Thursday, May 12, 2016

My House and Kids

Wow, lots going on here since I posted last... whenever that was. While we haven't 'finished' any other rooms in our house, we are working on a bunch of different projects in a bunch of different rooms. It drives Matt nuts. We'll start with John's room. 

It's the smallest room, so it was designated nursery, but it had very non-boy colors. After John started sleeping in there and I would feed him at night, I just couldn't take it anymore... knowing how easy it would be to change was eating at me in the wee hours of the morning. I started priming one day and finished off my can, and then I had a half primed, half pink, half orange room that made me even more crazy. Unfortunately, life happened, and I just didn't get to painting it for a few more months. Painting this room has been quite the process.  



I had a changing table in here with some bins underneath it, and it was the bane of my existence. This dresser is much better. 

I still need to hang some more pictures in here (above the chair), do crown molding, fill that terrarium on his dresser and finish sewing the teething guards on his crib sides since they were nibbled on by his sisters. 

Picture Ledges: 
I hate hanging pictures, but they are pretty much all I decorate with. Introducing some picture ledges I made with this tutorial. Since my walls are white, I wanted more of a gray finish, so I whitewashed them with a gray paint (graywashed?) and then rubbed on some stain and wiped it right off for just a little bit more depth in the color. I love it, and it's the same finish we used on John's shelf up above. 

Laundry Room:
I am beginning to really hate those wire racks. I thought about tidying up in here before taking this picture, then thought 'nah, it will make the changes look that much better'. See that box in the back corner on my dryer? Don't worry, it's not one that I STILL haven't unpacked since we moved in last June.  The big boxes are kitchen things that won't fit in my kitchen, so they live in the laundry room, kicking my laundry room stuff down on the washer dryer(cleaning supplies, re-usable bags, extra socks that always get stuck in my washer drain)

New tile! My parents came into town and my dad helped Matt switch our washer dryer hookups so that we could get them closer to the wall, and so the doors didn't open into each other. Sooo nice! I painted the walls 'Sea Salt'(Sherwin Williams), which I had been seeing all over pinterest and loving. I actually ended up liking the Behr color matched paint more than the actual Sherwin Williams sample color. A little less gray. 
New light! 

Still LOTS to do in this room, like finish painting it. We are also experimenting with painting the blinds white, so far so good. We are going to put cabinets up to replace the wire rack, add a hanging bar, plus a little mini counter with a set of floor cabinets right next to the washer. We scored some Ikea cabinet boxes for ten bucks a piece when they switched kitchen systems, but unfortunately, the box was mislabeled and they are 'natural' instead of white, like I thought, so those will need to be painted before putting them in. 

Family room:
Beautifully decorated, is it not? There wasn't anything wrong with the tile around our fireplace, but I just love marble. So one night I made Matt help me rip this stuff out, and when his parents just happened to be in town the next week, Matt's dad helped us put up new tile and build a beautiful mantle (surround? I have no idea what it's called besides 'awesome')

Taking out the sheetrock to put up cement board since we made some holes in the wall removing the old tile:
We even kind of liked the look of just the cement board. They had adhered the tiles right to the edge of the fireplace before, we're thinking they did that to hide the fact that the fireplace hadn't been installed flush with the wall, or just to make the 12x12 tiles fit better. Who knows. All we knew is that after we realized the fireplace wasn't sitting flush with the wall (and wasn't budging to move it into place) we sat there in silent frustration for a little while trying to figure out what was next. We didn't want one side of our fireplace sticking out farther than the other, and since we were doing subway tiles we couldn't just stick them halfway on the fireplace like they had done before. Luckily, after some extensive investigation, we found the screws that were holding the fireplace in line, and we could just barely access it. Matt and I exchanged many high fives. 

Now we were prepped and ready for Bob and April(in-laws of the #betterthanyours variety) to help us make it beautiful. Naturally, Natalie wanted in on the action.
And here is the halfway completed mantle(still missing a piece of trim)
It is now sitting in our living room, all painted and ready to nail into place. Matt said I had to wait to show anyone until it was all the way finished. Sorry. I think he wanted to motivate us to actually finish it. The nerve. Spoiler alert: it looks AMAZING.

Last but not least, my mom-in-law painted the master bedroom(you guys sick of my house yet, cause I'm not):
I like the gray much better, Behr's Silver Drop, for inquiring minds. Still lots to do in here, but for now I'm just enjoying some change. 
And finally put these back up. I made them from this tutorial  back in 2012, with wood from a tree that used to be in my Grandparents backyard. Sadly, they have been in storage most of our four moves since then, but I'm glad to have them back up now!

Wow. That was a long post. Good job for making it through. Johnny is happy you stopped by. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Powder Room Renovation

This is a project that ate up a whole bunch of our Saturdays this summer. It's been done for a few weeks but I've been waiting to take pictures until I finished decorating the shelves, which STILL isn't done. I want a chrome or silver Eiffel Tower to go where the picture is now. Wouldn't you know, all my trips to TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross, etc, BEFORE I was looking to buy one and I saw tons, now that I want one, there are none to be found. Anyways, onto the good stuff!
Ta-Da! I love it. I'm usually a 'light, airy, white' kind of person, but this room gets zero natural light when my laundry room door is closed (as in the 'after picture) so I decided to just work with that and go a little moodier with the colors. Here are some other 'before' shots:
top left: in the middle of re-finishing the vanity doors (using this tutorial,) Top right: We are never lacking helpers, look at Kate double timing that brush and roller. Bottom left: Renovations get sooo messy, and tend to spread their way out over the whole house. Bottom right: new tile!
And that's about it! This room is small and hard to photograph, plus, I'm just not all that good at pictures like this. Here is a breakdown of what we did for those interested.

-Removed wallpaper, painted walls & put up bead board wallpaper, chair rail and crown moulding. (bead board WALLPAPER guys. It's awesome. I wouldn't use it in an extremely busy area, as it does scratch and dent fairly easily, but in here I think it will be fine. Also, I think I'm going to use it on the ceiling in the upstairs bath. Perfect for that!)

-Replaced the mirror. Originally we intended to cut down the old one and frame it. Guys., listen, we got this mirror for 24 dollars at Home Goods. You can't buy the supplies for that. Much less the cure for the headache trying to square up a home made frame will cause. Check out stores like that before stressing too much over getting your old mirror off the wall in one piece to cut it down.

-Replaced light, sink/counter, and faucet.

-Refinished the vanity with the tutorial I linked above. Use the gel stain she recommends, I think it's basically foolproof, it was seriously the easiest paint job I've ever done. Just make sure to take the time between coats. It just looks so rich and pretty in person.

-Tiled the floor and hung some floating shelves. I like the shelves okay, but use your own screws! The ones that come with it are terrible, and you will strip them before you can really get your shelf secured down tight.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


We've been pretty spoiled lately with all our visitors, first April (Matt's mom) came at the end of August.

The next week Vanessa and my mom drove out on Wednesday, and they were joined by my brothers Jeff and Shane and my dad on Friday for the rest of the weekend. It was a mini-family reunion! So I made shirts :) They are souvenir Colorado/'Almost' family reunion shirts. 

We decided kind of last minute that since my sister Annie and her fiance Zack (yay for new brother in laws!) would be passing through, Natalie and Kate should go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for basically a day and then ride back out with these two hoodrats. Annie was a trooper and agreed to a 9 hour car ride with my toddlers. Natalie and Kate had so much fun in Utah (even though I was a little stressed about not being in the same state), Natalie even learned how to catch a chicken, all by herself.  
 My kids love all their aunts and uncles, they are pretty lucky babies! Annie and Zack left this morning, so a few fun weeks of company comes to a sad end. We really love and miss both of our families! Next up is a trip to Utah in October for Mitch's homecoming(from a LDS mission in South Africa)!

Mini Porch Makeover

 My awesome mother-in-law was in town a few weeks ago and she is the ultimate DIY-er. We loved having her here, she gave us some awesome advice about the rest of our house, helped me wrangle all three babies through an Ikea shopping trip and she painted our front door. Isn't it pretty? I originally planned on something darker, but she in all her decorating wisdom talked me into this lighter, prettier blue. I LOVE it and can't wait to make some matching shutters!
 Here's a breakdown of what changed for those interested. It wasn't a huge makeover, but the little things we did helped so much!
Sun faded hollow core door-painted with Behr exterior paint (my MIL swears by it)
Outdated plastic doorbell-Replaced with this bad boy(but it appears to have tripled in priced, we only paid 8$)
Sconces: wiped down, disassembled and painted with Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint (way cheaper at Home Depot, but they don't have it listed on their site, one can just barely covered 3 fixtures). We thought for sure these were goners, they looked so worn. April suggested I at least try to paint them before replacing them and I'm so happy we did! The finish is so smooth and pretty, I love them. 
Welcome Mat: a 10$ blank mat from Home Depot then spray painted using a stencil I made on my Silhouette. It's not perfect, but it's exactly what I wanted. 
Wreath: Saw it here and loved it, but mine turned out just 'meh' for me. I like the colors for fall, just not digging how huge all the cotton puffs are on mine, but oh well, it's what they had at Hobby Lobby :) so for now it stays. 

We also trimmed our gigantic bush, sprayed down all the bugs and webs(that helped a ton) and hung up our flag, because patriotism my friends, is always classy. Thank you April for all your help!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Natalie Stories

She gave her first Primary(kid sunday school) talk a few weeks ago. She was repeating everything Matt was saying about Jesus and the miracle of the bread and fishes, but when he said 'The baskets of food were passed around the crowd' Natalie added 'And they all had a picnic!!'
We were getting ready to go to church and hustling all the kids into the car and Natalie was just sitting on the steps pretending to be a tiger. Matt told her to hurry up and get in her seat and she said 'I can't, my legs are crossed'. We said something about uncrossing them while we put our other two in the car. After much insistence that she couldn't get in because her legs were crossed Matt picked her up and as he was about to buckle her in she started to tear up and said 'Dad, I just have to go to the bathroom!'. Apparently, crossed legs in a tiger is code for 'I need the little girls room'

 Matt sings Kate a song about baby beluga whales, but instead of saying 'baby beluga in the deep blue sea' he says 'Katie beluga'. Natalie seems to think this is her full name. One day I heard her say to Kate very seriously 'Katie beluga of the deep blue sea, do you love Jesus?'
We lost our receipt at Costco the other day. Don't do that. The only difference between being trapped in Costco, and being trapped in Alcatraz is that if you were stuck at Alcatraz you did something worse than lose your stinkin receipt in the madness that is feeding three small kids in the Costco food court. Anyways, Matt and I were joking about it after our twenty minutes of detainment and then Natalie said, "hey guys, remember me?" Matt and I looked each other and said she didn't look familiar, the she proclaimed "I'm Natalie! The new, free girl!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Camping at Farish

**WARNING: Picture overload**
Well, we have found probably the best place to camp ever. Well, maybe not ever, but it was pretty stinking amazing for the night we were there for a church camp out. We got a bit of a late start, and almost turned back because of screaming toddlers and tired parents, but we pressed on and got up to camp with just enough light to pitch our tent.
 The girls were really excited about sleeping in the tent, and went down for us pretty easy. We foolishly thought we were good for the night. We took a quick moonlit stroll down to the lake, and came back probably five minutes later to an open tent flap and a crying Natalie who was scared of all the 'endangered animals'. Kate was just up boppin around in there, oblivious to the obvious danger. We decided to turn in for the night too and got the girls back in their sleeping bags. Kate LOVED the idea of sleeping right next to momma and was chattering for about a half an hour. At one point she was talking about being a baby and I told her I was going to throw her out with the bathwater if she didn't go to sleep. That backfired. She kept saying 'don't throw me out with the bathwater mom!' at random intervals until she fell asleep. 
 If ever this hashtag was relevant, it would be here #campinghairdontcare

The next morning we went for a little pre-breakfast constitutional.

Geez Air Force, you think you could send us somewhere pretty next time?

Everyone else was fishing, so naturally my girls wanted to join the fun. Matt told them we didn't have poles, so Natalie said 'That's okay, we'll use these sticks!'. After two minutes of hitting the water, they were pretty disappointed they hadn't caught anything yet. 
And a few hunger related break downs:
After some food and a quick nap for Johnny, we played until we had to leave for the next group to take our site. 
And no, that is not my children eating chips off the group, why do you ask?
We had so much fun!