3rd trimester...whhaaaaa???

28 weeks and a few days! 

This is how I feel about that: 

I can't BELIEVE I'm already in the last trimester! I've decided by the time baby #3 comes along I'll just blink and sneeze, then "Oh look! A baby!" 

Surely most women experience that right? The more kids you have, the faster your pregnancies seem to go by? Don't get me wrong- I'm TOTALLY OKAY with the phenomenon.

But that means in just a little over 10 WEEKS this little girl will be here!!! 

I have a lot to get done in just 10 weeks.
At least I finally started organizing all of the old baby stuff. That's a good start. My basement is an explosion of little people things. 

Overall things are going great. People are starting to ask me if I'm feeling "done" with being pregnant- not quite, but give it about 5 more weeks and we'll be there. Everything is getting progressively harder- bending over, shaving, especially shaving, getting up off the couch, sleeping...all that stuff. I quickly forget my large girth and bump into things frequently. The other day I sneezed and legitimately peed myself. THAT never happened with baby #1. I immediately texted my Mom because I was both amused and horrified, and she said "just wait...it doesn't get any better as you get older." HAH!

Oh and speaking of a large girth, I'm only 5 pounds away from the heaviest I got when I was pregnant with Jillian...and like I said, I still have ten and a half weeks to go. WHOA. 
It's all good. My pants are super stretchy. ;-) 

The final countdown is on!


the girls' room closet- halfway there!

If there's anything I know about being a girl and having a girl with a second on the way, it's the importance of having a functional closet.

The first space that needed revamping in Jillian's room to accommodate not one, but TWO girls and the massive amounts of clothes we've managed to procure for them was the closet (I blame Baby Gap...something happens in that store where I lose track of all things time and money...especially money).

(who makes an idea board for a closet? Me. I do.)

Her closet before was pretty standard and closet-y. We could've managed to make it functional for both of them with just some better organizing, but WHERE'S the fun in that?

 (I also used it for some of my clothes and shoes as well...oops...that also had to change, which means by default I had to clean out MY closet.)

The real problems here: not enough storage space, it stays open most of the time out of convenience so the doors just get in the way (which means everyone can see how messy and not pretty it is), and with needing the space for a toddler bed AND crib in the room, this space also needed to accommodate some kind of changing area. 

Basically I decided I wanted the closet to feel like an extension of the room instead of just, well, a closet. 

The first things to go were the doors. We never used them, so off with their heads. The room already felt bigger with those suckers gone:

No doors! 
Cue the Ikea Hemnes dresser. Storage problems: solved. Plenty of space for Jillian and her soon-to-be sister and my their shopping addiction (squeezing it in there was super fun to figure out- but by golly it was going to fit whether it wanted to or not). The drawer inserts Ikea sells also make everything more organized, which makes my little OCD heart flutter.

I added a pop of color to the walls with some left over paint from our bathroom. 
The wallpaper on my idea board from Anthro is dreamy, but the price? Not so much. $148 per roll is no joke...well, kind of. I did kind of laugh when I saw that number. I have no problem justifying expensive things, but James probably would have left me over $150/roll wallpaper. ;-) Fortunately, I found this gift wrap paper online from my new favorite store for all things paper related. Best part? $8.50 for 3 huge sheets!

It had the same color scheme and look I was going for, and now that I compare them I actually like this one better. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to frame it in there, hang it, Mod Podge it onto something...I dunno...we shall see. But it's definitely going to pretty-fy the space and tie in all of the other colors I have planned for their room.

So now we are well on our way to a functional, organized, pretty closet. Win, win, win. 
I just need to add a couple of more storage baskets up top and on top of the shelf for the lotions and things, figure out the artwork situation once that gorgeous paper arrives, and then WAH-LAH. Closet perfection.


I reeeeaallllyyy want to add a mirror to the back of the wall. Why would I add a mirror to the back of a closet? Because it will make the whole room appear bigger since mirrors are you know...reflective. I'm not sure how that will work out yet since I'm not doing true wallpaper, thus the physics of hanging it may get tricky...so if you have any ideas, do share. 


4 easy steps to design a space

I'm taking a bit of a break from my DIY projects and decorating plans and all that jazz for the...night...
(At what point do you admit you have an addiction? Hah!)

Anyway, several people have asked me lately about some decorating tips and advice (which was both surprising and flattering), but it inspired this post.

If you're anything like me (maybe you've already found a good therapist and can recommend someone? :-p I kid.), deciding how you want to decorate/style a room is sometimes harder than actually doing it. I hate making decisions.

But these 4 tips will make it a bit easier when you're decorating a space. Mind you, there are a TON of different approaches to tackling a room/house, but this is something I've found that really works for me!

(pin it and make me famous) ;-)

1. What do you need the function of the room to be?

Some rooms are easy- like a bathroom. Only a few things should happen in there..but other rooms, like a living room, bedroom, office- those are open for a little more interpretation. For example, do you have kids? Do you entertain often? What do you like to do in your living room? In your bedroom or a kid's room, how much time do you spend there? Do you keep toys in the kid's room or prefer it to be only a relaxing/sleeping space?
Basically decide what needs to happen in that space. A room should be as functional as it is pretty. That will determine almost everything about it- how much storage you need, space you need to have open (the flow of the room), type of furniture and fabrics, etc. 

Check out this dual purpose office/play room. Notice there is a dedicated space for each activity- playing and office-ing- plenty of storage for toys on the right and office things on the left, and an open area in the middle for more play room (you don't want kids tripping over computer cords after all...or eating them...). 

2. How do you want the room to feel?

Light and airy? Sophisticated? Comfortable? Relaxed? Chic?

Notice none of those words are style words- like contemporary, traditional, shabby chic, rustic. Decide how you want to feel in the space first, then find out what style best represents that feeling so you can start gathering and searching for ideas. But if you don't know the feeling you're going after, it will make other decisions harder. Instead of looking at something in a store and thinking "Is this contemporary?" Ask if it would help add to that feeling you're shooting for.

The dining room on the left feels light and fresh, while the dining room on the light is a lot more sophisticated and fancy. 

*Start to notice what it is about these spaces that makes it feel this way- like colors, textures, and furniture.

3. Choose a color palette. 

Whatever you do, DON'T paint a room first. I've done this before and I'll tell you why it's a bad idea (unless you're doing a very neutral wall color)- you will spend so much time trying to find other decor to tie in with your walls and the rest of the room it will be SO frustrating. So instead, find a piece (piece of fabric, curtains, pillow, piece or art, etc.) that represents the colors you want in that space, then plan everything around that piece, including wall color. It's so much more logical and easier to find items in the colors you're looking for this way. (This is also just one of many ways to plan a good, cohesive color palette, especially if you consider yourself a "noob" to home decor).

Notice in these pictures there is a piece that "ties it all together". In the kitchen it's the art on the wall, in the living room it's the bold floral pillow. Each room uses a lot of color (which I love), but it all coordinates because of that "starter piece". It doesn't have to be all matchy-matchy, but the colors do all compliment each other. Remember contrast is good, clashing is bad.

I'm currently in the process of turning Jillian's room into a shared space to make way for baby #2 and I'm going through this EXACT process. When I'm farther along I'll show specific examples in each area, but my color scheme was inspired by this wallpaper from Anthropolgie:

Once you have your starter piece you can choose which colors you want to bring out and use more of, and which colors you still like but don't want to stand out as much.

4. Now get inspired and start finding ideas!

 Pinterest is your best friend. Create boards with elements in each of these 3 areas that you like and put a caption specific to what you like about the picture. Do you like the room layout? The color scheme? The use of texture? How it feels? Whatever it is you like about it, remind yourself what that is so when you're shopping you can recreate that. (And don't be disheartened by the crowd that says "Oh, did you get that from Pinterest?" all unimpressed like...before Pinterest people got inspiration from magazines and stores and no one thought THAT was any less creative).

 (check out my decor board- one day I'll organize it by room...one day...and my inspiration for the new girls' room)

Notice trends and common themes in what you're posting. 
For example- I noticed I was pinning a lot of white, bright kitchens. I painted my cabinets white, changed the wall color and added a backsplash, but I couldn't figure out what was missing until I revisited my board and noticed all of the white kitchens I loved had some type of green plant in them- AHA! That was the common element I was missing. I added a couple of small plants on my windowsill above the sink and it really completed the whole look.

And that's pretty much it. Notice BUDGET is NOT one of the main ideas- that's because no matter what your budget is, you can still create the look and feel of what you're going for. You will always be able to find a more/less expensive version of certain pieces. It's OKAY to pin/find examples of super expensive things if they inspire you!

And remember that decorating is a PROCESS and rarely ever done all at once with everything completed in a week (or a month even!). Do what you can, when you can and enjoy the process of seeing the space transformed! 

Happy decorating friends- and keep the questions coming- you make me feel like maybe I actually have good ideas instead of just crazy obsessions. :-p


valentine's day is for cookies

What is Valentine's day without sugar cookies??? Just another day to celebrate the people you love?...booooring. 
Haha. I kid.

Jillian had a friend over to play today and we decorated some heart-shaped sugar cookies. And by decorated I mean the grown-ups decorated them, and the toddlers ate frosting by the spoonfuls while begging for more sprinkles. 

I'm in no way claiming these are beautifully decorated, BUT I am definitely claiming they are Valentine's Day quality delicious. 

In my opinion, sugar cookies are one of those things that are way too easy to mess up. I came across a REALLY good recipe for both the cookie and the frosting. I used these for Jillian's birthday party last year so I think I've shared them before, but they're worth sharing again:

THIS cookie recipe is AMAZING! These aren't the ones pictured (thanks to us making them super last minute today), but the ones in the link turn out almost bread-like and not that sweet at all, which is GREAT when you pair it with a buttercream frosting because it's not overly holy-crap too sweet.

THIS buttercream is sooo good. I hate when frostings are way too powdered-sugary. This one is a great balance, and when paired with that cookie...MMMMMM!  

Happy Valentine's Day, lovers.


pinterest, why you fail me?!

I've read some things lately where these women are getting all "anti-Pinterest" because it puts too much pressure on women to feel perfect and they have to do all these things they're pinning and if not then they feel like they suck at life..blah..blah...blah. I disagree. I LURVE IT. I've gotten so many incredible ideas from Pinterest and a lot of inspiration for random things. 
And of course a fair number of DIY and craft projects. 

This one seemed like a beyond-brilliant idea:

I HAVE A MILLION (okay like 10) diaper boxes!!! I've been using them to store Jillian's clothes in the basement as she grows out of them. I was also in need of some new storage baskets for her closet. 
Problem, meet solution. 


So I was all excited to "upcycle" my old diaper boxes into something pretty and useful again, and ESPECIALLY for a cheaper price than buying all new baskets. So here's how it actually went down:

1 large diaper box needed 200 ft of rope= $14 from Lowe's
75 hot glue sticks= $4ish from Hobby Lobby
Fabric= $5 from Hobby Lobby
Time= 4 hours (no, I'm not kidding...maybe even more...)

This was for ONE box. Total cost= $23 (and more if you're of the whole time=money persuasion, which I definitely am now). That's about how much (if not more) it would cost to just purchase a new basket, which doesn't take 4 hours to do, mind you. 
Also, when you're buying a basket from the store you probably won't burn your finger on your hot glue gun 9 gajillion times. 

James got home and I told him of my glue-gunning woes, and he replied "Well I could've told you that would be a bad idea." 
Husband= giving me reality checks since 2008.

Did it turn out cute? Sure! Can you tell it's a diaper box? Nope! 
But some things just aren't worth the bragging rights, you know? 

Needless to say...I'll be back at Hobby Lobby later this week buying the REST of the baskets I need (because they're also 50% off right now!)

Lesson learned: some things though good in theory, like socialism and fat-free ice cream, are not so good in practice. 

Aaannddd on to the next.