One of the reasons we liked our house when we bought it was because of the extra rooms; we were so fortunate to get a playroom and an office in addition to the bedrooms. The office space has been such a help since I love to sew and craft; at first the space was designated as Chad's office. However, we found that he didn't really use the space at all and really didn't need a home office as much. Meanwhile, Mama was sewing/blogging/hot glueing and crafting at a small desk in the laundry room, so we decided after a few years to turn Chad's office into "our office."
We did leave one small nook so that Daddy could still have his office space if he needed it.
And more recently, we did away with Chad's big fancy desk (one leg had completely broken off and it was balancing on that one leg; too dangerous for kids). This little nook was the perfect place for a built-in desk so we had a cabinet maker build us a desk and some shelving. I painted it white, and I used Behr's "Zen" for the back of the shelves to make them pop a little more.
The room is small so it's hard for me to get a head-on shot of the desk; this photo is horrible and blurry (it is a phone pic) but you get the picture!
We also changed the paint color again and I created a counter-height tabletop back there by the window because I prefer to stand when I'm doing things like wrapping gifts, making appliques, ironing, painting, that sort of thing. I looked at the thrift stores for a counter-height dresser but wasn't too lucky. So I created one by using 2 6-cube closet organizers like these and a 6 ft by 2 ft pine board (from Lowe's, pre-sanded; came in shrink wrap!) and I placed it over the top of the two cube organizers to make a craft table; much like the ones you have probably seen on Pinterest.
You can probably see the curtain in the photo below; I used command hooks to hold up a curtain rod below the counter top, because underneath there is a small cheap 6-drawer dresser which houses all my fabric. The curtain just helps to hide all that.
The functionality is much better and I am really enjoying being able to stand up while working.
Again, sorry but the room is a wreck (I'm in Disney packing mode and have stuff scattered everywhere), but hopefully you can see what I'm describing. I plan on taking better pictures soon.
I love a good project. Truth is, I love just about any activity that can keep me from doing laundry, dishes or sweeping/mopping the floors. Move over, mundane mommy tasks, bring on the paintbrushes and the nail guns! I can honestly say that there are not many weeks where I go without painting, spray painting, re-doing, hanging, caulking or glue-gunning something in my house. Hmmm - maybe I should get a job at Lowe's?? It's a chronic problem, I know. And Pinterest? Geez. It makes this DIY disease oh so much worse. I really don't do any of this out of discontentment; I'm very grateful for what I have; I just love a project. I was born that way; my mom is like this too, so I'll blame her!
Here is a list of my favorite DIY and home improvement projects. Enjoy!
I am from Florence Alabama but have lived in Birmingham for the past 7 years. I graduated from the University of Alabama in 2005 with a nursing degree and have worked in pediatrics and home health. I met my husband Chad on a blind date in 2007 and now, 5 years later I am a stay-at-home mom to three wild and crazy children - Mary Ella, Sam and Emma Kate. We also have a sweet and lovable boxer, Lucy, whom we've had since we were newlyweds.
I love being a mom and I wouldn't trade this career for anything. It is fun and stressful and frustrating and rewarding, all at the same time. I'm so thankful for grace. I so desperately need grace to lead and love these kids of mine. We enjoy building tents, riding tricycles, playing dress up and reading books. We've also been known to have all-day-long Disney Junior marathons so Mama can get the house clean.
While the kids are napping you can usually find me catching up on housework, sewing or planning/carrying out my next DIY home project. I believe any task can be accomplished with a glue gun. I'm a huge fan of transforming thrift store finds into fabulous treasures, and I've turned my oldest daughter into a 'junkin' fan as well. I'm a lover and collector of vintage kitchen stuff, old salt and pepper shakers, and I also have a collection of globes, which I collect at yard sales and antique booths. My home is a mix of old and new. I would say my style is "happy and handmade." Since I have to look at my house all the time, I want my home to reflect me and what I love most - fun colors, funky patterns; vintage mixed with the home made and hand painted and hot glued. Oh, and tons of pictures of my people. :)
My life is not perfect in any way and I try my best to give you the real life version here on the blog. We love crafts and baking and DIY projects, but like everyone else, we have our share of hardships and poopy diapers and just plain ol' terrible horrible no-good very bad days. Thankfully, we have the grace of Jesus and we are sustained by that grace and the love the Father so generously lavishes on us. I am so undeserving of Christ's love and mercy; but I am so thankful that He has set me free from sin so that I can LIVE and LOVE like He does, even on the bad days. And there are plenty of those, trust me. :)
I'm so glad you stopped by and I look forward to sharing our everyday blessings with you.
And here's the rest of my crazy family...
My greatest friend, teammate, an amazing Dad, and an expert folder of laundry. He can also whip up some mean cinnamon pancakes. He lets me sleep in on weekends (when we can) and he cleans the kitchen every night. I know. I can't complain. Loves football, fishing, his career, grilling, and helping me plan the kids' birthday parties months in advance. (Ok, maybe not.)
A true firstborn, she is smart, expressive, creative, independent and adventurous.
Loves pretending, listening to stories and songs, helping mama cook, being outside, spending time with her friends, any kind of craft, and going to school. She's in kindergarten this year and has learned to read, write and spell, which has been fun to watch.
She's sentimental and she can remember when and from whom she received everything she owns. She has a collection of unicorns and wants to be a mermaid when she grows up.
My sweet, sweet boy. He has his mama's heart, that is for sure! Sam is my signature middle child - super sensitive, tender hearted, always aware of people and their feelings. He always wants to know the plan and will quickly let you know if the plan has changed. He's the messiest eater the world has every seen. He loves Disney movies, mac & cheese, cookies, playing with his sisters, swinging, any water activity, and is fascinated with bugs. He's known for his love of littles: he always has a small figurine toy in his hand.
My wild and crazy 3rd child. She's nearing 2, and I'm already afraid of what the next year will bring. Once affectionately nicknamed our 'golden child,' Emma Kate has since become quite the opposite, so her former nickname has been revoked. :)
She's sassy and smart. She talks more than both my other kids combined. Strong-willed and stubborn and bossy and full of spice. She also has a sweet and snuggly side, though, and prefers Mama when she's tired or sick or just wants to rock. Loves baby dolls, Blues Clues, her paci and her silky blanket (or "night-night" as she calls it), balloons, water toys, singing, bubbles, and going to preschool.
My home is a mix of old and new. I would say my style is "happy and handmade." Since I have to look at my house all the time, I want my home to reflect me and what I love most - fun colors, funky patterns; a little vintage mixed with the home made and hand painted and hot glued. I always tell people not to look too closely at anything because you will most definitely see brush strokes or spray paint chipping away or curtains that were made with my trusty glue gun (eek!) But stand back and you won't see all the imperfections. Ha!
Here are a few posts with pictures of the rooms in our home.
I'm currently in the process of updating this list so check back often!
And for anyone interested, here are (most of) the paint colors throughout our home.
If you have a question about something specific, please feel free to ask!
And for what it's worth, most of these colors look a lot lighter in person, as you can tell from photographs I've taken of the actual rooms. It may just be my computer, and probably has something to do with the fact that my blog is stark white, and nothing in my house is this white, so they all end up looking almost tan here; but just letting you know they show a little lighter :)
Here are the pictures of the many lives of our downstairs den/playroom area.
Sometimes I look back and go, "What was I thinking?"
Oh well. Enjoy the journey. :)
When we moved in (2008) it was bare and empty and contractor-paint-gray. Blah.
(Oh, but what I wouldn't give for the carpet to be that fresh and new again. Sigh.)
We painted it a chocolate brown, thinking it'd be better for movies and such.
Looking back, it was probably way too dark. Especially with the dark furniture.
This room is very long and this is the left side of the room, which we've designated as a den/TV area...
and this is was the right side of the room -- the play area.
Here it is in its state of chaos, circa 2008 - 2010. Yes I lived with this mess for a long time.
At some point in 2010 I added some bright colors to the play area and it made a huge difference,
although I still thought the walls were too dark.
In 2011 we got a new couch for upstairs (praise Jesus) so the old couch was moved downstairs as well as a couple of chairs we had and the upstairs coffee table. I painted the high boy kelly green because I wanted some color in this part of the room too. The color on the walls was still making me gag though. And the furniture was way too fancy and dressy for a 'downstairs den.'
Later in 2011: Board and batten on one wall of the playroom and some other touches.
You can read about it here.
I was really proud of the playroom at this point and decided I could live with the paint color until I could save enough money to have it re-painted.
I also slip-covered the fancy couch and added some Ikea Expedit shelving units to flank our TV stand, creating a sort of faux entertainment center.
And FINALLY in late 2012 I did away with the brown. We chose Behr's 'Ozone' for the color and I love it. A really great blue-gray neutral tone. I also added orange accents (courtesy of Target and Home Goods) and we we changed the furniture too (sofas from Rooms To Go.)
(The curtains are a cut-up shower curtain from Home Goods; the large frame above the TV is from this website and I bought it unfinished and painted it myself; I added the frame on top for an extra punch; the rug was a $60 Home Goods find. The green and white striped quilt is from Christmas Tree Shops and was only $10! I love it.)
Our girls currently share a room, but before the golden child came along, this pink room belonged to our firstborn alone. Here are the pictures from over the last 5 years.
Mary Ella's nursery, circa 2008
Sometime in late 2010 we went to a big girl room. *sad face* Details are here.
And then, in April of 2012, little sister came along. So here's our sister bedroom/nursery.
You can find details here.
Later on, a neighbor down the street gave me this amazing dresser/hutch/changing table since her kids weren't using it anymore. So we did another switcheroo with the room. At this point we also repainted the room and went with a lighter pink that had a little more of a peachy tone. I was very pleased with it!