≡ Menu

Baby Shower!

This weekend we finally had our baby shower! With 3.5 weeks to go until our due date, there is nothing like waiting until the last minute, but sometimes…okay most of the time…that’s how we roll.

baby w shower

I failed to get professional grade photos taken, but luckily my sister’s friend was able to snap these pictures before the place filled up. The rest of us were too busy living in the moment, which really means running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything done in time!

My mom and sister went above and beyond with all the food and decorations, and everything looked  and tasted great! We decided to have the shower at my house so all our friends and family who hadn’t visited yet could have a look around, and those who had could see the small updates we’ve made and are in the process of making. My house wasn’t perfect for the shower, but it was good enough and once everyone was there, the random pieces of unpainted trim and stained carpet didn’t matter so much anymore.

The shower was a huge success and we are so thankful for everything we were given to help us prepare for Baby W’s arrival! The baby is already more than spoiled and we just have a few finishing touches to make until we are 100% ready as well. I just got done doing my first couple loads of adorable baby laundry and there’s something just a a little more homey about having baby gear scattered throughout the house. Now we are just counting down the days until we can meet our little baby and find out if it’s a he or a she! The excitement (and a little bit of fear on my end) is definitely building!

{ 3 comments }

How to Paint Trim White

how to paint trim

So far in our home, I’ve been mostly concentrating on painting to bring things up to date and to reflect my decorating style. I feel like there’s no point in putting a bunch of stuff on the walls if I don’t even like the way they look! Of course I’ve been painting the walls, but even better than that has been seeing the transformation as I paint all the trim throughout the house white.

Painting trim is pretty tedious, but it isn’t hard. I find myself putting it off and then being so happy when I finally do finish a room. I am just in love with the look of white trim and think it can complement any decor style!

unpainted trim

Painted White Trim

I mean, isn’t the after picture so much better? It’s not just the wall color (however that helps A TON), but it’s also the trim. Unfortunately our window frames are also wood, and I’m not quite sure what to do about that at this point, but we’re still leaps and bounds ahead of where we started and I feel like our bedroom is so peaceful now.

There are really only 3 steps involved in painting trim – caulking, taping, and painting.

I also personally like to paint my walls first since they all need painted anyways. Some people will disagree with this, and I guess it’s up to you, but my reason is that I can get away with a lot less taping if I paint the walls first. So here are the basic steps I follow to paint my trim white:

1. Paint walls –  If I know I’m painting the trim, I won’t tape it off to paint the walls. I’ll do as well as I can knowing I’ll be painting over the mess when I get to the trim. You definitely want to catch and big globs or drips though, as they’ll make your trim paint uneven.

2. Caulk trim – This is something I didn’t know was a thing until my husband told me he wanted to do things “right” and be sure everything was caulked. Sometimes this will feel like a waste of time, until you come to a part of the trim where it doesn’t match up completely with the wall, and then you’ll see the difference caulking makes. It really does make everything look more put together. You can also fill in holes with the caulk while you’re at it. This how-to video from my friend Colleen at Lemon Thistle is a great one for beginners.

As for my personal method, I slowly apply the caulk, then use a combination of my finger and a wet dish cloth (an old one!) to smooth it out and clean up the excess. If you paint first, you’ll definitely want something wet to get the residue off of the wall, or it will show up as it dries. It takes a little finessing, but once you get your method down, it goes pretty quickly.

3. Tape off walls and flooring/carpet – I think it’s much easier to tape off the walls than to tape off the trim, hence the reason I paint walls first. I do suggest using a quality tape like 3M Edgelock. I started with a more generic affordable brand and had a bit of bleed through. I haven’t had any since I upgraded. If you’re painting in room with carpet, use a putty knife to shove plastic under the trim. You should be able to get it all the way under the trim. Then pull back the plastic as tight as possible (without pulling it out) and tape it down to the carpet.

Extra tip: Use a sanding block over your trim real quick to smooth out any imperfections before you start painting. This step is especially important if you had to fill holes, but if your trim is in decent condition, you can probably skip it.

4. Paint – 1 coat of primer and 3 coats of semi-gloss paint has produced great results for me. Apply thin coats and by the time you get around the entire room and doorways, the paint is usually dry enough to start in on your next coat. My trim is painted in Sherwin Williams Extra White. Also – don’t underestimate the power of a good brush. So far I’ve used the brushes with blue rubber handles (not sure of the brand, but you can find them at Lowes and Home Depot), but I am going to upgrade to a Purdy brush soon.

Painting an entire house of trim sure does seem like a daunting task, but if you do it room by room, it’s totally doable, and the payoff is totally worth it! I love the look of the rooms I’ve completed and can only imagine how much more I’ll love the rooms that are still on my to-do list once they’re done.

Have you painted your trim white? Do you have any tips that I missed? 

{ 1 comment }

Happy Wednesday friends! I feel like I have been struggling to make it to this little ol’ space of mine because while I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress on our house so far, I’ve yet to completely complete much of anything.

Here’s a list of what I’ve “completed” so far along with some notes of what still needs to be done and some terrible iPhone pics (wouldn’t want to spoil the reveals) of the process:

  • Painted laundry room walls, trim and cabinets – this is the only completely completed room thus far.

Laundry room

  • Painted baby room walls, trim, doors and closet. Set up crib and dresser and bought reclining glider – I would consider this room finished, except I need to figure out what I’m going to do for decorating the walls.

baby room

  • Painted master bedroom walls and trim – I’m still working on getting together a rug, new nightstands, a headboard and deciding what to do for wall decorations and furniture. I may want to repaint our dressers, but I haven’t decided on a color. The nightstands and headboard will be DIY projects and I already have one nightstand made, but it still needs to be painted. (The brown in the below picture is the before color, and it was much too dark for me, I couldn’t take it any longer!)

master paint

  • Painted living room walls – still need to caulk and paint the trim and once again, decide on decor and repaint some of the furniture.

living room paint

  • Painted upstairs hallway – trim needs caulked and painted still, but this is likely to be something that won’t be officially “revealed.” After all, it’s a hallway.

Somehow, the living room and bedroom colors look really similar even though I thought I was picking colors that were not at all the same. I planned on the living room color being quite a bit darker and much more green than blue, but either way, I still love both rooms and will not complain about my home being too breezy, as if that could be a thing. ;)

I would love to get most of the painting done in the next 2 weeks – which is basically just finishing up the trim in the rooms that aren’t done. My baby shower will be at the end of this month, and I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant, at which point I think is a good time to stop with home projects and work on getting settled in and ready for the baby.

We are also looking at getting in new carpet, possibly before the shower, if not then immediately following, so I’m holding off on finishing some projects until that is taken care of. I plan to finish most of the baseboard trim when the carpet is pulled up so there is less taping and preparation involved. I think it will go much faster that way. In the meantime, I can work on getting all the doorways and window trim completed. Also – most of the interior doors in the house need repainted as well. They are all super dingy and I’ve tried cleaning them with a magic eraser with no luck.

So do you think I’m crazy yet for doing all of this in my third trimester? I’m definitely beginning to believe that I am. I have had a little help from my husband, but he’s been pretty busy with his full-time job (you know, bringing home the bacon so we can continue to fork out the money for projects) and has been away for military training multiple times in the 2 months we’ve lived here, so I’ve been working on a lot of it solo. Once the major projects are finished, we will slow down and let the decorating aspect happen gradually over time. I don’t want to rush into buying a bunch of stuff I don’t want just for the sake of it being “done” and living with bare walls while we figure that out doesn’t bother me.

{ 1 comment }

Tie Dye Baby Shower Idea

This post is brought to you by iLOVEtoCREATE and Blueprint Social. The opinions are my own.

tie dye onsies

Summer is in full swing now, and it’s the perfect time to start taking advantage of the weather and planning some fun activities into your summer! Being obsessed with all things baby this summer, I thought that a tie dye baby shower would be super fun! My own shower won’t be for another month, but I couldn’t help but come up with some ideas and try out tie dyeing some adorable newborn onesies with the Tulip® One-Step Tie-Dye Kit®.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

30 weeks

It is unreal to me that I am already 3/4 of the way through this pregnancy. In some ways, the reality of the the situation hasn’t yet hit me, but in others (like the back pain) let me know that this is really happening.

While I’ve been complaining quite a bit lately and I am ready to not be pregnant anymore, I can’t deny that I’ve had an extremely easy and uneventful pregnancy, even now. I have some back pain that I think is a sore rib, because it is just in one very specific spot in my upper back, that makes sitting pretty uncomfortable so I prefer to be up and doing something, or laying all the way down. My other biggest ailment is that I can’t wear my ring much anymore because my finger is breaking out in a rash exactly where it sits. I’m guessing this is a hormone related pregnancy symptom? I had no troubles with it for the past year and a half…And then there’s the swimsuit situation and I’ve just decided I’ll be sitting this summer out. The small, medium, large options aren’t working for my small frame and large bust size, but it is what it is. I have plenty to do in the final weeks anyways.

The best part of this stage of pregnancy is feeling the baby move. It’s definitely more constant and has changed from sharp kicks to more gentle rolls and swishes as it moves around. Sometimes I’ll feel it move to one side of my belly or the other and I can catch a random limb poking out and softly touch it before the baby pulls it back in. That’s my favorite! We’re also making some major progress on the baby room. It’s looking a little like a construction zone at the moment as I finish up painting trim, but here in a week or so I think it will be really close to being finished! My sister and I went shopping for coming home outfits last week. We were looking for one girl and one boy outfit and came home with two girls outfits, they’re just so adorable! The retail industry needs to step up it’s newborn baby boy clothing game!

I’m starting to get a little anxious about actually being prepared to take care of the baby once it’s born. The amount of things you’re supposed to register for is extremely overwhelming and I can’t imagine everything is completely  Will has had very little interaction with young babies, and I haven’t had much since my brother was a baby. He’s 16 now, so I think a refresher wouldn’t hurt. I wasn’t planning on taking any classes, but now I’ve decided we’re going to take a birthing class and a baby basics class. I know they’re probably be corny, but it’ll give me a little peace of mind.

WTEWYE

I’m also getting more into reading my What to Expect When You’re Expecting books. My cousin let me borrow her copy, and then I was sent my own copy along with What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Second Year last week. There’s a reason why this series is one of the most popular series for expecting and new moms recommended by moms and doctors and has been the long-running book on the New York Times Best Seller list, and that’s because they cover about every question you could have. I especially like how it breaks down what to expect month by month at each doctor appointment and throughout pregnancy. I’m able to read as I go and read through the things that apply to me and skip over those that don’t.

WTETFY

WTETSY

The What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Second Year books are set up the same way, covering general information in the beginning and then providing a month by month guide to common questions and experiences. Between these books, the classes and advice from my momma who has successfully raised 3 kids, I think Will and I will be just fine! People do this every day, right?

If I stick with my bump picture schedule of every 5 weeks, we’ll only have 2 more pictures if the baby doesn’t decide to come early! We have maternity pictures scheduled for next weekend and then my mom and sister are planning to throw the baby shower at the end of July. I have a feeling the coming weeks will be the faster and slowest of my life! We really are excited to meet our little baby!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

{ 0 comments }

Ideas to make your living room beautiful and functional!

Where has the time gone? I feel like I haven’t stopped in here for an update in quite some time, but I promise you I’ve been busy personalizing our new home!

I’ve painted the master bedroom and the baby room and I’m almost done painting the trim in both rooms. I was doing really well with it, then I skipped the doorways and just did the bottom trim and left it that way for a week or so. Motivating myself to go back and finish painting has been a little problematic, but today is the day! It has to get done, because I’m itching to move on to another project! The living room is currently covered in paint sample swatches patiently waiting for its turn and the kitchen cabinets have a 6 week deadline so I can show them off at my baby shower. You can see current updates and progress pictures on my Facebook page!

All this to say, the laundry room is still the only completed room in the house thus far and I’m still loving it. I uploaded my reveal post on how to make your laundry closet feel like a laundry room to Hometalk, which is similar to Pinterest but all about the home and a little more community oriented, and they asked me to create a board of other laundry ideas featured on their site. If you’re looking for creative ideas to make your laundry room more functional and pretty, I’ve clipped 18 practical ways to design a laundry room to my board here. Enjoy!

P.S. I would really appreciate if you would pin the lovely image at the top of this post to Pinterest that the ladies at Hometalk were kind enough to make for me! :)

{ 0 comments }

9 times out of 10, I start conversations with “So I recently read this article about [insert almost anything]…” I think it drives some people crazy, but there are just so many different things to learn about out there and different points of view, and I want to learn them all. And then I want to talk about them. (Thank you to the friends who will engage in discussion with me about things that may or may not be that important!)

So when I was given the opportunity to read and review the book How to Raise an Adult, I thought why not. I’m getting ready to embark on this parenting adventure and I guess I could use all the help I can get, right? I will say that I am not committing myself to one parenting style or another, but this book is more in line with free range parenting rather than “helicopter” parenting.

The first half of the book gives tons of examples of how today’s generation isn’t able to care for themselves and its more and more common for parents to help kids with everything, even so far as being a part of their job interviews after college.  I am a little torn on this, because I am technically in the generation of helpless kids the author is referring to…and I have never heard of anyone my age taking their parents to their interview. I did however want to discuss my first job offer with my parents before accepting, because they know more about what wages and benefits are fair than I had. Does that make me too overly dependent on them? I don’t really think so.

This second half of the book gives advice on how to raise your children to be adult, which is technically the ultimate goal, right? I liked this half of the book better, as it does provide some insight into giving your child more freedom and independence without being neglectful. Growing up, I was able to walk around town and go on bike rides with my friends without adult supervision from a pretty early age. My sister and I walked to the grocery store and to the pool and to friends’ houses all the time. But we also lived in a town of less than 2000 people. I’ll be raising my kids in a much much larger city and I’ve been wondering how to let kids be kids, while still keeping them safe. So for me, while I’m not committed to a free range style of parenting, these tips were helpful in giving me some ideas for how to do that.

Luckily I still have a few years until my little baby will be able to do anything on its own, so I’ve got time to keep reading more books and articles and to form my own opinions on how I would like to parent.

Here are a couple videos about the book if you’re interested. :)

What are your views on the helicopter parenting versus free range parenting? Remember, this is just a friendly discussion! :) 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

{ 0 comments }

Here’s to 50 More

Wedding3

Wedding2

Wedding - Cake

Today is our 1 year anniversary. Maybe someday I’ll write a post on how to survive your first year of marriage, but I’m not sure most people would do it the way we have. We paid off all our debt, I quit my job, we got pregnant on purpose, Will finished his second year of college while working full time and fulfilling his duty to the National Guard, I started my own business and we bought our first house. Talk about squeezing a lot into one year!

We’ve driven each other crazy over the last year, that’s for sure, and had a few fights along the way. But I only made him sleep on the couch once, and I can’t even remember why. There have been a few tears and luckily a good portion of them have also come from laughing. We’ve also had countless tickle fights and been silly and found the best ways to make fun of each other to make our days more fun.

us

baby announcement

I did the math when we got married to see how old we would be if we make it to 50 years (because I’m weird like that). I’ll be 74 and he’ll be 77 if we’re blessed to both live that long. I don’t want to rush time, but I can’t wait to see what marriage has in store for us in the next 50 years.

In fact, year 2 should be pretty exciting in itself. We get to become parents (I can’t wait to see Will become a dad and find out who our little baby looks like more), continue making improvements to our new home, Will will continue to work on toward his Bachelor’s degree and I’ll continue working on building my business. I have it all planned out, but I know that we’ll probably be doing things I never imagined just like I could never have envisioned our lives at this point one year ago today, and that’s the exciting part.

So here’s to taking more pictures, making more memories and adding on to our story together. Will, thank you for putting up with me and supporting me (financially and emotionally) as I took a leap into self-employment. I love you!

{ 1 comment }

how to make your laundry closet feel like a laundry room

When we moved in, redoing the laundry area was not on even on my radar. I mean, who really cares about the laundry closet in the basement? But when we found out the set that came with the house leaked requiring us to turn off the water between each load of laundry, it seemed like a good idea to go ahead and get a new set put in while we were moving. And once the old set was out, I decided the laundry room would jump to the front of the project list since it would be more convenient to paint the room at this time than any other.

It would be nice if we all had the luxury of having a nice big laundry room like the ones I’ve pinned on Pinterest, unfortunately for most of us, that’s not a reality. Of all the houses we looked at, most of them had a laundry closet instead of a laundry room. Most of the time it was right off the hallway on the main floor and most of the time it was kind of an eyesore. But there are a few simple ways to make your laundry closet look and feel like more of a laundry room.

1. Paint the space like you would a laundry room. 

Leaving the closet painted the same old boring white that the rest of your closets are painted reenforces that it is just a closet. So give it a little bit of life and paint it the color you’d choose if you had a huge luxurious laundry room. Do what you can to make a small piece of your dream laundry room a reality in the house you have. Ours was actually already painted, but I wanted a cleaner crisper color. If a laundry room is a place for clean clothes, I wanted the whole thing to feel light, airy and clean. I used Sherwin William Rainwashed on the walls and Extra White on the Cabinets and trim.

It went from this:

Before photo

To this:

Laundry room

2. Add storage and make it useable. 

Make the most of your little space by adding shelves and/or cabinets. If you have room, add a bar to use for hanging wet clothes that shouldn’t go in the dryer or that have been freshly ironed. What’s the best part of having an actual laundry room? Not having to use the rest of your house for your laundry needs. So find a way to make that happen, even if you have to get a little creative. We have a bar on each side of our cabinets for hanging clothes, which is pretty handy, and I put my ironing board between the wall and washer.

laudnry room shelves

3. Personalize the space. 

I haven’t started this part yet, but there are all sorts of fun printables out on Etsy and Minted that have cute sayings like “loads of fun” and what not. I promise that putting in some cute extras will make it feel more like its own little room and hey, you just might actually want to do your laundry there. Or maybe not, but at least it will look cute while it’s not being used!

{ 2 comments }

So – homeownership is no joke. There’s the moving, and the unpacking, and the yard mowing, and the door locking (so many doors), and the trash days, and the painting, and the still unpacking, and the neighbors, and the not feeling like home, and the trying to live life while still, still unpacking. We’ve been here about 2 weeks now, and I can’t believe time is passing so quickly!

There is so much responsibility that comes with owning a home, but it’s also exciting to plan out projects and new ways to make it our own. Overall, I think it was definitely worth the turmoil of the home-buying process, but ask me again when our first mortgage payment is due and we keep having to shell out all the money for projects. Looking back on that process, there are definitely some things I wish we were prepared for as first time homebuyers.
6 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a House

1. Before looking at houses, meet with your realtor to discuss future expenses and go over the entire home buying process. 

None of this was ever explained to us. I’m not sure if that’s common, or if it was just our situation, but we were constantly asking questions and never getting complete answers. My husband’s father is a real estate agent, and for some reason our real estate agents assumed we knew every step of the process because of that, which wasn’t true. Sometimes it was difficult to communicate over email and I wish we had been better set up for the entire process from the beginning.

2. Make sure both of your names are on the contract and the loan application if you’re married.

I actually haven’t heard of this happening to anyone else, but it happened to me, so I assume it could happen to you. We only put my husband’s name and information on the loan application because we only wanted to be preapproved for one income. Plus I had quit my job and my taxes weren’t ready to be filed and I didn’t have any notable income anyways, so we just didn’t want to mess with it.

Then when we put in our first offer, my name wasn’t on the contract at all. I asked my husband why I wasn’t signing anything and if we should have that corrected, but we had already waited an entire day for our offer letter to be drafted anyways and didn’t want to take any more time, so we let it go. I didn’t think it would matter. Then when it was time to close on the house, I found out my name wasn’t going to be on anything.

I contacted the loan officer, the real estate agents and the title company and they all told me that it didn’t matter because as a married person, I still have rights to the house. But guess what, it does matter. If Will is personally sued and my name isn’t on the house, it could easily be taken, whereas if my name is on it, that makes it a little more complicated. If God forbid Will dies, the home will go to probate and will be a lot of extra time and headache to ensure that I get the home. But here’s the kicker, even though my name isn’t on the loan or the house and I would have to fight for my rights to the house, if for some reason he can’t make payments, the bank will still come to me for them because we are married. I don’t expect any of those situations to happen, but who does? We are still sorting this out and will have extra expenses associated with adding my name to the deed. Bottom line, make sure both of your names are on everything.

3. Make sure you know exactly what will happen when your offer is accepted. 

I’m not sure if this is the same everywhere, but we were unaware of the immediate costs of agreeing to a contract. Hopefully your realtor will let you know these things before you even start looking at houses, but just in case, you may want to ask. The week after our offer was accepted, our realtors contacted us about $1000 of earnest money + $1500 of deposits that were required immediately for inspections and various deposits. We were under the impression that most of these were due on the closing date which was set for 2.5 months away. It’s not that we weren’t able to afford them, it was just frustrating to not be able to plan for that because we weren’t informed. Then we had to ask multiple times if this would come out of the total expected closing costs, and never got a real answer until the day of closing when they told us what we still owed. Fortunately, we owed very little at the actual closing because we paid so much of it up front. But be better than us and do your own research and make sure your realtor explains these things ahead of time.

4. Interest rates (among other things) can really change the amount of mortgage payment. 

We had so many people who weren’t experts trying to tell us how much our monthly payment would be for the price of house we bought. It turned out they were all wrong. Most thought we would be paying a much higher monthly rate than we are, and it turns out we will be paying about the same amount we paid in rent for our last apartment. Don’t use this as an excuse to buy a house you can’t afford, but just take it as advice to trust the experts and their numbers and not your best friend’s guesstimate based on their current mortgage payment.

5. Research different types of loans available to you.

Because of my husband’s military service, we were able to take out a VA loan. This was beneficial to us because it doesn’t require a minimum downpayment amount and you aren’t required to carry Private Mortgage Insurance. There was a fee tacked onto our loan because it was a VA loan, so be sure to do your research to decide which type of loan is the best fit for you.

6. Make sure you understand everything you’re signing. 

All of the people we were working with seemed annoyed that we requested that every little thing we signed was explained, but we had no idea how any of this works. Based on their reactions, I’m sure it’s common that people sign their lives away without a second thought, but don’t be one of those people! Realtors, loan officers and title companies make mistakes, so you may find some in your contract if you pay attention to all of it. Our realtors misunderstood us once and submitted an offer on a home that was a few thousand OVER the asking price. Thankfully we were able to retract that offer and kept searching for another home.

I am definitely not an expert and have no training in real estate, but I still think you can learn a lot from our mistakes. I did not consider our home-buying experience enjoyable and we will be approaching it with much more wisdom next time.

What are some struggles you encountered when buying a house and what will you do differently next time? 

 

{ 7 comments }