Archive | April, 2012

You wanna know a secret? (basement renovation)

25 Apr

When I revealed the finished basement last week, I didn’t show you everything. I know, I know, I apologize. But I’m ready to share it with you now.

See this bookshelf? She’s a beauty, ain’t she?

It just so happens that she can do this.

The bookshelf is a cover for a secret room! Yes, true story!

It’s really easy to pull out since it’s on a hinge and then it stays closed with some heavy duty magnets – quite simple, actually!

It all started when the hubs and I were in the first stages of talking about finishing the basement. Even though our basement isn’t huge by any means, he wanted a secret room – and has forever….! What is it with boys and secret rooms?

So when we met our contractor, Eric of Just Right Construction, LLC, (who we love BTW and I would totally recommend using him!) he had the fabulous idea to utilize the space under the stairs and put the secret room there. LOVE IT.

So, we tiled the room with the same tile as the bathroom, ran electricity in there and now the hubs has a secret room for his wine fridge, beer fridge and whatever else he wants to put in there. It turned out fabulously and of course, is his favorite part when showing people our new basement.

Here is a peek at the inside of the ‘room.’

Cute, right?

How have you utilized extra space under your stairs?

How Toddlers Party

24 Apr

Let me start by saying since last week, Georgia is acting more like a 2 year old! Nonetheless, we had a great time celebrating with family and friends and making her birthday last through the weekend. She got some blingy shoes, a sand table, dress up clothes, her own digital camera, art & craft supplies, and lots of other goodies, but as it turns out, the balloons we got were the biggest hit. Go figure!

Here are photos of our celebrations. Enjoy!

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Happy 2nd birthday, Georgia Mae!

20 Apr

I cant hardly believe it – our ‘baby’ is 2 today! Since last April 20th she has changed so much, but there are bits of her personality that are the same from the day she was born two years ago. (look back here)


This morning we woke up a very sleepy girl with the Happy Birthday song, then headed downstairs for sprinkle pancakes, fruit and opening of gifts! Before she even got to the gifts, she grabbed the balloons – and all else was lost at that point. We spent so much time talking about the perfect gifts and she won’t event look at them, she loooooves the balloons. Standard, right?

Looking back at the last year and the things I told you she was doing at 1, it’s incredible what she is doing just 12 short months later:

She says full sentences now like, “Ari is my buddy. Look at him, he’s so happy!” and “No momma, I don’t want to eat.”

She loves:

Balloons (obviously)

Blowing bubbles


Dance parties

Her friends at daycare

Playing in the sand box/sand table

Dora & Diego

Her puppy, Ari

Jumping on our bed

Wagon rides


Her favorite foods:

Mac N Cheese



Greek yogurt

Cottage Cheese (This cracks me up bc in the post last year, I said the only food she wouldn’t eat was cottage cheese)

Cheese of all kinds

Ice cream

Chicken nuggets (ask her what she wants for dinner and she’ll say, “Ummmmmm, chicken nuggets.”)

Dipping any and all foods in ketchup or ranch. And sometimes both!


She’s smart, sweet, funny, stubborn and sometimes a liiiiittttle bit sassy, and it goes without saying that we think she’s pretty fabulous!
Happy Birthday, baby girl!






Big Girl Bed, Part 3

19 Apr

Don’t let that cute face fool you.

As I type this post, I have a conversation going on Facebook about letting G sleep on the floor in her room because she didn’t ‘want to sleep in her big girl bed.’ Cue toddler huffing and arm crossing. So, I thought, if she wants to sleep on the floor, sure, she can sleep on the floor, and less than 2 minutes later, she was asleep and I was downstairs baking her birthday treats for daycare tomorrow.

Since we switched her to a toddler bed a few weeks back, it has been hot and cold (here). Some nights are a breeze. She doesn’t fight the routine, will read books, ask us to hold her hand and quickly roll over so she can put herself to sleep.  Other nights it’s a knock down drag out fight to get her to stay in her bed and even worse, to get her to sleep. Tonight was one of those nights, so, like other issues I’ve come across I post a question on Facebook so all of my friends can help me and check out Both are always so helpful!

Basically, there are two rules of thought:

1. Lay with your child, rub their back, and let them fall asleep next to you or even bring them into your bed so they can fall asleep and feel safe and warm and fuzzy and stuff.

2. Follow your regular bedtime routine like you have for the past 2 years, and be stern and consistent when they get out of bed, calmly take them back to their room, tell them you love them, and put them back in bed.

Can you guess where I want to be? Yup, #2. We haven’t been entirely stern yet, because I feel like she’s still little and we don’t want to be too hard on her, plus the crying and yelling for momma and daddy is paaaaainful, but I feel like it is the only want to get our nights back. On the nights where she puts up a fight, it might be after 10 before I can even start to get my list of things done. And by 11, I’m exhausted and ready for bed myself. Needless to say, dishes pile up, laundry sits in baskets getting wrinkly and I fall asleep on the couch way too often, and that isn’t good either.

Starting tomorrow, Plan #2 is on! Let’s hope I can get the hubs on board by then!

Renovating the Basement: Furniture

17 Apr

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you the finished basement and now, we have furniture! We even broke it all in with a barbecue with a lot of friends and kiddos on Saturday night.

[Couch: Jonathan Louis; & Pillow: Crate & Barrel; Stripe pillow: Crate & Barrel]

Georgia’s toy room

[Circo table & chairs: Target (clearance and no longer carried)]

[Expedit storage console and bins: Ikea]

And the bathroom has come a long way, mostly we’re missing the mirror and the decor.

[Light: Martha Stewart for Home Depot; Vanity: Home Decorators for Home Depot]

[Lizagator shower curtain: Target]


Every day there is progress! but I feel like the list is still incredibly long:

  1. Coffee table
  2. Wall hanging for above couch
  3. DIY project on electrical panel cover
  4. Lamps for storage/divider
  5. Accent for G’s toyroom: color? Wall paper?
  6. Pub table and chairs for living area
  7. Decorate/accent bookshelf
  8. Bathroom mirror
  9. Bathroom wall hanging/hooks
  10. Move guest room furnishings to basement
  11. Beverage fridge or wine fridge – I’ll tell you where this goes later – it’s a surprise!

Parenting Fail

16 Apr

In 2 years, this is the first huge fail we’ve had as parents, though I think we’re damn lucky to have gotten this far!

On Saturday night, we had a bunch of friends and their kids over for a bbq and party, so it was close to 9:30 before we had Georgia in the bath and in bed. We ran through the usual bedtime routine and you could see it in her eyes: she was exhausted. Turns out running, jumping and having dance party for hours and hours wears a girl out!

So we got her in bed, and the hubs and I went to the basement (2 floors down) to sit on our new couch (yes! It’s in!) and relax. We took the monitor with us so we could hear her.

After a few minutes, we hear some noises, but not on the monitor, just in the house. I figured she was passed out because she’d played hard and we didn’t hear her yell for us like she normally does at least once a night. The hubs thought the noises were her but I said, it’s just the house creaking because it was storming so incredibly windy! With that, neither of us went to check on her and the monitor stayed quiet.

Flash-forward about an hour and I was ready for bed. I headed up stairs and, as I do every night, went into G’s room to cover her up bc she never keeps her blanket on. I went into her room and thought my eyes were deceiving me. It took me a second to process: she wasn’t in her bed! I immediately dropped to the floor to look under her bed. Not there either.

At that point I’m freaking out and opening every door upstairs. We keep them all closed so she can’t wander at night, but as I checked the guest bedroom, the bathroom and our bedroom and didn’t find her I was hysterical. I ran downstairs and yelled for Ryan. He can running up too, ran into her room like I did, looked for her and then ran into our room to look for her. She was no where to be found.

Our bathroom door was shut inside our bedroom – which is weird – so Ryan flung that open and there was our baby – asleep on the floor in our closet!

As soon as he picked her up, she started sobbing. Hysterically. It took about 20 minutes to calm her down and then she wouldn’t lay in her bed without crying, so spent the night with her in there and at least one of us got sleep. (Her)

As much as we can figure, we must’ve forgotten to shut our bedroom door, and she has a habit of closing doors behind her, so I bet she got out of bed, closed her door, then went into our room, closed the door and then into the bathroom and closed that door. And through 3 doors we couldn’t hear her crying on the monitor. F0r more than an hour. Awful. I still feel awful about it, but thankfully she didn’t get hurt and has been fine about sleeping in her bed.

Let’s just say that we will be positive to shut all of the doors from now on!

Quick DIY

11 Apr

Since the hubs freed up the entrance to the house from the garage for me, I’ve had this bare wall staring at me, begging for a little bit of something.

We come in and out of that door at least a few times a day – so something just pretty would work, but I wanted some function, too. Then I saw these easy DIY whiteboards on Pinterest, and I pinned it, knowing I could pull it together when I came across a few spare minutes. Those spare minutes presented themselves last night, so with some leftover fabric and a frame I had stuck in a closet, I now have this pretty whiteboard for a whopping $0.00 –

It’s not much, but it adds a BIT of personality to that space. I’m also thinking a quick splash of color might be fun too? Or just adding color to that exterior door… To be determined!

How do you add personality to small spaces?

Renovating the Basement: Finished!

6 Apr

Well, mostly finished.

I’ve been waiting to post pictures until more of the basement was done and decorated and pretty enough to show you, but since you last saw pictures, there has been a lot of progress – looking back, even I’m amazed at the changes! So let’s look!

This picture was taken standing on the landing halfway down the stairs to the basement.



Remember this shot of the messy playroom/living room?



(Obviously the rocker from the nursery and the random bar height chair aren’t staying, but they give us a place to sit until the couch we ordered comes in)


And a pretty similar AFTER

(instead of seeing the bathroom door, you see our built-in bookshelf on the other side of the hallway)

And here is an AFTER picture of the guest room.

It’s not a fabulous picture, but I am in LOVE with the paint color. It will go perfectly with the guest bedroom decor that we’ll move from upstairs. For now, it’s a good color to inspire my runs.

Some good progress, huh?

We are really happy with 2 out of the 3 paint colors we chose. The only one we’re not crazy about is the bathroom color. There isn’t a good picture of the entire bathroom in this post because we are having some work done on the light and getting a good picture was hard, so more pictures of that later, but otherwise, we love the color of the main areas and the guest bedroom. (I shared those colors here.)

I still have tons of things on my To Do List for down here. Not just decorating but DIY projects, furniture rehabbing, buying furniture, and coming up with a creative and good looking set up for all of those toys!

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend with your families!


UPDATED: G’s big girl room – part 2

3 Apr

UPDATE: With 4 nights in the big girl bed, Georgia has only gotten out once. It was the night I went to see The Hunger Games with girlfriends and this is the text I got from Ryan, “Out of bed once. So quiet like a ninja. I caught her trying to get back in bed. Kind of funny but this is going to suck now.” I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I read the text. He said that he only heard her bc the door made noise when she opened it and he was still upstairs. He went to our bedroom door, saw her standing in the hallway and when she spotted him, she turned and ran back into her room and tried to climb into bed, but it’s too high for her to get in… ha! The visual is pretty dang funny! She hasn’t gotten out of bed again, so it doesn’t seem to be a pattern. She even told me, “Mama, I love my big girl bed,” and she also yelled at the hubs this morning bc he got on her bed and she said, “Daddy, that MY big girl bed.” Yes, Ma’am!



I told you we were going to switch Georgia to her big girl bed soon, well, Sunday was the day!

Why Sunday? We’d had a long weekend so I knew she’d be tired and shouldn’t fight going to sleep and we had time on Sunday afternoon to take apart her crib and put together the new twin bed and really, we wanted to get it over with!

(just wanted to add a cute picture…that’s all)

Once the bed was put together, it looked a awkward in her room since it has a headboard and footboard and we pushed it up against the wall. We probably could do a safety rail on each side of the bed and not put it against the wall, but it just made sense to start with it pushed against the wall with 1 rail until she got used to it. I’m not crazy about how it looks in there right now, but I suppose safety is more important than decor.

When bedtime rolled around, we did have a little bit of a game plan. The bed was made, the rail was on and we walked Georgia in there and talked to her about hew new big girl bed. She was really excited and was jumping around and wanted up, so we picked her up and set her on the bed, directly behind the rail. I have no idea if this is a proven thing or not, but it just seemed to make sense to treat it ‘like’ a crib in that we had to lift her in and out so she wasn’t so comfortable crawling in and out, therefore she’d stay in bed once we put her in like she did in the crib. I definitely no genius, but the first two nights she’s been in it and she hasn’t gotten out yet! (Knocking on wood)

We have followed the regular bedtime routine: bath, jammies, read books and then light off, prayers and bed. She did fuss a bit so I told her I’d stand in her room holding her hand and it wasn’t more than 2 minutes and she was asleep. Last night it was more of the same. Ryan stayed in her room, standing next to the bed until she fell asleep, which was just a few minutes. She’s slept through the night like normal and is in bed when we go in there at 7am. I can hardly believe it and I’m sure we’ll have nights where she’s standing at the top of the stairs yelling, but it’s been a much smoother transition than I thought and I know the hubs has breathed a sigh of relief. He was worried the new bed would throw things in our house completely out of whack. Thankfully it has not!

Do you see a cute toddler in there?

Oh! There she is!

Doesn’t look like she’s bothered by the change.


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