Friday, December 7, 2012

Last Days of Showers

Well, the holiday season is officially upon us and I have managed to get in the spirit a little.  It is so difficult when I have so much to do that isn't holiday related, but there is some Christmas happening in our house just not fully yet.  But before I post about the Christmas up in our house, I wanted to share my last two baby showers with you all fine folks.  One word describes the creativity and awesomeness of them, FABULOUS.  I am so grateful to have such great family and friends to share this joyous occasion with. 

Ok, first up, my shower in Austin a la my friends Frauke and Susan.  Frauke graciously hosted the event at her beautiful home back in the beginning of November, and was most definitely the hostess with the mostess.  She made everyone ooo and ahhh over her beautiful snack table and decor.

If you can't tell in the photo above, everything was labeled with little signs!  That's my kind of party! Oh and the main theme was taken from the fabric I am using to make baby girl's curtains in her nursery.  So cute!

I would have to say that Frauke did an amazing job especially considering this was her first baby shower.  Being from Germany, this isn't a typical tradition, so I was so happy that she wanted to host it!

Susan also did an amazing job making all the guest corsages with name tags and running the party games.  She was a great gift helper as well, mostly when she did small performances with the ribbons. 

The games were great, difficult, but great.  The hardest was matching celebrity names to their babies names.  Seriously, I can't believe some of the names.  Then the group had to draw a baby and I had the privilege of judging them.  I have to say, the competition was stiff...

but there can only be one winner, and that was Frauke!  I promise I had no idea the drawing was hers, she just was such a great artiste!

Next up was a shower in Lubbock,TX just a week ago.  Lubbock is where I went to Junior High and High School and my mother and sister still live there.  It was so great to see so many faces I hadn't seen in a while and faces of women whom I'm sure my mother talks non-stop about the arrival of her first grand baby with, and be with great friends and family.  

My beautiful Granny even made it, there in blue, with our dear friend Bernice. 

My sister and mother hosted this shower at my sister's house.  The theme was baby shoes and they were EVERYWHERE!  It was so fun to see all the different shoes laid out and then matching them to all the clothes we received as gifts. 

I have to say that they also did an amazing job with the food.  This shower was a brunch and so we had brunchy stuff like egg casserole, pigs in blankets, fruits, and of course banana cupcakes.  They are truly amazing from a place called Cake in Lubbock. 

After food came games and gifts.  The games were good like guess the baby food, which I am horrible at...

How many baby gummy bears in the bottle, which my friend Renee won!  Oh and let me also say here that our friend Lenny who is Renee's husband took all the pictures at the shower, which turned out amazing!

The last game was sculpt a baby out of Play doh, a repeat from the Albuquerque shower, but still fun nonetheless.  I again had the privilege of judging the sculpted babies and the winner was Karen!  Nice sculpting ma'am!

Thanks again to all the ladies who showed up to my showers to support me and my growing family!  It means the world to me and Devin that our baby girl has so much love already.  We will be forever grateful. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Nursery Furniture...Finally

We hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving holiday, I know we did!  Along with stuffing ourselves with Thanksgiving goodness, we made great strides in the nursery department.  With my mom in town we took advantage of her go get-em attitude and we tackled multiple projects.  But prior to my mom and sister's arrival Devin and I got some furniture assembled. 

First item at hand was the crib.  If you follow us on Instagram, you saw that we received our crib a few weeks back.  We chose the Baby Mod 3 in 1 crib from Walmart because of its great style and affordability as well as the fact that it is solid wood with non toxic finishes.   We finally were able to put it together after the room was painted and the carpet was cleaned. 

The crib has two tones, with an amber wood grain for the base with legs and white rails.  I love the modern look. 

The assembly was super easy and Devin was able to assemble it in about 45 minutes with my superior instruction reading ability. 

Of course we had help...the amber color in Roxie really brings out the amber in the wood grain don't ya think!

I'm so happy that we have a crib for baby girl.  The room definitely feels like a nursery now!

After we received the crib, we were able to start on the dresser we will be using for the changing table.  We purchased the Mandal 6-drawer dresser from IKEA a while back.  After looking at several options, we decided on this guy since he was solid wood and definitely within our price range. 

Our goal was to stain the birch wood to match the amber wood grain of the crib base.  So with one leg from the crib, we went to Lowes to find stain to match.  After we found the right color, we could start.  Prior to applying the stain we had to sand the clear finish off of the wood frame.   

You can see the difference in the clear coat and the raw wood here.  The left is the sanded side and the right still has the clear finish. 

After sanding we cleaned off all of the dust with tack cloth and started applying the stain.  We ended up using Minwax Wood Finish oil based stain in the color English Chestnut that you can get at your local hardware store.   In the picture below you can see a crib leg as our reference for color. 

We had to apply two coats.  Each coat had to be applied and sit for 15 minutes then wiped down and allowed to dry for a few hours prior to the next coat. 

After the two coats were applied and allowed to dry for 24 hours, we applied a protective finish of Polycrylic that I LOVE cause it does no yellow!!  Needless to say the process took a while since we stained both sides of every board and had to do two coats plus the clear coat.  A couple of days later, we were able to assemble the dresser...

and voila!

I love the two tone wood and white and how the stain finish turned out!  It goes with the crib beautifully.  I'm so happy that the big pieces are complete and now we are into the details.  I have some piece of mind now if baby girl decides to come early...(stay in there a little longer baby girl!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just When You Think You're Finished...

Baby's nursery is slowly progressing and I thought I would give you a quick update on the progress.  We shared with you the beautiful painted walls and then after living with it for a while, we decided we needed to paint the ceiling also.  The gross dingy putty colored ceiling.  It became more obvious after the walls got the royal treatment and the ceiling was left out.  So we opted to paint the ceiling a bright white.  We picked up a can of Flat Ultra White ZERO VOC by Olympic from Lowes and got to work.   

Which meant, we had to cover our freshly painted walls to protect them from ceiling paint splatter.

My mom and Devin did the majority of the work. I was the keen observer saying you missed a spot there and there is a drip know the really important job.  You can see the difference in paint color in this picture...crazy the difference!

After the ceiling was finished (with two coats), Devin had to go back and cut in the blue on the walls...bummer.

Remember this piece of furniture sitting in the middle of the room while we painted the walls?  Well, it received a royal makeover also.  While we had the drop cloths down and the painting supplies out, I just tackled that little project before cleaning up.  Doors and drawer came off for cleaning...

and priming.

The hardware got a nice dose of pink spray paint.    
  Here is a look at the table when I got it here as a package Craigslist deal for $40!   
  After some bright yellow paint, and some perfectly pink hardware, it is finished!  
  I think that is it for the painting in the room...who knows though, we might have to include a fabulous mural a la Cameron on Modern Family!!  ;)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Enchanting Homes Part 3

Our final post about the Albuquerque Homes of Enchantment Parade features a home designed by Boulevard Homes Design + Build and it was my favorite of the few that we saw.  It is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with 2,500 square feet.  We were greeted by a clean modern facade and cool cast concrete stepping stones. 

I loved the large glass front door.  The color had me at yellow...

Upon entering the home, the first space you see is the kitchen and it is a beauty.  You can't help but gravitate right to the island.  I especially love the chunky counter top on the island and the built in shelves.  The back splash tile reminded us of ours (seen here).  The wooden door on the left is the!

Right next to the kitchen was the backyard patio that totally opened up to the living spaces of the home.  Brilliant.  It was basically an extension of the entertaining area and with Albuquerque's gorgeous weather, you could use it practically year round. 

The patio was complete with built in grill.

The living room was nice and bright with a cozy fireplace. 

When headed upstairs, I was struck by the clean and simple hand rail mounted on the wall and the glass mounted with standoffs. 

I loved that with all the nice high-er end finishes in the house, that they still found the beauty in an IKEA light fixture in the stair well.  Just goes to show that good design doesn't have to cost a fortune!  Oh and the skylight is super awesome that allows natural light to cascade down the wall.

Speaking of the skylight, they used the same technique in the hall bathroom.  It is so nice to have natural light in the shower in the morning.  And how about that awesome white wall tile!  Loved the texture it provided while remaining clean and simple. 

The other upstairs bathroom was in the master suite and it was quite impressive also.  It came complete with a beautiful freestanding bath tub...

And walk in shower with rain shower head.  The ribbon window above the floating vanity was great, complete with chunky counter top. 

That's it for our Albuquerque parade of homes.  We had a great time and our only regret is that we didn't have enough time to see more and visit with more friends, but there is always next time. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making Room For Baby

We finally emptied the baby's room of all the guest room furniture and made our first big step towards a full fledged nursery.  We painted.  YAY!  The fabric has been selected for the curtains and baby bedding, that I will make.  I ordered the fabric from Hawthorne Threads and Quilt Home.  If you remember back in this post, when I was day dreaming of a baby girl's nursery, well it is the fabric I have been dreaming of using for well since April of 2011 I guess.  The fabric designer is Tula Pink and she creates some of the most amazing whimsical patterns that I love. 

So with the fabric in hand, I selected a color for paint...and the winner is a Sherwin Williams color called Green Trance. 

So off to buy the paint we went.  We had the paint color matched at Lowes using the Valspar Zero VOC paint keeping in mind that I am pregnant after all. 

Here is a quick before shot of the room pre-paint.  The piece of furniture in the middle of the room was being used as a work table for now, but I have big plans for it's incorporation into the room.

I apologize for the horrible lighting in the room.  It was getting to be late in the day before we even started.  Reminder for me:  get better light fixture for nursery!  The actual color of the room is a pale gray that we used as our base color throughout the house. 

After we patched a few holes in the walls, we were ready to roll!  Haha fun puns!

The room instantly lightened up when we started rolling on the paint.  Devin is the primary roller in our house and I'm the cutter inner (yes that's an official term).  Although, Devin had to cut in the ceiling as I'm not supposed to be on ladders in my pregnant state...bummer.   

It was love at first sight with the paint color. 

After applying one coat of paint, it was very obvious that it would require another coat, so since it was late as you can see in the picture above, we waited for the first coat to thoroughly dry overnight to apply the second coat. 

Oh and of course we had help.  Roxie is the official is-it-dry-yet-tester.  The answer in this case was an emphatic no...

The end result is awesome!  Let me recap the before for you as well as the after.

So much more light and cheerful.  Just what I want for baby.  Now I can't wait to make the curtains and get some furniture in!  This is progress.

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