Archive | January, 2012

The Nest: Renovating the basement

31 Jan

Remember last week when I told you there were exciting things on the horizon? Well those things are here!

Today marked the 1st day of our basement finishing project. I’d like to be cool enough to tell you that we’re doing it all ourselves, but that’d just be crazy, so we’re leaving it to the pros. Our contractor was referred to us by Ryan’s cousin and he’s a huge Hawk fan, so Ryan was sold. So far we really like him and his professionalism – stay tuned and if we’re still singing his praises by the end of this, I’ll share his info with ya’ll.

Anyway, the first step in finishing our basement happened long before today. Not only did we have to file a bunch of papers to get the financing for the project, we also had to do some major cleaning/organizing of the things in our basement. This led to 5 boxes going to Goodwill, 3 boxes to the trash and selling a few things on Craigslist. We found a VHS player, lots of mix cd’s, Ryan’s fish tank that he’s had since college (and sadly we’ve paid to move more times that I care to think about) and other random things that were hilarious to find in unmarked boxes.

Then last night, we prepped our house by moving the table under our photo gallery and covering the wood floors with thick paper. The contractors would be coming in through our front door, and he said he’d lay down tarps, but we wanted to be sure that our easily scratched floors were protected.

I’m sure you all know I’m a little particular about my house and like to keep things in their place, so having furniture moved around and paper taped to my floor is going to be tough to deal with for the next month or more.

At 7:30 this morning the doorbell rang and we had wood! (ok, bad joke) but the lumber was here and it was really happening!

When I got home this afternoon I was dreading walking inside and seeing the mess the guys had made as they carried in all of the wood to frame out the basement – but I was shocked when I saw that it looked the same as when I left this morning. Clean contractors? Yes, please!

For the first day they made some really good progress and should be finished framing by the end of the day tomorrow. Then it’s on to electrical, plumbing and then the messiest of all: drywall.

Doesn’t look like much, but any progress is good for me!

While the contractors do the heavy lifting, I’ve been planning – and shopping for the new spaces we’re adding to our house.

It’s a bit rough, but I mocked up a floor plan of what the basement will have once it’s all finished.

Having the basement finished will add another bathroom, bedroom and a living/play room for us. Finally all of Georgia’s toys will migrate to the basement so guests won’t see brightly colored plastic crap the second they walk in our front door. *deep sigh* I’m quite excited about that!

There is lots more progress, shopping and inspiration boards ahead – I hope you’ll stick around! (and tomorrow I’ll tell you about my incredible tile discovery and how I saved more than $400+ off of retail!)

I’m gonna get you!

25 Jan

Who needs toys when you can chase each other around the kitchen island?

Big things on the horizon

24 Jan

It has been brought to my attention that I have been, and I quote, “slacking” on the blog. *cough cough*

I’ve been traveling for work and am in the car en route to Madison, Wisconsin, as I type this. Thank goodness for wifi cards! In the midst of being super busy for work, life at the Eagle’s Nest has been busy, too, and there are some super exciting things on the horizon!

We finally got a quote to finish our basement and they are starting on Sunday! I couldn’t be more excited. It is going to change how our entire house feels and give us so much more space – and give G a playroom where she can do what she wants and at night I can come upstairs and just shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I’ll tell you more about the basement and what we’re doing down there once we kick off the project on Sunday!

We also have been talking about big girl beds and re-doing Georgia’s room for some time now and we took a big step in that direction over the weekend: we bought her a new bed!

We went to the furniture store to look at couches and things for the basement, but as we were walking through the clearance room we saw this bed and it struck both of us as the perfect bed for Miss G.

Isn’t it adorable? We decided to get her a twin bed so she can use for years. I mean, I slept in a twin bed until I left for college. True story.

And here’s a pic from the brand’s website. It looks much nicer all done up.

Anyway, turns out, finding off-white furniture is tough, so I was thrilled when we found this for less than $300. We have yet to buy the mattress (which we bought a Groupon for) and the bedding (which I’ve pinned on Pinterest), but it’s a big step in the right direction.

Even though Georgia is sweet and fairly calm, I am concerned about switching her out of her crib, because if she could hang out with us in the living room all night, she would. It’s been getting harder and harder to put her to bed because she realizes that we’re still up without her. Even though we have the bed, it may be a month or more before we make the switch. For once, I’m not in a hurry!

To Pierce or Not to Pierce?

16 Jan

[photo from Parents.com]

For the past few weeks I’ve been considering getting Georgia’s ears pierced. I’ve read about it because I feel like she may not be at the best age to have it done. She’s just old enough to know what’s going on but not understand that she needs to leave the earrings alone. I’m terrified that she’ll pull them out hurting herself or worse, eat the back or God-forbid, the entire earring.

I also want them pierced for my sister’s wedding in April when she’ll be a flower girl with my niece, who has her ears pierced. Silly, but they could wear matching sparkly earrings – it would be adorable! Yesterday I stood in Claire’s for about 5 minutes, Georgia on my hip, just wandering, before someone asked if they could help me. I mentioned I was considering piercing Georgia’s ears and the 16 year old girl working did nothing to help my anxiety about it.

I know everyone has an opinion on when is the right time to pierce a little girl’s ears, but I had mine pierced as an infant, so I don’t remember being asked if I wanted them, but I also never was angry that I had them or that no one asked me if I wanted them.

A lot of the reading I’ve done says to have your pediatrician do it. In theory, this is probably a good idea, but do they even do that? Seems a bit dramatic. And with a needle? So you have to do it twice? I have a feeling we’d walk out of there with 1 earring hole, because she’d freak before we could do the other side.

So, here’s’ my question: is there any place better than Claire’s? Any tips? When did you do your child’s?

Back Entryway problem solved!

13 Jan

Remember a few months ago when I was telling you about the space/storage issues in our back entry? I bought this cubbie system, hoping it would be narrow enough, but we still ended up having to squeeze our butts, bags and other things past the cubbies to get into our house. Not good for the most used entrance to our house.

So, after much brainstorming, the hubs came up with a fantastic idea: build a platform for the washer and dryer so we can tuck shoes underneath them, behind closed doors. At first, I was skeptical, because in the same breath, he named off a few tools he’d need to buy to do the project. Red flag to me and our envelope system (I’ll update you on that next time!). Thankfully he got some money for Christmas, so he used that to get himself a miter saw for a great price at Lowe’s.

I understood how he was going to build the frame out of plywood and 2×4′s, but I had a few different concerns: how do we protect the floor, how do we make it visually appealing and how do we not butt up to the shelves that are above the washer and dryer?

Let me start from the top.

Hubs took a trip to Lowe’s to get the miter saw and also had the nice fellas there cut the piece of plywood to the size we needed for the washer and dryer platform. He also grabbed some trim to make it ‘pretty’ and a big piece of indoor-outdoor carpet – enough to put on the plywood underneath the washer and dryer and to put on the floor under the platform.

As for not butting up to the shelving unit too close, I trusted that he’d measured twice before he decided on the dimensions of the platform.

He did and here’s what we ended up with!

Looks pretty great, right?

Our entryway feels huuuuuge again. But we do have one thing that’s driving me a little crazy.

The platform looks so fabulous that the shelves look awful in comparison! I think we need cabinets to clean up the look, don’t you?

I found these at IKEA – the AKURUM wall cabinet. I think a trip to Minneapolis is in order!

Even though it took us months and still isn’t complete, I love the progress we’re making!

This face

10 Jan

It was just me and my baby girl tonight (with the hubs out watching the National Championship game and all) and these nights are the ones that I adore.

She and I ate dinner, had a chocolatey dessert which I thought was quite appropriate for a girls’ night and after her bath, we read books. Of course we read more books than normal (girls’ night, remember?) and when I flicked the lights off tonight and snuggled my 30+ pound ‘baby’ girl, my eyes filled with tears.

She’s almost 2. How did that happen?

I always knew I wanted kids. I always adored kids. It wasn’t until I had Georgia that I truly understood the love you have for your children. This face melts me. It can erase any bad day, any crappy mood and can take me from frustrated to giggling in a split second.

This face. She’s everything.

True.

6 Jan

It’s true. I’m addicted to Pinterest.
It’s gotten bad enough that if I’m watching a movie with the hubs or he’s telling me about his day and I’m at the computer half-listening (which nnneeeever happpens) he’ll ask, “Are you pinning stuff?” (and then I think, “Shit, busted. I should scroll slower.”)

In all of that pinning, I’ve pinned sayings that completely wrap up certain parts of my life, so much so that I wanted to share.

Like this one, which are words to live by every day, but especially resonate for me in 2012.

Of course I love my job and appreciate all I have, but the focus of my life should be my family and my friends. You can’t take money with you and all you’ll have at the end is the people by your side and the memories you made together.

I pinned this in the first couple of days of setting up my account. It said everything to me about my marriage.

And I love my peanut and being a Momma, but some days, I just feel like this. And now that she’s a toddler, frankly, peeing alone is almost impossible. “Momma! Potty!” “Me potty?” “Momma, potty!” Love her.

When something makes me laugh out loud and references a Salt n’ Peppa song, it’s a winner. What would you do if you really saw this on a business’ door?

(and yes, once I found the link above, I listened to the entire song.)

Things haven’t always been easy, but this rings really true for me. I believe there is absolutely a plan for every single person.

As a woman, a mother, a friend, an employee, a co-worker…..in all situations:

And lastly, I saw this and thought if life were only this easy: ‘If we could show this to every person, they would realize how ridiculous they are being and change their closed minds.” But it says a lot in a simple way.

True, right?

DIY Mania – what we did

4 Jan

Last week I told your that we here at The Nest were in the middle of a few DIY projects – and I hinted at one of them.
Here was the star of that project – no sew, heat and bond tape!

I think I’ve told you before that I have a sewing machine, but I’m half terrified of using it/half confused by how it works, so that equals =  no sew tape!

I loved the texture of these curtains when I bought them (great IKEA purchase) but I knew they needed something for a while and  I’ve always loved the Greek key pattern – and that was my inspiration.

Here’s how I did it. I bought 4 spools of  7/8” grosgrain ribbon at Joanne’s in a cream color – thinking white would be too stark on the chocolate born curtains, got out the iron and ironing board and got to work.





The most important part of this was keeping the measurements from the top and the bottom steady since I had 4 panels I was working with and needed them all to line up properly once they were hung up.

There was measuring, measuring again and then pinning. I learned quickly that cutting the ribbon and the new sew tape first, then pinning and lining them both up together, rather than one and then the other.

So, roll out enough ribbon and no-sew tap to cover the side of the curtain you’re doing, measure, pin, measure, pin and then iron. Repeat.

 
The tough part came when it was time to do the squares. This involved 45 degree angles and careful cutting.


I had no fancy way to get a perfect 45 degree angle and some of the cuts took me a few tries and a pin to hold them in place but the final product was worth it.

The simple classic pattern gives the plain IKEA curtains just the right amount of ‘oompf’ to the dining room. Mission Accomplished.

More DIY to come later in the week! Stay tuned.

Bedtime

4 Jan

While me and the hubs fight the flu – and the worst flu I’ve ever had it’s safe to say. It brought me to tears and I went through natural childbirth…yah, that bad.

Anyway, as we fight the flu, Georgia fights bedtime, and has been for a couple of weeks now.

Our normal bedtime routine starts around 7:30 with a bath, then books, more books and finally around 8 or 8:30 bed. Since the beginning, we’ve been believers in putting her to bed while she is still awake and not letting her get used to falling asleep in our arms (proof here and here) – and that is still the case. Well, over the long holiday weekends we have stuck to our guns and followed the regular routine, but it hasn’t been so successful, so we’ve tried a bunch of different things. A brighter night light – for awhile we thought she was afraid of the dark, talking to her about bedtime and how it’s time for bedtime and she’s a big girl, “here’s your lovie, here’s your bear, here’s your blanket.” She wasn’t buying it.

Then on Sunday she took a late afternoon nap, so we pushed back bedtime a bit, but it was 11:30 and this is what was happening in our living room.

Image

Her tear stained cheeks, tired eyes and a tired hubs. Soon after we finally got her to go to sleep, but I’m stuck. What is the secret?

Is it because she’s getting older and her routines will be in constant flux? Or does she need a later bedtime?

Tonight we tried a later bedtime – started bath around 8:15 and she was asleep with little to no crying by 9. That I can handle…what has worked for you?

Happy 2012!

1 Jan

Happy New Year! 

Image

photo from instagram

I hope you all had a fabulous night, drank too much, ate too much and laughed too much – I know we did! We hosted some friends at our house last night and had a blast. Do I dare say we could make that a tradition? If only cleaning up the next morning didn’t suck so much….

Anywho, like everyone else I look at a new year as a chance to look at my life and think about how lucky I am as well as make goals for the year ahead. Some of the things I want to accomplish in 2012?

1. Run Dam to Dam again – and get a better time

2. Enjoy the moment as I’m in it.

3. Go to Atlanta to see old friends.

4. Finish our basement.

5. Do date night with the hubs more often – at least once a month.

6. Do girls nights sans kids at least once a month, too.

7. Take a trip with my whole family.

8. Work on my faith – and start going to church regularly agian.

9. Worry less!

10. and lastly…..possibly, maybe…..get pregnant with Baby Eagle #2. Maybe.

 

What are your goals for the new year?

 

 

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