5.28.2017

that time I cried during "goin' on a bear hunt"

SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!

Summer is my time. Maybe it was growing up in the land of eternal summer (aka Florida), but I'm totally okay with 10 popsicles a day, the smell of sunscreen and running through sprinklers in the backyard, relaxed schedules and negotiable bedtimes- it's my very favorite.

This summer also feels special, because although as a teacher I've had many summer breaks, this is Jillian's first true summer break since she just finished kindergarten! I plan to teach her all the ways of popsicling and red cheeks from endless hours of playing outside.

Kindergarten was a growing experience- it really stretched her (mentally, emotionally and physically- the kid grew like 5 inches). I know the adjustment can be hard for a lot of kids, and it proved to be so for her as well. She needed me to walk her to her classroom every morning for about 3 months! But looking back, it felt good to be needed. It always does. By the end of the year she'd hop out of the car and meet up with other friends getting dropped off and they'd run in the front doors together, rarely looking back. I always give her a kiss before she went in and for a while she would say, "no time for kisses!" as she would rush to catch up with one of her buddies. I'd always make her stop anyway- because there is always time for kisses.

^with her teacher, Mrs. Mitchell

Throughout the school year her class put on several performances- Mother's Day, Christmas, grandparent's day, Daddy donut day...all of which involved some kind of singing or poem reciting. Jillian hates that kind of thing. I think it's a combination of her personality- she is shy by nature, combined with her struggles with sensory processing- but a room full of eyes on her doing something is too much for her to handle. She will either run off the stage crying, or refuse to go up at all. We figured this out pretty early on in her life, and I usually just go into those things with zero expectations. We've tried a lot of different things to help her get over her fears, but nothing has worked so far. So we've kind of backed off. If she isn't the kid that does the cute dance recitals, or the kid singing the loudest (or at all)- it's fine. We've learned to let her shine in other ways where she can still gain more confidence in herself.



During the last week of school the school had a dance festival where each grade level performed a dance for the parents and the rest of the student body- one of the biggest performances of the year. I debated even taking her- knowing she wouldn't want to do anything and thinking of trying to keep Olivia entertained for an hour outside in the heat while each grade level performed. But the night before, I told James that I always want the opportunity for her to try to be there, just in case.

Ever so ironically, when I woke up in the morning and was casually scrolling through my facebook feed before the girls woke up, my Time Hop showed me a blog post I'd written from the day where she completely melted down during her end of year preschool event- and I handled it horribly. It was a definite learning experience for me as a parent. I thought, "This is definitely a sign! She's not going to do anything, but we're going to go anyway and support her class and she can just watch."


All of the grades filed outside on the lawn behind the school. All the kindergartners had on safari hats and binoculars crafted out of toilet paper tubes- their dance was "Going on a Bear Hunt". I snapped a picture of her sitting with her class waiting to perform because I was sure that was the only chance I'd have to do so. As each grade level performed, the parents' of students in that grade would go closer to the front, crouching down with their phone in hand to get a close up recording of the performance. When kindergarten walked up, I decided I would just stay in my seat since I knew there wouldn't be anything to record anyway (but maybe her running towards me in terror). But when Jillian actually walked out with them, I thought...well this is new. And inched my way towards the front, curious about how this was going to play out.

Jillian moved from the back of the group to the front row. As the music started, she started. She was DOING IT!
SHE WAS GOING ON A FREAKING BEAR HUNT!



 
And then, behind my sunglasses, tears started to roll down my cheeks. I mean, I AM enormously pregnant so there ARE lots of extra hormones going on over here, but I think I would have regardless. She performed the entire song- on the front row, in front of the entire school.
I was as flabbergasted as I was proud, and I couldn't wait to tell her just how proud of her I was.

Do I think this will happen every time from now on? No. Definitely not. But do I think it was a heck of a confidence builder for both of us? Definitely. We'll take the wins where we can. It validated my approach to all of this with her fears about performing- not forcing her to do it or shaming her for not doing it, but at least always giving her the opportunity to try.

And now, in what seems like the blink of an eye, we'll be jumping into all-day first grade next year. I know it will come with new challenges for her and I'll keep messing up this parenting thing as we go, but I also can't wait to see more of those growing moments- in her and in me. 

5.10.2017

be free to move event with lululemon

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Alex and I attended an event with Lululemon to launch a new sports bra they developed. It was such a blast! Originally we just thought we'd be getting hooked up with a free bra (which would have been great on it's own- good sports bras ain't cheap!), but when we went to the store for the fitting they surprised us by letting us also pick out an entire outfit! I've officially been converted to the ways of Lululemon. (And suggest everyone buy a pair of their Align pants- because you literally feel naked...but you're not...which is a good thing). 



We started off with a good sweat- some yoga and some HIIT- had to put those new bras to work ;-). I probably overdid it a little bit, but it was hard not to being in a room full of such strong women with the music pumping! As we were going through the yoga bits, the fabulous Sadie Jane talked us through a meditation that was centered around feeling strong and confident in your body. Letting go of what we see as imperfections in ourselves. Throwing away the word "try"- you don't just try something- you DO it. To change the way we think from "I don't know" to "I don't know yet."

  
These were all things I needed to hear and I left feeling strong and uplifted. It's interesting- there have been times throughout this pregnancy where I have been so self-conscious. Though it's been my healthiest pregnancy, I've gained the most weight so far (45 lbs so far!). But it's still a hard pill to swallow when the year prior to getting pregnant I'd just lost 30 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. And then there are other times when I feel the most confident I ever have- that I am this far pregnant and look what I can still do. (And then some other times when I don't care about any of it and I just want to sit on the couch with a carton of ice cream). Pregnancy hormones folks...what a rush. 

But I needed to be reminded of those things- that I am not my body. That I take care of my body because of what my body allows me to do- and that is who I am- what I decide to do



 Deliciousness by Clean Eats and Treats

^Mend Juicery - I need this in my life every day.

It was such a great day! And I'm really looking forward to working out with OUT a giant belly to move around! 


-Photography by Roslyn Smithers-

4.30.2017

olivia turns 3!

My baby is THREE! This is especially weird, because Jillian was 3 when Olivia was born, and now Charlotte is almost here and Olivia is 3! Where is the time going?

 Also, can you believe that little toe-head started out with a head full of black hair!?

 We started out the day with traditional birthday sprinkle pancakes. Olivia insisted we light the candle and sing to her 4 times, which we did of course.

 That night we had our family over for a birthday dinner. She was so excited about it all day! She especially loved the play makeup from Tia Cynthia. (Her eyebrows are still purple).

 I love doing big, all-out birthday parties, but this year there was just too much going on to take on the extra planning! It actually was kind of nice not worrying about anything except making a cake..hah! And Olivia had just as much fun. Maybe I should take note...



Some of Olivia's favorite things:
Elsa (and princesses in general)
Doing anything Jillian is doing
Jumping/running- she's never still
Yogurt
Balloons
The Bounce House (a warehouse with a ton of large bounce houses)
The soundtrack from Trolls
The show The Lion Guard
Peanut butter sandwiches 
Playing in the dirt

Some of Olivia's least favorite things:
Getting buckled in her car seat 
Waking up (she's not a morning person)
Putting on clothes
Keeping her shoes on
Chicken




The term "threenager" couldn't fit her better- she is both sweet and (at times) sassy! She is a big time cuddler and always makes sure you give her hugs and kisses before walking out the door. She loves playing and pretending with Jillian, especially with dolls, games where one of them is the mom and one is the baby, or both of them pretend to be kitties. Her laugh is infectious (and she snorts a lot!). Sometimes she talks just to hear herself talk- she will go off telling me the most random, unrelated things, which usually end up being pretty funny. She is so full of life and love and I couldn't imagine our little family without her! 

When we put her to bed after her party, she excitedly asked, "Can we do this again when I'm four?!" 
We love you so much Livvy-loo! 

easter

Some of my favorite things about Easter this year:

Jillian got a little confused with the whole Easter basket thing and stockings on Christmas. We had to have a talk to seriously lower her expectations (we do Christmas a lot bigger than Easter, which I think most people do...haha!). She still wanted to leave a note for the Easter bunny (we usually leave a note for Santa at Christmas), which she decided to hide last minute because she thought that might be a dumb idea after all. She's growing up too fast!

We leave our kids' basket's in their rooms so they can see them when they wake up, and when Jillian woke up she bolted out of bed and ran downstairs to ask us first if she was allowed to look at it. Oddly considerate of her! 

When Olivia woke up and came down to see us she exclaimed, "Happy Easter Egg!" 

Both of them went through most of their candy stash before lunch time. Meh. I figure it goes with the territory. (I mean...we DID leave a basket of candy in their bedroom that morning...so I couldn't really expect anything too different).

I wasn't planning on it, but because we made "bunny bum pancakes" last year (you know, with the whip cream tail and sliced strawberries for feet?), Jillian insisted we had to do the same thing this year. I suppose that will be an Easter morning tradition now!

 ^Dying Easter eggs! They were surprisingly (and thankfully) not very messy this year. 

 ^Jillian helped me make the dessert for our family dinner. She loves baking! It was a fresh strawberry cake with lemonade marshmallow frosting- sooooo delicious! The recipe for the cake is here and the frosting here



 ^Hunting for eggs! Where did that tradition start? Does the Easter bunny technically leave the eggs? In which case...why isn't there an Easter chicken? These are legitimate questions...



^The day after. Busted.
#sugarcoma


4.26.2017

ramblings from a ticking time bomb

(Me...I'm the ticking time bomb.)

I've started like 3 blog posts in the last month, eventually abandoning all of them. But sometimes senseless word vomit and rambling is good for the soul. Okay, my soul. (I mean I DID read the Chicken Soup for the Soul books when I was a teenager. And when they came out with a Chicken Soup for the Teenager journal!? Game over.) 

(Also complete with some unrelated pictures).

 
Here we are in my 8th month of pregnancy. We've lived in our new house for approximately 6 weeks. Nearly every box is unpacked and just about everything has a place (*cough..James's office..*cough..). We have a list of things we (okay..I..) want to get done before the little miss makes her grand appearance and I go into mombie mode for a solid month or two. The biggest project is trying to get our front landscaping under control. When we came to see the house there was snow on the ground and we didn't realize just how much love it would need! I think I nearly started having contractions the other day when I decided it would be a good idea to start ripping out plants and bushes solo. The other things on the to-do list are smaller- organize and decorate the girls' rooms, install some cabinet hardware- very doable (that is, if I could muster the energy to do something at night besides binge watch Netflix). Hypothetically it's doable.

Oh wait. Did I say the biggest project was landscaping? Ha. Let me rewind. So we're in the middle of this thang. Our home inspection came back fairly normal, with just some normal maintenance things to address. Fast forward to a week or two ago when we got a LOT of rain and a LOT of wind- like, I thought our house might actually blow over all Three Little Pigs style. Water started coming in not one, or two, but THREE of our windows all on the same side of the house. It was so wet near the top of the window I was literally just wiping away caulk and bits of dry wall. We had a contractor come evaluate the lovely little situation and found out basically because the wall wasn't initially built to drain properly and is on the side of the house that is in shade all day long preventing it from ever really drying out, the entire thing needs to be replaced to properly drain. 
Like, the entire wall. 
Needs to be replaced.
So essentially the inspection company missed a big FAT problem that in the opinion of the contractor is one they "definitely shouldn't have missed." 
Anyway, we're in the middle of that process going back and forth with the inspection company (working to get them to fork out the funds for the repair). 
Meanwhile, it's been a really wet spring in Utah. Fun combo.

But things show absolutely zero signs of slowing down.  

^Playing "princess camp out"

We decided to keep Jillian in her same school (about 20 minutes away) until the end of the year for stability's sake. I know that doesn't sound far, but when kindergarten is only three hours long it's a lot of back and forth! It was the right decision for her, but there are many days when I feel like we're living out of our car. Proof: I found a slice of pizza in the back seat today. Not really sure from when...
Olivia found a half-eaten gummy worm in the bottom of her car seat (which I admit is a pretty normal occurrence...except the actual food item is exchangeable by any number of snacks). She was so excited by it, I didn't have the heart to tell her not to eat it. We were both okay with it.

^While I was getting out of the shower she perched herself there and said, "Mom. I'm going to sit here...and think."

There is an upside to all of the crazy, however. All of the life-y-ness of life has made my third trimester of baby growing F-L-Y by. There isn't much time to focus on the aches and pains that start showing up in months 8 and 9 of pregnancy. And thinking of everything we need to do before she comes on out makes me think maybe I wouldn't mind if time actually slowed down a little? I know...said no pregnant woman ever. But I'm SAYIN' IT. (see entire wall needs to be replaced). 

As far as being ready for her, I think we're just about there. There are a couple of things left to buy, clothes to be washed, and a bassinet to be assembled, but other than that by this point I figure having a newborn is like riding a bike- it just comes back to ya. Right? (If not, just let me live in my denial for the time being. My sanity may require it.)

Cheers!

3.09.2017

exterior face lift- a story of the big brown poop

^Post title inspired by true events today- my toddler did indeed poop her pants and then smear it all over the toilet, her hands, and belly. Good times. (Little kids are so gross).

But the other "big brown poop" I'm referring to is our new house! hah! The exterior needs a little love, because well, it's an ode to it's era- the mid-2000's (2006 to be exact), when every new house built in this area was very, very brown. To accentuate the tan stucco, is more brown trim! Which is what inspired this post- let's talk about when dark trim is a good idea, according to the third book of Whitney (and plans of how we're going to transform "the big brown poop").

Most houses do indeed have lighter trim than the main body of the house, especially new houses where bright white (and even white on white) is trending. Most people gravitate towards this because it gives a house nice, clean lines and can actually make a house look bigger. Of course personal preference comes into play (as with anything design related), but there are some instances where dark trim (as in darker than the house color) totally works and works beautifully


http://www.hgtv.com/design/hgtv-dream-home


^In this former HGTV dreamhome, the actual trim of the house is still light, but the windows are black. This is a really good example of a happy medium! The darker windows bring some definition to the overall look of the house and ties in nicely with the color of the roof, but it isn't at all overwhelming or too dark, despite a darker house color, because the trim keeps it light. (And if replacing all the windows in your house just for cosmetic reasons wasn't insanely expensive- I'd dooooo it.)

Here's another example of that same concept on a different house:




^Admittedly one of my favorite exteriors I'm crushing on right now from House No. 6! Here, most of the trim and windows are black, which looks really nice against the bright white paint color and adds an element of drama (along with the additional stone textures and those beautiful garage doors!). Dark trim (namely black) looks great against white houses! (But I also have a place in my heart for white on white houses...like I said, preference! But don't ask me to pick white on white over white with black specifically because I literally can't choose.)




^The architecture and materials of a house also has a lot to do with what colors will and won't work. Houses made of either all brick or stone can also pull off all dark trim. Interesting architecture automatically lends itself well to nontraditional paint colors (think about Victorian style houses...we almost expect those to be painted cool colors!).




^Though I don't love the colors on this one (preference), the darker trim on this house is still pulled off by a couple of different features. First, the exterior is made up of different textures: brick, siding, and shake. It also is painted a couple of different colors to break up sections of the house and to add some variety (and I'm hoping it's just the lighting of the picture because the redness of the brick paired with the cool gray paints is driving me bonkers...so we'll pretend it's the lighting of the picture and that the gray actually has much warmer undertones).

I would say majority of houses get the color pairing of the trim/windows/exterior just fine (though you may not like the actual colors because of preference- but in design theory it still "works"- you feel me?). Just like the English language, there are always exceptions, but sometimes I catch myself driving by a house thinking...who let you DO that?! 

Anyway. Our new house is one of those houses. If we were just going off exteriors, I would have passed it up pretty easily, but the inside totally won us over, so our decision to buy it was a no-brainer. Besides, just about anything can be changed. ;-)

I'm also excited to tackle an exterior project, since I haven't done that yet! I was telling James my plans the other night and he said, "So you're planning to do that yourself?" And my answer was, "heck no." 
1. I don't do climbing on roofs. 
2. Pregnant (I'm pretty sure climbing on roofs is frowned upon when your center of gravity is off). 
3. I find exteriors much more intimidating to DIY than anything interior. 

I'm hoping we'll be able to tackle a few of these ideas when our townhouse closes and we get the profits from that sale, but we still have to price everything out- so we shall see. (Plus we have to buy things like window well covers, a lawn mower..you know..super exciting house stuff. ;-) If it doesn't happen in the next couple of months it'll still happen, just later down the road. :-D (But fingers crossed it happens in the next couple of months!!). 

 So first let's take a look at the poo'! Ours is the top left. Wah-wah. The color of the main body isn't my first choice, but can be worked and around and improved, but what I can't stand is all of that dark brown trim! When I was looking for inspiration, I wanted to find similar houses in design and materials, since we're just making (mostly) color changes, so I could start to get a picture of what I knew I wanted the end result to be. The other three houses shown have stone and stucco.  

I also knew I wanted to add another texture to the house, and right now I'm leaning towards board and batten on the dormers (like the top right and bottom left).

Lastly, all of the inspiration pictures have lighter trim than the main body of the house. When you compare them all to each other, ours stands out like a sore thumb! (In our neighborhood it doesn't- like I said, they're all very brown..haha..but with these changes the house will still flow with the neighborhood, but just have a LOT more curb appeal!)

Here's the plan:
1. Repaint the eaves and trim lighter, and the same color. I haven't decided which color yet, but it'll be somewhere in the light cream family since we're not planning to repaint the stucco portions and the stone around the bottom has all warmer tones, so it'll be somewhere in line with that...just much lighter and brighter!

2. These are the two spots where I want to add board and batten! Also possibly on the triangle portion behind that tree on the left...This will be painted a color between the spectrum of the house color and the trim I end up picking out. 

3. The garage door will be repainted to match the board and batten sections, and I want to add some hardware to look like a carriage door style garage door. 

4. (Probably completed farther down the road-- and I can DIY this one) Right now the front door is kind of a dark teal-ish color (which is hard to tell from this picture). I love big and bold front doors (especially a heavy black door against a light house!). But, this time I'm going to go lighter (again, a color with warmer undertones so it all ties together with the rest of the house). I'm not sure which specific color or shade yet. 

5. (Also probably completed later on...I may DIY it...depends on how brave I'm feeling). I want to add another texture element to the front of the house, so I want to wrap the stucco beams in wood to beef it up a little, and paint them to match the trim color...or maybe do a natural wood stain? I dunno yet. I have time to figure that one out.

Can you picture it?! It's going to be maaaaa'velous! The back of the house will be pretty simple, since just the trim around the windows will need to be painted. I also have lots of landscaping things I want to add to the backyard, but that's for another post at another time. :-) I've come to accept that any landscaping most likely will not happen this summer (because you know, baby).

Of course I'm already scheming up some interior projects, but this is definitely the first up on my list! Who knew trim was such an exciting topic. ;-)


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3.04.2017

nursery inspiration

The nesting instinct is kicking in pretty hard these days (almost in my 3rd trimester- hallelujah!), and since this is happening at the same time we're moving into a new house, I pretty much feeling like decorating/cleaning/organizing ALL THE THINGS.

Since each of the girls will have their own room in the new house, I've been thinking about where I want to go with the decor of each space! I want them all to be different enough from each other, but not so different that each room feels like it should be in a different house (this is also a general rule in decorating).

One of the girls (probably Jillian), will get the same room decor that they currently have in their shared room (see how that all came together here)- which is white, pastel pinks, yellow, and some pastel blues.

For the nursery (eek!), I want to do a dark and bold, floral accent wall, so I put together some ideas based around that:
(Oh, and the name we've picked out is Charlotte! But we can't agree on a middle name...so stay tuned for that...)


We usually keep the baby in our bedroom out of convenience for the first several months, so I'm not anticipating getting this put together for a little bit- but at least it's all planned out in my mind and I can start collecting things in the meantime!

What I CANNOT decide is how I want to do Olivia's bedroom!! So I'll just be over here racking my brain about that one. So many girls. Aye aye aye. 

What's in this room:

2.13.2017

what's black, white, and gold all over?

My friend's new eyelash extension studio! 
*ba-dum ching!* I'll be here all night, thanks.

One of my good friends is opening an eyelash extension studio, Extend Lash Lounge, in her hometown in Michigan next month and it's going to be amazing!

In a post I did a good while ago, I outlined four basic things to think about before working up a space that ring true and apply to any room:

1. What do you need the function of the room to be?
2. How do you want the room to feel?
3. Choose a color palette.
4. Find and collect inspiration.

(More on each of those things in the original post here).

I came up with a few design boards for her when she was scheming about the decor and look of it all. She knew she wanted black, white, and gold accents. Here are the three different palettes I came up with:

The first board is Kate Spade inspired- all things girly, pink, striped, and bold. Using bold patterns, like stripes and animal prints, with fun textures like a sheepskin throw and light and airy textured wall paper and glass globe pendant lighting, work together to create a fun, trendy, and unapologetic feminine vibe. There is a bold feel (anytime you pair contrasting colors), but it isn't overwhelming because of the lightness and softness of the textures. My favorite feature is that gold bar cart! One day I want a reason to have a bar cart. Let me rephrase- one day I want a bar cart. We could have parties just because it's Tuesday.

This next look still uses black, white and gold- but in a completely different way. Pairing those colors with warmer neutrals (like earthy greens) and modern textures (like wood, marble, and concrete) give this look more of a spa-like feel: clean and relaxing. The golds are also darker golds- more brass than shiny gold like in the first board above. Using lots of plants also helps the overall look feel fresh and natural (like you want those lashes to be ;-)
The last look uses pink as the accent color again, but the softer blush pink paired with more grays and whites instead of straight black and white makes this look much softer- giving off a chic, couture vibe. The lighting is also much different in this board, using a fancy-schmancy chandelier instead of simple pendant lighting, along with other features like the mirrored dresser to punch up the glam vibe. 

So which look did she go with in her salon? 
Door number one! Kate Spade. Wouldn't you want to hang out and get your lashes done there?! (And drink something from that cute bar cart with a little paper straw while you girl talk for a couple hours gettin' beautified?!) Me too. I'll show you the reality of how it all came together, from inspiration to interpretation, once they open next month! 
Woo!

2.07.2017

life lately

...has been absolute crazy-town. But I'll get to that. First some things I don't want to miss!

 ^Jillian did the science fair last month! It was totally optional for everyone in the school not in 5th grade, but I knew Jillian would love it and I wasn't wrong. We spent an afternoon trying different simple experiments to see which one she wanted to do, and growing gummy bears was the winner! I really wanted her to do as much of it as possible, so I just helped her get everything on the board and of course think through the scientific method- other than that she loved doing it herself!

During the awards ceremony I didn't know how she would handle walking up in front of everyone (since historically this has been a trigger for melt downs), but when they called her up to receive a participation award she bolted up to the front to get her certificate and stood up there just beaming, so proud of herself! They announced she was just in kindergarten (the only kindergarten participant) and the 5th graders all collectively gasped as one kid sitting near us mentioned, "Well that's inspiring!". 

I'm starting to realize that as a parent, part of my job is to help my kids find what they want to do and what they want to enjoy and excel in- regardless of what I think they should do or even want them to do. And heck, if it's the science fair that helps her build confidence and makes her feel successful, then bring on the scientific method. My mama heart was so proud of her that day it could have burst wide open.

 ^My parents came to visit last week! When they come for a week it always feels like the fastest week ever, but we enjoyed having them as always! One day I hope I'm as patient as my Mom is with the girls (like letting them help with almost every part of banana pudding assembly)!

 ^I snapped this on my phone of the girls sitting on the side of the tub "just getting their feet wet" while in a mid-afternoon much needed bubble bath. I'm sure you can guess how long them staying on the side of the tub lasted...(spoiler alert: not long). It's been one of the craziest, busiest weeks EVER. We've been slowly starting to look for a new house with the idea we would move towards the end of April before the arrival of baby #3. We're ready to be in a larger house and shave some time off of James' commute to work! I ended up coming across a house I LOVED on Zillow (a website I was never checking regularly). After finding out the owners were hours away from signing with another offer, we were able to sweet talk them into letting us come see the house anyway and had to put in our offer the same night if we wanted a shot at it (the real estate market in Utah right now is moving crazy fast)! After learning our offer was accepted the next day, it meant we had to get our house listed the next day as well. So we went from having family here for a week, to a show-ready house in literally like 36 hours. There was much, much cleaning, touching up, and de-junking to be done (and a high amount of caffeine consumption to go along with it). We got a lot of interest in our town house right away, and were able to get someone under contract just 4 days after listing it-- such a huge blessing! Now I'll just be holding my breath for the next 30 days while inspections and appraisals happen on our current home and future home and pray we don't hit any snags along the way!! There's no doubt in my mind we've had some divine help in this whole process- from the way we randomly found the new house and how quickly we were able to get our house sold as well. Some may call it good luck or coincidence, but I just don't believe in that.

But now hopefully things will slow down for at least a couple of weeks (my body is so worn out!)...until we have to start packing that is...

1.06.2017

mini board and batten "mudroom" wall

With Olivia potty training last week, I knew I would need/want a little project to do in the evenings to keep my sanity (what's left of it). Some people like adult coloring books, some people read, me? Gimme a drill or some paint and lemme take it out on my house! ;-)

I looove the functionality of a mudroom space, it's on the "must have" list for our next house, but with our town house, there just isn't anywhere to put one. But we did have a small useless wall in between the half bath and back door that I knew would be perfect for board and batten, that we could also add hooks to for more functionality and some added interior appeal. In total this took 3 hours total and cost less than $20. BOOM. Wish I would have done it months ago. 

I used two different blogs as guides (here and here). It really is a super simple idea- measure your space, decide how far apart you want the vertical boards to be, measure and cut the horizontal boards, fix to the wall, paint, add hooks. Done. 

Deciding where and how high you want the boards to be really is a preference thing. Using masking or painters tape to get something up on the wall so you can easily play around with the layout and spacing is genius. A good rule of thumb is either halfway up the wall or two-thirds.

Materials:

1/2" x 3" pine boards, cut to length
1/2" x 1.5" pine boards, cut to length
Wall screws
Stud finder
Drill (with 1/8" drill bit and countersink drill bit)
Gorilla glue
White paint (I used Benjamin Moore White Dove)
Painter's Tape
Level
Wall spackle or nail filler 
White paintable caulk
These wall hooks (by far cheaper than what you will pick up at Home Depot)

Couple of things to note- if you don't own a saw of any kind, no worries. Just pre-measure the sizes you need, take your list to Lowe's or Home Depot and they will make the cuts for you there. 
Also, you can secure the boards faster with a brad nailer and air compressor, I just don't own one and didn't want to borrow or rent one. If this project was larger though, I would go that route to save a considerable amount of time.  
And lastly, the complete list above will cost you more than $20 if you have to buy everything on it. I had everything already except the pine board and hooks. If you do have to invest in it all, really nothing is lost because those are materials and supplies you will use time and time again!

Once I knew where I wanted everything to go, I used the stud find to mark where the studs are in the wall. You want your horizontal boards to go into those as much as possible, especially if you plan to add hooks to hang weight from. The vertical boards it doesn't matter- their purpose is purely decorative. 


Everywhere I was going to drill in a screw, I first used my 1/8" drill bit to drill a pilot hole to make it easier for the screws to go through the pine boards. After drilling the pilot holes, I used the countersink bit to widen the top of the hole. This allows the screw to sit below the surface so you can fill it with spackle and paint over it, and no one will ever know a screw sits there.


I screwed my horizontal boards into the wall first- don't use your baseboards as a guide as those aren't always level. Check EVERY board with a level before attaching it to the wall, or you may be sad. For the vertical boards that aren't secured into studs, I applied a thin line of gorilla glue down the middle, and attached them to the wall with one or two screws.

Once the Gorilla Glue was dry (didn't take long at all!), I caulked around every board to fill in the slight gap between the wall and board. Caulk is magical stuff that makes all of your imperfections just disappear. I also filled in all of the screw holes with spackle. This whole process from a clean wall to the boards attached with caulk took roughly an hour and a half. 


Once the caulk dries, you're ready for paint! I painted mine the following night and used 3 coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove, which took about an hour. By the time I finished one coat, I was ready to start at the bottom for the next coat, so that worked out well. 

Lastly, hang the hooks! I also drilled quick pilot holes into the pine boards before screwing these in. I didn't use to do this much- okay- never, but it makes it a million times easier to get the screw where you want it to go without sliding all over the place, so I think I'm converted! I didn't measure my hook placement- just eyeballed it. Seemed to work out.

And wah-lah! It is a very non-intimidating, cheap, and quick DIY project, making it worth every second of your time.


 And this friends, is officially my last real project in this house! It's bittersweet. Now it's time for lame stuff, like fixing some outlets, patching up random scuffs and paint, etc. to get her all ready to show!