AN UPDATED GUEST HOUSE TOUR

I couldn’t do it you guys.  I thought maybe if it was a guest house, I could do color.  If it wasn’t in my everyday vision I could live with it.  I could live on the wild side, abandon my neutral palette, and use color in the guest house.

I caved.

At least I gave it a go right??  I think it lasted 2 years, not bad for this girl!

So I have just been doing a little re-decorating in the guest house.  Nothing major.  That’s why I don’t ever spend much money on bold items that I could soon tire of.  So I don’t have to feel guilty when I get sick of it:)  So for those of you who are new to the blog, I thought I’d show you our quaint little guest house.  I actually started out as a garage that we turned into a small living quarters. This is what it looks like on the outside.  Man I can’t wait for that green to come back!

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I made those fun window boxes last summer…

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But recently I’ve been working on the inside.  So here is how it looked for quite some time…

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and don’t get me wrong. I did like the color.  I should just know myself and know I can’t commit to color.  So I sold the red nightstands at the Christmas Whimsy sale, as well as the lamps, and now I have this…

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Well now that looks a bit more like allie style right??

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It’s sad that this place stays empty quite often.  Which is why its hard to put too much money into it.  It’s used mostly for my parents when they come to visit.  But we love company, so let us know if you wanna visit ;)

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This cute little desk was a garage sale purchase I painted.  Looking at these pictures now I realize it’s sitting backwards, there should be a little drawer in front.  Oh well, I’m not going to re-take the photos now:)

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The lamp is from Homegoods and the chair was an online auction win that I made a slipcover for.   I love the functions of having a little desk as a nightstand, especially for guests and especially in a small space like this.

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I fell in love with that driftwood “L” and picked it up at a local shop in town.  Personal touches are the best:)

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This nightstand I scored for 90% off at Hobby Lobby.  It had a dark wood top and different hardware. so I sanded it down and white washed it.  Don’t ever pass up a piece of furniture if it is the perfect size or shape.  All aesthetics can be changed!  And a chest of drawers again is such great storage for an area like this.

So here’s another before…

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and after…

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I also love that this space has almost panoramic views to the outside.  You guys, you should lay in that bed in the fall when the maple tree outside engulfs the whole thing.  *sigh*

And here was looking at the other end when we first started this project..

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and now…

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The chairs are light pink underneath! ha…but two slips and now they are cottage ready.

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and I couldn’t pass up making one of these pillows after seeing them on pintrest, but of course I had to add some pom pom trim:)

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I’ve had the mirror for a few years now and I found it at Gordmans.  I added the rope to give it a more nautical look.

And here’s just a few more pics to show the rest of the space.

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I must say, I think this meshes much more with my style now.  All is well with the world now that we are back to neutrals:)  There’s always things to work on and get.  I’d love a head board some day and a platform for the electric fireplace to raise it up.  But that’s how I like it, keeping things evolving and changing little by little:)

If you want to see what this “garage” looked like before, you can check that out here.

PROGRESS ON THE MANCAVE

Slowly but surely Ryans dream man cave is moving along.  If you remember back at this post, I shared where we’ve come so far.

Since then Ryan has almost completely finished the outside of the building.  It went from this…

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to now looking a bit more finished like this…

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He got the new roof on, the door in, and the siding done.  Not to mention some christmas lights up:)  Time for those puppies to come down I think.

And here’s the side view…

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He also got the deck on the side and the back.  We still have to pressure wash the wood and stain it and add a railing.  We are thinking we are going to add a railing like this..

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or this..

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He likes that it doesn’t obstruct the view and I like the manly feel of it.

I think this is kinda fun too…

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That will have to be a summer project.

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There is also going to be a covered porch off of the deck in the back, so that has to happen first.

These are all of the old boards that we took out of the building that ry cleaned as is letting dry so we can use them to plank this wall…

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They will also be used to plank the fireplace bump out from floor to ceiling….

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as for the rest of the walls ryan has been busy planking those with 1/4″ plywood.

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and this is the last wall to go..

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then once that is done, we will spray all of the planking in a darker gray color, and then put up the old barn wood and plank the ceiling!  I still swoon over those beams in there.

Although it looks like there is a ways to go yet, for us it feels like the home stretch!  From here on out we get to make everything pretty.  Cover up the old and bring in the new!!

Ryans hoping to get a good amount of time to work on it this weekend, so hopefully we’ll have some more pics to show soon!

As for now, I’ll leave you with the view…although it’s dead, the buds are coming and I can’t wait to enjoy this space when that happens!!!

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KYNLEES ROOM REVEAL

Well, this has been a long time coming, and I must tell you, I give props to all you bloggers out there who seem to get blogs off every other day, or every week.  I’ve been meaning to post this for over a week now, but life gets in the way, so thanks for being so patient:)

I’m going to go back to the beginning with this room and how it looked when we first moved in….

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awww….look how tiny Tate is…

and now..

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This bedroom is quite small and only has one window, so I wanted to keep it bright.

Here’s how the room looked when Tate was using it..

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and now…

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My friend had given me a daybed they were no longer using, and asked if I would want to use it for Whimsy.  I orignally thought I would just paint it and sell it, but once Beckett came around, I knew I would be moving Kynlee to this room. A daybed was the perfect choice for this room since it saved so much room!

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There was even enough room for a  cute little desk area for Kynlee.

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and she actually uses it quite a bit!

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It’s quite crazy how this room came together, I had this little table out in the shed for years….it was black and so I just painted it white and color blocked the legs and added a stencil to the top.  Free for nothing.

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The chair came from an auction I went to last summer.  I had no idea at the time what colors I would be using in Kynlee’s room, and wouldn’t ya know it, it matched just perfectly!

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Oh, and I got about 25 of these cuties for $20.  Quite the steal!  The rest will be going in Whimsy this summer;)

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The curtains for the canopy were a $15 buy from Ikea.  I used one panel for each side and hung them on an embroidery hoop I had.  I added the pom pom trim after I hung them using a sticky tape from Walmart.  Amazing stuff!   The light I had gotten from a lady whose husband takes junk away, and calls me every once and awhile to see if theres anything I want.  I love the anthro feel to it.  And Kynlee loves that it’s on a dimmer…

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So she can turn it on and off from in bed, and put it nice and low for nightime.

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The aztec pillows are what started the whole vision for the room.  You need that, one thing that speaks to you and work around it;)  It was actually a rug I found at my friends house that they were getting rid of…..she said, “what are you going to do with that??”  I wasn’t sure at the time, I just knew I loved the pattern.  Wouldn’t you know….

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and those pom pom pillows???

I swoon.

I found those at Home Goods and they literally said, “put me in your cart!”  Ha, so I obliged!

They were $30 a pop, but I had $30 left on a gift card from Christmas so it was buy one get one free:)  And they are euro size.  And feather.  Sold.

I made the little yarn pom poms from a roll of yarn I got from Walmart for $2.47.  They were quite fun to make actually.  The kids even got involved!

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I love that it brings a pop of color.

I also added the wood wall behind the daybed.  I would have loved to go all the way up, it’s kind of hard to tell in the pictures but that wall is actually slanted, hence the reason I only went half the way up.

The wood was a real stretch for me. IT’S NOT WHITE!!   clapping begins :)

and I love it!  It warms up all the white in the room and balances it with the other pops of natural in the room!

Here’s a shot of the other side of the room when it was tates.

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and now….

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The dresser I had in our last Whimsy sale and it didn’t sell.  Praise the Lord! Some things are meant to be:)  I had bought it at an auction for $50 and gave it a face lift.  I added the blue hardware after the fact, but again I had gotten that as a clearanced out buy from Target almost a year ago!  I can not tell you all how this room literally just came together for almost nothing!

My biggest splurge was the rug.  It  is an indoor/outdoor rug from Target and it was originally $99, but was 15% off so $85, and then of course the redcard 5% so it was right around $80.  I love the bold design and bright color.

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I thought I was going to have drapes in here as well, but I love the clean line look of the bamboo.

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and homegoods strikes again with that sweet metal basket for $12.99.  We use it as Kynlees clothes hamper.  I might put a liner in it someday, but I love the color of it!

Again, here’s a pic of when we first bought it..

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then when it was Tates room..

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and now Kynlees…

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I’m hoping to find a couple of baskets to hang under that clock, I just haven’t stumbled upon them yet.  Also, I actually painted this sign right on the wall, and I must give credit where credit is due…I found this sign on House of Belonging and fell in love.

I knew I wanted it to be bright and a big size, so I decided to free hand it and paint it on the wall.  I added a $5 pine border stained in special walnut by Minwax and had a big piece of artwork for $5:)  I do think House of Belongings signs are amazing though and worth EVERY PENNY.   So you should check out her Etsy site and see if there’s anything you need;)

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So there you have it.  Kynlees room is complete.

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and after I sell a lot of her pink room decor from her old room at whimsy, I think I’ll even come away on top for this project.

The hubs always likes that:)

Here’s a breakdown of what I spent…

Daybed — Free

Euro pom pom pillows — $30 ( one I had a gift card for)

Rug pillows  – $12 for the inserts

fur pillow — former purchase from Whimsy

duvet — shower curtain I sewed into a duvet from Target $14

Sheets — Target $14

Canopy — $25 for curtains and pom pom trim

Wood wall — $50

Sharpie art — $5

Bamboo shade — $13 (clearanced out at Menards)

dresser — $50

Rug — Target $80

Custom wall art (K and sign) — $10

flower chandelier (PB) — Clearanced out for $35

Wicker color blocked basket — Home goods $15

Metal basket — Home goods $12

Table and Chair — Free from shed

Paint — $30

I think that about does it, so the total for this project came right in at about $395, but again, after selling Kynlees bed with trundle and all of her accessories from her last room, it should at least be a wash!  Hurray!!

DIY FAUX WALLPAPER — KYNLEES ROOM REDO

If you have been following along with me on instagram @prvbsthirtyonegirl you have seen quite a few sneak peeks of Kynlees room.  And although it’s “almost done” I want to finish a few things before the final reveal.

I did want to show you her feature walls I did in her room though and how I achieved the look.  It all started with this wallpaper from Serena and Lily.

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but at $88 a pop, it wasn’t happening.  So I went to Pinterest and found these images…

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source

It gives a SUPER similar look and it’s all done with Sharpie paint pens!!!

Genius.  Man I love Pinterest!

Although I loved this look, as I was searching Pinterest, I found an image I liked even a little bit better….

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source

I loved the little more simplistic feel (and so did my hand) and that it was a little more modern.  Kynlees room was taking on a modern vintage feel (quite the oxymoron) but I loved how it was coming together and this was playing into the look I had more than the classic herringbone pattern.  So, I read this ladies blog (which was amazing, and the reason I won’t give too many directions as she did a great job describing the process) and went on amazon and ordered my Sharpie paint pen.

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I bought the double pack for $5.99 because I wasn’t sure if I was going to do gold or silver.  I actually bought 2 packs because I didn’t want to run out of juice half way through the project.  I’ve heard you can buy these individually at michaels or joanns, for about $2.75, but when you live 30 miles from any store, Amazon prime becomes your best friend.  And….I knew I could use the gold paint pen for all sorts of projects down the road so I didn’t mind having that on hand.

It’s super important here that you buy the Sharpie paint pens, and you don’t just take a sharpie marker to your wall.  The paint pens paint over super easy if you make a mistake (which you will) or if you want to repaint the room some day (highly probable.)

I also bought a quilt ruler as suggested by the post above, and it made the project waaaaaayyyyyyy easier!!  I bought the same size she had since the pattern went off of it and got mine on EBay for $18.00

I couldn’t find the exact one I got, but here’s a similiar one..

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and then I started…

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these first pics were all taken with my iphone at night, so excuse the blurry photos.  I tried using a pencil first, but realized it was just easier to use the paint pen from the get go, but you can tell I had already made a mistake that I had to paint over.  I soon realized though that if you keep a wet rag, you can wipe off your mistake easily if you catch it right away.  So I did the vertical lines first, all 6 1/2″ apart, the width of  the ruler.  Just make sure to use a level to keep them straight.  Once you get one level you should be good for the rest!

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One step down.  Now for the measuring.  I’m not going to explain it much since the girls post does an excellent job, I am going to say that if you have a sloped ceiling or window, like this wall, it makes it a tiche more difficult but super doable!

and then for the lines…

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Up close, you can see a few areas where it doesn’t match up perfectly, and I could take a small paint brush and touch up every area.  If I were type A, I would.  Thankfully I’m not, so good is good enough:):)

After I did this wall I decided I wanted to do one more wall, so I did the wall next to it as well…

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The second wall only took about an hour since I had the pattern down and there was nothing to work around.  Also, I used both paint pens but got both walls done with them, so for $6 in paint pens and $18 for a ruler, I completed this project for $24.  Not bad for a huge statement piece and a savings of over $200 for the wallpaper!

So here’s some finished photos from the good camera.

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Here you can see some of the imperfections.  I may go back and fix those “some day”

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This was another DIY wall art project I did for $5 out of 1/4″ plywood.  I just used that handy dandy quilting ruler to eyeball a K, cut it out with a jigsaw, stained it and added the turquoise K inside.

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and yes, that is plastic on her window.  The economical sense took precedence over the decorator sense.

score one for the hubby.

And just to tease you, since the reveal will be coming soon..

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Alright, now I’m heading back to the couch with my cup of coffee and cute lil fella whose just waking up ;)

PICTURE PERFECT

This fall we got our family pictures taken for the first time since Jules has been gone.  It’s always a little bittersweet.  I had to force myself to change my profile pictures and family picture.  She will always be a part of us, but time goes on and our family is changing.  Our pictures reflect that now.  It does make my heart smile though when I come over to my kids playing with Beckett and Kynlee tells me, I was just telling him about his sister.  She will never be forgotten;)

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I can’t even begin to explain what amazing siblings these two olders have been….

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Kynlee can make her brother laugh like no other.

and this boy…

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Oh his heart is full of tenderness and overflowing with sweetness.  He is actually the more “motherly” of  the two :)

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and it makes my heart smile.  I can already see the very special relationship these brothers will have.  Beckett will learn a lot from his big brother, and I do believe his big brother is going to be excited to teach him:)

and my girl…

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when did she grow up???

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We already have the most fun girls nights.  It’s crazy when your kiddos become little humans whose company you thoroughly enjoy.

slow down time.

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And I’m quite sure there is nothing more attractive than this.

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Now that is one fine looking bunch of boys!!

My heart is full.
Overflowing actually.

and these two??

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It appears they have the perfect marriage.

The perfect life.

When I first got our pictures back the first thing I did was send this picture to Ry and said, now that looks like a couple that never fights.

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Those two.

Now those two have it ALL together.

Picture perfect.

But that’s just a picture.  A snapshot in time.

And a lot of times that’s what we see in people, a small glimpse into their lives, and that’s what we focus on.

compare with.

wreck ourselves over.

We see someones family or house and feel defeated.  We will never get there.  We’ll never measure up.  We are failures.

But you see those two up there??  They’ve got issues.  He’s just as stubborn as she is.

They are both selfish.

They’ve been in counseling.  They have mentors.  They need help.

THEY ARE NOT PERFECT.

A picture only tells one side of a story.

A glimpse in time.

I will tell you one thing that couple has though.  They have the desire to continually TRY to make it better.  To know that marriage is HARD but OH SO WORTH IT!!

They have the fight in them to work on themselves and go to God for help.

That couple there, they aren’t giving up.

EVER.

And we don’t want any of you to either!! Because although there are times when it can seem hopeless…Jesus brings hope.

He can take ugly and make it beautiful.

Ry and I have been doing a study with a sweet couple that have taken us under their wing, and it’s been oh so good.  It’s only 4 short lessons that are 30 minutes each.  Anyone can do it.  You can find the study here.

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Because that couple up there, they are going to grow old together..

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 and each year…

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Their marriage is going to get better and better…

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Even if there are bumps along the way.

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PICTURE PERFECT.

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for at least another 10 seconds:)

Photo credits to Sarah Pollio Photography.  She’s amazing:)

BUFFET — BEFORE & AFTER

I’ve been working on a mini makeover on our dining room these last couple months, and I’m hoping to do the full before and after reveal soon, but one of the pieces that I wanted to add to the dining room was a buffet.  I originally had my big hutch in here…

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but have since sold it at a Whimsy sale.  Although I liked it, it was a bit more country than I wanted to go.  It had served our house well, and the beautiful thing about whimsy is that I don’t usually loose money  on swapping out pieces of furniture.  I have gotten rid of the chalkboard wall and added board and batten, and my plan was to find a big “window” type mirror to put on the back wall to reflect some light since there is no windows back there.  I wanted the mirror to hang above a buffet, and after convincing myself I was just going to go to a furniture shop and buy a piece of furniture….I got sticker shock!  It’s been awhile!  I couldn’t find a decent buffet that I liked for under $800, and I just wasn’t willing to pay that!

So, I had been to an auction a few weeks prior and picked up this dandy for a whopping $10!

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I wished I would have taken the picture of it before I took off the hardware, because the hardware was “special” :) to say the least!  It was huge and heavy brass that completely dated this piece.

The dresser had a real orange and honey color to it….

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and although it needed a lot of work, I saw it had a LOT of potential!  It was the perfect size for my space, it was solid wood, and it had great character under all of that shellac:)

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so out came the palm sander!  I hate completely sanding down furniture unless I have too, which usually means unless I want it for my house and am going to save $700+ dollars on a boughten piece.  And although the character is what sold me on this dresser, it was a beast to sand down.

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not to mention super dusty!

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I worked on it two different nights for about 2 hours each time, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s just not a fun job.

Finally I was ready to bring it in the house and stain it.  It’s always trial and error when I’m trying to get a color I want, and for this piece I really wanted the gray, driftwood color that is so in right now.

I started by taking a styrofoam cup and filling it half full with American Accents “stone gray” paint.

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You can find it at Menards by the spray paint:)

Then I filled the rest of the cup with water and mixed it together.  I ended up with a stain-like consistency that I could brush on and rub in with a rag, and also wipe off the excess.  I would paint on a whole drawer front and then wipe it off, but on the top I broke it into thirds and did one third at a time so the paint didn’t sit on there too long.  Here’s what it looked like when I finished that step.

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Although I liked how it looked, it was a little too white washed effect for me.  I wanted a little more depth.  So then I messed around and tried the Minwax driftwood gray stain over top of it.  It really did nothing .  I want to tell you all the steps I did because so much of furniture reno is just trial and error.  After that didn’t work I took out my Minwax Dark Walnut stain..

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I used a sponge brush to brush it on and then rubbed it off with a rag.  I was nervous at first that it would be too dark, but since I didn’t the half paint/half water treatment right before, it didn’t soak much up, and almost beaded a little.  The effect it gave was just perfect though.

Here was how it looked right after with my iphone pic

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It ended up matching the new IKEA chairs I got just perfect!  I took my christmas home tour photos with it done but no hardware on it.

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Since I only paid $10 for the dresser, I was able to buy the mirrors from Ballard Designs plus the dresser for the price I sold my hutch for.  The mirrors at the time were on their Bring Home Ballard special and were the best deal I could find for the size that they are!  We are still going to hang them, right now they are just leaning, but they are so heavy I have to pull the hubs in to help with that one!  I since ordered and put the hardware on my buffet as well.  Again, since I got the dresser for such a steal, I wanted to invest in nice hardware.  I really wanted the cup pulls to make it more cottage feel, but needed to different sizes that matched.  I had a hard time finding them but ended up with a great option at Pottery Barn.

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these 3″ pulls were perfect for the top drawers.

and I loved these 9″ pulls for the big drawers.

Their hardware is free shipping which helped, and then I ended up buying two $10 off of $50 coupons on ebay for $3 and ordered my pulls in two separate orders so I saved $17.  All 9 pulls ended up costing me around $90, which still made this piece of furniture a steal for $100.

So, heres the before….

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and after…

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I just took out my red but left the greens, because here in the midwest spring is still a loooooooonnnnnngggg way off :)

And twinkle lights help with the dark nights:)

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and that’s why I love those mirrors as well, they reflect so much light!

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I love that the grain of the wood still shows through..

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and that there is still variation in the color.

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and this hardware was totally worth the cost.

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I had to show you the end of this piece because the character is so pretty!  That’s why when you see a piece of furntiure at a garage sale, or estate sale, or craigslist, you have to look past the color/hardware/stain, and look at the character, lines, ridges.  Those are the parts of a piece of furniture that makes it so pretty at the end, whether staining or painting.

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So there you have it, my $10 dresser makeover.

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CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR – PART 2

As promised, I’m back to show you the rest of the house.  You saw some of the living room but I thought I’d show a bit more.

This room actually is the hardest room for me since there is so much brown.  If it were up to me I probably would have done the whole house with wood floors with some nice big area rugs, but the hubs insists on carpet in the living room and bedrooms.  I get it, it’s comfy and makes complete sense, and I do like it too, it just doesn’t always give the best look.  Add on top of that a huge brown couch and you have a lot of brown going on.

Ideally I’d love to someday swap that couch out for the ikea white slipcovered Ektorp so that I could add some end table and brighten it up, but right now that’s not practical either.  We scored this Pottery Barn couch on Craigslist for $350, which was a steal since it’s the everyday suede, and huge!  It seats our whole family, which is so nice.  So even though it’s too big for the space, it’s practical.  And sometimes :) practical wins.

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That’s the Target Joy that’s been floating around Blogland like crazy.  I got it last year and had it on my chalk wall.  This year I couldn’t find a great spot for it.  I painted it red and tried it in numerous spots.  It ended up here only cause I like a little extra twinkle lights at night.  I am well aware that the cords stick out and it kind of drives me nuts, but it’s up, and I”m not taking it down now.  Pretty sure it won’t end up here next year though;)
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Amazingly, all the pillows on here are from Ikea, a first for me.

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As is this big lantern.  It used to be galvanized until it met Mr. spray can.

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These windows are so huge it’s nice to break them up a bit with a wreath.  This was a Home Goods find.

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I did buy one non-ikea pillow.  It’s from H&M home line (which is amazing by the way!) and I love how it mixed the linen with the red.

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I didn’t change up this area too much. I added the bunting and magnolia garland, and of course had to add the lights.  I love christmas lights!!:)

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I also sprayed this little old drawer red.

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and now it’s a home for the remotes:)

and lastly, the tree….which I have YET to find out the type!

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The kids and I actually went out and cut it down ourselves.  Ry was working and the weather was too nice to pass up.  I think we did quite well:)

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I found the cutest white pom pom garland at Menards on clearance out, and then I bought some beads from Walmart to string in as well. I made the merry and bright bunting and added in lots of ornaments and some mini chalkboards.  I always have a hard time getting good photos of a tree….but we love her none the less:)

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My mom made us the tree skirt, she’s the best, and all the paper this year came from Target.

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You can see we are quite cozy in our little house, but we love it!

and here’s the little back corner…

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That cabinet houses all of our homeschool “stuff” so it doesn’t look too pretty but is quite functional:)  and I’ve had a couple of people ask what’s behind the little door?  It’s actually our speaker system.  We have speakers wired throughout the house and this hides all of the equipment:)

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and here’s the full shot from standing in the dining room…

IMG_4963onto the kitchen.

I just focused on adding a few pops of red in here as well…

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Surprise! another tree:)  Hi, my name is allie and I’m addicted to trees:)

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I had fun filling my baskets..

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and adding some pops of red to the open shelves

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and I bought 79 cent tea towels at Ikea for some seasonal curtains!

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and there you have it!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

CHRISTMAS TOUR 2014…PART 1

Oh I’m finally getting my act together over here and got my house clean enough to snap a few photos, and really…in a bloggers reality, that means moving the “piles” from one spot to another, just out of view of the camera;)  Just so you all know we are human to and we really DO live in our houses.  No, they are never not always picture ready.  Shh…..don’t tell!:)

So, this is the one time of year I start to get all sweaty and nervous and excited, not because Christmas is my FAVORITE HOLIDAY!! But because it’s the only time of year that I actually….(gasp) bring color into my house!! I mean BOLD color.  Color so bright sometimes it makes me second guess it.  But, I grew up in a super traditional house where Christmas was beautiful with reds and greens, and cozy, and homey, and comfy.  And, well, I just can’t give that up!  Although I’ve seen some amazingly gorgous “glitzy” Christmas’ and some beautiful “woodsy” christmas’, and although at one point this year while decorating I even said next year I’m not doing red, by the end of it I kind of like the change. The “pop” it brings.

So this year not only am I revealing my Christmas, but I’m also showing you the dining room makeover of board and batten and the addition of a buffet instead of the hutch.  So I’ll share my dining and living room with you today, and show you the rest on Friday:)

With no further ado..

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There are so many changes in here, it should have been about 10 blog posts, but I’ve been busy, so you’ll see it all now and I’m hoping to break it down after the holidays.

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I sold my grey hutch at the last whimsy sale and was able to purchase the mirrors and the dresser for the same price I sold it for.  The dresser was a $10 diy score that got a major makeover, which is one of the things I can’t wait to show you!

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If you haven’t noticed, I’m waiting for the hardware to arrive in the mail, but I couldn’t let that stop me from getting a few pics.  The little tree toppers came from my Hubby’s hunting land up north.  I just put them in pots of water, and so far not many needles have dropped!  I also thought I’d join the crave and put a little “hot cocoa” station on the buffet….

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The kids used it for the first time the other day and thought it was the coolest!

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You see that little hot cocoa dish?? It was an old Bath and Body candle wrapped in some ribbon.  I love reusing things…especially when it makes it free:)

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another little secret is that these dishes are from the dollar tree!  Like seriously, they were $1 a piece!

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You might have also spied some new chairs in here.

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I know these are all over blogland, but I just love them, and have been drooling over them for some time now..

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They are the Ikea chairs and they are $79 a piece and $20 for the pad.

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But I love that we can flip it around and have more comfortable seating when people come over, since we usually tend to congregate in front of the fireplace area anyway!

I found this box at a barn sale, and it matched my table perfectly.

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The runner is from Target and the tree is an Ikea purchase…

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the little chalkboard signs are a DIY and the pom pom garland was on clearance at Menards this year!

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oh, and that fun chalkboard…Ryan’s cousin made it.  I’m kinda in love with it.  Especially since I no longer have my whole chalk wall in here.

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the chairs are a bit hodge podge right now, not quite sure what I’m gonna do with that.  But I just spent my budget on two new ones, so I’ll have to wait awhile if I want to change them up!

The mantle this year was pretty basic.

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I had the mirror, I just added the rope to mix it up, and added a few accessories.

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I may have a bit of a tree fetish.

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I’m not even going to count how many I have in my house right now..

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It might be embarrassing:)

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My sister made this adorable little color blocked pine cone garland, so I had to scoop that up at whimsy.

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I pulled out the Christmas pillows again…

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and pulled out the bright polka dots

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Mom….take a picture of me!!!

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and I’ve had a few people ask me what kind of tree we get and my answer is, a Charlie Brown tree.  I honestly have no idea.  But I love them.  We used to cut ones down from the hunting land up north that looked a lot like it, but they would always loose almost all of their needles before Christmas was even here, so I scratched that idea!  My friend found a place by her that had cut your own that had the same look but didn’t loose it’s needles!  Score!

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I’ll share more of the tree friday, as well as the kitchen and living room!  Hope you are enjoying your twinkle lights and cheesy Christmas movies!  I know I am! And now I’m just off to address some Christmas cards that finally came in the mail today!  Yay!! It’s been 4 years since I’ve done cards so I am waaaaaayyyy over due!!

NOONDAY COLLECTION

You guys, I wanted to share with you a company that I have recently found that I fell in love with.  Not only because it has amazing products and super cute stuff, but more so because of the mission behind it.  You may have heard of it because Jen Hatmaker has also fallen in love with the company and teamed up with them to come up with the best product possible and spread the word to help thousands of women throughout the world.  It’s called Noonday, and the mission from their website states…

Noonday Collection’s mission is to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable. We partner with artisans in the developing world, empowering them to grow sustainable businesses. By creating a marketplace for their goods, we create dignified jobs at living wages. This allows our artisans to earn more in order to support their families. We also offer no interest loans and make advance payments on orders. This way we are able to shoulder the costs of materials and build a lasting relationship based on trust. We offer scholarship programs and emergency assistance. Noonday Collection also donates a portion of sales from adoption trunk shows to place orphans in forever families.

Noonday Collection is not a charity and we do not believe that providing a hand out is a sustainable long-term solution to poverty. We aim to be a sustainable business that gives women across the United States a way to make a lasting difference in the fight against poverty and injustice. This is what makes this movement so special.

As of now noonday is working with 28 different groups, supporting 2000 artisans in over 10 countries which in turn is helping over 8800 family members.  Seriously, how cool is that??

So, recently my good friend became an ambassador for noonday, hosting trunk shows and spreading the knowledge of how we can help these artisans while displaying all of the amazing creations they make by hand.  Seriously, everything is hand made with their local materials and their precious hands.

You can watch their video here:

 

Here are some of my favorite pieces…

I love the monoco necklace…

It’s super versatile and the length is perfect!  I love it so much I wore it for our family pictures:)

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I also love the Pagoda necklace….

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It’s so different and fun:)

I am super excited about these little guys for the winter…

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They are the coziest arm warmers!

And there’s still so much more I can’t even show it all.  So, you should go check it out!!  I recently just had a trunk show myself (you should find an ambassador and do the same!) but I thought I’d give you the chance to join in on my party:)  I’m going to be closing it Sunday night so that if you do order, it can get to you before Christmas, unless stated that it’s backordered.  And just to make it more fun I thought I’d add a little giveaway to the mix.  For every item purchased you’ll be entered into the drawing to win this gorgeous necklace!  Just make sure to put the name Allie for the trunk show name when you order to be entered!

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Seriously, if you read up on this company I know you will fall in love with their mission and their hearts as much as I did.  What an awesome company to support while getting something great in return!!  Thanks for hearing my heart on this, and happy shopping!!  I can’t wait to see who wins that beauty up there!! :) :)

A WINNER AND JULES LEGACY

So I’m a few days late on the winner of the giveaway, but for good reason.  This week I had the opportunity to go back to my alma mater and speak at chapel at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul.  Although I am not a public speaker (I like my platform from behind the computer) I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to speak to these kids that reminded me so much of myself 10 years ago.  Wow! That makes me sound old.  But for real, it was a full circle moment for me.

I spoke to these kids about “my story.”  My testimony with Jesus and our story of how the Lord blessed us with sweet Jules.  It was such a privilege to honor sweet Jules and keep her name and her legacy alive!  And it was great to encourage these kids that they all have a story, and that story needs to be used to glorify God!

I had to take a few pics of the event since it was so weird to be preaching from the same stage I listened to others preach from every day in college.

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the hubby took the day off of work to come with and support me..

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and some of my college girls even came as well…love them!!

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Thank you to all of the prayer warriors that prayed me through this one.  It went even better than I could have imagined, and I’m pretty sure it’s only Jesus:)

So, with that being said I have another ladies Christmas event I’m speaking at tomorrow night that you can still say a few prayers for :) and then I can slow down for a bit:)

So, I’m sorry I’m a bit behind with the announcement, but the winner of “peace on earth” is….

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comment #54 Anne DiMarco!!

Anne, I’ll be emailing you for your address:)

Rudolph also found  a new home from the instagram giveway I had @prvbsthirtyonegirl

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and is on his way to his new home!  Thanks for all the comments.  It’s fun to see how many of you are tuning in:)

IKEA HACK–HEMNES CABINET & A GIVEAWAY

Oh my goodness I have been gone so long, have so much to show you, and so little time to do it.  So I thought I’d start with the one of the oldest projects that I have yet to show you…it’s an ikea cabinet for our bathroom.  If you remember waaaaay back when we gutted our upstairs bathroom we didn’t leave room for a closet.  Instead we had a little “nook” where I was going to find the perfect little armoire to fit in that space.  Well, that proved harder than I thought, and more expensive.  So I ended up at the ever affordable Ikea.

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I bought the Ikea Hemnes cabinet for $365.  Although that’s a great price, it’s still a chunk of change, so I had to made sure I loved it.  It was a perfect fit and that I loved.  And I was excited that instead of just a closet, it had a little bit of character.  I vowed that I would do those glass door justice and have an organized, “cute” cabinet in my bathroom. I even spent good money on matching baskets.

The problem is…I can’t do organized.  At least not “cute’ organized.  So I ended up with this..

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seriously, it’s pathetic.  Don’t worry, I know.

And then I said to myself.  Forget it.  I can’t make my Rave hairspray look good.  Ever.  And…..I’m never gonna stop buying it….cause honestly, I’m addicted.  Seriously, don’t judge, just try it.  I’ll save you millions:)

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Soo……I decided those doors need to be covered.

The chaos needs to go away.

I screwed in two small screws into the inside of the doors and ran wire between the two.

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and then I used my ever trusty drop cloth and made a little curtain for it.

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and taaa daaaa!!!  Problem solved!

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What once was, well..this…

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is now…

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Pretty :)

And that’s how I solve problems.

I still love that it has character, and I also love that I can buy whatever I want to put in it, even if it doesn’t match.  For all you type a people out there it still might drive you nuts.  But, for me…out of sight, out of mind!

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and now I can utilize the full space.

So, one more project off the list….

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now to update you on everything else that’s been going on:)

But, before that I have a fun little Christmas giveaway.  One lonely little sign was left over from Whimsy.  2 actually.

I’m giving one away on the blog and a different one away on my instagram feed @prvbsthirtyonegirl. Comment below to be entered in the drawing.  This sign is about 12×12.  And I took the picture at night so the lighting doesn’t do it justice.  It’s light gray and white with a gray stain.  I’ll pick the winner Wednesday and contact you via email:)  photo 1 (9)

 

 

WHIMSY GREEN CHRISTMAS SALE

I know there are a lot of new readers out there who hear me talk about Whimsy Green and aren’t exactly sure what I’m talking about.  I thought I’d use this post to explain what Whimsy is, how it came into existence, and the amazing sale we had this last week!

When we first moved into the current house we are living in, I had a lot of furniture that didn’t fit the spaces well.  As well as a lot of decor that wasn’t “farmhouse” ish…and I wanted to go a different route.  For anyone that decorates knows, it’s super expensive to switch your whole “style.”  And the words expensive and I don’t go too well together.  My friend had mentioned, since you want to buy new furniture, why don’t you have a “barn sale” to sell your stuff at better prices then you could just get at a garage sale, and then you can sell it all at once.  I sat on that thought for quite awhile (since we did have a super cute red barn now:)  but didn’t dare ask the hubby to help me clean it out and get it up and running for a barn sale.  He just spent 5 months completely renovating our house, I was pretty sure he didn’t want to renovate a barn.

Well….it never hurts to ask:)

So, before you know it him and I were spraying the ceilings white, pressure washing the floors, filling in gaps in the cement, and he wired the whole barn for electrical.  Good.Hubby.Award.  Thanks babe!  Did I mention he wanted a cow and chickens in this barn?

Not happening.

So that year I managed to talk my sisters into “creating” to help me fill this barn that was now ready for a sale.  My one sister came up with the name “Whimsy Green” since we had to call it something than the unoriginal “barn sale” and we opened our doors for the first time three years ago.

You guys, we had no idea what would come of it.

Would anyone show up? (I do live in the middle of nowhere)

Would it be worth our time?

Would we make any money?

Well, that first sale I ended up selling most of the large furniture I had from our last house and was super happy that I could buy a few new pieces.  I also managed to talk my sisters into staying on with me and creating another sale, and another, and another.

From that first sale our customer base has probably multiplied times 20??? I don’t even know.

And the crazy thing is that we have NEVER ADVERTISED outside of this blog and our FB page.

So this last weekend we geared up for our big Christmas sale.  The weather was cold but the women still showed up!  I took this picture from my front yard at 9, when our doors opened.  You guys, that drive is 1/4 mile long!  We had over 150 ladies waiting in line and ready to shop when the doors opened.

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we stand amazed!

And this was the picture I took of the other side of my yard at about 9:30….

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we had to lay down tarps so that the women could lay their piles down while they continued to shop.

Crazy!

and the other side…

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Women have come as far as 4 hours away to shop our sale.  Can you say humbled??

As I was checking women out, one lady showed me a map she had drawn of our barn and the items she wanted.  I asked if I could take a picture of it and she let me have it.

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The ladies go online to see the pictures we post and mark out their strategy of what to get.

Never in a million years if someone told me three years ago Whimsy Green would have turned into this would I have believed it.  My family is so humbled and honored and can only give the glory to God.  We can’t figure out how else this would happen!

Oh, and I had to post this picture my friend sent me on a text.  I survived Whimsy Christmas sale 2014..

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You’re welcome Abbey:)  Did I mention it was cold and windy???

So, here are the pictures I took from inside the barn, before the women came in:)

We had an elegant Christmas room…

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My sisters husband made this table and benches.  It was beautiful!

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You might have spied my hutch in the back there.  Yep. She’s gone!  Onto new things:)

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My sister Mel made those awesome light up signs!  So creative!

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And then we had a little bit more of a “Woodsy Christmas”

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and of course we had to have a traditional red and green christmas….

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and a little fun red and grey and leopard christmas…

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and this year, we also had Ryan’s man cave set up for the sale.

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We worked around the yellow insulation and plywood floors:)

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and on top of the man cave being open to shop, we also opened up our little guest house as a little toy shop.  My sister puts together fun “kits” and babies for kids and my mom made some amazing superhero capes and girly capes.  I only got iphone shots of the guest house so the quality isn’t the best.

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So here’s a huge THANK YOU for the most amazing customers!!! To my mom and dad who help selflessly, and to my hubby who worked hard to get everything set up for us and parked cars and the other hubbies for watching kiddos:).  My sisters and I are so so so grateful and feel so blessed!

Until next year….

 

MAN CAVE INSPIRATION — RUSTIC INDUSTRIAL

So my goal with this man cave was to give Ryan a very masculine “rustic” look, instead of a dead animal log cabin feel:)  He has a log cabin waaaaaaayyy up north that is darling and I love the feel, but I wanted this to be something different.   A little more refined maybe.  And a tiche more “trendy.”  Since rustic, wood and antlers is so popular right now, I’m super excited to incorporate Ry’s animals and give him a super cozy, rustic, manly place that he can kick back in and watch football or escape for some quiet time!

Here’s where we are at so far.

We are using some of the old barn wood for the window wall and to plank the fireplace.  It will look something like this…

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We have big rustic beams in there already like this…

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I’m so in love with them I want them in my house! I can’t wait to show you:)

We are going to do dark gray trim like this..

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and a possible board and batten wall like that as well.

And then the fun stuff….Ry got a big leather sectional, and we are going to warm it up with some cozy throws and pillows and possibly a cowhide rug like this…

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via Pottery Barn

Oh, and what’s a man cave without some antlers.  I can do SOME :)

Tastefully.

So my anniversary present to the hubs??
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Yep.  An antler chandelier.  Never thought I’d be gifting that:)

Happy Anniversary babe!!

Well, I’m off to set up the barn and man cave for our last day of the Whimsy sale.  And then we pack it up for the year.  You can get a better look of where the man cave is at now, and the progess that Ry made.

MAN CAVE PROGRESS

We’ve been at it again.

Renovating.

And although I wish it was on the house, it’s not.  It’s been a little cute out building that Ry had his eye on to be his “man cave” since we moved here.  It actually used to be an old grainery and when we were doing demo we found old newspapers in the walls from over 100 years ago.  So much history.  And although I loved the character and chippy paint and old windows of this little building…

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truth is, if we didn’t do something it would just sit there and probably blow over one of these days.  See…the back was pretty much falling out,

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the roof had holes and leaks in it..

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and it had the best views on the property to not take advantage of.

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So although I’ll miss this. I’m so excited to be able to use this space.  I say I, hoping Ry will let me join him out there;)

So, we have pretty much rebuilt the whole house.  Ryan took off three of the four walls and extended the back wall by six feet I think?!?  Ha!  I’ll get corrected if I’m wrong:)

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You can see the roof line is no longer symmetrical since we bumped it out, but it really gave us a lot more space inside.  We also put in all new windows, he actually has in-floor heat running in those floors (he tells me there is no budget to his man cave:) oh. dear.

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There will also be a covered porch off the back, and he did put a deck on recently that still needs a railing.  I’ll do a follow up post soon!

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I love these tall windows we scored off of Craigslist.  Inside there will be a gas fireplace between them.

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We also added a little awning like we did to the guest house, and re roofed the whole building.

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We made the windows on this wall a little bit bigger without changing the look too much, and put a smaller window in the top.

Oh but you guys….the view..

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It’s like a panoramic picture.

I love this wall.

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We saved enough of the old wood to hopefully plank this whole wall with it, as well as above the fireplace that will go between these two windows.

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Do you see why I want Ry to let me come enjoy it with him?  Oh, and have a little decor say?? Its too fun to not help out just a bit:):)

And so far, he’s being a great sport!

I say “we” did all of this, but it’s been pretty much all ryan so far.  He’s one talented guy:)  And as of the last couple of weeks he’s got the whole outside done, the deck on, and wiring and insulation done.  We’ve had a bit of a push to get it ready “enough” to use for our Whimsy Green sale.  We are busting at the seams in the barn and are going to use this as an over flow area, even if there is insulation on the walls.  We’ll take what we can get!

So stay tuned for the inspiration pics I’m using to “help” Ry with decor:)

And for the furthest progress.

And if you want to see it in person, come visit us this weekend, for our Whimsy Green occasional sale!  We will be open Saturday from 9-4 and a night Sale on Tuesday the 11th from 6-9!  We can’t wait, we have SO MUCH stuff!!  If you want a sneak peek find us on instagram #buyitatwhimsy

WHAT TO SAY TO GRIEVING PARENTS

You guys, my heart just can’t handle all of the hurt people have to go through.  I hear stories that seem unimaginable about families that have lost children through tragic accidents, miscarriages, genetic disorders, stillborns, and the list goes on.  There is so much hurt in the world, it sometimes seems like we can lose all hope.  And people have asked me before, what should I say to grieving parents??  And although I can not relate to all of the hurt and loss that people go through, I do know what it’s like to lose a child, and I do know what was so encouraging and helpful for us.

First of all, know that ALL PEOPLE grieve differently.  I saw it in my own family.  Some people want to talk a lot, some people don’t want to talk at all.  Some people want to hide, some people want to be surrounded.  Some people grieve longer and some shorter.  But here’s what I know to be true for ALL GRIEVING FAMILIES.

1.)  Our only hope in grieving is Jesus.  Therefore, the first and best thing you can offer up to any grieving parent is PRAYER!  It meant the world to us, and we honestly could feel it!  It seems quite cliche to say to someone I’m going to pray for you, but until you’ve felt the power of prayer, you appreciate every time you hear it, and you hope they truly mean it.  So tell the grieving person or send a note to the person saying you are praying for them….and actually do it!  Now, when someone pops into my mind, instead of just dwelling on the situation I immediately ask for Jesus to bring a peace to that persons heart that only He can give.  It can be a minute prayer, but bring them to the throne.  Usually the Holy Spirit will lay that person on your heart at a moment when they NEED PRAYER.  They need strength from Jesus.  I can’t tell you the amount of people that woke up in the middle of the night praying for us, and when we found out about it, it was usually when we thought our situation was too much to handle, or we were dealing with a hard time with Jules.  You guys, until you go through a circumstance where there seems to be no hope, you can’t even comprehend how the Lord can bring peace.  It is unimaginable and seems impossible to others, but Jesus does the impossible.   So be their prayer warrior!

7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

2.)  Be Jesus with skin on.  If you know the person well, offer to bring a meal, watch their kids, do their laundry if they need it….be a servant, which is exactly what Jesus was.  If it seems like that person doesn’t want visitors, leave a basket on their doorstep or send a gift card in the mail for a pizza place.  Find a way to make their life a little easier.  Because even though we want time to STOP, truth is….it doesn’t.  Life still goes on around us.  Stomachs still need to be fed, clothes still need to be washed, and people still need to be taken care of, it’s just that there may not be the capacity to do it.  So help fill in that gap.

3.)  Let them do the talking.  You will find out real soon if the grieving person wants to talk about the situation or if they want to, for just a minute, escape the reality they are in and pretend life is normal.  There were so many times I needed friends to come over and not talk a thing about the situation we were in, but just be my friend.  Help me take my mind off of it.  Make me laugh.  If I needed to talk, they were there and were gladly willing to listen, but I never wanted them to make me talk if I didn’t want to.  Also, grieving people don’t always want to be the cloud of doom with all eyes on them.  They don’t always want to feel pitied or known as, “the person who lost a child.”  It can get awkward, and it can make you live in a depressing state when you don’t always want to be there.  So treat that person as you always would, but maybe just be around them a bit more so you know what they need!

4.)  If you don’t know that person, send an encouraging note or FB message or something.  There were so many “strangers” that did random acts of kindness for us, that we were blown away by.  People that didn’t even know us that were Jesus to us.  And this is when we saw God work.  We knew He sent them.  So if you think they may think it’s weird, IT’S NOT.   It means so much, and it shows how the body of Christ works.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Truth is, no mourning person feels blessed by their situation, they feel blessed by the comfort they get, from Jesus and from the body of Christ.

Pray for them.

Serve them.

Be there for them.

“The Lord is near to those who are broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.“ Psalm 34:18

 

TWO YEARS AGO…

Two years ago today we welcomed a miracle into our lives…

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and we have never been the same since.

She was our little princess…

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who taught us so many amazing lessons.

That it’s okay to be different…..

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that size doesn’t matter….

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and she taught my kids not only how to be a great big sister..

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and big brother….

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but more importantly, that eternity is at hand.  The kids are much more aware of our final goal in this life, to be with Jesus in heaven.  They say, “I bet she’s dancing on the golden road and snuggling with God and great grandma.”

This is not our home..

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and boy am I thankful for that!!

 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come.  With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name.   Hebrews 13:14&15

What I wouldn’t give for one more snuggle…

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or one more time smelling that fluffy hair..

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Juliet Faith Lundeen, you’re life served a BIG purpose!

Know that your Mommy and Daddy and brothers and sister miss you like crazy.

every. day.

We love you to pieces and pray that Jesus wraps his arms a little tighter around you tonight as He tucks you in.  And we may just pray He does the same for us.

Thank you Jesus for using this precious girl in a big way, and for the hope we have in knowing we get to squeeze her again.  As Kynlee would say, “I can’t wait to go to heaven…..but we have to get really really old first right mom?”  I’m praying so little lady, I’m praying so.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY JU JU B!!!

You are never far from our hearts.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER…MY FALL TOUR

Well I am a bit behind in blogland on showing my fall decor, although to my defense, I have had it up for awhile now.  After getting through another AMAZING whimsy week….I finally have time to clean my house take some photos!

My favorite seasonal place to start decorating is always my mantle, although it can also be my hardest.  This is actually the second fall mantle I had after I found these AMAZING pumpkins that Target ingeniously came out with…and I knew they had to be front and center in my house.  The one disadvantage I have to my mantle is that it is very narrow, so I have to be a bit particular as to what I put on it.

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I also found this fun clock at Hobby Lobby, and wasn’t sure if I would bring it into my house or use it for Whimsy, but after watching on episode of my favorite shows, HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” I saw Joanna use it.  Sold.  It was coming in:)  I love the rustic galavanized metal and how it goes well with the fall neutrals….

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I also am in love with my little sign I bought at Whimsy from my sister.

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Yes, it’s true.  I love to shop Whimsy as well:)

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we grew the small white pumpkins in our garden, the one thing that DID manage to grow.  At least the important stuff came:)

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And the dead trees I bought at Gordmans a few years ago.  They were living in Tate’s room, but I pulled them down for my fall decor.

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The leaf pennant also came from my sister.  I love the simplicity of it.

I didn’t do a whole lot of decorating besides this.  Just little touches here and there.  A Pottery barn cake stand on the island…

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and another stand on my kitchen table.

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faux white pumpkin courtesy of Michaels and wicker pumpkin courtesy of Target last year.

I filled my 3 tier tray on my dining table with pumpkins….

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and my green moss balls.  I have a hard time getting rid of all green, so I really like to use this “dead” yellow green for fall.

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My coffee table looks a lot like it did last year..

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except I added the two big pillar candles.  I’m hoping to have a “grown up” night soon so I can light them.

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someday.

*sigh*

So that about does it.  That’s the beautiful think about a small cozy house!:)  It doesn’t take much.

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Happy Fall!

 

 

IKEA HACK–BECKETT’S DRESSER

I know you all have seen Beckett’s tiny corner in our bedroom a few times now, but I thought I’d share his $35 dresser makeover I did.

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It’s called the RAST dresser from Ikea and I loved it because it came unfinished and more importantly, because it was only $35.  I knew I needed something super small scale since I didn’t have much room to work with, and I also wanted it to fit well with the stump table I finished by the rocking chair.

The dresser started out looking like this…

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I like that it’s got a bit of a modern look to it with the clean lines.  I first bought the same furniture legs I had used on the stump.  They are from Ikea as well.  I bought the size smaller for this dresser and they were $12.00.

I painted the outside frame white and distressed it, then I cut out ABC stencils from paper and used a gel stain in a dark brown color to stain on the ABC.   After that I stained over the whole drawer with Minwaxs’ Driftwood grey, painted the knobs white, and voila!

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I love rustic grain that shows up on the drawers.

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and that you can still see the grain through the ABC.

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The legs make it a little less sturdy.  If I knew this dresser were staying here longer than 6 months, I would probably secure it to the wall, but it’s not.  So for now I’ll just use caution:)

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and there you have it.  Just enough storage for lil man clothes!

And if you want to see updates of lil man you should check out my instagram feed.  I’m a bit obnoxious with my posts, but I can’t help it.  You can find me @prvbsthirtyonegirl

Stay tuned for my next super simple IKEA hack that made my life much easier:)

USING ESSENTIAL OILS BEFORE AND AFTER PREGNANCY

I was super excited to go through this pregnancy with my new found knowledge of essential oils.  I have loved using them in my everyday life and knew my pregnancy could benefit from them as well.  If you haven’t read how the oils helped me get pregnant, you can read that here.

First let me just say that I am not a medical professional and this information is based soley on my experience.  Also, these oils are all 100% pure therapeutic grade oils, which makes a huge difference.  Oils you may buy from a different source may not be.

The first oil I loved and used many times each day was the lemon and citrus fresh oils.

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I seriously craved these oils in my water.  They taste so refreshing, plus they have so many great positives to them.  They detox your body, enhance your memory (great for pregger brain) help with heartburn and aids digestion.  Just a few of the positive side effects:)  Plus they just taste really good in water:)  I would put 2 drops in a glass and I probably drank at least 5 full glasses a day.  Just make sure you always use a glass container when using this oil because it is so strong it actually can get into the plastic and starts eating it.  My baby weight came off the quickest with this baby too which surprised me and I’m not sure if this oil is the reason for it, or if it’s just a coincidence, but either way…I’ll take it:)  I’ve also heard they help a great amount with morning sickness, but thank you Jesus I didn’t have to deal with that!

Once I started contracting I used Clary Sage.

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I had this oil from my fertility oil mixture so thought i’d give it a try.  I rubbed it on my ankles and some on my belly and I’ll tell you what..my contractions this time around came faster than ever and I my delivery was the fastest yet.  Seemed to work for me!

Another oil that I loved to use during pregnancy was for my leg cramps that got so bad the last couple of months.  This oil was Peppermint.

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I would get a charlie horse in the middle of the night and before I knew about this oil I would hop around the room wincing and flexing my foot any way possible to try to relieve the pain.  After I found out about this oil, I put a drop on my leg and the charlie horse went away within seconds.  Seriously.  Every time.  Some people warn using peppermint later during pregnancy as it can interfere with milk supply, I only used it sparingly, as the cramps came.  I also used this oil after labor, with the “after baby cramps” that came.  And I loved it.  Seriously, those after baby cramps are just mean.  And they get worse every time.  And since they usually hit you so hard as you are nursing your baby and wincing in pain from that, they come.  So mean.  So I actually had Ryan put a drop on my stomach as I didn’t have a free hand and rub it in, and within a few seconds it felt so much better.  Life saver!  Ive also heard lavender works great for these as well.

Another oil I have been taking religiously is Fennel.

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I know I’ve written about this one before for milk supply, but I’ve found an even better way to use it.  With Jules a put a drop on each breast and it helped, but I only pumped for a short amount of time.  With Beckett I found that it helped, but wasn’t as effective.  I read somewhere to put a couple of drops in honey and injest it, and I did that once but wow was it strong and the taste stayed in my mouth a little too long for my liking.  So what I ended up doing was putting 3 drops in a vegetable capsule and filling it with organic fractionated coconut oil and taking a capsule day and night.  I’m not the best with consistency, but seriously, it is amazing how this helps the milk supply.

The last oil I’ve been using on a regular basis for lil man is Di-Gize.

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Lil man is having a hard time staying “regular”, which is normal for breast fed babies, but he would be in pain with bad gas.  I use this morning and night when needed and it seems to help his pain.  He still has gas:) but is much happier.  I dilute this in the coconut oil and rub in a clockwise motion on his belly and lower back.  On top of that, it’s another great one for heart burn and indigestion.  That’s what I love about these oils, they all have so many great uses and multiple purposes.  On top of that they can be used interchangeable with momma and baby, so you really get your moneys worth out of them!

On top of these oils, we’ve already pulled out the rc for our first colds of the season and even though we know how well it works, we are always amazed how fast it works for the kids coughs when we rub it on their chest and spine.  This is still my favorite oil:)

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If you are interested in trying out oils for yourself, feel free to email me.  You can find my info on the “contact me” tab at the top of the blog, or you can read this post to see how you can sign up for yourself and start ordering oils today!:)

A LAUNDRY CLOSET MAKEOVER FOR UNDER $100

If you remember, a few months ago I was working on my “laundry closet.”  I wanted to get it done before Beckett came, knowing I was going to have to use it to store some of his clothes as well since he doesn’t have a closet.  Well, I didn’t get too far.  If you read this post you saw I got the washer and dryer stand looking a bit better…….

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and thats how it stayed for about another 4 months  until one day when I was about 36 weeks pregnant i kicked it in high gear!  I had this as my inspiration photo….

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and went to town.

Our laundry is in our bedroom and hides behind a set of double doors.

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So here is the original before….

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and after….

laundry closet

We added the Ikea pendant first.

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Then I started going to town with the old barn wood we pulled out of the man cave.  My first thought was to frame out my cheap full length mirror I had hanging on the back side of the door.

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I just screwed screws right into the door and as close to the mirror as I could get.

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Free for nothing and adds a lot of texture.  Then I used the same barn wood to make an ironing board holder.

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I got the hooks from menards for around $3 a piece.

ironing board holder

Again I just drilled the hooks into the wood and screwed the board into the door.

ironing board holder

The cover came from West Elm and was a splurge at $19 :)  But seriously, how can you resist when it flows so well…

ironing board cover

I wasnt quite done with the barn wood yet.  I decided to use some like board and batten in the closet.

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 the ceilings slant in here so it helped divide the ceiling line.  A girl could have had a lot of fun and planked it or subway tiled it, but 1.) This was free, and 2.) I was 36 weeks preggers,  Oh, and 3.)  Its just a closet:)

With the slanted ceilings I had to get creative with the clothes storage, so I added a hanging rack.  We had the bar in the shed, I always have rope, and luckily I had a few hooks hanging around.

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it’s just perfect for his little clothes:)

add in the accessories…

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and this project is complete!

Oh, I almost forgot that I also bought the wire track system from ikea for $15 to hang curtains.  I dont ever close them but they hide the plumbing and garbage can I hide behind there:)

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not to mention they add another layer of texture.  Ryan LOVES them.  wink wink

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So now I’m off to work on stuff for Whimsy.  If you want more information about the occasional shop my sisters and I have, you can check out our FB page here.  Or see what we are working on, on instagram hashtag #buyitatwhimsy

We are open next week Thursday and Saturday, the 25th and 27th, from 9-3.  Hope to see you there!!