Saturday, May 16, 2015

House tour: Emmett's room {updated}

I shared pictures of Emmett's room almost a year and a half ago.  In that time, he has grown several inches, gained some independence and started to learn how to read!  My little boy is growing up right before my eyes.  We didn't change a whole lot in here, but we did remove some of the "little boy things" that he has obviously outgrown.  

I bought two matching blue task lamps from Target a while ago (thinking ahead to the two boys sharing a room!).  I picked up the little bench from a garage sale and the chair from an estate sale (it will be really cute when it gets recovered one day!).

The big red "E" is new from my favorite antique store in Dallas.  The three books are new from the recently discovered antique store across from Kroger.  The dinosaur fossil/figure were both put together by Emmett over the past year.

I added this "zone" to his room in the fall.  He needed a place for his backpack and I've always wanted to use a big photo of him somewhere.  This is from our trip to Yellowstone, he's in front of Old Faithful as it erupts.  I also printed out a few 4x6 photos and let him pick his favorites.  Come to think of it, I should probably do that again.  Gotta replace that 4-year-old birthday cake pic with a 5-year-old birthday cake pic! 

We removed a lot of things from his dresser.  Now, it looks less cluttered and really showcases the awesome books I've picked up over the years.  

I mean really, who doesn't want to Double Your Child's Grades in School??  These books are perfect for a boy's room.  The small blue free mason book is new (to me), it dates back to 1908!  

That's all the house tour photos I have to share.  Thanks for indulging me.  I've got a boy who's about to turn five that I need to write about and I'm sure Theo will soon be breaking the scales at his 15-month check up.  I'll keep you informed. ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

House tour: den and playroom {updated}

The last time I shared pictures of the den it looked like this (and you can also click here to see more):

I liked that look a lot, but I lived with it that way for over a year and I got tired of it.  Change is good.  I don't change things up in my house very often, but when I do I like how things just feel fresh and new, even if it's all stuff I already owned.  So, that was what I did in the den while my mom was here a few weeks back.  I asked her to help me simplify and lighten things up.  This is what it looks like now:

We started by turning all the books on the mantle so that the pages faced out.  Voila!  Same books, new look.  Then, we went looking for all the white decorations I owned.  Turns out, I have surprisingly few plain white vessels.  So, I did what any wanna-be DIYer does, I bought some white spray paint.  Those former red beauties got a new life.  I liked the red (I have owned those since my very first apartment), but my tastes have changed.  I think they still need a few more coats of spray paint, because there is a slight pink cast to them.

The fireplace got a big overhaul.  I think all the books and the basket and everything was just too much.  Especially with the way I'm feeling about all the stuff in my house these days.  I just want to pair down and reduce the clutter.  I also replaced the table from before with the former little ottoman from the living room.  Hard to believe that tiny thing lasted in the living room for so long.  It's a better fit in here.  The print above the wicker chair is also new.  It was from my Daddy Sid and Mama Rita and had not found a home yet.  I think the colors are just right in that spot.  

On to the playroom!  This room is the quiet beast lurking in the house.  It's off to the side of the living room behind french doors.  If we keep them closed we can just pretend that it doesn't even exist!  So, our desk is often a mess and the toy baskets are overflowing.  Recently, I took some drastic measures regarding the toy situation (I'll write about why and how and the results so far in a future post). 

The desk is still a mess and since taking these photos I have had to remove the two red boxes from the bookshelf.  A certain curious toddler likes to get into every single thing I own and hold dear.  Please note the filing cabinets sealed with masking tape.  #childproofing  It makes filing so much fun!!  That's why I do it all the time and there's never a huge stack of papers on the desk.  

This room is far from done, but I'm never quite motivated enough to tackle it.  It is a disaster zone all day every day, so just picking up in the evening feels like a vast improvement.  

As it stands there are fewer toys in here now.  Although some days it still looks as though we own a million toys, I know that we've reduced in this room, too, and that gives me some joy.

Emmett's room also got a little refresh, I'll share those pics soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

House tour: living room and foyer {updated}

I want to say for the record that I don't think I'm a fancy decorator blogger or anything.  I promise.  I do love reading fancy decorator blogs, though.  Maybe you'll put up with me sharing a few photos of our house after a bit of redecorating?  

I like having photos of my house in various stages of living here.  I go back through photos of our apartment in Ann Arbor and there are literally only two things that we still have and use from that time: our couches.  Bless those couches; they've stuck it out for 10 and 12+ years (and it shows).  Our (my) tastes have changed so much since that time that I've given away or sold everything else.  Even since we lived in Nashville, when I kinda/sorta started to get into decorating - even though I look back on those photos and I cringe with embarrassment.  At least at that time I could honestly claim ignorance, since I had no idea what I was doing.  

It's a bit different now.  I actually like decorating and going out with my mom especially looking for a new piece of art or furniture or whatever.  I'm finally beginning to figure out what kind of style I have and it's fun, if not challenging, to see that take shape over the years.  

As with many previous instances of redecorating, my mom was crucial to this little revamp.  It's always so nice to have her here and look with fresh eyes and really help me execute a plan.  This time around I told her I wanted to simplify, get rid of clutter and make things brighter.  I felt like a lot of the spaces in my house were dark and just too full.  So, she listened and got to work.  It is one of my favorite things to have my mom here and get to "work" with her.  Once she gets going (and she wastes no time!) it gets me motivated and then we get into a place where one knows what the other is thinking.  Or someone's suggestion will inspire another, better option.  It's just magic.  I love it.  And I really love what she helped me accomplish in the house.  Thanks, mom!

I'll start off with my new favorite view of the house, courtesy of a few new finds.  A rug from an antique store, a fiddle leaf fig and a white planter.  Plus, in hopes of keeping it a little bit real, I left our pack n play in this shot because that's life right now.  I did clean up all the toys, though. ;)

I'll start in the foyer because I changed a few things since the last time I shared photos

This chest is in a new spot (it was up in Theo's room) because it's a favorite piece and I wanted to get to see it more often.  The artwork is new from Christmas.  My mom found this and a couple other pieces after I told her I was interested in watercolor sketches.  

I found this brass pig at an antique store in town.  Being a hog fan, I couldn't pass him up.  Bonus: he's also a piggy bank!

Moving onto the living room.  Take a quick peek at the last photos I shared of this room, because there are some big changes!  Most notably, it's that there is nothing on top of any tables anymore.  No, young Theodore has prevented me from displaying any books or knick-knacks of any kind.  He's what we call a "messer" and he does it on the daily.  Gets into all the things.  I actually don't mind it too much because it's less clutter around my house and that's what I am aiming for.

My favorite little spot in the house!  It came about by accident.  While at Home Depot looking for a fern, I spotted some fiddle leaf fig plants.  As a faithful decor blog reader, I know that these little guys are #ontrend right now and that they can be quite hard to find and afford.  So, when I saw them I got a little excited and went over to take a look.  There were a ton of them all crowded together and they weren't in the best shape.  Lots of brown spots, broken leaves, just kinda sad looking.  But, when I looked at the price tag and saw they were only $17, I knew I had to get one.  These babies can cost as much as $40!  So I dug through a bunch of sad figs and found this guy who was less of a fixer-upper, but still needed a little TLC.  

When I got him (her?) home, I dusted the leaves with a damp cloth and that made a big improvement. Then, I cut off a leaf that had been torn and one that was bent and broken.  He looked a lot better.  I hope he does well, I know they can be very finicky to care for.  I'm going to do my best.

The planter was a Home Goods find, which was a total accident.  We went looking for pillows and lamp shades and instead got into a near brawl with a lady who wanted this planter for herself (she had a matching one and wanted two).  Ok, so maybe it wasn't a violent exchange, but there was tension in the store as she secretly stalked us around hoping we'd put it back.  Her husband even asked us to trade him "2 small ones for 1 big one" at the check out.  But, we held on tight to this little guy and made it out safely.  What a rush!

The rug was an antique store find.  Side note: this antique store has been right across the street from my neighborhood Kroger the entire time we've lived here.  Almost two years, people.  Never noticed it before.  My mom spotted it as we were driving past and I was like, "WHUT??"  So, needless to say, I was at once thrilled to find it and baffled at my lack of observation.  Imagine all the things I could have found in two years time!?! Eric is no doubt devastated by this discovery, as he should be.  

So yeah, this store was pretty cool.  It had a couple good booths (out of like 40?), but sometimes that's all you need.  My mom and I both found some things at one particularly cute booth and then this rug was right by the counter.  It was my mom who pointed it out, master that she is.  I have been enjoying the blog House Tweaking and this rug is a bit similar to the rug she has in her kitchen.  They are like rug cousins.  

It took me a while to be fully convinced that I should get the rug.  In fact, I took a picture of it and the dimensions and went home to think about it.  We had thought it would go in the kitchen, so we mapped it out and my mom even put my phone on the floor and, in a moment of pure hilarity, pretended to jump inside the phone.  It was definitely one of the funniest things that I've ever seen my mom do, and I want to remember it always. :)  

Long story short, I got the rug.  My mom bought it as an early birthday gift and I hope I will always think of her jumping into the miniature version of it when I see it.  After trying it in the kitchen and den, it seemed this little rug was the perfect host to my new white planter and fiddle leaf fig.  Emmett called it a magic carpet.  That works for me.  *Sings "A Whole New World" in the distance..."

Two more big changes: a new ottoman and new shelves.  I didn't get a full picture of the ottoman, but it's from World Market and it's still available.  I used a coupon on top of a furniture sale, so I saved about $50! It's such a better fit for the size of the room and I love the color, plus it's super kid-friendly.  We've been very happy with it.  

The shelves seem like they should have always been here.  My mom helped me hang these on a previous visit, and this time around she helped me re-style them.  That picture hanging under them is also from her for Christmas, it's a beautiful watercolor of the Colosseum.

I added a few new pictures to the gallery wall, too.  Emmett asked me if I added new pictures and I told him I added 3 new ones.  Then I asked him to guess what they were and he did on the first try!  Later that night I asked Eric if he knew which ones were new and (aside from his Girton crest in the top left corner that he already knew I'd hung) he was unable to figure it out.  Men!  I wonder if my boy will lose the power of observation as he grows??? ;)

Another angle of the new shelves.

Thanks for indulging me today and letting me share some house photos.  I took some more of the playroom, den and Emmett's bedroom, where we did some more redecorating.  I'll share those in the days to come.  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dallas zoo with Grandma and Boppa

While Grandma and Boppa were in town last month we spent a morning at the Dallas Zoo.  It was a beautiful day and a lot of the animals were out for us to see.  Emmett was most excited about the crocodiles and gorillas.  We happened to catch a Creature Encounter (how very Wild Kratts-like!) with an opossum and Emmett answered a few of the handler's questions.  He would have made Martin and Chris Kratt proud (but had to settle for making me proud instead).  

Here are a few photos from that day...

Trying Dippin' Dots for the first time - big fan.

Big fan of all the foods.  First time handling a cone, like a boss.  Guy in the background??

I let Theo walk around for about 3 minutes...look at his feet!!! :/

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Last month we went to Legoland while Eric's mom and Kirt were in town.  It seemed like a cool activity because it was indoors (an escape from the heat) and Emmett has been loving Legos lately.  But. There was a lot of waiting.  We kept moving to new areas to wait around for the next thing.  And most of the time, the next thing was a disappointment.  I don't want to be a Negative Nancy over here, but it was my first and last visit.  I felt the way Emmett looks in that pic above with the 3D glasses.  Oh, excuse me, 4D!  

Aside from the cool Lego replicas of Texas landmarks, that place was pretty terrible.  It's too bad, because I have always loved me some Legos and now Emmett has begun a new obsession with them, as well.  Guess that means we will have to create our own land of Legos.  At the rate he's collecting them, that won't be hard!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Text timeline

In the wake of Theo's first birthday, I've been reminiscing a little bit.  I went back and re-read his birth story and remembered that I had something else I wanted to share about that fateful night he was born.

If you'll recall, my mom arrived in Dallas just in the nick of time (we drove straight from the airport to the hospital!) and since we had Emmett with us, she stayed in the waiting room with him after Eric and I were (finally) allowed into a room.  So, what I have to share is the collection of texts exchanged between Eric and my mom after we got back into the room.  I've added time stamps to show just how quickly things progressed.  Take a look and relive the whole thing from the perspective of my mom, who had only gotten into town an hour earlier!

I can't lie, I still get goose bumps when I read through those.  In fact, the first time I saw this exchange of texts was while out at lunch with my mom about 2 weeks after Theo was born.  I couldn't contain my tears while reading them!  Everything was still extremely fresh and I was reminded of how fast and crazy things were that night.  What a rush!  I'm so happy to have this unexpected little timeline of events.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

The long-awaited brother bath

I mentioned in this post that Theo still uses a baby bath tub even though he has long outgrown it.  The reason behind this was that he just freaked out in bath tubs.  First at my parents' house, then Sara's, and then finally once when I attempted it at our own house.  I knew he was getting too big for the baby bath, but I was dreading the meltdown that would eventually follow a switch.

Well, I'm very happy to report that he is now bathing in the big tub!  And I can take zero credit for this.  It was Eric alone who was willing to give it a try and thanks to his efforts, we have put the baby tub back in storage.  Apparently all he needed was a lot of bath toys and basic baby distraction methods.  Well done, Eric.  I salute you.

After Theo made the switch to the big tub, it wasn't long before I suggested a brother bath!  This is the stuff that embarrassing childhood photos are made of!  I could not wait.  Lucky for these boys, any embarrassing bits were thoughtfully cropped out of the photos by their dad when he took them.  I still think they're pretty great though.


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