Monday, June 9, 2014

House and General Life Updates

Well, hello there.  I'm just popping in to post updated pictures of what our house looks like now and to share a bit about what's been going on in our lives during the past year and 8 months of my blogging absence (where does the time go?!).  So...last summer I finally got around to making some changes to our home that I had been putting off for quite some time.  I put them off for so long because I simply didn't have time.  The transition to raising two children was bit more difficult that I had anticipated, and all the free time I had when there was just one got sucked up by the other.  I've heard someone say that one child is fun, but two children are work.  I found this to be absolutely true, and it took me a whole year to get used to it. 

Around the same time I finally figured out how to (at least somewhat) juggle two kids, I also decided to begin the process of applying to Occupational Therapy programs. I knew that once my 13 hour semester of prerequisites began in August, there would be no time for making tweaks to my home for quite a while, like, possibly three and a half years , and I got the extreme urge to get my house together! I'm happy to say that all the GRE prep, shadowing, application essay writing, and coursework were worth it as I will be starting at East Carolina University in August!  So here I am, almost a year after I finished our house, with a little bit of free time before life gets super crazy again, so I figured I'd share.

Beginning in June of last year I painted, I sewed slipcovers for my couches (never again!), and generally got our home looking fairly finished.  No more rooms or hallways full of junk just waiting to be used!  And of course I did it all on a really small budget.  No new furniture or knocking down walls, just updated paint, fabric, and some things we already owned being moved to new places.

I made the roll-up chalkboard in the first photo last August.  It filled the last space of wall in our living room area and I'm really happy with the results.  Restoration Hardware sells roll-up chalkboards for $$$$$ and I've seen some on Etsy for $$$, but mine only cost $17 to make.  It's 2 feet by 3 feet, so it's a pretty good size.  I bought chalkboard vinyl and wooden dowels from Jo-Ann fabric and finished the project in about 30 minutes.  Also, I have a new respect for chalkboard artists.  Clearly, I am not one. Pretty writing and getting everything centered is way harder than it looks. 

In our living room, well, really our whole down stairs, I painted the walls Moonlight White by Benjamin Moore.  Everyone that walked into our house after I painted said that it felt so much bigger.  Thank goodness because our living area is pretty tiny. 

I made slipcovers for our couches out of canvas drop cloth because Pinterest told me I could.  Honestly, I was just so tired of all the goldish-yellow going on in our living room that I was willing to try any "easy" and cheap solution to cover it up.  They are far from perfect.  I made the part of the cover that goes over the back and arms of the couches and a friend of mine who actually knows what she's doing with a sewing machine, made the cushion covers.  Drop cloth canvas is not a good long-term fix because the fabric gets pills all over it, but for now, it will do.  Our couches have really good bones, so maybe one day we can have them professionally reupholstered.

The curtains were moved from the guest room.  They're just a pair of Ikea curtains with stripes sewn on them.

I sold our old dining furniture on Craigslist and used the money to buy our pedestal table (only $30 also on Craigslist) and white chairs.  I know I said that we didn't get any new furniture...I lied.  I bought the two metal chairs from Restoration Hardware (fancy!).  They were the cheapest version of that chair I could find at $89 each.

Moving on to the upstairs....this is my first born's big boy room.  That duvet cover was only $17 at Target (ages ago) and I got two of them for when the boys are ready to sleep in the same room.  His little table is the $19 Lack coffee from Ikea and the chair is from PB Kids.

The nursery hasn't changed, except that it's in a different room with stripes on the wall.  I had originally intended the stripes for the big boy room, but the big storage unit looked terrible against them.  I was not about to paint over all of my hard work, so I just switched up the furniture.  That's one of the great things about having two boys....I was able to stick to one color scheme for both of their rooms so all of their things can be used interchangeably.  When it's time to put them in a room together, there will only be a bit of rearranging to do.  I won't have to totally overhaul a space.

Not too much has changed in our bedroom.  I got a new slipcover for our Ikea chair that we found on Craislist and I finally put some pictures in the frames on the wall.

Here's my little work area that's also in our bedroom.  I practically spent every minute of naptime and the time between when the kids went to bed and I went to bed doing school work here last fall.  I'm pretty sure I will be spending just as much, if not more, time here during the next two and a half years of OT school.  I'm really excited to get started and see what's ahead for our family.  And just because, here's a picture of what my boys look like now:

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5 New Prints at Lanie + Lola

Check out what's new at Lanie + Lola!

1.  Chevron Initial and Name Print $10
2.  Hot Air Balloon Birth Stats Print $12
3.  Confetti and Name Print $10
4.  Elephant Birth Stats Print $12
5.  Polka Dot Initial and Name Print $10

The prints are offered in different colors and sizes. Click on the links to the listings above to see how easy it is to get a print in colors that will fit your space!

No Pay Pal account needed to check out from my shop and Thrifty Abode Readers get free shipping with the code "FREESHIP"!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dead Ringer: Pottery Barn Hadley Ruched Duvet Cover

Pottery Barn Hadley Ruched Queen Duvet Cover:  $159
(shams not included, standard $39 each)

Target Simply Shabby Chic Smocked Queen Duvet Set:  $79.99

I've got one more Pottery Barn duvet cover knock off!!!

This one isn't as close as the first one and the Pottery Barn duvet cover isn't available online anymore, but I've seen it in stores recently.

Pottery Barn Taylor Diamond Ruched Queen Duvet Cover:  $139


Target Home Pinched Pleat Queen Duvet Set:  $69.99

Direct Checkout and Free Shipping From Lanie and Lola

As you can see, you can now use a credit card (no Pay Pal account needed) in my Etsy shop, Lanie and Lola!

And as always, free shipping for Thrifty Abode readers when you use the code "FREESHIP".

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pins That I've Tried and I Love

floor cushion tutorial via Living With Punks
For three months Pinterest has been my constant companion in the wee hours of the morning while I nurse my Little One.  I've discovered some pretty great recipes and tips/tricks in all my scrolling.

The following 8 are currently my favorite pins.

1.  DIY Floor Cushion (mine is in the first picture):  I got the itch to make something on Labor Day and had about a yard of fabric on hand.  This project was perfect.  The cushion looks great and it was fairly easy.  I'm pretty proud of myself for getting the piping right!  Pin / Link

2.  "Man-Pleasing Chicken":  Maple syrup, Dijon mustard on chicken good.  Pin / Link

3.  Homemade Cheese Crackers:  I had some cheese that I needed to use up before it went bad.  This recipe is so simple and so good.  Little Man and I ate them all in one day!  Pin / Link

4.  NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies:  This has become my go-to cookie recipe.  Crispy on the edges and soft in the middle.  Pin / Link 

5.  Brownie In a Mug:  Really great when you need a quick chocolate fix.  I have eaten way too many of these.  Pin / Link

6.  DIY Microdermabrasion:  I can't really say whether or not this DIY version is comparable to the real thing, but it's a good exfoliator and my skin looked smoother afterwards.  Pin / Link

7.  Homemade cleaners:  All purpose cleaners, natural disinfectants...this link has it all.  Pin / Link

8.  3 Day Potty Training:  I used this post as a guide to potty train Little Man and just like the title says, 3 days is all we needed.  Pin / Link

If  you have any favorite pins to pass on, just leave them in the comments!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DIY Felt Dog Treats

I haven't had time for many projects lately because I have a two month old that wants to eat every two hours (including during the night), BUT I was able to find a little time to whip up these pretend dog treats.

This craft might seem completely random (and it kind of is), but I was inspired when Little Man was playing pretend with his stuffed dog one morning.  He kept asking me to fill up a couple bowls I'd given him with imaginary treats and water for his dog.  Then he'd pretend to take her (he named her Bell) on a walk to Target and Chipotle.  Ya know, completely normal places that a two year old to want to go.

It was just so cute, and I found myself thinking it would be nice if he had some "real" treats to give his dog.  I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to make something like play food made out of felt and realized that I had all the supplies on hand.

The dog treats only took about an hour to finish.  I wanted to get them done while Little Man was still playing so perfection was not my goal here.  My stitches are sooo uneven and I used the brown yarn as stuffing because I didn't want to spend the time trying to find the polyfill that I have.  The bone pattern I used is attached below the instructions.  I just printed it out on card stock and traced it onto the felt with a pen.

So easy and Little Man really seems to be enjoying them!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Look at those cheeks!  It's been over a month since I posted and this little guy is up to 12 pounds!  Once he got the hang of eating and got over being born a month early, he started packing it on by eating every two hours...even at night.  I'm actually not feeling that tired, but it seems like there's very little time to do anything else but feed him. 

Even though I spend a ton of time on the couch with a baby in my lap,  I have managed to squeeze in a couple of projects.

This isn't decor related at all, but I'm extremely proud of the fact that Little Man has been officially potty trained since the beginning of July!

We did the three day hard-core potty training method and by the third day he had it.  We're kind of up to our elbows in newborn diapers and I can't imagine what it would be like to have to deal with toddler diapers too.  Woo hoo!

In nursery and playroom news:  I swapped the rooms.  I originally intended the stripes for the playroom, but once I got our storage unit in the room I just didn't like how it looked.  I couldn't bare to paint over those stripes that I spent so much time on, so I just moved the nursery furniture into striped room.

I'm liking the stripes on stripes look. 

The old nursery, current playroom is now a light gray.

As you can see, it's kind of a disaster and I'm at a stand still.  I just don't really have the time to get anything done.  The good news is that there's no hurry to get this room finished.  Hopefully I can get working on it when the baby gets on a regular nap schedule.  So, until then I think blog posts are going to be pretty irregular.  I have a little project lined up to be posted tomorrow, but after that it may be a while.

Hope everyone enjoys he rest of summer!

Monday, June 25, 2012


On June 7 my mom and I were supposed to make a little road trip to Ikea and pick up all the stuff I still needed for the playroom.  Instead I called her at 6 AM to tell her that I thought I was in labor and she needed to come watch Little Man while my husband and I went to my OB. 

I spent about half an hour hooked up to a monitor and we were sent to the hospital to deliver.  Baby #2 was arriving a month early!

His weight was fantastic (6lbs. 7oz.) considering how early he was and we are so thankful for that!  He had to spend an extra eight days in the hospital at the special care nursery until he could eat well on his own. The picture above was taken in the nursery while he still had his feeding tube. 

He's been home for a week now and I'm settling into life with two little ones a little earlier than I expected.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Craigslist Stalking Paid Off!

Finally!  After weeks of obsessively checking Craigslist, I came across an Ektorp chair (usually $250) for $50!  I know it looks gross in the picture, but that's because the slipcover was ripped in the front so I just went ahead and took it off  when we got it home, and I'm planning on buying a new white slipcover for $29 when we make our trip to Ikea soon. 

I probably should have waited to post of picture of my chair with a new slipcover for a more dramatic reveal, but I just couldn't wait to share!

Sooooo for all of $80 I will have come in waaaaay below my original $500 budget for a new chair.

Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stripes and Chevron and Dots?

I'm finally finished with those stripes and it feels amazing!  I was kind of nervous about the vertical stripes because horizontal stripes seem to be so "in" right now.  


If you search "striped nursery" on Pinterest, 90% of the stripes on the walls are horizontal, and honestly...those are my favorite.

But then I saw this beautiful picture...

....and even though it's not a nursery or playroom it helped me settle on the vertical stripes.  Don't they look so cool?

I hope mine look at least half as cool when I get all the other stuff in the room.  Fingers crossed!

Now on to the chevron portion of this post....

 ....I bought this brown and white chevron from Allegro Fabrics (which I highly recommend!) and I'm going to use it, I'm just not sure if I want it on my curtains like I had originally planned.

These are actually the curtains that gave me the idea to just put fabric on the bottom of my white panels:

Looking at these curtains makes me think that I might need a pattern in a larger scale than the chevron I have for the bottoms of my curtains.  Yes?

Maybe something like this (here come the dots)...

...or maybe I'll just leave them white.  It might start looking a little busy in there now that the walls are striped.  

I'd planned on getting my curtains done as soon as that chevron fabric came in, but now I think I'll be holding off on them 'til most everything else is finished. 

So that's the playroom for now.  

I made some major, major progress in my hunt for a cheap chair (like $50 cheap) for our bedroom over the weekend and I'll share tomorrow!

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