April showers bring May…showers?

2 Apr

We’ve been making decisions left and right over here.  Hot dang I’m so excited.  We finally decided on a shower color and arrangement, so off we went to Lowe’s tonight to order it.

It’s from the Onyx Collection. the walls are Winter and the base will be Storm.  The door will be frameless, but they didn’t have that option in the designer, so just trust me on that.  We have seen the Onyx Collection installed in several houses and the feedback we’ve always received is that it’s so easy to maintain, looks great, and lasts forever (really, it has a full lifetime warranty). We needed something that came in pieces since we have a narrow 24″ door into the bathroom.  We opted to not go the tile route.  I find myself regularly choosing things based on convenience and the ease of both the installation and upkeep of this won me over.  Bonus – a Lowes in our area is one of the highest volume dealers in the country so they give a great discount!  Couple that with 5% back on purchases at Lowes and this is a no brainer.

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Shower – check check.  It should be here in 2-3 weeks and then our plumber will be over to move some pipes and install the base.  I’m so excited I just can’t hide it!

While we were at Lowe’s, we figured we’d price out tubs…see, we still couldn’t decide if we should salvage the Jacuzzi or just rip it out and start over.  Our plumber told us we could fit a standard 60″ tub in the space instead of the slightly smaller, but custom size tub we have now.  A bigger tub would also mean that I could have a wall faucet instead of a faucet mounted on on the tub itself.  That obviously caught my interest! We asked our shower ordering pal Ben to price out some tubs for us.  After learning what we were looking for he, he said he had a special order tub that was returned and he would cut us a heck of a deal.   Just like that, we are the new owners of a 60″ soaker tub.

Finally, during our Lowe’s extravaganza, we finalized our tile choice. Leonia Silver Glazed tile in plank form.  We liked the subtle texture, neutral color and of course, the planks.

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Bathroom ceiling is painted and Steve is getting ready to wire the vanity lights. It’s coming together and I’m so dang excited!!  Bathroom train, full speed ahead!

 

 

Bathroom demolition

12 Mar

When we first moved in, our bathroom had carpet, questionable paint color choice, and a whole lot of other disgustingness.
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We put on some paint and things were headed in the right direction, until per usual, our luck struck…We took several steps back, tore out the vanity and then just ignored it for 2 years.  Yep, 2 years.  One baby later and another on the way, we are SO ready for a master bathroom of our very own.  It was time to get our act together.

First up – get that tile of the Jacuzzi. We started off with intentions of nicely taking off the tile and saving the drywall underneath.  A few tiles in, we discovered that instead of tiling the tub traditionally, ya know, with thinset, and rock board and grout they used liquid nails on every single tile.
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Rather than continue a painstaking process that was going to result in wrecked drywall, we busted out the power tools.  A half hour or so later, and we were tile free.
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While I know this should make me nervous, it makes me feel so much better, progress in action!

We didn’t stop with the tub though, after some discussion, it was clear the shower had to go too.  The insert was in decent condition, but it was almond color and after some research, we just weren’t on board with painting it.  We want a master bathroom we can enjoy being in, and decided part of that was a nice shower.  Out ya come fiberglass insert.

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Woo!  Shower down to the studs.  We’re in the picking out process, but new tile on the floor, Onyx shower install, a custom build vanity, new countertop, new toilet, paint…I just can’t wait!  Baby 2 is due in August, so the clock is ticking!

Dining Room Update

10 Mar

Hi, I’m back.  Again.  Good news, no dramatic story associated with my absence, that’s a relief eh?

A long long time ago, I posted some ideas for our dining room.  Then, we had a baby, and re-evaluated how we use this room.  Previously, our office was set-up upstairs in one of the bedrooms.  We found we never went up there, we would just sit at the kitchen table or island instead.  After some brainstorming, we realized that if we got a bigger kitchen table then we wouldn’t need a dining room, so we ordered a new table from Amazon.  Table settled, it was time to turn our sights to the “dining” room.

First on our makeover agenda?  Board and batten!  We kinda followed this tutorial, and per usual – made it up as we went along.
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We opted to put thin plywood on the walls because they weren’t completely smooth to start with.  We liked the look of a wide board on top, but didn’t want a full shelf.

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We used lattice for the vertical portions, and I was excited to get rid of the wallpaper once and for all.  A fresh coat of white paint over everything and then we were ready for my favorite part.  PAINT!
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I wanted to do something fun in here, and finally got to use the stencil I won many moons ago from Cutting Edge Stencils.  It is the Trellis pattern.  We’re going to eventually add some crown, but for now we loved how it turned out!

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Once the stencil was done, it was time to bring in some storage.  I found matching bookcases on Craigslist for either side of the window.  Threw a little navy Chevron in the back for interest, and voila, storage was born.

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I’m working away right now on getting everything moved in so I can use my new-found storage.  More to come, just wanted to share what we’ve been up to!

and yes, it is blog week…which means I will blog for a week.  No promises after that. :-)

Highchair facelift

19 Aug

I miss blogging…no promises on frequency, but I’ve finally made some time to work on some projects, so back to it. WOO!!  plus it’s summer so you can imagine the thrifting/garage saling/craigslisting I’ve been doing and I love sharing makeovers!  That fact brings us to today’s lovely little post.

My sister was doing some garage saling of her own and ran across a wooden highchair.  As luck would have it, she called to ask me if I needed her to look for anything in particular and I said I was on the lookout for a highchair.  She was standing right by one so it was a done deal.  Structurally sound, a little beat up, and at a garage sale where they wanted to move stuff.  $10.00 later it was mine.  Boom thank you little sister.

I came across this tutorial on Pinterest- http://www.the-good-life-blog.com/2013/02/wooden-high-chairs-all-you-need-to-know.html and followed it very closely.  By that, I mean I bought the same shellac she did to make it food safe and I always use Rustoleum.  I thought about going with orange, but in the end, I thought a nice bright green would fit in better with our eventual home decor.  (Don’t worry, I haven’t really done any decorating in my absence from the blog, everything looks about as you remember.)

DIYTheory- Wooden Highchair Makeover

 

I love it.  It cleans up great and is very durable.  I am going to add a strap because D is a squirmy fellow and likes to turn around backwards when he is supposed to be eating.

This project was super cheap:

$10.00 Highchair
$3.00 Rustoleum 2x Spray Paint- Meadow Green
$7.00 Zinsser Shellac (I found mine at Home Depot so I avoided having to pay shipping/wait for it to arrive)

The white spray paint and primer I had in my stash, so I have already accounted for those somewhere else along the way, but had I bought them another $6.00.  $20.00 for a highchair that also looks cute in my kitchen.  Done and done.

Anybody else painting any highchairs?  I’m a little obsessed and I’d love to see ‘em!

Baby Stuff – 0 to 3 months

4 Mar

When I was pregnant, I LOVED reading blogs about what baby products people did (and did not) find useful.  I figured I would give you our favorite things for 0-3 months!

First up:  Sleeping   The thing we were most afraid for was the sleeping part of babies.  We were prepared for the worst, and luckily, it hasn’t been that bad.  ::knocking on every wood surface I can find right now::

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1.  Our glider is amazing.  I don’t know how we would have survived without it.  We rock Dayton until he’s 70% asleep or so and then put him down so he falls the rest of the way asleep.  The glider has already logged quite a few hours of feeding, napping, and book reading.  The cushion is nice and firm and has held up great so far.

2.  We got the Motorola video monitor.  Initially, we weren’t sure what we would want in a monitor — audio only, wifi compatible or a video.  Ultimately, we decided to go with the video monitor.  I am so glad we did.  Dayton makes a lot of noise when he sleeps and it’s great to be able to hit a button and see if he’s actually awake or just talking in his sleep.  Most of the time, he’s just talkin’.  It saves us from waking him up when he’s not actually awake and gives him a chance to put himself back to sleep between REM cycles.  It was also great to have the video capabilities during early weeks (he slept in our room for the pediatrician recommended 2 weeks and then it was off to his room) so we could make sure he was still breathing :-)  This monitor was super easy to use, and I can operate while 89% asleep.

3.  The Miracle Blanket.  Dayton loves to be swaddled.  Early on, we used the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets.  We brought one to the hospital and it was great how tight we could get it…then baby boy started gaining some weight and muscle and he could bust out of  every swaddle we put him in.  One particularly fussy night, we decided to give the Miracle Blanket a try, it worked like a charm and we got a great night of sleep.  He can’t get out of it and sleeps so well in it.  I really wish we had used it sooner (I picked it up at a baby consignment store for the bargain price of $2.50) since it had been sitting in the closet for a good month before he was born.  Live and learn, and swaddle tight.

4.  His wubba nub.  I was first introduced to the Wubba Nub by my bff, Melissa, when we were on our Minneapolis shopping weekend last summer.  I thought they were cute, but at $15.00 for a pacifier, I wasn’t sure it was worth the expense for cute.  Then I had a baby…then I wasn’t able to get the hang of nursing my baby (story on that to come) and after his bottle he needed to suck.  We introduced the pacifier which was great, except he could spit that thing half way across the room and it only took 2 nights of trying to retrieve lost paci’s in the dark for me to get a Wubba Nub.  He has 3 now, which is great, he’ll always have one while the others are in the wash.  They don’t go on the floor very easy and he’s able to maneuver it himself since he can hold on to the soft stuffed animal.  The only thing I wish is that they detached from the pacifier.  Oh well, they are still well worth it.  We are Wubba Nub believers in this household!

Next up:  The Milk
Dayton and I could never got on the same page with nursing.  We tried, and during a particularly grueling day, as tears ran from my eyes all over his little head while he tried to eat, I realized something — I wanted my baby to get the benefits of breastmilk.  I didn’t want my baby to have his mom terrified of him waking up to eat on a daily basis.  So with that, we threw in the nursing towel and I started exclusively pumping.  With that, there have been several things I couldn’t have lived without.
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1.  The PumpEase-  I spent my first 11 weeks at home holding the pumpers while I pumped.  I tried some hands free nursing bras (looking at you Medela) but nothing really worked.  Some I couldn’t get to fit, some didn’t hold the pumpers secure, and others were just itchy.  I was going to give making one a try, but I couldn’t find a sports bra that closed in the front and I didn’t have the mental capacity to make one that closed in the front.  Finally, the week before I went back to work, I read about the PumpEase and decided to give it a try.  Oh my goodness, I don’t know why I didn’t research this one more sooner.  The PumpEase is super comfortable, made of a lycra type material, very adjustable, and holds the ol’ pumpers secure.  If you’re going to be doing even a little bit of pumping, I highly recommend the PumpEase!

2.  The Hygeia Enjoye LBI –  I started my pumping journey with the Medela Pump-In-Style.  It was my cousin’s and I was happy to not have to shell out the dinero for a new pump.  Well, since I became an exclusive pumper, that thing was getting quite the workout.  Overall – I don’t really have any complaints, but as time went on, my body adjusted to the preset cycles of the Pump In Style and my milk supply was taking a hit.  I decided to do a bit of research and discovered that my insurance would  now cover a pump.  It’s been a debacle, once it’s sorted out, I’ll do a post all about it, but meanwhile, a good friend lent me her Hygeia.  It has gentler suction and customizable speed/suction settings.  Plus the fact that it has an internal battery is icing on the cake!  No more being stuck by an outlet!

3. Pacifier wipes-  I know you are probably thinking that this has nothing to do with milk, but a lot of times I have to pump where I don’t have readily available access to warm water and soap or a fridge to store my pumpers until the next session.  Pacifier wipes are great, I can quickly disinfect and have them ready to go.  I originally bought Medela pump cleaning wipes, but for half the cost, pacifier wipes do the same thing.

4. Dr. Brown’s Bottles – Everyone has their own bottle preference.  We settled on Dr. Brown’s.  As we were transitioning Dayton to bottles, we found that most bottles he could suck down incredibly fast (part of the reason we were not nursing compatible, kid was like a vacuum).  Dr. Brown’s were the only bottles we tried that slowed him down so he didn’t spit up.  We have about 10 bottles in rotation right now, and throw ‘em in the dishwasher on sanitize so all the pieces haven’t been to annoying.

5.  Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer –  This bottle warmer is awesome, easy to use,  and always heats the milk to a consistent temperature.  We’re lucky because Dayton is a good eater and will eat his bottle even if it’s refrigerator cold.  We’ve found though that he coughs less while he’s eating it if the milk is at least room temperature.  We’ve also found he sleeps GREAT if we bump the bottle warmer up past room temperature into warm milk.

6.  Munchkin High Capacity Bottle Drying Rack-  With all the bottle washing, we found ourselves needing a better drying rack solution than the dish drying rack.  Much to my dismay, the “Boon’s grass” that we originally tried didn’t cut it.  There wasn’t enough space and the air couldn’t circulate underneath so everything took forever to dry.  The double decker drying rack has been awesome.  All the bottles, parts, and pumps fit on the drying rack, and it circulates air well enough to dry everything.  It’s no where near as cute on the counter, but in this case, function over looks hands down.

Baby Entertainment.
I know this category will change quite a bit as Dayton gets older, so I thought it’d be fun to look at the most useful 0-3.
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1.  Oball rattle-  Dayton got one of these as a gift from our friends Becky & Stu.  He loves it!  He can get his little fingers in all the holes and it’s easy for him to grip.  Bonus – it cleans up great in the dishwasher.

2. Rainforest Activity Gym-  I mentioned this in my thrifting post earlier.  Dayton loves the lights, sounds, and toys to bat at.  It’s good for at least 30 minutes of hands free mom time, so bonus there :-)

3.  Ergo Performance Carrier- This was lighter weight than the traditional cotton ergo so baby and us don’t get as hot.  I loved the bright green color.  We also got the infant insert for it so this is the only carrier we used from 4 days old.  He loves it and it’s definitely given him a very strong neck.  The only downside?  He falls asleep in it every time so we can only wear him if we’re ready for him to nap.  Definitely a great way to get stuff done though!

4.  Sophie – He loves to suck on this Sophie and it has spots for both of his hands which he loves.  I’m guessing Sophie will only get more mileage as we get closer to the teeth!

Last up?  Diapering.
We are disposable diaper people.  I like the concept of cloth, but we couldn’t find many daycares that would do cloth diapers and the ones that would just toss ‘em all into one big bag.  I just couldn’t get psyched up to pick up Dayton at the end of a long work day and have to deal with a sack of dirty diapers.  That said, we have had to try a bit to find our perfect diaper/wipes combo.
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1.  Pampers Swaddlers — LOVE these diapers.  The only thing we don’t love, they are definitely the most expensive of the disposable diaper options.  We haven’t had a single leak problem with these and generally, they don’t blow out.

2.  Luvs — These are a recent discovery for us, but so far, they seem to work really well.  They are about half the price of Pampers, so I see a switch in our future :-)

3.  Butt Paste — Dayton hasn’t had too much diaper rash, but when he does, Butt Paste takes care of it lickety split.  Highly recommend.

4.  We use Huggies Natural Care wipes.  Dayton has my sensitive skin, and they don’t irritate him.  Plus the wipe is a little thicker so generally one gets the job done.  We just buy the refills and keep using the same container.

So there you have it, our 0-3 month must haves.  We’re approaching his 4 month birthday, so I’ll be back in a few months with our 3-6 month items!

What were your baby must haves for the first few months?  Anything I didn’t list?  I love baby stuff :-)

It was 99 Cents!

1 Feb

I, like almost everyone else in the world with a blog, love Young House Love.  What I love the most is they are sometimes super random and I’m positive that they would appreciate my random take on life.  Last week, they posted a Thrift Shop Challenge.  There is a ridiculously catchy rap song about thrift stores that I hadn’t heard before last Friday (hey, give me a break, I have a newborn…I go to bed at 8…I live in Nebraska…) and with it, a fun challenge.  Go thrifting with $20.00 in your pocket and see what you can find, and along the way, if you find anything in the song, feel free to pose with it.

Obviously, this was something I was PUMPED to do.  Sadly, the weekend got away from us, so we headed out last night to see what we could find.

Dayton’s ready to roll, and he’s got $20.00 in his pocket! (Don’t mind the spitup…ha!)

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Our store of choice — Thrift World.
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We wandered around, no purpose in mind…and stumbled on some awesome shoes with Velcro…
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Sadly, they weren’t my size so I couldn’t rock ‘em like Macklemore.

You had a broken keyboard?  I bought a broken keyboard… (not really, but hey, at this point, we were having fun with the song).

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Anyway, we didn’t find a darn thing.  I’m not surprised because that’s usually my luck whenever I go to the thrift store to try to find something.  This post is very boring though if we end there, so I thought we’d take a little shopping trip around our house and catalog some of my unsung, recent, thrifting finds.

First up – a Fisher-Price Stride to Ride Walker.  I know Dayton won’t be walking for awhile, but for $1.00 at the Goodwill, I couldn’t pass it up.

Next up in the “bought it for a buck” category –

This adorable Fisher Price tool bench has fold out legs for serious working, or it can fold up and be easily transported like a toolbox.  It has most of its pieces, and I’ve found several listings on ebay to fill in the missing tools.  Once he’s big enough to really enjoy it, I expect this will be a big hit…especially when dad’s busy working with tools as well :-)

We aren’t good at buying Dayton age appropriate gifts.  Case in point –
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He’s a few summers off from bike riding, but this bike is in awesome shape and was $2.50!

What little boy doesn’t need building blocks?  and bonus– this bag of megablocks was only $1.50.  Ran ‘em through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle and we’re in business!
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And last, but certainly not least, we picked up the FisherPrice Jungle Activity Gym for $6.00.  I have NO idea how we existed without it, it’s easily Dayton’s favorite thing in our entire house.
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(The tiny waffle blocks were another thrifting score — $5.00 for an entire tub of them!)

So there you have it, $17.00 worth of thrifted baby goods.   Want to see what other people thrifted?  Check out the link party here.  Anybody else participate??  Find anything awesome??

Baby P has arrived!

10 Dec

As you may have guessed…we had our baby!  Dayton James was born on November 5th at 10:01 in the a.m. and I’m just now getting around to coming out of a baby induced haze.  I’ll be putting together a plethora of posts to come, but I thought I’d break the silence with a picture at least :-)

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Our first picture together…I’m still in disbelief that I actually gave birth to a tiny human.  Anybody else birthing humans lately?  Preparing to? Surprised I managed to write 90 words in my sleepy stupor?  Me too.

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