Archive | March, 2012

But it’s Friday!?

30 Mar

[photo taken using Instagram]

Why the grumpy face? It’s Friday!

G’s big girl room

29 Mar

We’re creeping up on April 20th, and you know what that means? Georgia is almost 2!

How did this girl turn into this girl?

Yah, I’m not sure either! No matter what, she’ll be turning 2 soon and we’ll finally have to bring in the big girl bed we bought all those weeks ago! Since we bought the bed, I’ve been brainstorming and pinning ideas for her big girl bedroom. The best part of this is that I can totally girl it up! When I was pregnant, we didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl, so her bedding and decorations were gender neutral, but after she was born I quickly slapped purple paint on the walls – and the purple theme is going to continue!

This is what her room looks like now.

The purple walls help it feel like a girl’s room, but thats about it – but once we bring in her new bed, bedding and the decor I’m planning, there won’t be a question.

Here is my inspiration board made on Olioboard.

[From left to right: DIY Tissue paper poms; Frames & Shadowboxes, Pottery Barn Kids; Olivia bed, Legacy Classic Kids; Lyckoax bedding, IKEA; and Grape Mist, Sherwin Williams paint.]

 I bought the bedding a while back during a trip to Minneapolis, thinking it would go great with the paint, turns out, it’s not as good of a combo as I thought, which is why I picked a new paint color. Grape Mist is more subdued and has more gray in it than a lilac-purple like her room now.

The switch is going to happen sometime in April, I’m just not sure when yet….Tips and Advice are appreciated on how to best make the transition!

Let’s Celebrate!

26 Mar

There is a lot to celebrate these days! Our basement is FINISHED! Done. Done. Done!

The carpet was installed last week and since then we’ve been vacuuming, organizing and trying to figure out how to use our new space. We ordered furniture, but it’s not here so there isn’t a whole lot to show you, except this pic of G hanging out in the new space. I think she’d like the basement to stay without furniture – more room to run! This gives you a peek at the carpet and the paint colors – more to come later this week!

Also, over the weekend we celebrated my sister’s last weeks as a single woman! She gets married in a month and we definitely did some serious partying this weekend with the Bride-to-Be! I can hardly believe my baby sister will be a married woman – crazy, but I’m so happy for them to start their lives together.

Animal Print balloons and decorations

For our beverages on the party bus

All of the girls

My sister and I

And not to be outdone, Georgia was in a festive mood last night, too.


I hope your weekend was as full of friends and fun!

Renovating the basement: Are we there yet?

17 Mar

Seriously though, are we there yet?

Today were supposed to get carpet, but turns out, laying carpet involves using a lot of electricity and since the electrician hasn’t been here yet (he comes in the morning) we don’t have enough outlets for all of the steamers and stuff.

Until we have carpet and a usable basement, which will now be next week, our dining room looks like this –

and it’s driving me nuts!

Turns out with another entire floor finished, we keep needing to buy things, like light fixtures, shower curtain and towels, a toilet and vanity, and it goes on and on…As much as I love shopping, this girl doesn’t hate it either.

It’s only a few more days right?

Until then, maybe I’ll just take G and run around Lowe’s.

Renovating the Basement: Paint

14 Mar

The painters started today (Yaaay!) which means we are in the home stretch! I gave you a sneak peek of the paint colors yesterday, but here are more pictures and details on our plan.

Because of the painters we are using, all of the paint colors are from Pittsburgh Paint. I’ve never used their paint before, but I imagine its great quality stuff and it will turn out even better since it’s being done by professionals (and sprayers!).

This is the color we chose for the bathroom. It has more cool grey in it than this picture suggests, but it’s call Turquoise Mist. I think it will be a great contrast to all of the dark brown tile and the dark brown vanity we will be putting in the space. I already have a darker blue shower curtain, so I’m hoping once they are all in the same room it looks good and not schizophrenic.

In the living area and hallways we choose a neutral color called Moth Gray. We wanted something light enough to keep the windowless basement bright, but not too light that it felt like we hadn’t painted at all. I think the color we chose is a perfect compromise.

The guest bedroom is where we got bold.

This picture shows you the headboard we made a while back which is currently our guest room on the 2nd floor. The paint color in there is the same neutral we used throughout most of the house so it’s nothing too exciting, so we wanted to give the room some personality when it all moved to the basement in just a few more days.

Here is a look at the whole palette. The polka dot sheets, white duvet, bight headboard and dark navy pillows. I really think with the crisp white duvet and bright colors in the headboard and accent pillows this deep blue (called Blue Blood) will give the room some serious personality! I’ve never painted a room this bold of a color, so I can’t wait to se how it actually looks in the only room in the basement with a window. Let’s hope I like it, because I’m afraid of how many coats of primer and paint we’d need to do to cover up such a dark color.

Once paint is done in a couple of days, then comes carpet, electrical, final plumbing installation and inspections. Then we can live in it! Unbelievable, and minus a couple of freak outs, the entire proces was fabulous and I’d do it again in a heartbeat – and with our same contractor! (who I will reveal soooooooon).

Renovating the Basement – Paint Colors

12 Mar

Here’s a tiny little sneak peak at the paint colors we’ve chosen for the basement.

Not sure about you guys, but for us, this is bold.

Renovating the Basement – Tile Debacle

9 Mar

Remember a week or so ago when I hinted at some issues we’d had with the tile guy and the unexpected changes we had to make in the plan for the bathroom?

Well, this whole thing started with my ReStore find: the beautiful 13 x 20 inch DalTile I bought for a great price.

Remember these beauties?

Soon after we bought the tile, we met with our contractor and the tile guy to talk about the pattern we wanted on the floor (staggered tiles) as well as continuing the lines of tile to the shower, on the floor of the shower and up the wall. I also wanted to use dark grout so it would appear as if the tiles weren’t individual, but one big piece of tile. The tile I bought had a special edge that required a very small grout line, so I was excited to see the final product once it was installed. That night everyone agreed the tile was going to look great and really set the tone for the bathroom, so the hubs and I anxiously awaited ‘Tile Day.’

The day the tiling was happening, thank goodness the hubs went home for lunch and peeked downstairs to see the progress. This is what he saw:

Wait a minute.

Where did that small square tile come from?

And why is it installed in the floor of our shower?

Didn’t we just talk about using the same big tile for the floor, the lip of the shower, the floor and all the way up to the ceiling? Did I miss something?

Let’s just say I was freaking out! Of course the tile guy was already gone for the day (at noon???!) so the hubs made a call to the contractor and sent him this picture. He was also confused as to where this tile came from and why it was laid in the shower. When our contractor finally reached the tile subcontractor he said he’d run into a problem getting the correct angle for drainage with the big tiles we had, so he had to go to smaller tiles. And instead of calling us, he just pulled these tiles out of his truck (no kidding) and laid them. He then apologized for laying the tiles without asking, he said he “forgot to ask.” Really? Really!

When we got home that night from work, we tried to pull the tiles up before they were fully set. Shit.

Not only did we have the problem of the wrong tile laid in our shower, we’d also been made aware that it wasn’t possible to use the big tiles for the floor. It wasn’t long before we went to a few different stores to look for small mosaic tile to use on the floor that would actually match the rest of the bathroom tile.

I was less than thrilled about breaking up the dark tile, but what choice did I have? I wish I had been made aware of this situation at the beginning so we had more time to choose tile, but we ended up finding a really pretty mosaic that incorporated the dark brown as well as a cream in a really fun, modern pattern. My biggest concern was ensuring that the tile on the floor didn’t look like an afterthought, since it obviously was, which led to adding a few rows of the mosaic about 5 feet up the shower wall as an accent to break up the big tiles and make it seem like this had been our plan all along. At the end of the day, it’s growing on me, but I still don’t love love love it.

What do you think?

I think once the entire bathroom is put together, I’ll like it, but right now, all I can stare at is that floor! (and the white grout – where did that come from? Obviously our subs have a tough time with details…)

Crisis averted. Sort of.


8 Mar

These things no longer have a place in our nap and bedtime routine!

Half of me wants to shout Hallelujah from the rooftops now that we can leave the house without that stab of panic when you think you may not have grabbed a bink. You look in the diaper bag. Nothing. Check your purse. Nothing, and now you’re sweating. Then you check the center console of your car = Whew! There’s one. Thank God. That could’ve been a train wreck. Don’t miss that a bit!

But the other half of me is a little sad. It’s just another reminder at every nap and every bedtime that our baby is growing up. How did we get here?

Last week I was chatting with our daycare provider about which would come first, getting rid of the bink or making the transition to her big girl bed, and Jodi told me Georgia had been without a bink at daycare for a couple of months. Really? At that point, we couldn’t put her to bed that night and give her a bink. She was playing us. She didn’t really need it because she had been sleeping without it for months. She is a smart little 22 month old!

That night 8:00 rolled around, we did the bath, put her in her jammies and didn’t mention the bink. Oddly enough, she didn’t either. We put her to bed and it was just a few minutes before the crying started. Not for the bink, but just for us. One of us went up, calmed her down and a few minutes later, the same thing. After 3 or 4 times, she finally went to sleep. This same routine happened night 2 and night 3. At day 2, she also started throwing her lovie, blanket and bear out of the bed. Or she’d yell that she was “stuck,” but really had just stuck her legs through the spindles of the crib and yelled until we showed up. Like I said, smart.

Now we’re a week down the ‘No Bink Road’ and it’s better, but she still isn’t sleeping great and we have to go upstairs at least once to tell her it’s time for bed and help calm her so she can sleep, but it’ll get better right?
I love the fact that Jodi broke Georgia in for us, but it’s still hard, but I’m still glad we don’t have to rely on the bink. And that doesn’t even make sense. But it’s true.

Maybe a better title would be Bink-Less……

Pierced ears

5 Mar

It’s been more than a month since I first started talking about piercing Georgia’s ears – and finally this weekend I worked up the nerve to do it!

The number of people who were willing to accompany me to pierce her ears – an activity that was sure to make her cry, and her sad face is really sad – was small. The hubs said no, so did my mom and sister, but his weekend my bff was in town, so I took the opportunity of having a willing party and took Georgia to the mall for the Big Event.

It started by signing a bunch of forms, hearing how to care for the earrings, and picking out the earrings Georgia was going to have to wear for the next 6 weeks. Then I sat in the chair with Georgia on my lap. It was Saturday afternoon so (of course) there was a line of people also waiting to get their ears pierced. I wasn’t quite sure if it was good for the other small girls to see what I thought would be a toddler meltdown and I even warned a couple of the moms, but they didn’t seem worried. So we had an audience.

The girl working at the store put dots with a marker on each of her ear lobes, then we all double checked that they looked even. Then it was go time. With a worker on each side of Georgia with a piercing guns posed over her ears, they said, “Ready, set, go,” and then with a loud click the earrings were in. Georgia jumped and squeaked just a little, but really quickly the worker offered Georgia a sucker and a sticker and Georgia was fine! That was it. It was over and she wasn’t sobbing. I couldn’t beleive it. I, on the other hand, was sweating profusely, but she was good to go. Amazing.

We got ice cream anyway because I was feeling a little guilty, but so far she hasn’t touched them, told us they were sore and doesn’t fight me when I clean them.

I was so worried, but it ended up being more stressful for me, than her. She’s a rockstar!

Before the piercing with Auntie Rachel (and the rug burn on her forehead and nose she got on Friday falling up the stairs. Yes, up!)

Right after with her sucker and no tears!

Eating ice cream

The next day rockin’ a big girl pony to show of her new bling bling!

World Book Night

1 Mar

A while back I heard about an initiative called World Book Night. On their website they describe their goal as, “Spreading the love of reading, person to person.” As soon as I read that, I knew I wanted to be a part of the night. Anyone could apply to ‘give’ books by writing a short essay and then choose from an amazing list of books which one they most wanted to share with others. I applied and was chosen!

The book I get to share? The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. Just recently I read the book in one of my book clubs and was struck by the impact one person had on the most amazing advances in science – and most of them without the knowledge of her family – until recently. It’s a story about the struggle between science and humanity, what is ‘yours’, and who decides that helping the ‘greater good’ is the right thing to do – with or without consent from the ‘donor.’ It was fascinating – and even more so because it’s a true story and the family is still trying to work through all of the emotions and issues dealing with Henrietta’s cells.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I need to decide where the books are going! I get 20 copies of the book and can share them however I like. In my essay I said I wanted to share them with women in shelters around Iowa and around the country, knowing that I was going to put a call out on here and on my Facebook for causes that were worthy.


Who do you think deserves this book? A shelter in your community? A school in your town? Hospital? A library?

I will ship the books wherever – you just tell me where you want them to go!


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