Lullaby and Goodnight

I am soooo excited to announce that my husband and I are expecting a sweet baby girl in October! ūüôā Only 6 weeks to go and we are counting down the days until we finally get to meet her. We’re finally finished with the nursery. It’s been¬†a lot of fun and I wanted to share it with y’all!

The rest of my house is more neutral with bold, earthy tones, so doing a bright pastel type baby room was WAY different than what I’m used to. It was really fun to get to play with a new color palette.

Being the crazy person that I am, I wanted to get started on the room ASAP.¬†I didn’t even wait to find out if it was a boy or a girl before I chose the paint and put in on the wall. I¬†decided that a turquoise wall color would be perfect and I could make that fit either gender. The color is Clark & Kensington – Bon Voyage. We knocked it out one Saturday with the windows open. It was cooler outside then, so it was nice! I’m glad we didn’t wait until August to do it.

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Next, I knew I did not want a normal changing table. I had seen where many people: friends, fellow Pinterest-ers, etc. turned dressers into changing tables and I LOVED that idea. It seems way more functional for storage. I hunted for weeks for a dresser and finally found one at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store down the street from my house for $50! I knew it had potential, so I loaded it up and brought it home.

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We sanded it all down and cleaned it up. We had some leftover mustard paint from when we did our master bathroom. So, we decided that would be a fun (and FREE) color to paint the changing table. Especially since it could go with a girl or a boy room.

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We tried to clean the existing hardware really nicely. My husband had a great idea to soak them in this special acid to really make them shine. It was working great at first…and then the acid decided to eat away the handles. The hanging part of the handle was no longer attached to each piece of hardware. It looked like we were going to have to buy some new drawer pulls. Bummer. The downside to that was, when I was sanding, I did not sand the drawers deep enough – so the outline of the old handle was still very noticeable. I figured it did not matter since the same hardware was going back on. Only not. Oops. That’s when we got creative. There was no way I was re-sanding and repainting everything we had already done. I decided to use the back piece of the hardware and then mount new drawer pulls (pictured below) in the center – layered on top.

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I really loved the way it turned out! The mess up with the handles actually made it that much better. It gave it a lot more character. The downside was that we had to throw an additional $50 in drawer pulls into the project. However, where could you buy a dresser like this for $100? Still a deal.

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My parents offered to buy us a crib, so that was my next task. I searched online and had a really hard time finding one that I liked that wasn’t OUTRAGEOUS. I did not want one of the cribs that were higher in the back than the front. I wanted a simple crib with a little flare. I finally found this one¬†online from Target. Love it! (Thanks Mom and Tommy)

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I read online about bumpers and all the unnecessary extra crib bedding that can lead to SIDS, so I am just going with a fitted sheet and a dust ruffle/crib skirt. I may add the rail covers down the road…and perhaps a mesh bumper if little hands & feet start slipping through cracks…but nothing else right now.

This is pretty much where we stopped until we found out the gender. Colors so far: turquoise, mustard, and…..If it was a boy, my 3rd color was going to be red. If it was a girl, it was going to be coral. So, I had to wait until after my 18 week ultrasound appointment to find out what we were having before I could continue.

AND…WE’RE HAVING….A GIRL! Coral it is! I could finally¬†start shopping again. ūüėČ

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As far as artwork above the crib goes, I was nervous about putting anything up that wasn’t securely fastened to studs in the wall. I opted for one large piece of wood that I “white washed” and wrote her name. This allowed me to drill lots and lots of holes into multiple studs throughout the entire piece of wood. A sumo wrestler can hang from that thing and it’s not coming out of the wall (hopefully). My friend gave me some old wooden chargers that¬†she was throwing away. I decided that they might make cute “button” artwork, so I transformed those by painting them different colors in the palette. Then, I drilled four holes in the center of each, and threaded them to look like buttons. They are also drilled into studs on the wall. Side note: I found the crib skirt on Amazon, and the crib sheet online at Babies ‘R’ Us.

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When we started Whitley’s nursery I was hell bent on not having some generic “Winnie The Pooh,” “Princess,” or any other character themed room of any kind. It’s just not my style. I wanted it to be eclectic and the theme to be a color scheme rather than a *thing*. So, I stuck with the turquoise, mustard, coral scheme as much as possible.

For the area above the changing table, I decided I wanted to do a wall collage. I scored a plastique mirror at an auction for $1.50 and I found some cute 12 x 12 artwork at the At Home store for really cheap. My mom had saved some pictures from my room as a child that we re-framed and matted them to go with the colors.

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I found some coral colored blackout curtains on Amazon. I thought I could get away with one panel on each window with a tieback, but it still let in a lot of light. I was told by friends that I would want a second panel on each window to block out as much light and noise as possible. So, I followed their direction and ordered 2 more panels (even though I like the look of one on each window better) and 2 more tiebacks. P.S. The rocking horse pictured below was mine when I was a child – still in great condition. ūüôā

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My husband’s parents said they wanted to get us our rocker/glider, so we were on the prowl for months. I never knew they were so expensive! All the ones I looked at and really liked were upwards of $700 with the ottoman. That’s just crazy talk. I found a bunch that I liked, but I couldn’t bring myself to order them – especially without being able to sit in them first! Not to mention, I’m 5’10” and my husband is 6’4″ – it’s hard to find a chair that fits us correctly to begin with. I wouldn’t want to order one online just for it to get here and I can’t lay my head back on it… We went to Babies ‘R’ Us, Haverty’s, Rooms To Go, Baby Bloomers, EVERYWHERE! At least that’s what it seemed like.¬†¬†We didn’t see any that we were 100% in love with.

A friend mentioned that if she ever had to go back and buy a rocker/glider again, she would just go get a La-Z-Boy.¬†I was like LA-Z-BOY?! Genius! Why did we not think of that!? We went into their showroom, sat in a few different chairs, and found one that we loved. It fit us both nicely, and it was neutral (sort of a grey/brown) so it can be used in our living room after Whitley is no longer a baby! Plus it has a warranty that includes coverage for spills, bodily fluids, etc. (hello, baby) – so that gives us a nice peace of mind. I picked up a throw pillow to soften it up…and Voila! Perfection. The side table¬†is from Amazon (Thanks Sheila), and the lamp and rug are from At Home.

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Next, we built some bookshelves. We saw an idea for really simple ones on Pinterest¬†and went with that basic concept. We altered the measurements a bit to fit our space and the wood we had on hand. They turned out to be one of my favorite things in the room. I scored the artwork from At Home, again, on the clearance rack for $15 – framed! It has a bunch of nursery rhyme characters, so I thought it was fitting for the reading area. ūüôā

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After we had our first shower, we realized just how many blankets we are probably going to have for Miss Whit – and blankets take up room! So, I found a simple plan for a blanket ladder on Pinterest. I thought it would be the perfect storage solution AND they would be easily one-armed accessible for those late night feedings.

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Only one awkward wall left to deal with! We needed a place to put stuffed animals, etc. I picked up some simple shelves from Michael’s¬†& painted them white and found a cool looking metal “W”. I also got some cheap canvas pictures from Ross.

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It was all coming together! ūüôā All I needed was some bow/headband storage and some storage for all the diaper changing necessities. I used a pie rack for the diaper changing must haves, and I made a headband/bow holder out of clothespins and some old wood.

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The closet is still a work-in-progress. I have decided to not even mess with that again until all the showers are over. We sure do appreciate all the goodies, though! ūüôā

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Here are¬†some pictures of the nursery from a few different angles. We had a really great time putting it all together little by little. We hope you all enjoy taking a peek into Whitley’s room and we hope she loves it, too! ūüôā

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We’re so excited that it is finished. Now we can sit back, relax, and enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy without running around like crazy people trying to finish things.¬†Now I can just focus on psychotically nesting and cleaning for a little while. ūüėÄ

Masterfully Re-Decorated

When I picture a Master Bedroom, I picture an elegant, relaxing oasis that makes you feel secluded from your crazy world. It should be inviting and romantic. It shouldn’t feel cramped and cluttered.

When we first moved in, I purchased a new comforter and we painted the walls of our Master Bedroom. That was basically it. I gathered pillows and furniture I already had, and stuffed it in the room. Being that I only rented before this, nothing ever felt “permanent” and I didn’t care enough to make it feel that way in a place that wasn’t “mine.” But, this was OUR house, and I wanted to make it feel that way. I wanted it to reflect our style and who we are.

I got tired of looking at the set up below. It was not terrible, it was alright, but “alright” is not how I wanted my master bedroom. Time to get crackin’.

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So, I started using my drug of choice (Pinterest) and pinned inspirational ideas for the room. I discovered that I loved the look of over-sized mirrors above the side tables, I wanted the side tables to match, and the wall above the bed just looked boring, so it needed some uplifting.

For the mirrors, I looked EVERYWHERE for a deal. I searched & searched and it seemed like I was not EVER going to find large mirrors in my price range, much less matching ones. I found some decently priced mirrors on Amazon.com, but when I received them, they were MUCH smaller than I figured they would be…maybe the size of a standard piece of printer paper. It wasn’t working for above nightstands. It wasn’t the WOW factor for which I was looking. So, back to the drawing board.

I gave them a place within a grouping above a new seating area in the bedroom between two windows. In the grouping was a photograph as well as a copy of the reading a friend of ours read during our wedding ceremony. I also found a piece of ironwork at Kirkland’s that was intended to be used for above a bed, but I thought it fit nicely above the seating area. It was my lucky day, because when I walked into Kirkland’s they happened to be having a sale on that item for one day only. I scored it for $20.

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I came across an old sewing table in my thrifting that no longer housed a sewing machine. They only wanted $20 for it, so I picked it up in hopes of using it somewhere in my redecorating.

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The hub added a shelf to the bottom, I sprayed it with black paint, and painted the top a mustard yellow to match our comforter.

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I also had a nightstand that was a similar height to the sewing table, it just needed some TLC. The finish on the top was poor quality. I spilled an ICEE on it once years ago, cleaned it up quickly, and it still made the finish peel up and flake off. So, we sanded the top and I painted it the same mustard color to match the other table.

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At the same time I found the sewing table, I spotted two matching lamps that were $6 each including the shade. I spray painted the gold base oil rubbed bronze, and added a raffia bow & some burlap trim to the shade to add interest.

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When I was browsing Pinterest, I saw where people would hang curtains from a curtain rod behind the bed, and I really liked the effect it had on the room. It created a since of softness and comfort. So, I imitated it with some extra sheers I had. I affixed some cup hooks to the wall at the desired tie-back height, and used old faux pearl necklaces as tie-backs. I then hung some artwork in the opening of the curtains with a sign I painted that said “Loved you yesterday, Love you Still, Always Have, Always Will” to add to the romantic feel.

I loved that it was all slowly coming together.

Still on the hunt for mirrors, I was getting very frustrated. I kept visiting the local Habitat for Humanity Restore once a week for at least a month crossing my fingers for new arrivals. The frequenting paid off, when outside the front door was a stack of about 12 matching large mirrors! If I was at all agile, I might have done a back flip at that moment. And they were only $25 each! Talk about a steal!

I would say that below is the “finished product,” but the product is never finished. I take away and add to quite often. So, I will just say this is what it looks like for now. Not a crazy transformation, but it does give us the sense of relaxation and it amped up the wow factor for us quite a bit from where it was before.

We LOVE the mirrors. Not only does it make the room look larger and feel more regal, but the light from the lamps bounces off of them and reflects beautifully. It adds a great sense of ambiance and makes the room feel a lot more masterful.

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From Cramped to Comfortable

About a year ago, my husband and I bought our first house. WE LOVE IT! But after living with it for a little while, we know what works and what doesn’t.

Our tiny dining area was driving us NUTS!¬†Our huge table, chandelier, back door, and wall placement just wasn’t working. After one holiday season around the table¬†with family, we could tell¬†something had to¬†change. Having to scoot up and squish¬†your full belly against the table, just so that someone¬†could walk around you to¬†get¬†to the kitchen, is¬†ridiculous. The fried¬†turkey makes you feel portly enough without the table’s help.

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BEFORE. Kitchen is to the left, big wall to the right, back door right behind…CRAMPED

A few months ago we thought it was time to stop talking about it and actually do something.

Usually, if you have a tiny dining area and a huge table, common sense would tell you to go buy a smaller table. Well, in my world, common sense doesn’t always win. There was no way I was giving up my table. My mom and step dad gave it to us for our old place and it’s not a piece of furniture I had to put together from Wal-Mart, so it was staying! Well, that kind of limited us. We obviously weren’t going to move a wall, or a door, or a kitchen. So, we started brainstorming…and pinteresting (my drug of choice)…and BAM! BREAKFAST NOOK! Problem solved!

First we measured the wall on which the bench was going. Being that it was so long, we opted to make 2 smaller benches that looked like one long one. So, we built two frames out of standard 2×4’s and attached them to the wall.

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Next, we attached the front boards, which are just thin sheets of plywood.

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Then the front trim. We chose MDF because it was cheaper, already primed, and didn’t need sanding.

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We found some MDF beadboard which was a little pricer than I had originally wanted, but we splurged because we knew it would add a nice touch. We got 2 packs of the boards, which we cut in half to make it go that much further. Then, we attached another one of the trim boards to the top to give it that finished look.

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Next, we measured and laid out the top boards to make sure they lined up correctly.

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Then, it was time to paint and stain! The hubby was on staining duty while I painted. Multi-tasking and teamwork is the way to go.

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With a few minor adjustments to make sure everything was straight and level (which you may be able to tell in this pic, the seat was not), we were on our way toward something!

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Allllmost right, but not perfect. The chandelier was still hanging semi-centered in the room…and now that wall with the mirror was boring…

Originally we thought we would create a new hole for the fixture above the table, but that seemed like A LOT of work…patching one hole, repainting the ceiling, making another hole, rewiring the new lamp from the old electrical wiring. It seemed like more of a headache than the entire project thus far.

So, to fix the chandelier problem, we decided to swag it over from its existing location. To do that, we purchased some chain, some new lamp wire, and a swag hook from Lowe’s. The existing chandelier chain and wire was not long enough to reach the new center of our dining room. So, thankfully the ole’ hubby knows a little bit about electrical wiring. With a little time and¬†a few¬†choice words, he got it done.

All that was left was some finishing touches.

So I found some inexpensive “chicken” artwork on one of my many Ross outings.

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I picked up some white plates from the Dollar Tree, some napkins from World Market, and my mom found some great yellow glass chargers at a thrift store, to complete the place settings.

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(For some reason I can’t get the picture to stay horizontal…oh well :P)

And, finally, I recovered the chairs with a little fabric and a staple gun.

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TAH DAH! Finished product for around $250.

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We absolutely LOVE it and could not be happier. We have had people over for dinner a few times since then, and it is SOO much more enjoyable. Plus, we have a better view of the backyard when we’re eating – perfect for watching the dog play.