Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Nursery Scheme

Thanks for your votes on Operation: Girl Nursery. :)  I ordered a few things online (returnable to store!) and went by BabiesRUs this weekend to pick up some of the other items that are carried in store, so that I can try them together in baby girl's room.  While I was grabbing a few crib sheets, this one smiled at me:


I thought the pattern was so cute, and the green looked like a good match to our nursery furniture.  So I took it home with me too, and jumped online to see what else might go along with it.  The picture below mixes items from the Little Bria and Lullaby Breeze collections at BabiesRUs.  I love that this look incorporates more colors than the others.  And I think it will look great with the fabric and hoops idea too.  I know we'll need to see it in person and in the room, but I'm currently loving this newest nursery idea... What do you think!?

source (and above)

Okay, one last dilemma!  Does anyone know of any current online BabiesRUs coupons?  They almost always have 20% off coupons, and I can't find any!  I'm dying to order the other two items!  Let me know if you see anything out there! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project Big Boy Room

So far, here is what we're working with for Reed's new room:

We have a big boy bed, a long flat dresser (which I'd like to (make Matt) paint eventually), a cubby shelf for toys and bins, and the curtains from R's nursery.

Here are some of my favorite ideas for Reed's big boy room:

Saw this bedding on pinterest and loved it (especially the "R"!) :)  Then, I realized it was pottery barn kids.  Yeah, no.

 I also really like this quilt from Target, but it is still a bit steep at $70.  Perhaps it will go on sale??  I love the stitchy look of it, the corduroy, and the fact that it brings in some red (Go Dawgs!)

I think this ABC wall would be so fun over Reed's long dresser.  Could definitely end up being time consuming (to collect) and pricey (that's 26 letters up there, plus bling!).

We will definitely do some under bed storage.  (for Reed, though, not Jack). :)

Guess I haven't really gotten very far.  Got any good ideas?

Here are a few other pins just for kicks... for down the road... or never!

Reed's bed is actually a top bunk, and we'll set up the second part in a few years.  Wish it had a slide!  What... at least it's not this:

Roll away play table:

This is fun:

Lego wall:

Hopefully, next time I check in on Project big boy Room we'll have made some big time progress!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Operation: Girl Nursery

So, I am recruiting you for Operation: Girl Nursery.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help transform Reed's Nursery from this:

To this:

Okay, hopefully not that.  But you get the idea... we aren't planning to go crazy- furniture staying, wall color (I think?) staying... add girly curtains, bedding, decor, accessories...  Oh, and add baby girl, but I guess you can't help with that part.

So far, I have two kind of main ideas.  They aren't super creative or anything; in fact, I won't even say ideas--really, two different color schemes.

Exhibit A: Pinks and Greens

Exhibit B: Lavender and Green

(I told you: color schemes, not blow-your-mind-creative ideas) :)  Seriously though, any votes?  I kind of lean toward the purple/green because, I don't know if you can tell in the pictures, but the furniture has cooler undertones and just seems like it would pair well with lavender.

Also, I am running into a lot of dead ends ("out of stock" and/or not easily returnable) with even some of the products pictured above, which is so frustrating.  But I think my next step is to (consider your ideas and votes!) and then go get some of the products and just try them together and in the actual room.

Outside of the color scheme, these are a couple of other ideas that have pinspired me thus far in Operation: Girl Nursery...

Button art:

Fabric and hoops:

Yarn letters:


Opinions?  Any cool ideas you've seen out there??  I need your help!  Ready, GO!

Friday, January 13, 2012

DIY Book Ledges

Yesterday, I forgot to point out the bookshelves in Reed's room.  These:

I really loved the idea of forward facing shelves for Reed's room.  I had lots of vintage-y books from Matt's and my childhood that I wanted to display, and I just think those kinds of bookshelves look really cute.  Problem?  Price tag!
PBK Shelf

Enter this awesome tutorial from Frugal Home Designs.  I showed it to Matt and my Dad, who took it from there.

Since then, I have seen (via pinterest) that you can also use ikea spice racks (only $4.00) to function as little book nook shelves.  We might go this route in Reed's big boy room, but it does limit the ability to custom size the shelves.

Hope one or more of those links are helpful if you're in the book ledge market!  Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reed's Nursery (Farewell)

Besides getting Reed all settled in his big boy bed and getting the curtains hung (with Reed's help of course), Project Big Boy Room is pretty slow going...

I did take a bunch of pictures of Reed's nursery before the transition chaos ensued.  Thought I would post (read: cry over) those today just for fun, and then later this week share (and hopefully get!) some ideas for our girly nursery transformation and for Reed's big boy room...

When we moved into our house, we knew right away which room would be our nursery.  It was the smallest room, closest to the master bedroom, and had a cute window and a teeny tiny fan.  When we bought the house, the "baby room" looked like this:
It stayed empty for the most part, and as we got closer to wanting to get it ready for a growing family, our friend Chad told Matt that the best way to get rid of the wall paper border was to mud (is that the correct term?) over the border, sand it, and then prime and paint the room... A tip that worked great, and saved us a bunch of hassle!  (Yes, we have taken down wallpaper before. No, we never want to do it again!) :)
The room actually got painted twice (sorry, Matt), first getting ahead of ourselves with the green color, then with neutral walls to better go with the awesome green crib our friends the Bowlers gave us.  Sarah helped me pick out the second wall color as well as a complementary green that Matt painted my white college-days dresser.  My sister passed on a glider, and our friend Barbara recovered it for us in a neutral fabric.  I looked at lots of fabric samples for the chair, but found sail cloth curtains on super clearance (spent $8.50) at Target!  So on top of the blessing of being given our furniture pieces, we saved even more by shopping sales and (in the long run) by going with gender neutral colors for the furniture and walls.

We brought sweet baby Reed home to his room in March 2010.  See him in there!?  Love.
And below are the pictures I took before commencing Project Big Boy Room.  (You'll notice the crib is dropped, so the valance-made-crib-skirt pictured above is retired.  And the missing angle is toward his closet, but you already know more than you ever cared to about Reed's closet and clothes). ;)

...Seems like just yesterday!  The curtains, fabric bins (one is missing in picture), clothes and toys are now in Reed's new room, the changing pad cover, crib sheet, and skirt are packed away, and all of the furniture pieces are staying put.  Stay tuned as Project Big Boy Room and Operation: Girly Nursery continue. :)

Furniture: Gently used/ repainted pieces
Curtains: $20ish from Anna's Linens (exact pattern no longer available)
Crib sheet/Changing pad cover: Carter's Blue Dot
Cubicle Shelf and Fabric bins: Target
Shelf above dresser: Ikea (also the small light blue bins)

Monday, January 9, 2012

About to POP... with SWEET Baby Calder

Last night our small group girls hosted a surprise sprinkle for Lisa, who is adding a second little boy to her family in February.  Calder Joseph is due to arrive in three short weeks (we all think he will come even sooner!), so we planned a relaxed girls' PJ dessert/coffee night to celebrate Lisa and little Calder.  We had a lot of fun.  I have a couple of pictures and a quick recipe to share...

I made my first ever diaper cake!  I just googled and followed this tutorial (roll and rubberband technique), except I put a huge bottle of hand sanitizer in the center of the cake... that's my kind of nursery bling :)

Our theme was "About to Pop with... Sweet Baby Calder."  I re-purposed some of the decor supplies from Reed's first birthday party for a fun theme with bright blues and greens, and our "pinspired" menu consisted of all things "sweet" and "pop" (like Caramel POPcorn, Fruit POPS, and SWEET baby cakes). :)

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball Dessert
1 8 oz package cream cheese softened at room temp.
1 stick butter softened at room temp
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbls brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
(3/4 cup chopped pecans)
1 box chocolate graham sticks

Mix all ingredients together, except for chocolate chips and pecans, using a mixer.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Shape mixture into a ball and chill in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.  Just before serving, roll ball in pecans.  Serve garnished with graham sticks.  (Serving with chocolate grahams helps people identify the ball as a dessert).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Big Boy Bed

Reed is officially in his big boy bed!

We purchased bunk beds for his new room, and Matt and "Reed" set up the top bunk as a twin bed so he is all set with a built-in safety rail.
Daddy and Reed at work

We spent a couple of weeks talking up the new room and big boy bed, reading books together on the bed, and letting Reed show all of our visitors (and skype victims) his new pad.

I decided to take the plunge on December 31st (side note: not my best idea... fireworks anyone?).  I had wanted to transition Reed to his new room well before the baby's arrival so that he didn't feel like she kicked him out, but once I picked a day I started second-guessing and telling myself we had plenty of time.  Would you believe that during his afternoon nap, his very last time sleeping in his crib, Reed tried to climb out and fell!?  It was the loudest THUMP ever, and I knew immediately what had happened.  We rushed into Reed's room and once he calmed down, he kept saying "I tried it... I tried it..."  That was all the encouragement I needed to seal the deal.
12/31- Ringing in the New Year before big boy bed!
He was a little apprehensive the first night and it almost broke my heart, but he has been in the new room for a solid week now and is doing great.  At first, I thought we'd hit the jackpot; Reed wasn't getting out of the bed until I came to get him, even though he is very capable.  After two days, though, he figured it out.  I decided it really doesn't bother me if he gets out of of bed after his nap and plays a little in his room...

However, the next day he climbed out of his bed before he ever even fell asleep.  I saw his little head bob across the video monitor as he ran from one side of the room to the other.  He was quickly back up on his bed.  I debated going in there, but it didn't look like things were headed toward sleep.  I decided I would lay him down and gently but firmly tell him how things would go during nap time.  I opened the door and went over to his bed, and my heart melted... Reed had put his stuffed Mickey and Pluto in bed with himself and Mr. Monkey, and each friend (monkey, mickey, and pluto) had a book open in front of them.  It was so cute!  "Yook mom!  Friends reading books!" :)

I figure if that's the worst of our big boy bed woes then we'll be alright.  But I have a feeling Reed has big plans for his big boy room! :)

We are slowly getting Reed's new room put together and getting the nursery ready for baby sister... I will update you on our progress soon!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Family Advent Project

Before Christmas gets too far behind us, I want to share an idea with you that I am so excited about!  Really, it is a very simple concept, but for some reason I am enamored with it... A Family Advent Project.  I am putting together an advent calendar, personalized for our family, that includes ALL of our Christmas traditions and favorites- big and small- in one place.

I already told you about starting our Jesse Tree this year.  While I love the concept, the devotions are way above Reed's head and will be for some time.  Combine trying to do the Jesse Tree daily with all of the other meaningful traditions and fun we try to cram into the Christmas season, and I feel like it is so easy to either become frazzled instead of joyful and/or to miss opportunities to be purposeful in teaching our kids about (and reflecting on for ourselves) the Christ of Christmas.

When I say the calendar will include everything, I mean all of it!  Even traditions we obviously wouldn't forget, like putting up a Christmas tree, are included for the sake of not only simplification but also to ensure we don't just throw up the tree and miss the opportunity to talk as a family about how it points heavenward and that its evergreen nature represents eternal hope and the star on top reminds us of the star that shone that holy night of Jesus' birth.  Along with favorite Christmas traditions big and small, a family advent calendar would also include any traditions that are unique to your family.  For example, maybe you have a Christmas party you attend every year or out of town family you visit; part of your family calendar can celebrate those events and preparations too.  A couple of the unique traditions on our family's calendar are our Cultural Christmas celebration and gathering with family on Matt's Dad's birthday, which is December 19, to remember him in a special way.

Okay, so let me tell you what I did really quick, add a couple of notes, and then show you where I landed with our first go at a calendar list.

Here's How
First, I made a big list of every Christmas tradition I could think of, from little things like candy canes and obvious things like decorating our home to traditions specific to our family as I mentioned above.

Next, I crossed off things that I didn't really care to include (like caroling) and arranged the rest toward an order.  For example, things like decorating and putting up the tree moved to the front of the lineup and Christmas Eve worship landed on... Christmas Eve. :)

Other Points
The calendar can be as flexible as you want it to be, change with the year (or day!), and can grow with your family.  I would recommend presenting it in a way that is easy to switch up.  Say you plan to get your Christmas tree on December 2 but end up being able to go on Dec 1, just switch the papers around quickly!  You could even have back up filler activities, like a Christmas movie or an evening of hot chocolate, in case of a last minute switch up.  I think I will put ours in a hanging burlap tree that has numbered pockets (It was a countdown decoration we already had).  Here are a couple of other ideas for presentation:
Remember the purpose is two-fold... to simplify and organize all the ways you want to celebrate the Christmas season into ONE place, and to help be purposeful around the talking points for each tradition.  I feel like as kids get older it could be corny to talk around each little thing we do in December, but when the customs are anticipated as advent activities for a specific day it automatically creates excitement and a platform to talk a little bit about meaning.

Okay, I am sure I will add and change more in the future and I am just jotting a few words for most of the talking points, but here is a "sort of in order" list I will start from next year when I arrange our Family Advent Calendar:

Set up Jesse Tree, Talking point: "Advent" (*continue Jesse Tree ornaments daily)
Christmas Tree, TP: symbol of eternal hope
Decorate Tree, TP: ornaments, memories
Nativity (and Mexico tradition: wait for baby Jesus- flashback "advent"), TP: Christmas Story
Wreath, TP: everlasting life
Movie Night: Veggietales Saint Nicholas/ add Santa ornament to tree, TP: Saint Nicholas
Hang stockings, TP: Saint Nicholas/ other countries
Stamp/ Send Christmas Cards, TP: friends and family
Christmas cookies
TP: Star on tree significance
Christmas craft with friends
World Vision Shopping, TP: giving
Candy canes, TP: "story" of the candy cane
Wrapping presents, TP: John 3:16/ giving in celebration of God's greatest gift
Christmas Movie Night
Pops' Special Birthday, TP: Christmas and our hope of heaven
Look at Christmas lights, TP: Jesus the light of the world/being a light in darkness
Research/prep for Christmas by Country, TP: specific to research
Add France ornament to tree (for candy or clues), TP: France (also discuss Nativity scene and tomorrow's love letter delivery day)
23rd Love Letter Day, TP: Italy tradition (either read them that night or just deliver)
24th Donuts... Christmas Eve worship, TP: talk about service/read Christmas story
25th Sing Happy Birthday Jesus, celebrate, TP: Christmas!
NYE: Buttons, TP: year in review
Others/ Extras: Christmas book, carol lyrics, hot chocolate night

Do you think you'll make a Family Advent Calendar?  What are some other ideas to add?!?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Stocking Buttons

Our 2011 Stocking Button Picks...

Recall that we started buttons in 2009 when Matt and I celebrated our last Christmas before adding to our family.  I gave both of us a heart-shaped button.

Last year, Matt, Reed, and I all got shamrock buttons representing Reed's entrance into the world and our lives (he is a St Patrick's Day baby).

This Year...

Me- I chose a hat button for myself this year for Hold on to Your Hats.  I thought it was fitting since I started the blog in early April, and because the blog is basically follows the day-to-day hats I've worn this year. :)

Reed- It was a toss up between the zoo and mickey mouse, but we're going with a zoo button.  As you might remember, we gave him a zoo pass for his birthday in March, and he has thoroughly enjoyed the zoo and its inhabitants throughout 2011. :)  Reed's Mimi even got him a Little People zoo and zoo book for Christmas :)

Matt- When Matt started his new role as family pastor at Sanctuary I thought that his button this year would definitely represent that big life change.  Most of you probably know, though, that Matt's Dad died unexpectedly this July.  Matt's Dad was a one of a kind friend, fan, and valued encourager and adviser in Matt's life who is hugely missed.  I picked out a cross button to represent both Matt's Dad's heavenly promotion and Matt's new role in ministry.