Monday, March 31, 2014

A new outlook

Before Eric and I ever got serious about starting our family, I really wanted to get into photography. We were living in New Mexico at the time and I couldn't get over how much I wanted to explore photography. If you know anything about me, you will know I go from hobby to hobby, getting inspired by anything and everything. Eric was leery to spend a good chunk of money on the camera I "had" to have because of the reasons above. But after some convincing, we eventually went and got my Nikon D60. I loved it, I bought books on it, read online blogs, but once I started to really read into it, it was like reading a foreign language. Insert frustration. I couldn't understand why it was so difficult for me to get the images I wanted. So the excitement faded and soon my poor camera was just something I periodically picked up. Once we decided to start our family, I was determined to get it right, back to the books! For the first year of Kilian's life, I was lucky to get a few good pictures, but nothing I was thrilled about. They all still seemed so amateur and could have come from a regular camera. I found a beginners to photography class to take and I was thrilled to be able to get some more experience and understanding. The class was great and I learned a lot, I have definitely become much more confident since the class and continue to learn and teach myself through practice and random blogs I come across.

Recently, I came across the Hello Mess blog and immediately was hooked. She is such a real and honest blogger that I gravitated to. I first saw her on her Instagram and was in awe of the photos she posts. Normal, every day things, but the photos themselves really spoke to me and made me want to look at my photography in a whole new light. I want my photos to tell a story, much like hers do. So off to her blog I went and there was a wonderful guest post on photographing your children. I couldn't wait to start applying my new visions which leads me to the reason I am posting today! If y'all have a chance head over to her blog and enjoy!

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nursery Tour part 2

Part 2
Part 2 of the nursery begins with my love for that amazing glider! When we had Kilian, we were living in an apartment. The three of us squeezed into one room. We got a small glider and used the spaces we had to make it into a nursery/grown up room. For this nursery, we knew that the chances of it being our last child were very high so we wanted to go all out and do everything we couldn't do in Kilian's nursery. Number one for us was the chair. I have always swooned over the beautiful gliders on my Pinterest boards, so the search began! We wanted to be able to move the chair from room to room after the baby grows out of being rocked. Who wants to spend money on something that is just going to be tossed aside in a year? Not this family. We settled on this one from Babies R Us and had them custom change the fabric and color to fit our room. We are in love. I cannot wait until this little babe is here so I can soak up all the baby goodness in that chair!
The side table: With no luck searching for an affordable side table that fit the space, Eric built one. It was great to be able to make the exact size we needed and with some Pinterest inspiration, this table was born. We used 2x2s, 2x4s and the thick paint stir sticks as the top. I painted the top with different shades of the green used in the bookshelf and closet.
A few clearance frames I will fill with his first pictures, and a wire paper organizer we have had for forever to house some books were put up for wall decoration. A DIY Ikea bookshelf on the adjacent wall with a K from Hobby Lobby that I painted, more books, and a ceramic deer head we found on clearance at Target a few months back to finish off that corner.
I am so anxious to meet this little munchkin and can hardly contain my excitement when I go into his nursery. I hope you all are enjoying it as much as we do.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Letter Transfer

Ever wonder how people get lettering onto a project or have the perfect chalkboard sign, all without an expensive cutting machine? I learned this technique from a fellow blogger and do not think it is shared enough. Although, I do have my Silhouette which I love, sometimes I do not want to haul it all out, design something fancy and cut from there. So, alas, is the tutorial for letter transferring. What you will need to do is open a Word document. Type and size whatever lettering you want to transfer and print. I have been told you can print large poster sizes at FedEx/Kinkos or any other printing place similar to that. I have not personally done this but it would be great to print out larger sizes for large chalkboard prints.
My project was to finish my sons water table with a cute label. Now, what you are going to do is take a piece of chalk, white, colored, anything works. And run it along the backside of the paper. Cover the letters completely.
Do as many layers you think you need to cover completely. Turn, and gently tap off any excess.
Tape the paper exactly where you want the lettering to be.
Take a pencil, pen anything with a sharp point and trace the lettering. What this will do is transfer the chalk to the surface as an outline. Do this for the entire word.
Remove the paper when you are done tracing, and you will have an outline of the word. Finally, you will paint, color, draw in the lettering.
I used a small brush to line and fill with outdoor paint. And there you have it! Easy, DIY lettering without the fancy machines!
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

First day of Spring!

Happy Spring!! I could not be more excited about nice weather and days out in the backyard. This also means our little man is even closer to making his debut! One thing I have been stressing about is getting the backyard 100% ready and toddler proofed. My goal is to have all the toys Kilian would want to play with, and a space for myself and the baby to kick back and relax. Last weekend, Eric was a champ and braved the nasty wind and weather to put up another little gate that blocks off the side of the house. Another thing checked off the list. The water table was on one of my lists and I'm so happy to have completed that today...check!  Here is the final product...
First, please ignore the dead grass. We are working super hard to get that back to being beautiful. I could not be more happy with the way it turned out. If you know anything about Kilian, you know he loves to get dirty, especially when any type of water is involved. This project was already in the works when I started to blog again so I only got a few of the before shots. But it is so simple I'll break it down to you.
Always mommy's little helper.
  1. Go to your local hardware store and pick up a storage tub. This way you can measure right there for your wood. I knew I wanted mine to sit on top on the table so that when he was done, we could still attach the top and leave his toys outside.
  2. Pick out your wood. just be sure to get enough to make 4 sides and that it creates a deep enough box for your tub to sit in.
  3. For the legs, we used a 4x4x6 of treated wood. We knew it was going to be outside and obviously around a lot of water so we wanted to make sure it wouldn't crumble after one season.
  4. Buy some outdoor stain and paint.
  5. Get everything home and cut your wood.
  6. I made the box itself first, just piece your cuts together.
  7. Then the legs, measure out the height you want. And drill into each side, connecting the top to the legs. For ours, we put the legs right up under the tub for extra support.
  8. Paint!
I used an outdoor fence stain originally for the box but I am a fan of darker wood so I just recovered it with that. I also painted "water" on the side to give it a little something more- I'll be sharing more about an easy way to transfer lettering without using an expensive cutting machine in an upcoming post.  Overall I am very pleased with the way it turned out! Enjoy!
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One of those days...

As a mom, we all have those days. The days where you feel you are doing everything wrong and you repeat yourself a million times over to deaf ears.
You're. Not. Alone.
Through my posts, I am going to be completely open and honest. Sometimes, we have days that are worse than others. Some days my son will nap more than usual or be more clingy, but one thing I have learned through my motherhood journey is to take the good with the bad and keep on moving. Now, I am absolutely no expert or have this perfected in any way. Yesterday, for example, was particularly rough. At 36 1/2 weeks pregnant, this momma is tired. I am most certainly a believer in your children can feel your mood and it reflects onto theirs. Appearantly, I wasn't keeping mine a secret very well. After the millionth time of telling my 18 month old not to stand on his chair, chasing him around the room to put a diaper back on, reminding him we do not hit the dogs with our toys, I was at my limit. Now, this isn't to say I don't have to remind him of these things every. single. day. I guess yesterday just affected me more. I haven't put much thought into the fact that we will soon have two little men around the house. But, I feel like I was slammed in the face with it all yesterday. I usually deal with my fears by sweeping them under the rug and not facing them. I had no choice yesterday, they were coming to the surface, whether I wanted them there or not. The fact is, I am scared to death about adding another munchkin into the mix. Am I going to be able to divide my time with both of them? How will Kilian feel? I am so tired already, how am I going to handle nursing through out the night and still have enough energy to keep up with my toddler? It seemed like every time I came up with a reasonable answer and I had convinced myself it wont be as hard as I think, another fear popped up. I guess where I am going with this is, everyone has fears, its all about how we handle them and how we let them affect us. Today I am choosing to conquer them, I will not let them alter how I interact with my toddler and my husband. Be strong and no matter what you are dealing with and remember no one is perfect, even if it seems like it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Project Nursery

If you are curious to see the entire nursery before I add the other nursery tour posts, feel free to head over to Project Nursery . If you go to the Gallery tab, then view projects, mine is Maximizing Nursery Space by Jam Den. Found here. Feel free to click "like" if you like it! The more votes I get, the better chance I have of making it as a feature! Thanks y'all, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Nursery...Part 1

Happy Monday! Mondays are always a little rough around here, getting back into our routine, cleaning up from the weekend, back to business as usual. I thought it would be fun to do a few posts about our nursery. When we had our first born, Kilian, we were living in an apartment so we never got to do the whole "nursery" thing. Now that we are expecting our second, we have had a blast designing an entire room for baby. In our house, the two bedrooms are on the small side so we had to get creative when it came to placement of furniture. This week we'll start with this corner of the room. I got the bookshelf from my grandmother, it was originally built by my grandfather when my dad was little, so I knew in some way that bookcase was going into the room. So, with a coat of primer and then a few coats of paint, it was all new and ready to go. It warms my heart to have family pieces in our house. We are constantly reading to Kilian so I know we will be doing the same with Keller, so stocking that bookshelf with books was a must. Now, onto the tricky part. The changing station. Originally we bought a changing table from a friend of ours. It was perfect, I sanded it, primed it and painted it. When I wheeled it into the room... we had a problem. Our small, little room was getting over loaded with furniture. A crib, rocker, bookshelf, and now a changing table was just too much for this room to handle. So, what's a pregnant lady to do? I sold the changing table (insert sad face) and went to Pinterest, of course! I came across a pin of a changing table built into the closet...genius! The pin had a larger closet and much more space, but we were up for the challenge. To Lowe's we went! The room needed some texture, so I knew automatically stripes were going in that closet. (Below I will attach an amazing way to paint stripes if you are ever hesitant to do them). We picked up some painters tape, a piece of wood for the "table" and a few brackets. Hubby got the measurements, cut the wood and painted it, while I tackled the stripes. We chose to take the door completely off to open it up a little bit more. Once the stripes were dry, it was Eric's turn. He brought in the wood and assembled it at the height that works best for us. The last thing to do was accessories. Our go to place is Home Goods. I ended up getting all the baskets there and we used the changing pad from Kilian's room to complete the look. And there you have it! One small part of our new little man's nursery!

How to paint stripes:

I have to admit, I was really nervous about painting stripes. I had so many visions of it going oh so wrong. I didn't want the paint to bleed, what if my lines weren't straight.. It was almost enough for me not to even attempt. But, that's not like me and worst case I could just paint the whole thing the green paint I love so much. So what you are going to do...
  1. Buy your painters tape. I've read different reviews on all kinds of tape. Honestly, I'm a budget girl, I bought the cheapest 3M blue painters tape, in one inch.
  2. Next, measure out your stripes. Determine if you want thick or thin, even or odd number of stripes. I mark my lines with a pencil and I use a long level to make sure they are straight.
  3. Start to tape off. Remember, your tape is one inch, so when placing your tape, make sure the stripe that will be painted a new color is the one that measures the exact size. The stripe that is staying the original color will have 2 inches taken off the measurement. (please comment if I need to clarify further)
  4. On to painting. The first thing you will do is paint with the original paint along the tape line. This will create a seal of sorts between the wall and the tape. This way, if there is going to be any bleeding of the paint, it will be the original color. Let that dry completely and if you are still worried about it do another coat of the base color.
  5. Once that is dry, you can paint the stripe color. I have read that you are supposed to pull the tape off right after you are done painting so in case there is any drops you can hopefully catch them before they go through the tape. In my closet, there was a massive amount of sheen on the walls so mine needed several coats of the green paint. It was not a problem for me at all, my lines came out perfect!
  6. Let everything dry, fix any touch ups, pull off tape and stand back to admire!

It's hard to say that the stripes are my favorite thing in the room, but they are up there on the list! I hope this helps and gives y'all some courage to do it yourselves!

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

36 weeks and 1 day pregnant
 The last leg, the final countdown, almost there. For those of you who have had a child, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who have had more than one, you know these words even better. It has been an entirely different pregnancy with my second than it was with my first. With your first pregnancy, if you have the energy, you can still get all cute and dolled up. Truth be told, with your second you are lucky to shower, let alone shower by yourself without a little munchkin barging in on you. And while that little tiny human is the cutest, most amazing thing in the world, sometimes you question for a split second if that shower alone would pull head. Of course, you come to your senses and he or she is more loveable than a shower. My days are full of chasing a toddler around, fixing meals, cleaning up meals and maintaining our household chores. Friday finally arrives, hence Friday, Is That You? and I am blessed to have an amazing husband who goes above and beyond to help. The childless shower is a possibility and I don't get caught in the never ending circle of prepare meal, eat meal, tell toddler not to throw food off the table, clean up toddler, clean meal-aka the floor- only to do it all again a few hours later. Now, I've never been the type of girl who has to have a full face of makeup whenever I leave the house. But, I can't help but laugh to myself with my husband asks me why I'm getting ready to run to the grocery store to get one thing. Honestly, it makes me feel a little more like me. Pregnancy is the most beautiful thing I've experienced but there is a lot of hard things about it to. The weight gain for me is the hardest, I know with all my heart it is a good thing, it's for my baby. But there is something so out of body about it all. So close to the end and I don't look into the mirror and see myself anymore. I see a vessel for a beautiful baby and I could not be more thankful and fortunate I am able to experience it especially when there are people in this world that can not. For those of you struggling to feel like yourself, my advice is to not give into it. Get yourself up, shower, even when you are so exhausted the sound of crashing out sounds so much better than standing in a shower. I promise it will help and you will feel so refreshed. Get ready, do all the things you would do pre-pregnancy, hair, makeup, the whole 9. Even if you are just going to the grocery store. Put on your favorite accessories, your favorite shoes and be you. Enjoy the time because it will pass all to soon and enjoy every kick, hiccup, squirm and know its just a matter of time until your body is yours again.
Do something for you today
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

DIY Faux Fireplace

Happy Saturday!
I am so excited to share this with y'all! In our mass craziness to spruce up the house before baby #2 arrives, we knew we wanted to simplify. We have learned that one crazy, sticky finger little boy who pulls anything and everything off of tables will soon be two, so our goal is to de-clutter, but still have our own grown up space. In it's place before, we had this huge, over sized 6 drawer dresser. That thing has been with us since we lived in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. It was huge! A while back, we had even taken out 2 of the drawers in the attempt to make it a desk/ dresser to be more functional. And of course... I sold it, along with the rest of the overly large furniture I had told you about earlier. I couldn't be happier, it was an eye sore and ended up being a space for us to clutter up. Our house does not have a fireplace, so in our living room we also have a faux fireplace we had purchased when we moved it. Ever since that purchase, Eric has been saying over and over how we could do another one in our room. Once the dresser was sold, it was time to put that plan in action. Where did we start? None other than Ana White of course. If y'all have not been to her site, it is a must. She has an abundance of plans from outdoor to indoor, tables to bed frames. Basically anything you would want, she has a plan for it. If not, she has places that others can attach their plans and share all the details. Now, on to the actual fireplace:
For the fireplace we used the plans found HERE. But we did a few things differently:
  • We shortened it, top to bottom ours measures 41 1/2 inches- we knew we wanted to put our T.V. on top and be able to watch comfortably from our bed
  • We also made it deeper. The plans call for you to use 3" boards and we used 6" (Step 3)
  • We changed out the top of the mantle, instead of using the molding they pictured, we wanted a thicker stained piece on top. We bought a 2x10 and cut it down to size so there was a 2' hang over on either side.
For the inside, we used a piece of old thin plywood we had hanging around. Painted it black with chalkboard paint and Hobby Lobby has these great patterned tin ribbon. I found mine in the sewing/wreath area. 

Our product list: All from Lowes
  • Top mantle was stained with Minwax- Speical Walnut
  • Fireplace itself got two coats of Kilz primer then a coat of Valspar Quail Egg- we use this on everything! It is the perfect off white.
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Pine wood and White wood- The white wood is a little less expensive than the pine and shows its grain through the paint ( the front two vertical pieces are white wood). The pine is easily paintable and you do not see any grain.

There it is! We couldn't be happier with the way it came out. We have so much more room, no where to leave clutter and no sticky fingers pulling things off of it!

Check out Craft-o-maniac for a bunch of great inspirations! You can find her here

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

DIY headboard

This project is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. Again, I am working on remembering to take more pictures as we do our projects. But, none the less, I want to share how we went about this one. We bought a complete bedding set about 5 years ago, while I loved it then, our style has changed and we were ready for something new. It came with a 3 drawer dresser, a 6 drawer dresser with a large mirror, two nightstands and the bed frame and headboard. One thing you will learn about us is we like change, we like to freshen everything up and change what we see everyday. Since buying the furniture, we have sanded, primed, painted, moved to other rooms, and almost all of the pieces have been altered in some way. On our newest quest to revamp the bedroom, we sold everything. The nightstands, the dressers, and I attempted to sell the headboard before I realized I should just try to reupholster it. What did I have to lose? $50 in materials? It was well worth it.
The completed headboard
The original
(Not the actual, but ours was very similar. The black leather with the dark wood frame.)
Remember how I said we like change.. well, last year it became this...
All of the bedroom furniture was painted that tan/ grey color. and we put in the silver nail heads to give it a lighter look.
Also, note the BLUE wall, we wanted to do an accent wall in the room and while we liked the blue for a while it got a little too bright for our current taste. 2 coats of primer and 2 layers of Valspar paint later... it was a headache.

Now, enough of the back stories, lets move on to the actual tutorial!

  1. We pulled out all the previous nail heads. This was great and saved us time when putting the new ones in because we had pre-drilled all of the little holes about half way so it would be easier to hammer in the nail heads. I highly recommend doing this. Not only did it save us the hassle of pulling them out if they didn't go in straight, it gave us a guide as to where the nail heads went once they were covered with fabric. Every headboard will be different, but ours ended up being spaces about an inch apart. Add more if you like more, less if you only want a few. Main idea here, pre-drill the holes!
  2. Unscrew the backing of your headboard. Ours is covered by a big piece of thin plywood. Pull that away and under it should be the frame. We had a bunch of screws in ours to get the actual leather part off, but once we got all those out, we used a rubber mallet to tap the whole thing out of the frame.
  3. I went and bought some cheap batting at the local Joann's Fabrics because I knew I was going to cover the black leather with a lighter fabric and I didn't want it to show through. So my first step was to staple gun that into place. Make sure when you are doing this, it is all pulled tight over the entire piece. Any wrinkles in this will surely show when you cover with your fabric. The corners aren't that important at this step, just make sure they are not big and bulky, remember you still have to put this piece back into the actual frame.
  4. Onto the fabric. We have a king size bed, so I bought three yards of drapery fabric to make sure everything got covered. I ended up with plenty extra to play around with so I could make sure everything was right. IRON YOUR FABRIC. Huge step, yes you will be pulling everything tight, but you want to start off with it being pressed so you don't have to do any extra work. Little wrinkles are ok, but if the fabric has fold marks, you want to make sure to get them out as best as you can.
  5. Start in the middle of either the top or the bottom and begin to staple. Be aware of how much extra you have on either side, you will be using this same fabric to cover the wood frame once you piece it all back together. Stop before the corners and begin to play with the fabric. There is not exact way for me to tell y'all how to go about this part. It's all trial and error. The main thing I can say is to try to make it as flat as possible so you don't have trouble getting it back into the frame. Continue around, pulling the sides tight, run your hand along the fabric to help. My husband and I did this together and I highly recommend having another pair of hands to help. Once you get done with that, put the piece back into the frame... it may be a little tighter this time around but just wiggle it in there and take your time. It will look something like this when you get to that point.
  6. Gently pull all of the loose fabric to make sure nothing got stuck. Start in the middle of either the top or bottom, pull tight over the wood frame and staple behind. ( I got excited and started to place the nail heads before finishing the stapling) Stop a few inches before the corners and start to plan. Again, there is not an exact way to do this. There will be lots of fabric, so you just have to find a way to piece it together. Almost like wrapping a present, but do remember which way you are doing it so the corners match. If you do the long side over the short side or vice versa. The sides are a little more tricky, at least with the way our bed frame is. Ours is thin then as it goes down it gets thicker. So, I had to manipulate the fabric for quiet a while to get it where I wanted it. This takes lots of patients and there will be some creases you may not want but only you will notice them in the long run. Around the bottom posts also take some time and thought. I'm sure there is a "right" way to do this but I am more of the, "lets wing it and see what happens" type so again, just play with it, cut the fabric if you have to, use a glue gun to help things lay straight.
  7. Almost done! Begin to place your nails heads. I just used the actual nail head and felt around where the hole should be. By pre-drilling your holes about half the depth of the nail head, you can place them and then hammer them all. Be sure if you are using a light fabric, clean your hammer, you don't want to miss the nail head or get too close to the fabric and end up with a mark from your hammer.
NOW pat yourself on the back and enjoy!! I am 8 months pregnant and have a 17 month old running around so it was no easy task, but if we can do it so can you!
You can see the bottom corners aren't perfect, but the reality is that I'll be the only one to really notice, especially once all the bedding and pillows are on. So give yourself a break if its not 100% perfect, to everyone else it will be.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where has the time gone?!

My oh my! Honestly, I don't even know where to begin. Since my last post, I have been a busy busy bee. With less than 5 weeks from my due date, my list of to dos is over flowing. I have realized that life with a toddler and a newborn is going to be insane. Hubs and I have made a massive list of things that will make life a little easier while we transition. My main goal is to not take anything away from my toddler. I don't want to not go outside as often or sacrifice his quality of meals for ease and less time consuming things. Over the next few weeks I will share the new projects, all are do it yourselves. I promise to document them better to show what we are using and how we assemble them all. As well as the never ending list of things to complete in such a short amount of time. And of course, along with the "must do" list we have to throw in the, "we'd love to do this too" list, that is completely unnecessary but oh so worth it!

Must have:                                    
  • Fenced off dog area
  • Planting shrubs
  • Music wall
  • Water table
  • Seed grass
  • Nursery

  • Paint master bedroom
  • Paint Kilian's bedroom
  • Revamp master
  • Crockpot freezer meals
  • Faux fireplace for master
The list grows daily and slowly but surely we are crossing things off one at a time. If nothing else, I would love for this blog to reach at least one momma out there who is wanting to start and complete a project. Most things I can only work on while my little man is napping or asleep for the night, but the feeling you get after you finish something is amazing. Stay tuned and I'll be sharing all of these fun projects!
Our little diy'er in the making!
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