photos while I was still waiting on the paint to dry completely. All but 2 shelves currently have clothing or toiletries on it. We're planning to store some linens for our room as well since, strangely enough, this house does not have a linen closet. Oh and we still need to rehang the door. It was easier to install with the door off as well as load the shelves while we decided what we wanted where.

Overall, I'm thrilled. It's simple, but Trent did a great job of matching the existing shelving. It's very functional. So nice to have this extra storage space! And to check one more "to do" off that long list.

Cost: under $60


Superhero Photos

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Preparing for our pregnancy announcement on Facebook, I had Dylan pose for "big brother" photos. I had a superhero theme in mind. My original photo plan didn't turn out. Instead, I ended up with a couple shots that I liked even better. Love it when it works out like that.

The first awesome shot made a perfect banner for my Facebook page. I added the text "Every Superhero needs a sidekick. Mine is arriving October 2014" and posted along with a new profile picture of one of our first ultrasound images.

I then used a second photo from the day to create a Mother's Day card design for both my mom and my mother-in-law. I cropped the picture in Photoshop and added the bottom blue box and text. Then uploaded to Treat for printing and shipping.

For the Mother's Day cards, I used a full photo front option and deleted the text offered by Treat. Then wrote personalized notes inside of each card. To further simplify things, I had Treat do the shipping for me. All I did was request a delivery by last Friday to ensure they arrived on time. Both moms loved their cards. It really is an easy way to create a beautiful card even if you think you are creatively challenge and/or lack time.

I hope all of the moms (and moms at heart) had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday!


Strawberry Patch

One of my favorite parts of spring? Visiting the strawberry patch to pick fresh berries. Last year we went over Memorial Day weekend and took my mom & brother with us. We filled two buckets full and I'm pretty sure Dylan ate about as many as he picked based on the red stains on his face.

Strawberry Patch

Inspired by Book Boys by Jennifer McQuire.

Supplies: Linen Line No 3 - Fresh papers by Agnes Biro; Strawberry Patch and Summer Picnic kits by Sara Schmutz; One Year Older kit by Karen Funk


Teacher Appreciation

It's Teacher Appreciation Week and while there are a million cute ideas floating around on Pinterest and social media, we kept things simple. Truly, this is the gift I give Dylan's teachers for every occasion - a card with written note and a gift card.

I love crafting and DIY. I know there are plenty of great things we could make. But I've also been personally stressed the last few years by too much stuff. It particularly hit me when moving. On the other hand, I know I could use a Target gift card on a weekly basis and assume that his teachers could too. Hopefully they will use it to splurge on something for themselves.

And there is the note. Particularly in this digital age, I don't think there is much more powerful that the written note. In the past, I've usually taken that role and made sure to express how much we appreciate what Dylan's teachers do for him on a daily basis. I know teaching, comforting, and having patience for hours each day with 25 four year olds is challenging. He comes home happy, telling stories about his day and new things we had no idea he knew. And he hugs his teachers goodbye every day. Those things are all proof to me of how great they are at their job.

Now that Dylan is learning to write, I had him help this year. I handed him plain white cards and wrote the names of his teachers on a piece of paper along with "Thank you! Love, Dylan" for him to refer to. He carefully sat at our kitchen table and wrote out both cards as well as drew hearts and flowers inside (he wouldn't let me take a photo though!). I was so proud and think his teachers are sure to appreciate that note and the love behind it.

Thanks to all of our teachers. I hope you feel appreciated by parents not just this week, but every week of the year.


Our Next Big Project

It seems we always have a project going on around the house. Our latest one is pretty big (well, getting there!) and I'm not referring to our kitchen project.

We've been sitting on a little secret ...

Yes, that would be our newest, tiniest family member. And we have a very excited little boy who is counting down to his new role as Big Brother!

It's going to be a fun 5 more months. We have a LOT to do between now and then. Trying to get a few more things checked off the list including just enjoying our family of 3 and this special time.


Friday Freebie: Family template

In honor of International Scrapbooking Day tomorrow, I thought I would share a free digital template. Based off my Family layout earlier in the week, the template features 14 layers and is free for personal use.

Click here to down the 12x12 Family template


Have you missed one of my previous digital freebies? Click HERE to find them. And, don't forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won't miss future freebies!