Major Updates

Last time I took such a long break from the blog Mike was living in Chicago and I honestly didn’t have much going on.  These last couple months of absence are because we have TOO much happening, I can barely keep up in real life, let alone on the blog!

First, little Arch-man is keeping us very busy!  He’s standing and cruising between any thing he can hold onto.  He’s also right in the middle of a little mommy moment.  He’s got a little separation anxiety, and while I can leave him at the sitter’s every day with no problem, if I’m near, he needs to check in with a hug or slobbery kiss every so often.  It’s super cute, but doesn’t allow me to get much done!

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Photo Oct 28, 10 47 56 AM

The major update is we bought a house! 

We’ve been casually looking for a couple years for land to build on in the future, but our search was beginning to get frustrating with the lack of properties available.  Mike was looking for specific wants on the land: mostly treed – didn’t want to mow much, a water feature like a stream would be nice, and no HOA, and I was looking for proximity to our workplaces and school districts.  You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult, but every time we found something in our budget there would be a large riparian set-back (building limits based on water sources) or something else prohibiting us from building.  With Archer becoming mobile and all the accumulation of his stuff, we realized how much our little house wasn’t really working for us anymore.  

Mike and I both discussed increasing our budget to include the house building and land procurement and began searching for homes with acreage.  Once we did this, it became clear we were full-on house hunting.  The market is still a seller’s market, at least here, and some homes were being sold before we could even schedule a showing!  We spent a couple months like this before we found a house we were willing to put an offer in on.  We ended up not even getting a chance because they accepted an offer (hours after we looked at it), but we realized we were ready to buy!  The next house I found was a beyond our budget but I asked to look at it anyways because it had sat on the market for several months and wasn’t updated so I figured if we liked it we could lowball and just see what happened.  After some negotiations we came to a price closer to our budget and we signed our lives away on the dotted line!


The house was built in 1973 and is pretty ugly and ‘builder basic’, but it comes with over 3.5 acres, a shed, and a two-story barn, all within a top rated school district!  I can work with ugly any day for all that!  It really is the perfect combination for Mike and I, and with 4 bedrooms and space to grow, it’s perfect for our family too.  

Which is important because during the negotiations we found out I’m pregnant!

Photo Sep 13, 1 55 02 PM

That’s right we’re going to have 2 under 2!  I thought I was tired and feeling icky from running after Archer and not wanting to eat very healthy, turns out is was just the first trimester!  When I saw the doctor for the first time a couple days after the at-home test, the ultrasound determined I was about 10 weeks along!

Photo Oct 04, 1 10 25 PM

Photo Sep 28, 6 30 02 PM

Archer has no clue what he’s in for (ha!) but he loves babies right now and we think he’ll make a great older brother.  I may go completely gray when the boys are old enough to get into all the shenanigans Mike has planned, but I’m loving the boy life so far and can’t wait for another little guy! 

Look for some more detailed house posts coming soon.  Last night was our first overnight and while we’re living mostly out of boxes we’re excited for this next adventure. 

Rethinking Paper Cards & Invites

I love sending and receiving mail.  It’s so old school, but I get excited seeing something other than an internet promo with my name on it in my mailbox.  I think it’s the personalization and feeling that someone spent time to send me something.

But, recently, and especially since Archer’s arrived, I find it difficult to remember to get a card while I’m out (because you know I can’t make a special trip as easily as I used to), then to get it in the mail in time.  That’s why when Paperless Post reached out and asked if I would review their online cards and invitations, I jumped at the chance.  Personalization without the hassle of going to the store, sign me up!

As soon as I visited the site, I knew what and who I wanted to send an online card to, my dad for Father’s Day!  My dad’s a semi-retired IT guy so I knew this would be right up his alley, and since they live in a gated community in Florida where all the mail is delivered to boxes near the club house instead of their doors, it takes extra time for travel time.  Not to mention that’s if they check their mailbox that day.  For example, I sent a Mother’s Day card to my mom back in May the Thursday before, and she didn’t get it for an entire week!

It was difficult finding a card at first, because they are all so cute!  I found this cute bear, and liked it mostly for the inside message (although I could have totally used any card and changed the message to read whatever I wanted), and made a few customizations and had it ready to go in a few minutes.
PP Father's Day Card - Front
PP Father's Day Card - Back
My favorite part has to be that I did this all last Thursday and was able to schedule it to be delivered anytime I wanted!  I obviously scheduled it for early Sunday morning and that was it!  I knew it would get there in time, and I knew my dad would see it because he’s on his computer a lot.  I loved it so much I made one for Mike too!

For Mike I went with a photo card and used a recent photo from a music festival we went to.  I mean, those baby ear protections get me every time!
 PP Mike Father's Day Card - Front
PP Mike Father's Day Card - Back
It was perfect because while I had already gotten Mike a gift I, of course, forgot a card.  And, because we were at a wedding the night before, we ended up sleeping at my sister’s house since she watched Archer for the day and it was easier than moving him.  Mike got his card first thing in the morning, and then later when we got home, he opened his present!

For those that don’t follow me on Instagram, part of the gift included shirts that I’ve had planned to make since basically the day I gave birth to Mike’s mini-me!  Arch-man looks a little apprehensive here, but he loved his matching outfit, I think it’s all the goofy faces I make trying to get him to smile, he’s on to me!

Overall, Paperless Post was really easy to use, and for this season of my life, where I can’t remember what day it is some days, let alone making sure I’m getting cards in the mail for holidays and birthdays, it’s a really great option!  It’s not limited to cards either, you can send out invitations, flyers, thank you notes, save the dates, etc.

My good friend recently used a similar service to send invitations to her rehearsal dinner, and even though I was a bridesmaid and Mike was not only a groomsmen but also the officiant, (so we were obviously not missing it), it was still super easy to reply and let her know we would be there!  I’m already thinking about what parties I can use this for next!

If you’re thinking about trying it out, use my invite link here for 25 free coins which is enough to send a handful of cards, or maybe invites to your 4th of July BBQ.  I know Archer’s got a super cute outfit picked out, just saying, wink wink!

This post is in partnership with Paperless Post, I received free coins in exchange for my honest review, but all opinions and words are my own.  I honestly loved the service provided and wouldn’t have shared otherwise!

The Shortest Lived Office

The nursery was my office in it’s previous life and while Mike was in Chicago and our pregnancy plans were put on hold I figured I’d redo my office.  I mentioned the idea here and then showed my plans here, but we wasted no time after Mike got home getting pregnant and I never stopped to show you the office space before it was made over into the nursery.  It was never finished, let alone styled, so they’re just phone photos, but I thought it was fun to see.

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I had bought all the items that I had planned to, knowing they would all move into the guest room when we switched over this room. 

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I had thought it would be a little longer like this so I even bought a small cabinet to be used to store my cutting machines.  It was only $35 on Craigslist and had awesome hardware, but unfortunately a faux wood stained paint job too.  Yes, in the photos I was fooled and thought this was stained wood, but once I examined it it was pretty obvious it was painted to look like wood grain (why?!).

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This is where the dark blue paint came from.  I had wanted a dark blue piece anyways and cleaned it up and painted it Sherwin Williams 7615 Sea Serpent.  Due to a miscommunication at the store I was sold a gallon of All Surface Enamel, which was awesome for this project but I didn’t know what I was going to do with a whole gallon of it. 

2017-06-28 18.07

It’s a good thing I loved the color, and at first I was worried about painting the wall with it, but I figured if any wall in our house could use the extra protection, it’s the wall in the nursery!  I got really lucky when it worked well with the rug I bought.


The light in this room can be really great and I was looking forward to styling it as an office, but I was even more excited when we got the news that we would need this room for something else!  Everything moved down the hall except for the rug, which I sold at a loss since it was too small for the new space and the old rug was still in good shape. 

One day I’ll photograph that room, hopefully before we have another kid and I lose my office all together!  

Our Finished Basement

Over the weekend I had to look up something so I used my Home Tour page and realized how out of date it was!  I decided to fix that and started in the basement mostly because it was the cleanest at the time!

I’ve shown updates here and there like our Christmas decorations, but never a full tour of the space and how it looks most of the time.

Finished Basement

Finished Basement 1

There was a lot of work done to get it to this point below (check out this tag to see all the work), and after that it was easy in comparison to finish it off to become one of the most comfortable spots in the house.


I actually prefer to watch TV down here, but in the winter months it’s a little chilly and thinking ahead to turn the space heater on beforehand is sometimes too much.  Now that the weather is finally warming up here, (not to mention we’ve found Archer wakes up if we watch TV right below him right after he goes to bed), we’ve been spending more time down here again.

Finished Basement 2

We bought the sectional used and it will probably stay with the house because it was a hassle getting it down the stairs and its the perfect size for the space.  We also added a fauxdenza using Ikea kitchen cabinets the same way we did for the living room

Finished Basement Fauxdenza

It’s awesome for storage, and it helps to even out the room since the sectional and TV are set up further into the room.  Making it almost the whole wall keeps the room from feeling lopsided.

Finished Basement Fauxdenza 1

Finished Basement Fauxdenza 2

I’ve explained the art above the sofa before, but for those new here the larger art on the right is actually hiding our circuit breaker access!

Finished Basement Gallery Wall

On the other side are the stairs and anyone who’s been around for awhile knows the work that went into building and finishing them, and they had to get worse before getting better.


But, all the work paid off and not only do we have gorgeous new stairs, but we have a lot more efficient storage.

Finished Basement Stairs 1

The paneling was actually designed to hide the new storage spaces.

Basement Under Stair Storage

To the right of the stairs is the little hall with the beer keezer and the bathroom, as well as the new closet.  And a special sighting of my little llama helper!

Finished Basement Stairs

Finished Basement Hall

Finished Basement Keezer

Beer Tap Chalkboard Sign

Since the beer was over here and I wanted a way to show off Mike’s homebrewing accomplishments I thought a little gallery wall above the paneling would be perfect.  It’s a lot of beer art with some photos from our Europe trip including our trip to the Pislner Urquell brewery and the Hofbräuhaus München.  There’s also a spot for some of Mike’s medals! 

Finished Basement Beer Gallery Wall

Overall, I love this space down here! It’s bright and comfy, two descriptives rarely used for a basement, and I can’t wait to keep cool for some Netflix binge sessions during the upcoming warmer months.

Finished Basement 1

For more photos of what this space looked like when we bought the house and links to all the work we did, check out the Home Tour page!

Lifesavers and Special Items in the Nursery

When I talked about Archer’s nursery I pointed out the main components of most nurseries: the crib, the dresser/changing table, the rocking chair.  While those are obviously important, I’ve collected a few special items that were handmade for Archer, or unique lifesavers that I thought I’d share.  These are obviously personal to our situation, but I thought by sharing they may be helpful to someone else too!

The first our the crib sheets.  From the photo above they look pretty basic, but they’re actually a genius zippered crib sheet called QuickZip.

QuickZip Top SheetWhat’s so great is that it’s a fitted sheet that can be changed quickly by zipping off the top sheet instead of removing the entire fitted sheet.  I didn’t realize it but crib mattresses are heavy!  I’d hate to pick that thing up every time I needed to change the sheet.  Archer hasn’t had any diaper disasters on the sheets (yet) but he has spit up his lunch a time or two and I can easily pick him up, unzip the old sheet, toss in the hamper, grab a new one and zip up, all with one hand!

I got mine from Amazon and got a set of 3 top sheets with one base.  It was a pricey investment to buy the whole set at once, but well worth it!

The next lifesaver wasn’t shown in the nursery reveal because it is a little bulky (for the small table) and doesn’t look great in photos.  On the little table next to the chair usually sits our little mini fridge.

And when I say mini fridge, this isn’t your dorm room fridge, more like a micro mini fridge.

Mike bought it for me from Amazon and it’s a 4 liter (6 can) mini fridge!  We were running downstairs multiple times each night/day for milk and Mike being Mike figured there had to be a better way!  This fits a couple bottles and bags of milk and is right next to me in the middle of the night.

The best part is, when we’re done needing the milk throughout the night (during the day Archer will be at a sitters), we can use this for the car or camping!

The next item I mentioned in the reveal, but I think it’s worth noting here too, are the book ledges.  I knew if Archer was anything like his dad, I would need to think about the items I installed not only in terms of a little baby, but also a rambunctious toddler.  That means these ledges had to be strong!

These from Amazon are advertised as twice as thick as the usual acrylic ledges and are said to be unbreakable.  We’ll see about that in a few years, but that and Mike’s anchoring made me feel a little better installing these!

Another item not pictured was something we bought after I took the photos, an iPad stand.

iPad Stand
Since I liked being in the nursery, and those first couple months it seemed like all we did was nurse and sleep, I found myself trying to get things done on my iPad but struggling to do it with only one hand.  This stand was awesome!  I could catch Queer Eye on Netflix during those dreaded cluster feedings and I could answer emails from work while Archer was napping in my arms.  I tried to cheap out and buy one that clipped onto the crib, but it couldn’t hold the weight, so Mike found this one for me.  I use it less nowadays now that we have a sort of schedule and his night feedings are more like dreamfeeds where I can do them in the dark in less than 20 minutes.  But, again it’s something we can use around the house when we aren’t using it in the nursery anymore.

The final item was something I handmade for the room, the painted globe. 

The idea is all over Pinterest and I knew I wanted to have one in this Tibetan Sherpa themed room.  It wasn’t that difficult, and was actually kind of relaxing (which was nice those last couple weeks before Archer was due) to paint.  It’s not something I could bring down to play with, unless I clear-coated, maybe with some Modge Podge, but I like looking at it!

Like any room in the house, some of these were designed into it from the beginning, and some were added after we saw the need, but all of these items are special and/or lifesavers and worth twice as much as we paid for them (anything that gives me 10 extra minutes of sleep is worth it’s weight in gold these days)!  If I can give that extra time to any other mamas out there I'll gladly share my finds!  My sister (who just welcomed her little one yesterday!) is already getting the zippered crib sheets after I raved about mine!

Archer’s Nursery

I’m excited to share my favorite room in the house.  I’m grateful I love it so much because I spend the most time in there these days #hello3amnursing!

Thanks to the short lived office redo, we started with a blank slate and white walls. 

Office Painted SW6203 Spare White
I had a general plan and theme (ha!) and started with the major components – crib, dresser, chair, and rug.  I chose a lot of white furniture, knowing that anything dark would be too heavy for this tiny room, and because of that I wanted to add some visual interest to one wall to break up the white.  I painted the only full wall a deep blue with left over paint I used for a piece of furniture that lived in the office for such a short time I have no photographic evidence! 

I bought the rug first and was lucky that the left over paint worked well together.  The wall took two coats, and because it was furniture paint, it had a pretty decent sheen to it, which I normally wouldn’t choose for a wall, but now that I’ve discovered how messy everything can get with a baby I’m not too upset over the extra protection next to the crib!

Once the main furniture pieces were in place it was just adding in the accessories. 

We added a bamboo blackout/cordless shade (above the light diffusing honeycomb shade not shown), some acrylic picture ledges for books, a shelf above the dresser, and another shelf next to the crib.

The dresser is from Ikea, and while it’s not specifically a changing table, but I prefer the extra height for changing Archie.  The felt ball garland from Hobby Lobby was placed there temporary because I was going to cut it up to use for a mobile above the crib, but the kid stares at that for a good 20 minutes every morning and it’s enough time for this mama to brush her teeth and hair and therefore it’s staying forever!

The triangle shelf is an awesome find from World Market and besides hiding the camera and the white noise machine, it’s basically decoration, but the fun part of a nursery is that kids toys can be the décor!  

Nursery Shelf
The light box was a gift from my mom and besides being perfect for parties, it serves as a nightlight.

Nursery Shelf 2
The closet was one area we didn’t skimp and our son literally has the best organized and most expensive closets in the house. 

Back when we moved in we used the cheaper ClosetMaid systems from Home Depot and Mike set up this closet supports 24” apart. 

This was a happy coincidence because I really wanted elfa drawers from The Container Store for the nursery and wouldn’t you know they’re 24” drawers, that after some research online, I read from others would fit the ClosetMaid support system we already installed!

We bought the drawers, a shelf and hanging rod from The Container Store and was able to reuse one of our shelves.  The finished picture above shows a better angle so that you can see the closet is deep enough for the drawers to open inside.  We have so much organization in this nursery I started hanging up random onsies that could easily be folded inside the dresser. 

While the main elements are pretty basic, the accessories have that collected/well-traveled look Mike and I wanted, and the textures (like the sheepskin and woven baskets) and whimsical items like the llamas have that Tibetan Sherpa vibe Mike specifically wanted.

The room is tiny, but has a big personality while still feeling as though it compliments the rest of the house.

Below is a list of the major sources: