Monday, April 27, 2015

Corner Desk + Pinboard for Kate

Over the past year, we have been making a few slight changes to Kate's room. Nothing major, just making it a little bit more "big girl". I'm not a fan of nurseries or kid rooms where they don't like look a child lives there. You only have one room growing up and I feel it should reflect a child's space, not an adult space. I also feel as kids get older that bedrooms should be warm and cozy, but also functional for play, schoolwork, etc.

We decided to incorporate a small desk in the corner of her room (see sources at end of post). She loves to write notes, and color and draw at this desk. It feels like her own, and I think that is important for her at this age. We also moved my old pinboard to her room, which I feel is a must in any child's room. When in doubt where something goes, stick it on the pinboard!

We added an acrylic "catch-all" to house all of her calendars and sticky notes and reading calendar and stickers, as well as markers/pens/pencils. It's so cute when she and Drew write notes back and forth to each other. #pleasedontevergrowup

Kate has high ceilings and a lot of natural light pours in here during the day. We just need to hang her gallery wall above her bed and this room will be done (for now anyway)!

As soon as I add some finishing touches, I will post pics of the entire space! Have a great week! xo

Wall Color: SW Big Chill
Pinboard (DIY): Post Here
White desk: Target (no longer available)
Chair (DIY): Post here
Lamp: Ross
Trash Can: Ross
Acrylic Catch-All: Homegoods
Pillow: Vintage
Starburst Mirror: Joann Fabric (no longer available)
Curtains: IKEA
Hanging Planter: IKEA
Gold Happiness Cat: Singapore souvenir!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Exterior Paint Facelift

While Steve and I were in West Palm a few weeks ago, my parents came to watch our kids. Lucky for us, my dad also painted the accent color on the exterior of our house. You can read more about the paint color decision process here. It was so nice to be away and come back to a new looking home! A total win/win!

Here is the house before…perfectly fine, but perfectly beige and brown, brown, brown. I needed a contrast and a punch of color.

My mom would send us photos throughout the process…high ladders and painting through the window…my dad is a rockstar...

We decided to go with a darker color to contrast against the light beige base color. We also felt that the darker color would make the stone pop. It probably doesn't seem like a huge change to anyone else, but to us, the darker paint has made such a difference! My dad is meticulous and did such an amazing job! What a difference 2 gallons of paint can make. We are so very happy with the results.

We chose Benjamin Moore's Graphite. It's a very dark charcoal, that reads almost-black. We have a black front door, and this color is just slightly off from that, which is exactly what we wanted. He cleaned all of the surfaces really well and painted two coats in a satin finish.

We also decided to paint the columns that were previously the lighter trim color. Now that they are darker, it makes the stone pop so much more. The black rocking chairs look so much cozier now too!

The black door fits so much more cohesively and the overlook is just so much more inviting and striking!

It's amazing to me what a little paint can do! We are so, so thankful to my dad for doing this work for us. I made sure he got a nice tip! :) Our home is was built 3.5 years ago and my dad said that the accent paint was in need of touch ups anyway, so we are probably looking at doing these touch ups every 3-5 years. 

Base Color: SW Pavilion Beige
Trim: SW Keystone Gray
Accent Color: BM Graphite
Door Color: Valspar Kettle Black

I can't wait until our plants come in fully, our yard greens up, and we put down fresh mulch. I will update pics when I get my spring/summer porch in order! What do you think of the facelift?? xo

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Checking In

Good Morning! The sun is shining today - woo hoo! It's been chilly and rainy here and I'm over it. I know we need the rain, but prefer that would happen overnight. :)

We are up to our eyeballs in projects and trying to get ready for our Disney trip. We are down to the two week mark and our kids could not be more excited. Those 100 days since we told them have simply flown by. The anticipation is half the fun, and we can definitely tell. They talk about the trip every single day, and it is making us (the adults) that much more ready! Our Magic Bands arrived, and I found these cute Disney countdown calendars that we keep on the fridge. All the suggestions of what to bring and pack and do are just overwhelming. Our main focus is just having fun!

We also decided now would be a good time to start our hardwood floor project in the office. It's the last space on the first floor to get hardwoods, and we couldn't be more ready to rip up the carpet! They start the install today. We will carry the dark hardwoods into this room, so the moldings and the light paint color should really pop against them.

Not only did we have to move all of the stuff from the office and closet to the garage, I also decided a few weeks ago to refinish our kitchen table and chairs, which is also out in the garage. Glutton for punishment over here! I didn't want to spend money on a new table/chairs, so I'm just altering the stain color. The dark stain is NO MORE! This is mid-process, so much more to come on this!

I am also getting rid of the two dark wood Pottery Barn lead chairs, and ordered two upholstered chairs from World Market with a little pop of color. They are half off right now, and I had an extra coupon. I'm hoping they work in the space!

Right before we leave for Disney, our neighborhood is having their annual yard sale, which I have decided to participate in. Kate and I tagged all of our stuff yesterday. I came across an old bin with their baby crib sheets and bedding and it stopped me in my tracks. I held it and smelled it and remembered back to those sweet baby days. It made me really dig down and think about how fast time is flying by. I've been so blessed with having the gift of time with these two, but it doesn't make it any easier. I'm so proud of these two, and I am definitely a live in the moment sort of person, but thinking back on their early years made me want to laugh and cry and smile all at the same time. Every year, every stage is better than the last, and I have to be intentional about time and teaching moments and laughter and love.

Hope the rest of your week is fantastic! I'm almost done with the exterior paint post too! If you need me, I'll be yard sale tagging, coating my table with poly, crying about how big my kids are, or purchasing ponchos for our Disney backpack! xoxo

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Back in January, I decided to make my first batch of homemade all purpose cleaner. I have always cleaned my own house, and this house has four bathrooms and a large kitchen to maintain. I was going through a lot of cleaner! The older Drew gets, the more I realize that boys are just dirty, especially in the bathroom! :)

I did some online research and kept seeing the same homemade recipe pop up, so I knew it must be good. I have been so pleased with it, I will never buy store bought again! It's so simple to make, and you will never run out because it's made with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

I keep one bottle upstairs and one down. I use this for both kitchen and bathroom cleaning. The recipe is very simple…

I use this measuring cup and start with the water. Add the remaining 3 ingredients, stir, and pour into your spray bottle (I just saved two old cleaner bottles). You instantly have homemade cleaner in about 30 seconds! I'm sold!

I just recently cleaned up and regrouted where our backsplash meets the granite in our kitchen. Before doing this, I used this all purpose cleaner and an old rag to clean the old grout. It worked great!

Do you make your own homemade cleaners? xo

Monday, April 13, 2015

Trip Recap: West Palm Beach

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend full of fun, relaxation, and productivity; which happens to be my favorite kind! I'm holding out for our weather to get a little more consistent, but we did manage to get a lot of yard work done and gave the garage a good clean out.

I wanted to do a quick recap of our West Palm Beach trip. Steve had business meetings all week, I've never been to West Palm, we had available babysitters, so I decided to just tag along! We landed and were randomly given a mustang convertible as our rental. It was funny at first, and by the end of the week, we were convinced we needed to go back to Kansas and get ourselves one. Ha! Here we are cruising A1A on our way to dinner.

The weather was perfect, and being around all of the lush, green landscape made this plant-loving girl's heart sing!

We ate every dinner outside, which I just love. I woke up, drank coffee, did some work on my computer, headed to the beach, showered, met up with Steve for dinner/drinks, and early to bed. This was on repeat and it was glorious! I've never been to the beach by myself before. It was so nice to just really relax and have silence for hours on end. The water was chilly, but very clear, and there were tons of shells!

Our hotel was in a great location just a few miles from the beach. They provided a free shuttle to and from the beach, which was perfect for me because Steve had the car. It is also located near several restaurants and outdoor cafes, and a CVS, which worked out great because I could walk there for water, snacks, and extra sunscreen.

We used to live in Orlando, and I've been to several Florida beaches, but this was our first time in West Palm. Great restaurants, gorgeous weather, and precious adult time…it did not disappoint!

We are so grateful to my parents for watching our kids and holding down the fort while we were away. It's so fun to get away, but there is absolutely no place like home (even if that home is nowhere near a beach)! xoxo

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Steve and I returned from Florida on Friday, and we spent the weekend with my parents hanging out, eating, doing yard work, dying eggs, and relaxing. The bunny came on Sunday morning and we headed to church and made a nice meal. I simply cannot accept the fact that our kids are getting so big…I really do believe kindergarten and first grade are the magical age. I want to stop time!

People often say that Drew and my dad look alike, and they also have very similar personalities. And then they came downstairs dressed alike too...

My mom made two homemade pies (Lemon Meringue & Key Lime) for Easter dinner and let Kate get in on the action. It was a treat eating homemade pie crust, since this lady (me) only uses store-bought. :)

We typically always spend Easter just the four of us because of distance from family, so it was a nice treat being able to host and eat in the dining room, which doesn't get used much. It's something I want to do more of this year…bust out the china and use the dining room more often. It's currently my favorite room in our house, so why not spend more time in there?!

On Saturday, we dyed eggs using a new method, shaving cream and food coloring. It was a mess, but it was fun trying something new. The eggs turned out so pretty!

We followed these directions and it's pretty straight forward. I would recommend using several drops of food coloring (more than you think) to achieve the darker ones. Next year we are going to try nail polish and water!

We have a busy week of activities and playing catch up from being gone for a week. I'm also hoping to get out in my yard a bunch. I'm hoping to post a West Palm recap and pics of the exterior paint facelift this week! Have a wonderful week! xo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Trip Recap: Singapore Trip (Part 1)

I finally starting going through all of the photos I took when I traveled to Singapore in January. I've decided I'm going to break up these posts so as not to have your eyes glaze over from all the photos!

This was such a memorable and amazing experience; to travel so far and to spend time with my sister and her family. My sister, her husband, and my niece and nephew have lived in Singapore for what will be two years this summer. They are moving back to the states this summer (yay!), so I was lucky to squeeze in a visit while they were still there. They were such wonderful hosts and travel guides, and I couldn't be more grateful for the experience.

Here is a reference point as to where Singapore is on the map. You can see how close it is to the Equator, making this a hot and humid place all year long. You can also see just how long it takes to get there!

I was nervous about flying/traveling alone over such a large distance and leaving Steve and the kids, but knew it was something I had to do and I am ever so thankful I did. I left on a Tuesday and flew from Kansas City to Denver, Denver to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Singapore. Total flying time, in the air, was about 22 hours, not including layovers. Yes, 22 hours! Crazy! Add in a 14 hour time difference, and I didn't know if I was coming or going, what day or time it was, or what planet I was on. :) I arrived around 1am Singapore time on Thursday, so I slept until 10am the next morning. My niece and nephew were in school, so we hit up Tan Jong Beach Club on Sentosa Island for a little sun and relaxation.

Seeing palm trees in January made my heart sing! It was the perfect start to the trip.

That night, we met up with some of my sister's friends in Boat Quay for Indian Food. I'm pretty sure I was trying to fall asleep at the dinner table! We ended the night at 1-Altitude, which provided some amazing views of the city from the 63rd floor.

On Friday, we decided to hit up Chinatown Singapore. I loved all the rich color and culture. We shopped, toured some gorgeous temples, and ate Chicken Rice (the "official" dish of Singapore) at a famous Hawker Centre.

I also met a new friend…you know I love all things gold!

And there were tassels for days…I wanted to hoard all the tassels…

For dinner, we met up with my BIL and the kids for more Indian food at Lau Pa Sat, another Hawker Centre, in the Central Business District. It was such a nice treat to eat outside!

The next morning, my sister and I would be up early for our flight to Vietnam - stay tuned for more on that adventure! xo
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