Kid’s Bathroom: Sophisticated ducks


I have totally neglected to share the rest of the updates to the kids’ bathroom which have been done for months.

I have a group of mom friends.  The real world my call them virtual friends because we correspond online, but there are very real and dear to me.  We all had babies born in January 2012 and have been through the ups and downs of the first two years together.  Some of us even met for a playdate in DC back in May.

We were talking about redoing the kids’ bathrooms and I told them I was going to do a sophisticated rubber duck theme.  “Sophisticated” was important because I’m clearly not about just buying up the theme aisle at Target (so overkill….so tacky).  The problem is that when typing I missed the “u” in “duck” and substituted another vowel that is adjacent on the keyboard.  The girls thought it was hilarious and haven’t let me live it down.  One of them even sent my a sophisticated duck for the bathroom.  I’m so glad she sent a dUck.

Well, nothing says sophisticated (or Bradley) like a bowtie.  I decided to “label” the kids’ towel hangers with ducks: one wearing a bowtie and the other a hairbow.  I found the wood ducks at Hobby Lobby for about $0.50 each.  The yellow wasn’t quite right so I painted them to match the vanity and then added the bowtie and hairbow.

The hangers are spigot knobs.  I loved the idea the Young House Love shared from on of Richmond’s home shows last year.  The only place locally I could find just the knob was Pleasent’s Hardware.  They are only $2 each.  I tried to spray paint them silver but that was a big fat fail.  The spray paint just slid off so I punted and painted them navy by hand.  I used a dowel drilled out as a spacer between the knob and wall.  I love it.

So sassy.

So that brings us to “finished-ish” with the bathroom.  I’ll post a before-after/source list soon (but probably not too soon since Baby Girl is making her appearance in a matter of double digit hours).  I still want to add some trim just under the stripes on the wall, trim out the mirror, and probably change out the light fixture, but realistically this is all that is getting down for now.  And that’s OK.  I love it.


Update: Bradley’s Big Boy Room


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So Opal’s nursery is done but a lot of the furniture came from Bradley’s nursery.  So, what happened in B’s room?  We finally moved some of his “big boy” furniture down from the attic.  This furniture was Mason’s growing up and then went to college with him.  It is sturdy This End Up style wooden furniture but had seen better days sporting lots of stains, marks, and water rings from setting drinks on them.  I debated sanding them down and restaining them, but as I got more pregnant that seemed like more work than I wanted to do.  Also, the look of the stain didn’t really go with the room or our house.  I decided to just paint them and am so glad I did.  I used a satin finish for durability and the way the light hits it still shows some of the wood grain while still giving an opaque finish.  It’s very boy.
I used a custom mixed color that is similar to Benjamin Moore Museum Piece…a nice gray that is not too warm and not too cool.

The only true “nursery” furniture to stay is his crib.  We aren’t ready to transition out of it yet and that’s OK.  When he is, I will paint the single bed to match that can eventually be lofted or bunked.  We are SO not ready for that.

The changing table left for Opal’s nursery and a big dresser came in.  Also, we added a bookshelf awhile back for all his books and a frame cluster along with The Husband’s favorite…the IKEA SMYCKE wall clock that he insisted on putting in B’s room when we found out Opal was a girl and it wasn’t going in the new nursery.  We also lost the big orange sphere in the last two years.  It just didn’t want to stay up.  Oh well.

Changes: We swapped out the rocker/recliner for B’s very own Oversized Anywhere Chair.  I had been skeptical to buy one for him since they are kind of pricey.  I mean it’s a chair for a toddler.  But he LOVES it!  It was such a great purchase.  He loves to sit and read in the chair on his own in the mornings and I love that.

Changes: Not much for now.  Eventually it will be a single bed and then bunk beds, but for now we are all loving the crib.

Changes: The dresser got a makeover for Opal’s room so B got another dresser.  Mr. Independent loves to go over and get his own diaper out of the bottom drawer and closed the drawer behind him.

Really only a few small changes but it feels so much more grown up.  I can’t believe my little boy is two?!?  Time certainly does fly!

Opal’s Nursery: Source List

It is finished!  Like I mentioned yesterday, I will try to upload individual projects as I can, but here is a list of colors, fabrics, etc.

Wall: Valspar Misty Daydream
Crib skirt: DIY Premier Prints Amsterdam in Storm
Crib sheet: Target

Quilt: DIY – Kona Solids in white and jade; backing Michael Miller Bird Swing Gray; embroidery by a dear friend ❤

Bird cage decal: Dali decals
Mobile: DIY similar to here

Curtains: DIY – eyelet lace and ribbon from Hobby Lobby
Shades: IKEA with Riley Blake pom-pom trim added

Glider/recliner: Best glider/recliner in pumice (from B’s nursery); FABULOUS purchase…worth every penny….I have spent many a night rocking and sleeping in that very comfortable chair.

Pillow: DIY – Premier prints Dandie Dot in True Turquoise; Monogram by a dear, sweet friend

Hoop fabrics: Scraps from projects in the room and around the house.  Look closely and you can see the room’s only pink 🙂

Changing table: Valspar Funshine
Changing pad: Little Owl’s Nest
Verse sign: DIY
Light: Old from IKEA

Frame collage: More on that here
Dresser: DIY covered in Premier prints Dandie dot in True Turquoise

Compared to my original mood board, I think the room came together fabulously.  We love it so much.

Before/After: Opal’s Nursery



I have been a busy bee the past month finishing up Opal’s room which is a good thing because Opal is just about finishing up her time on the inside.  I have been terrible about sharing all the fun projects and updates because, to be honest, having gestational diabetes has totally kicked my butt.  Between that and playing with B all day, I am totally spent with nothing left to take pictures or get out my computer at the end of the day.  She’s totally worth it though 😉

So I’m jumping straight to the after.  If I have time before she comes, I’ll try to share some of the individual projects we did and tomorrow I’ll share a source list with all the resources used to complete the projects.

I really love how the room came together.  It is sweet and feminine without being pink.  It is a combination of vintage touches in a fresh setting….what I imagine Opal to be.  It has a subtle songbird theme for my little songbird.

As a reminder, it used to be our severely underused guest room.

I decided to keep the bed in there for the first few months, until we are through the up-all-night stage (please, let it only last a few months 😉 ).  It’s definitely a “second time mom” choice.  It was suggested to me to do the same in Bradley’s nursery but I was too concerned with the room not looking right.  This time, it is all about function.  It is easier for her to start in her crib and me to transition out later than for her to start to in our room and transition out.  Second time mom-ing for the win.

The rocker from B’s nursery, a monogrammed pillows, and embroidery hoops filled with fabrics from the room and other places around the house complete this wall.  If you look closely in two of the hoop fabrics, you can see a few specks of pink 😉

And the last wall

I can’t wait to meet sweet Opal and bring her home to her new room.  I’m also so glad that it is finished before her arrival.  🙂

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from our home to yours.  It has been such a sweet Christmas this year.  It has warmed my heart to hear Bradley singing to himself the past few weeks about Baby Jesus, Mary riding a donkey, and “Bef-wa-ham” (Bethlehem).  This morning as Bradley opened each of his gifts (and each of our gifts) he stopped to say “wowwww” and wanted to play with each one for 10-15 minutes before even considering going to the next one.

One of my favorite moments of the season happened yesterday.  We were talking about this week and I told him “Baby Jesus is coming tomorrow”.  OK, so not really accurate but he doesn’t know who Santa is, he has been talking about Baby Jesus for over a month, and he doesn’t understand “birthday” yet.  I thought it was moderately tangible idea for this almost two year old, so I went with it.  Bradley’s eyes got big as he exclaimed in a whispered voice with wonder and excitement, “Baby Jesus!”  Then, he ran to the front window to look for him.  I giggled to myself and explained that it was tomorrow.  Bradley smiled and replied, “Yes, tomorrow,” but continued to wait at the window.  Wow.  What a picture of how our hearts should be this day and every other!  Eagerly and contentedly waiting for our Savior.

Merry Christmas!  May you experience the full joy, wonder, and contentment that this day brings.

Opal’s Room: Sleepy skirt


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Opal’s room is finally starting to look like a nursery thanks to one essential addition that was missing….

….somewhere for her to sleep.

We decided to buy a second crib instead of trying to move B to a bed.  He’s not ready.  He is doing a great job sleeping these days (knock on wood) because once he’s in his crib, he knows he’s not getting out.  He sings and talks himself to sleep. A mother’s dream.

You’ll also notice something that looks a little out of place….the queen bed is still in there.  This is totally a second-time mom decision.  First time around it was suggested to me to leave the double bed in B’s nursery.  I balked at the idea concerned that the nursery wouldn’t “look right”.  This time, the bed stays.  Instead of putting Opal in our room when she comes home from the hospital, the plan is for her to go in her crib from the first night.  I’ll sleep in her room during those first nursing intensive weeks with the realization that it will be easier for me to move rooms than for her to adjust to a new room.  Second-time mom for the win.

Of course her crib needed a skirt….so of course I made it.  It’s so easy.  Just like with B’s I took shortcuts.  Working smart, not hard 🙂
(Speaking of working smart…I bought the crib sheet from Target.  Too much effort to do the elastic corners and not really any cost savings by the time you get enough yardage.  Thanks Tar-get for saving me a sewing project.)

I chose Premier Prints Amsterdam in Storm.  I like the traditional print in a clean modern color scheme.  I’ll also say again that I am obsessed with Premier Prints because they are so reasonably price and have big bold patterns.  They are all over my house.

1. Cut the fabric to the appropriate dimensions.  Using upholstery fabric (54″ wide), gives enough width not to have to railroad or piece together the fabric.  #win

Three pieces of fabric will need to be cut: one for the front and one for each side.
The width of the fabric should be cut to the width of the mattress support plus how much you hem each side.  I hemmed each side 1″ so I added 2″.
The height of the fabric should be cut to the distance from the support to the floor plus the amount hemmed and some extra.
2. Hem all sides appropriately.
3. Add button holes to the top edge about a foot or so apart.

4. Add ties to attach to the springs of the crib (see here if you have a board support for how I attached Bradley’s crib skirt)

The nice thing about this solution for a crib skirt is that it can be easily raised as the mattress is lowered.  Oh, and it’s incredibly easy.

Now that she has somewhere to sleep, the wall needs some flair.  No worries…flair is flying in soon.

Opal’s Room: Life Verse


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Last week, I gave a major teaser about my favorite project so far.  Well here it is…

Both the kids have a verse that Mason and I picked for them.  It summarizes our hopes for each of them and we pray it about them.  We didn’t pick Bradley’s until his dedication but Opal’s was clearly given to me a few months ago, shortly after I found out she was a girl.

Opal’s verse is Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.”  I want her to be a strong woman of faith and character, but I most want the last part of the verse for her to “laugh without fear of the future.”  I have a great strength of being a planner and problem solver.  It has served me well and helped me succeed in a lot of things during my life.  It has also been a weakness of mine.  It can cause me to have a lot of unnecessary anxiety and keep me from enjoying things.  I would love for Opal to be type A planner/problem solver, but I don’t want it to steal her joy.  I don’t want her to be anxious.  I want her life to be filled with laughter even in the face of an uncertain future.  I want her faith to sustain her joy.
Unknown to me as I was working on this project, this verse was also chosen as part of the verses to remember my Grandmother Opal by at her funeral in November.  I think these two special ladies are going to share a lot more than just a name.

Onto the actual project (excuse the late night, after 8pm, iPhone photos; getting the real camera out just wasn’t happening)….I spotted this on Pinterest and immediately knew I needed to do something similar in Opal’s room.  I used a precut 24″ x 24″ x 3/4″ board from Lowe’s as the base.

I gray-washed the board using a technique similar to Young House Love.  Essentially, I wet down the board, brushed on gray paint, and then wiped the excess until it was even.  I repeated the brushing and wiping until it was the shade I wanted.  I used leftover Sherwin Williams Silverplate from our master bath.  I lightly sanded it after it dried to make it smooth.

I then printed on cardstock, cut out, and traced the lettering on.  Patiently and lovingly.  The font is Footlight size 350.  I usually change the lettering from black to white with a light gray outline to save printer ink for a project like this.

The blue painters tape around the edge acts like my “margin” and a single line of blue tape moved down helped me stay straight while tracing.

I then patiently and lovingly filled in the lettering with a sample pod of Valspar Hang Ten.

I love it.  It think it is my favorite project in her room.  I may add some white trim boards around it to frame it out and will probably add the reference at the bottom in yellow, but for now it’s on the wall and just perfect.

Pretty Parties: Toddler Christmas Class


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B started preschool this year. He loves it. He talks about it all week and lists all his friends in his class (with the exact same inflection every time. It’s precious).

This week was their Christmas parties. He’s in two different classes, one for each day of the week he goes, so that means TWO parties. And, of course, this mama was in charge of both of them.

In the toddler class, it’s a party all the time. Holiday parties though just consist of a snack and activity. I decided to make Snowmen on a Stick for snack and ribbon streamers to dance around with as their activity.

Unfortunately, B has been sick all week and didn’t get to enjoy either of his parties, but by all reports his friends thoroughly enjoyed the fun.

Snowmen on a Stick

-Lollipop/cakepop sticks (one per snack)
-Wooden skewer (one total)
-Mini chocolate chips
-A carrot
-Pretzel sticks (one per snack; gluten free for us)

1. Ours started with sanitizing everything extra thoroughly….even beyond my typical over-“particular” protocol. Since B wasn’t feeling well and I only wanted to share Christmas cheer, not croup, with my little friends.
2. Slice the banana in 1/2″ segments. You will need 3 segments for each snack.
3. Use the wooden skewer to poke a pilot hole through the banana slice lengthwise.
4. Then thread 3 banana segments on each skewer.
5. Add 5 mini chocolate chips to each snowman (2 for the eyes and 3 for the buttons).
6. Slice a sliver of carrot into small triangles for the nose.
7. Cut each pretzel stick in half and insert as arms.

Healthy and festive. 🙂 I did let B try his first chocolate chip after I finished making the snacks. “Chocolate” has definitely been added to his vocabulary and has been asked for often. Luckily he doesn’t know that it comes in a size bigger than a mini chip, quantity greater than one, or a frequency of greater than once a day.

Ribbon streamers

I saw something similar to these at library story time the one time we went last year. I filed it in the memory bank as a fun idea for a rainy day. When I made my sample one, B ran and spun around with it for the rest of the morning. I immediately chalked it up as a win.

-Clear shower rings (one per streamer set)
-Ribbon (5 yards per streamer set; in varying colors)

1. Cut ribbon to one yard lengths.
2. Thread ribbon through shower ring. Halfway knot the ribbon with a balloon knot (no that’s the the official name….I’m not a Boy Scout….I don’t know my knots). A “balloon knot” is like you would tie a balloon.

3. Repeat until you have five-ish ribbons on each ring. Mix and match colors and finishes of ribbon

4. Burn the end of the ribbon to keep from unraveling.
5. Turn on some music and let your toddler frolic with joy.

Opal’s Room: “Ooooooh’s…..Like it!”


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“Ooooooh’s…..Like it!” was Bradley’s response when he saw the new dresser.  He’s very good at picking out “O’s” and “O is for Opal”.

This the fourth different appearance this dresser has had during the seven years it has been in my possession.  At least the seventh difference facade in its 30+ year lifespan.  I followed the same procedure I used to cover it for Bradley’s room (painting the drawer with a white glue/water mix and then stapling the underside).

The fabric is Premier Prints Dandie Dot in True Turquoise.

Isn’t it happy?!?
With the frame collection above, this wall is almost done.  1 down, 3 to go… 9ish weeks (probably less than that) to go.  Eeek!

Opal’s Room: Changing the Table


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More painting.  This time Bradley’s changing table went from blue to Funshine yellow and got new knobs from Hobby Lobby.

Instead of making a fabric box, this time I decided to just cover a diaper box.  I can’t articulate how much I use diaper boxes for storage and organization around here.  They are amazing.

To make the box, I cut it in half and painted the inside.  Then, using Modge Podge I adhered my fabric to the outside.  I used Michael Miller Bird Swing to carry on the songbird theme hot gluing some yellow ribbon over the unfinished edge on the inside.  Dunzo.

The knobs are from Hobby Lobby and are perfect for the space.

The new changing pad cover is from Little Owl’s Nest on Etsy where I got Bradley’s cover.  I love supporting other moms with their businesses.  I also hate sewing minky fabric so I consider it a win-win.

Love the new changing table which brightens up the space.  Just wait until you see what is hanging above it.  It’s maybe one of my favorite projects ever…