Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blessing #223 - The Reading Nook Bench

Friday, I shared how we are making over the boys rooms for the Christmas present.


It's January and we are still working on their Christmas present?

I know. I know.

Anyway, we live in a house that is about 150 years old.  It's beautiful.  It's quaint, and sometimes it's a little crazy.

The boys rooms are side by side.  You have to walk through Collin's room to get to Brandon's room.  There's no actual door between their rooms, but a little landing.

This picture isn't really a before pic.  This picture was after I had cleaned out the area and painted it.

Originally, we had a cheap book shelf on that tall wall, but that didn't work at all so I boxed up the important books and gave the shelf to Goodwill.

Parenting Lesson Learned: Never put a bookshelf with precious keepsake memory books in a room alone with two little wild men.

The landing is kind of awkward.  Let me show you the other wall you can't see in the previous picture.

Yep, two doors on the same wall. Nope, they don't match. Yes, the one door is so high off the ground my entire dust pan can fit under it.  Like I said, 150 year old houses can be crazy, but isn't that one latchy door nob on the right just gorgeous!?!

Because the space was so awkward, I really didn't know if I was even going to do anything with it, but one day, B was talking to Shad about his hopes for the new room and said, "Dad, I would really like a place to read."

When Shad told me that, I said, "Wait! That's all I need to know!"

See, I am not only a math nerd, but I am also a book nerd.  I love, looooove, LoOoOoOoVe books, and I always have.

When I was in the sixth grade, I had a notebook where I kept record of all the books I read and I wrote little reviews of each book.  I still remember that I read 65 books that year.


No, I was not very popular in middle school. Why do you ask?

Yes, I love books.  If Brandon showed the slightest interest in reading, I was going to run with that.

I asked my friend if she saw any ideas of book nooks on Pinterest to send them my way.  She then suggested me, "What about a crib mattress?"

I really didn't think it would fit, but the crib mattress was in the attic so I had to try.

Do you see it? No, not the dirt on the mattress. It fits. The mattress fits perfectly!!! I couldn't believe it! My friend that suggested it was my new hero!!!

I knew I would like to get the mattress off the ground, but I really didn't want to spend much money for a base.  Also, I needed a base that was movable if I needed to get into that door. When I told Shad about it, he suggested I use some plastic crates he had saved for me at his work.

I laid the crates out and realized it would take two rows of three crates, but fortunately, we had enough!

The crates were nice, but I really wanted them to be the same color so my good friend spray paint saved the day!

A while ago, my mother-in-law gave me a few cans of orange spray paint when it didn't work for a project.  Orange was a perfect splash of color for the book nook...especially free orange!

YaY! I found an awesome gray chevron crib sheet from Target for $15, and the pillow is from our living room that graduated to this space.

The blanket is a teal blanket from TJ Maxx for $15.

The crates are attached to each other with zip ties.  The crate base probably isn't strong enough to support two adults, but for two little boys, the crates work.

B was so thrilled with the bench! When we loaded the books into the crates, B said, "I am putting my fiction books in this crate, and my non-fiction books in the other crate."

I don't think I've even been prouder.  I almost said, "Yeah! Great idea! Do you want to use the dewey decimal system or the library of congress system?" I reigned in my nerdiness though and just gave him a big kiss.

As thrilled as I was with the crates, I knew it needed one more step.

A pop of polka dot fabric! I wanted a pin dot, but Hobby Lobby didn't have it. This big dot works though.

The fabric was about $4.  The orange pillow is a pillow cover from Hobby Lobby that I used a 40% off coupon to make it about $4 or $5. Again, I used another pillow from our living room that was getting a little old to fill the pillow cover.

Suddenly, what was an awkward, wasted space, is now my new favorite space in the whole house!

The view out the window is gorgeous! I really wanted to space to feel magical like a special little hang out just for the boys.

I am just loving this bench and reading nook!

And so are the boys!

All the pictures of the bench perfectly styled are pretty, but I love this picture most of all.

This is how, I've been finding the bench every morning piled with B's sleeping bag, stuffed animals, dinosaur book, and a flash light. B has been falling asleep there every night, and I couldn't be happier.

If you are keeping track, the total spent on this bench was...

crib sheet $15
blanket $15
fabric $4
foam core board (to put fabric on) $3
pillow cover $5

The Reading Nook is not done yet.  I still have to dress the walls, and I might do something fun with the ceiling.

I just love that a wasted, awkward space is being filled with many supplies I already had to make something magical!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blessing #222 - B's Dresser

This year for Christmas, we decided to give the boys a room makeover. Their rooms were struggling majorly, and they were both really excited for it.

For the past three weeks since we got back from Georgia, Shad and I have been working in their rooms.  I can't wait to share several projects, but first I will start with Brandon's dresser.

Here's what we started with....

It's a mid-century modern $5 yard sale find! I'm terrible about taking before pictures so Shad snapped this picture for me right before he sanded the drawers.

When we asked Brandon's opinion for his room, he wanted camouflage and hunters. At first, I was really not excited about that style.  I wanted a bold orange and navy combination, however it wasn't my room so camouflage it was.

Shad and I brainstormed for the room, and decided to do rustic camouflage.  When I showed Shad East Coast Creative's Anthropology Knock Off Ordinal Dresser, he loved it, and we decided to try that on B's dresser.

First I painted the shell with black chalk board paint.  I really wasn't sure how this dresser was going to turn out, and the chalkboard paint would give me a solid black look or a different look when it was primed with chalk.

Shad sanded the drawers and I stained them with weathered oak stain.  Weathered oak was gray but not too gray.

I painted the numbers, and finished the drawers with polyurethane.  The hardware was problematic and we debated over what kind of hardware to use for a couple days.  Finally, we found a knob that we both really liked.

Here's the finished product!

This picture is more true to the actual color of the drawers, and I had to put the decoy we got B for Christmas on there!

Until I painted the numbers, I was really unsure about how this dresser was going to look.  I'm so pleased with how my knock off of East Coast Creative's knockoff  looks! It's just perfect for the rustic look we are going for in B's room.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blessing #221 - Christmas Home Tour 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! I just love Christmas! I am the designate Christmas Nut in our family! Every family needs a Christmas Nut.

This Christmas, we are going to be in Georgia, and although I've been so excited for Christmas, I just didn't have decorating motivation.  Last Thursday though, I decorated up some mantles.  I decided to just use what I had and go with it.

Here are a few Christmas scenes from our house.

Originally, my Christmas pyrex display was pink flamingo, green, and white, but it became this hodge podgy mix of pieces....AND I LOVE IT!

Normally, I have some chalkboard art in my pantry, but this year with my apron collection, I decided to close the door and add a little tree.

This shelf isn't perfect, but my motto for decorating this Christmas was, "Close enough!" I had to have one of my favorite Buddy the Elf quotes somewhere in my house!

This fall, I found a lot of wooden ornaments, Shad and I both loved them and I love how they are showing up in our Christmas displays.

The nativity is one of my favorites.

In the dining room, I didn't plan on decorating this mantle, but I had some gold sticks, a gold sign, and my nativity. They looked surprising good together.  The green on the bucket kind of messes with your eyes, but I just didn't feel like painting it....Close Enough!

My most favorite addition to our decorations is in the dining room.  Shad and I have been looking for ceramic Christmas trees at yard sales for as long as we've been yard saling. Then one magical day in an over 50 community yard sale...we found three!

Both Shad and I remember our Grandmothers having one of these.  I just love that we have them in our house!

OH! When I bought the white one in the middle, the guy told me, "I used to sell those trees door to door at Christmas time. They were made my prisoners at a local prison, and I worked there."

I just looked at him, "Are you telling me the tree was made by prisoners? That just makes me love it more!!!"

We still have our eyes out for more trees to add to our collection.

On our dining room table, we put a pink poinsettia that our landlord gave us.

In our hallway, I also put another one in an old mop bucket.

On our tree, I changed out the mesh and ribbon.  When we put it up the middle lights were out.  I didn't have time to fix it, and really wanted to get the tree up so....Close Enough! This is our tree before we put all our special ornaments on it.

For our mantle, I planned on doing the same mantle from last year, but then I really wanted to show off my wooden ornaments.

I went nuts when I saw how they looked in the Dr. Pepper crate. I love it!

Here is a full view of our fire place.  We put a little heater in there just to knock off the chill sometimes.  (We can't light a fire in the fire place)

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my house.  You can find last years tour here. 

I'm sharing this post with A Thoughtful Place. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blessing #220 - Collin Turns Three

Dear Collin,

Today you turn three! Just like when you were born, turned one, and turned two, today I am writing you a birthday letter. A birthday letter just lets you know a little bit about who you are today and just how much I love you!

This year was HuGe! Honestly, I seriously believe you skipped the toddler phase and went straight from baby to big boy.  Of course, my mommy goggles could have just messed with my perspective.

This year you have also come out of your shell.  You are friendlier, fun, and loud, really so loud we are thinking about having your hearing checked.

This is the first year, you've really understood what a birthday is.  You've been telling us for a month, "My birfday's tomin' up!" For a week, you have been breaking out into "Happy Birthday to Collin." You told a stranger tonight, "Tomorrow's my birfday. I turn three. I so 'cited!"

For this birthday letter, I wanted to share an important moment from this year. This moment is not my favorite moment, but it is definitely an important moment you should hear.

After your accident, you spent almost three days on a ventilator under anesthesia. The moment came for you to be woken up and taken off the ventilator, and it did not go so good.  In fact, it went terrible.

You tried to scream but you had no voice.

You would just open your mouth with tears running down your face.

Even though you had been in a hospital bed for a few days, you were FrEaKiShLy strong! It took five nurses, the doctor, Shad, and I to hold you down.

After about thirty minutes of struggling, the doctor told us that we might have to put you back under anesthesia and on the ventilator. Knowing how serious that was, Shad asked the doctor to give you just a few more minutes.

All through this episode, I had been holding your feet, but by this point I just couldn't take it anymore.  You were my baby, and you were hurting. I didn't have a medical degree, but...

 I knew I was pregnant with your before the pregnancy test could even tell me.

I felt you kick and hiccup as I carried you for nine months.

I watched you take your first breath.

I heard your first cry.

I cut your first curls (against your dad's wishes).

I kissed your boo boos.

I cheered for every milestone.

I prayed as we rushed you to the emergency room.

I held you as you struggled for breath right before they put you on the ventilator.

No, I was not a doctor, but I was your mother.

Without asking anyone, I moved up to your head, rubbed your hair, and sang your favorite song in your ear. Within a minute, you stopped fighting, stopped screaming, and started breathing.

It was one of the most magical moments of my life.

With tears streaming down my face with an exhausted and weak voice, I continued to sing your song.  When some specialist came in to give you a test, the doctor said, "Do what you need to do, but his mother stays where she is."

After an hour, we breathed a sigh of relief when the doctor told us that you were going to stay off the ventilator.  As she left the room, she looked at me and said, "All he needed was his mother."

After your accident, I lost all confidence as a mom as I struggled with guilt, but in that moment, God used that doctor to remind me of who I am and what he has called me to do.

After we came home from the hospital and I struggled with guilt and jumpy nerves, I kept going back to her words, "All he needed was his mother."

Collin, I'm not perfect, but I know God has made me just for you and you just for me.  There is no one better suited to be your mother than me.

There have been days since the accident that I have had to remind myself of that.

Collin, I realize that 3 isn't one of the "big birthdays," but this is such a big birthday to your dad and I.  We were there during your accident. We know how close you came.  We know if a few details were changed how different the outcome could be.

That's why this day, this birthday is so special to us.  

I love you little man.  I'm so happy to wish you the happiest of birthdays, and I will gladly sing loud and proud every time you break out into "Happy Birthday" today.

your Mom

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 28 - Goodwill Style in Action - {week 4}

Hello! No I have not fallen off the planet, but last week I had my Hoarder's Sale.  It got very busy, but never fear.  I am hoping to catch up this week.

Last week, my dad asked, "Where's your 31 Days?" I had to laugh that my dad was concerned about 31 Days of Goodwill Style.  I think I could write about Barbie dolls and the color pink and my dad would still read it and offer input. He's just a great dad like that.

dress - Goodwill - $5
belt - Goodwill - $1
jacket - Goodwill (Old Navy) - $5
jeggings - hand me down from friend
boots - Plato's Closet - $14
Outfit Total: $25

I spent most of Monday painting so I wore my paint pants that are covered in paint splatter. However, when I finally faced the outside world, I wore this outfit.  Now, does the dress and jeggings make me look pregnant? Probably. But I am a 31 year old woman with two kids, everything makes me look pregnant.

dress - Goodwill - $5
shirt - Kohls - $3
leggings - Plato's closet - $4
scarf - Plato's closet - $6
boots - Plato's closet - $14
Outfit Total - $32

Tuesday was the release of the third book Allegiant in the Divergent series.  I was just a little excited. Okay. Maybe I was so excited I dressed in the grey on grey look of the Abnegation faction that is in the book.  I guess most people would call that a lot excited.

I'm not reading the book until next week so no spoilers!

tank - Goodwill - $3.75
shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
sweater - Goodwill (Target) $3.75
belt - Goodwill - $1
jeggings - hand me down from friend
boots - Plato's Closet - $14
Outfit Total - $26.25

Can you tell I love my boots? I live in boots from about October to March.  They are just so much warmer.

shirt - hand me down from my mother-in-law about five years ago
scarf - Plato's Closet - $6
pants - Goodwill - $5
shoes - Goodwill - $4 (I put them on later)
Outfit Total - $15

This is the outfit I wore when I went out in public to drop off B, but I spent most of the day cleaning stuff out of the barns so I added a few layers.

I know. I look absolutely awesome, but once I got outside I added an even more attractive accessory.

Fortunately, no one pulled up in the driveway.  I was a little frightening looking.

sweater - hand me down from a friend
scarf - Goodwill - $1
pants - Target - $12.54
boots - gift from my momma
Outfit Total - $13. 54

I spent most of the day getting ready for the Hoarder's Sale, but I really liked this cute easy outfit.

shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
pink jacket - Goodwill - $5
jeans - Target - $12.54
boots - gift from my mom
Outfit Total - $21.29

Saturday was the day of the Hoarder's Sale, and although I was outside in the cold most of the day, I wanted to look cute.  This pink jacket that I found at Goodwill was perfect! I think I will be wearing it a lot this winter.  It needs a trip to the dry cleaners, but I wanted to wait until after the Hoarder's Sale.

shirt - Kohl's - $3
striped shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
jeggings - hand me down from friend
boots - $14 - Plato's Closet
Outfit Total - $20.75

I don't have my Sunday morning outfit because I wasn't feeling great, but this is what I wore to church Sunday night.

Okay, when you take out the repeats, this weeks total was $86.54. That averages out to about $12 an outfit!

4 weeks no repeats! Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 22 - Accessories

I'm about to tell you my super not so secret to making Goodwill outfits look awesome.  Are you ready?


Current accessories make an outfit from Goodwill look on trend.  Here are a few examples.

The necklace and belt gave this outfit a fun pop of green.

The mustard scarf give the same sweater a much different, but stylish look.

The black bubble necklace pulls this whole outfit together.

If you take away any of those accessories, those outfits would look completely different.

When you are shopping second hand, you have to know where to spend your money.

In the first outfit the belt and necklace cost as much as all the other pieces together, but they make such a big impact it is definitely worth it.