Author Archives: stephyod

How To Stuff Your Wife’s Stocking

By far, my favorite thing to open on Christmas morning is my stocking. I’m not exactly sure why… maybe it’s because when I was little and always the first to wake up on Christmas morning, it was the only thing I was allowed to open before anyone else was awake. So there I would sit, in the living room at 4:30am, salivating over the mountain of wrapped gifts under the tree for my sisters and me, diving into my stocking because I needed to open something.

I’ve adopted the same philosophy that my mother had for stocking-filling: a little practical, a little fanciful, always filled to the top (or overflowing, if you can). Even if it was just filled with things like new toothbrushes, some Noxema face wash or hair ties, you throw a New Kids on the Block cassette in there and the stocking is THE BEST THING EVER TO GET!

So if you’re a husband reading this, I’ve put together a list of things you can put in there so you can be the best ever stocking stuffer… (hey now).

(and T-Bone, I’ve linked to the specific brands for you.. you know, just to be helpful 😉


Because She Likes to Feel Beautiful

I highly recommend going the make-up and toiletries route. They are things she’s going to end up buying anyway. But it’s more fun if you get it in a stocking!

Hint: for your wife’s specific brands, snoop through her makeup stash and just make note of the brands and colors she uses. It’s too easy.

Another Hint: unless she already uses anti-wrinkle face and eye creams, or has outwardly mentioned she would like to buy some, DO NOT BUY HER ANTI-WRINKLE CRAP UNLESS YOU WANT HER TO CRY ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. But she probably already buys it.

1. Expensive or semi-expensive night cream. (I like the Korres Black Pine Firming, Lifting & Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream)

2. Mascara (you can’t do better in my mind than Benefit They’re Real mascara)

3. Lip balm. The more the better. (Get the Rosebud Salve. Get two.)

4. Some lip gloss or a fun lip color. (The Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien is always a winner. I’m no expert, but it’s so neutral I think it could work on just about anyone)

5. A new powder brush (What girl could say no to the Sephora Classic Multitasker Powder Brush?)

6. Eye Cream. (This ROC 5-In-1 is pretty awesome)

7. Some travel-sized hair products (This Living Proof Happy Hair Days Kit is fun!)

8. A mini perfume. I’m not really a perfume gal–I’ve had a bottle of the same stuff for several years–but when I do wear some sort of scent, I love Philosphy Amazing Grace. It’s light enough that it’s pretty non-intrusive, but you know it’s there.

9. A cream face mask. (Seriously, T-Bone, if you could get me this Origins Active Charcoal mask that would be awesome… it’s been years since I’ve had this and I loved it so much. Please and thank you? 🙂

10. Travel-Sizes of her face wash and moisturizer. (I use this Aveda Botanical Kinetics, honey)

11. A foot exfoliator of some sort. Maybe it’s just a simple pumice stone or foot scraper or maybe you want to get her this hard-core awesome/disgusting Baby Feet Chemical Foot peel, every gal likes to try to take care of her tootsies.

12. A gal can never have too many emery boards or nail files.

13. A good hand cream or hand scrub, like this Bath & Body Works 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub.

14. Razor blade refills. There’s a good chance she’s like a billion other women and uses the Venus razor, which takes these refill blades. But just go take a second to look in the shower and see which brand she uses, ok? She’s going to buy them anyway. By putting them in her stocking, you’ve saved her an errand to run.

15. It’s big ticket, but hey… go big or go home, right? A Clairsonic Mia.

16. Spa socks. These Bath & Body Works lounge socks do the trick.

17. Some inexpensive jewelry. You don’t have to go the take-out-a-loan-to-buy-a-big-honking-diamond jewelry route. Even a simple handmade necklace or Alex and Ani bracelets can get the job done!

Because She’s Practical

18. Can you have too many Purells? I don’t think so.

19. Do you have any flashlights in your house? Probably. Do you have any flashlights that you are certain have live batteries in them? Probably not. Problem solved: hand-powered flashlight from Ikea. Boom. (Also great for kids stockings!!)

20. Get one of these USB outlets and put it in her stocking. When she pulls it out, tell her you’ve already booked a handyman/electrician to come install it. She’ll make out with you, especially if you pair it with….

21. This retractable phone charger that will never leave the outlet you will be installing. She’ll never search for a charger again!

22. Even if she’s not all that organized, you can bet she wishes she was. A label maker is an awesome gift. If she already has one (you know if she does if your sock drawer has a sticker on it somewhere that says “socks”), get her refill label tape.

23. Stain sticks.

24. Travel toilet paper.

25. Travel toilet seat covers. Pairs well with the Purell.

26. Be still my heart. It’s a toothpaste tube wringer.

27. Some headbands, like these Under Armour Braided headbands. They’re awesome.

28. Single servings of wine, from Giuliana. Or a bottle of Kim Crawford Spitfire Small Parcel Sauvignon Blanc. Mmmmmm….

29. A Moleskin notebook. These are Evernote friendly. If she doesn’t have Evernote, you may want to get it for her. I use it daily…. it’s my external brain. But even if she doesn’t want or need Evernote, a nice standard Moleskin that she can tuck away in her purse would be thoughtful. Give her a nice pen, too, like my favorite Pilot G2 Ultra-Fine Gel Roller.

Because She’s An Awesome Wife/Mother/Person

30. This book, “You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job,” might make her cry. Get it.

31. Every time I go into Paper Source, I see so many sweet, lovely things that I love to look at and would love to buy, but they’re just not the think you buy for yourself. Like this sweet Heart of Gold pouch. Or you could pretty much go with anything at Paper Source for your wife.

32. Again, she probably wouldn’t buy a “Mama Bear” mug for herself. But she would probably like receiving one.

33. This could probably be it’s own gift, rather than just a stocking stuffer, but buy (AND FILL IN) this “What I Love About You” Journal.

34. I’m putting the On The Go Game Pad in this category because she will continue her streak of being the Best Mom Ever when she whips it out the next time the kids are losing their shit at a restaurant.

35. This Book of Questions is a great way to spark some new conversations with your wife beyond talking about the kids.

36. If these were just plain old Clorox wipes, they’d be in the “practical” category, but because they have a sense of humor about them, the OCD Hand Wipes belong here.

37. Coloring stuff, like colored pencils and these Enchanted Forest Postcards. I know everyone is saying adult coloring is a fad, but I don’t care… I’ve loved to color since I was a kid and now I’m just glad they’re making more mature coloring books, so I don’t have to keep coloring Hello Kitty and Dora the Explorer books!

38. Well aren’t these Wine Glass Writers fun?

39. Help her up her instagame (did you see what I did there??) with an iPhone camera lens!

40. A new Starbucks cold cup to replace the one she dropped and broke one evening while ironing your damn work-shirts while you were sleeping. 😉 *T-Bone Alert. Mama needs a new Starbucks cup!*

Because She’s An Awesome Cook/Baker/Reservation Maker

41. I’ve seen these ceramic Berry Baskets and I always want one, they’re just so darned cute, but they seem impractical for someone to buy for themselves. So buy one for her. They’re adorable.

42. Also adorable are these Vintage Flower Storage bowls.

43. Go open your oven. I’ll wait. Is there a thermometer hanging off one of the racks? No? Then get this Taylor Ambient Oven Thermometer. Did you know that the internal thermometers in most ovens aren’t really calibrated well, and can be off by a lot? I’ve set my oven to pre-heat at 400 degrees, and when the oven beeps signifying it is done and at 400, I have opened up to look at my Taylor thermometer and seen that the oven is actually at 325. So get one of these. It’s one of the best tools out there. (T-Bone, no need to get it. We have one.)

44. These adorable nut cups. (Dirtiest name for a kitchen product ever.) They’re cute and look great in a stocking.

45. Do you think your wife makes enough cookies? No? Then buy her this Silpat baking mat. It’s the best. And she’ll make you more cookies. I swear.

46. I have no idea what the hell you would even use this for, but if I got one, I would search far and wide for any practical (or impractical) use for it. Behold the most adorable thing ever: the Le Creuset Petite Cocotte. Miniatures of ANYTHING automatically take the stocking to an 11.

47. I swear you cannot have enough good paring knives. I love the Kuhn paring knives, which also come with a sheath so that she doesn’t mangle her hand reaching into her stocking.

48. You also cannot have enough tiny cutting boards. Especially if you have toddlers who have to have every damn thing cut for them.

49. A lovely metal whisk, perhaps?

50. Does she love tea? Then definitely get her this Tea Stick.

51. A simple can-opener, to replace the too-complicated-to-actually-work-every-time-tupperware-brand can opener that I curse every damn time I need to open a fucking can. Please T-Bone, get me a simple can opener.

52. A useful Spatula Spoon, so she can make you more of those cookies.

53. Gift cards to her favorite restaurants, or even better, a deck of 52 Restaurant Cards like these for Chicago-area eateries. (Only do the 52 card deck if you have reliable/consistent/cheap baby-sitters)

Because She Has a Sense of Humor

54. Who doesn’t need a Handbook For The Recently Deceased (you know, from the movie Beetlejuice)?

55. Golden Girls Prayer Candles.

56. While we’re on the subject of the Golden Girls, she could probably use a “Picture It, Sicily, 1922” mug

57. Record coasters are good.

58. She probably needs a Rest In Grease spoon rest.

59. These Star Wars Han & Leia Hand Towels are awesome.

60. You should get her Wonder Woman earrings.


Ladies! Anything to add??

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I’m Dreaming of a White Bathroom

It’s becoming clear which room I will tackle next in my never-ending quest to redo every single square foot of this house, whether it needs it or not. Our downstairs half-bath, powder room, lav, whatevs… is annoying the shit out of me. So to speak.

The three bathrooms in this house that are used the most frequently (there’s a fourth in the basement, but it scares me and I have literally stepped foot in it once — while we were viewing the house before purchasing it) have never been painted by me. They’re all still in the putrid colors previous owners left them. Does anyone ever like the colors that previous owners choose?? Maybe I’m just a control freak? Our first floor half-bath and second floor full bath are the two thorns in my side these days. I hate them. But because what I want, no, need, to do to that second-floor bathroom involves major renovation, the first floor half-bath is my target these days.

Wanna see why I hate it? Ok!


It’s located right off the kitchen and dining room…. I know that there are many people in the world that hate a bathroom right by the food zones of the house, but when you live in the Chicago area and have a lot the width of your pinky finger, bathrooms are shoved into whatever nook of a house they may fit.

Powder Room (from here on out, I’m calling it that to differentiate it from the totally Blah Bathroom on the second floor), how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:

  1. Your burgundy-brownish paint job… you are the color of a Victorian-era prostitute’s fanciest dress. And that makes you, paint job, one of the only things that could possibly fit with the era in which this house was built.
  2. Your Pre-Dirtied Tile… I guess it’s convenient to put in floor tiles into bathrooms that already look like they have been soiled. They have no character or charm. Blah brown.

Okay, so that was only two ways. But it’s a small room. Like, tiny. So, how many offenses can it have??

Things I like: The frameless mirror, the pretty pedestal sink and the porcelain-and-nickel towel bar… three things that I think would fit well into a powder room in a house built in 1905. I want the rooms in our house to look as if they belong in a house built in 1905.. not exactly “period-perfect” but more like “period-inspired,” you know?

So I’ve been plotting and scheming and dreaming. Here’s what I want to do:


  1. I never in my life thought I’d be dreaming of putting in wallpaper. That must mean I’m getting old. Wallpaper and pantyhose and shopping for insurance… those are all the harbingers of old age, right? But for some reason, I think it would be fantastic to put a big, bold print in this powder room. When I first ran across Summer Squall in Midnight by Ellie Cashman Designs, I was a smitten kitten. Seriously, not just wallpaper, but a FLORAL wallpaper? It’s like I don’t even know myself anymore.
  2. You put that gorgeous wallpaper up in that little room right above a wonderfully charming beadboard? Perfection, my friend.
  3. There’s no place to put things in this bathroom… not an extra roll of toilet paper, not a backup hand towel, not nothing. So I would love to put some sort of small-ish (cause it has to be) but character-ridden something to hold crap. Like this Rosalie Metal Cabinet from Home Decorators Collection. I’m not sure this will fit into the room, it most likely won’t, but maybe I can find something like it. I hope, dear Distressed Vintage Furniture Gods, that you might bless me with the perfectly sized and styled crap-holder?? Pretty please?
  4. Beautiful, delicious, glorious marble hexagon tile for the floor. Yep. This is it. Love.

Between these four new elements and me painting all the wood trim white* I think I will adore this room now. Yep, totally sure I’ll adore it. Now, to figure out how to DO this!


*don’t get your panties in a wad over painting the wood. None of the wood is antique wood (the bathroom was installed in the 70’s and remodeled in 2005) and the wood-tone is just too oppressive for me. I want to lighten this bitch up, ok!?

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My Music Obsession: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

I cannot get enough of this song, this artist, or this video. I just love a vintage-set video, especially if it’s in a prison.


But also watch the video here:

See?? So damn awesome.

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Saying Good-Bye

Our nanny of two years is leaving us today. We made the decision that I would stay home with the kids for a little while (is that what everyone says? How long does “little while” typically last? These are the questions in my mind)… so to make it work, our four-day-a-week nanny is heading to a new family. We love her so much and what she has done for our family–loving my girls as if they’re her own, keeping me organized, just giving me some sanity. I was trying to find the perfect going-away gift for her, to let her know just how much she means to us.

The girls in one of my mommy groups all suggested doing a photo book. Duh. Why the hell didn’t I think of that? I LOVE making photo books! I used to be wicked obsessed with scrapbooking, but it required so much stuff and you could only do it in one place. But with my photo book obsession, it’s digital scrapbooking… I can do it anywhere! On the couch, on a plane, in the tub… love love love. Ok so I’m not really doing it in the tub. Don’t worry. My favorite book company is Blurb, and I adore the software to design the books (though, there are a few tweaks I would do to it… program developers: Call me!).

I put this photo book together throughout one evening and a few hours into the next morning. Looking back now, there are some tweaks–spacing, continuity, etc–but I was in a hurry to get this uploaded to Blurb and printing asap. But even given some of the nitpicky things I can see with my little eye, I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. And it made my husband cry when I showed it to him on the computer, so I’m pretty sure Anna is going to bawl.

thank you book postgraphic

*This isn’t a sponsored post. I just adore Blurb. Have had nothing but great experiences with them and their products are top notch. When I’ve gotten a book back with some printing imperfections, they sent me a replacement for free the next day. Blurb is awesome.

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A Cautionary Halloween Tale

If I had to give one piece of advice to a new homeowner, it would be this:

When you buy a house in a new-to-you neighborhood:


I’m not being funny. I’m being for realsy. Let me tell you a little story.

When I was a kid growing up in an idyllic working-middle-class suburb outside of Cleveland, Halloween was the most magical day of the year to me. I would don whatever homemade costume my mom made for me (or made for my sisters and then handed down to me) and with pillow case in hand (you could get more candy in a pillow case than a bucket, I reasoned), I set out house-to-house in our densely packed residential area, coming home with a nice, satisfying bag of loot. There were a lot of kids in our neighborhood, but there were a lot of older people whose adult children didn’t live there anymore, so I suppose that kept the crowds to a minimum. There were always lots of people, I though, a nice steady stream of friends from the neighborhood and friends from school.

This was my candy bowl at 2:59p that day. All filled with sugar and full-sized bars and optimism. I ran out of all three of those things at 4:45p.

This was my candy bowl at 2:59p that day. All filled with sugar and full-sized bars and optimism. I ran out of all three of those things at 4:45p.

When we moved to our new house in Oak Park, just outside of the Chicago, I didn’t ask my new neighbors what Halloween looked like in our neighborhood… it never occurred to me that it would be something different from what I grew up with. I expected it to be busier than any Halloween I experienced while living in the city (when you’re in a third floor walk up, surrounded by many non-married post-college “kids” like yourself, you don’t get many trick or treaters), but I didn’t know it would be the kind of Halloween that we had:

Fucking pandelerium.

I’m telling you, our street was packed with cars—people coming in from Chicago neighborhoods, just to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. Minivans would slow—not stop—and I’m not kidding dozens of kids spilled out of the moving cars to go collect candy. When trick-or-treating started at 3p (wtf time is that to start?? Half the kids and parents are still in school… but whatever), throngs of kids, some in costume, some not, started appearing at my door. Throngs. Dozens. Myriad. And I panicked. It was my first homeowner-Halloween so I wanted to live out a fantasy I had as a kid as being the ‘Full-Sized Candy Bar’ house. This was a big fucking mistake. Also a mistake was letting the kids pick out their candy from the bowl. They would reach in, grab handfuls and throw it into their buckets, turning and running, not a thank you to be heard. Sometimes the moms standing in the background on their cell phones would reach in and grab themselves a few candy bars. Hardly anyone said thank you. I was kind of appalled. Occasionally there would be a very polite kiddo that just made me so proud… that kid would get two candy bars.

But I started panicking… by 4:30p, I was down to about four pieces of candy. Seriously? When I ran out, I had to turn off my light and pack it up—we weren’t even halfway through the trick or treating hours! But even turning off the porch light and blowing out the candles in the jack o’lanterns didn’t stop the hundreds of kids from knocking on my door, looking for candy. I felt like such a jerk, standing in my dark house as mobs of kids kept on knocking on the door.

As I went house to house with my own kiddo a bit later, I started talking to my neighbors… “This is insane!” I told one. She replied that yep, this is what it’s like in our neighborhood… she will usually buy 800-900 pieces of candy every year and always runs out before the end of the T-or-T time is over. Houses in the neighborhood had signs up on their doors that read “Sorry! Out of candy” and one had even carved the words “No More Candy” into a pumpkin and left it illuminated on their porch.

So this year, I’ve made this sign, printed it out and laminated it, so that when I run out of our (fun-sized) candy, I can hang this along the bottom of my porch steps, alerting the kids that we have no fun for them anymore before they have to traipse up the stairs. Feel free to do the same!


And yeah… definitely no more full-sized candy bars. I’d have to take out a second mortgage to provide full-sized candy bars for everyone that comes knocking.


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Millie + Blocks

I guess I probably could’ve enlisted Millie to help lay the triangle Flor tiles… 

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The Big Reveal: Playroom & Guest Room Makeover

Holy hell, y’all. It’s done.* And to think, it all started with just painting the walls. But I’m just a teensy bit blue about it… what the heck am I going to do now after the kids go to bed??? Actually clean the kitchen up from dinner? Psssshaw. Whatevs. I’m probably just going to zone out on Pinterest with a glass of wine. Don’t judge. You know you do it too.

Let’s get to the good stuff.


I’ve seen enough design blogs and Before & After posts on Apartment Therapy to know that what people want to see when you reveal an “After” are photos in the same angle and POV as the “before picture. So for those of you people who may read this, here you go:

The guest area, from roughly the same spot.

The guest area, from roughly the same spot.

You can see that not too much has changed on this side of the room–the bed and bedding are the same, but we have added a Kallax bookshelf to serve as dresser-ish nightstandy thing for anyone staying at the O’D Inn.

Here are some detail photos:

I wanted the things in the shelves to be practical for a guest--plenty of fresh towels, some enjoyable books and some books about Chicago. Easy access to electric sockets... all the comforts of home!

I wanted the things in the shelves to be practical for a guest–plenty of fresh towels, some enjoyable books and some books about Chicago. Easy access to electric sockets… all the comforts of home!


I'm a mom so there are always snacks around. I just figured I should put some up here for my guests, too. Oh who am I kidding. The moment the kids discover these in the baskets, they're done-zo.

I’m a mom so there are always snacks around. I just figured I should put some up here for my guests, too. Oh who am I kidding. The moment the kids discover these in the baskets, they’re done-zo.

Is there ever anything more frustrating than not knowing the password to the wifi when you're visiting somewhere? I decided to solve that with a jaunty little picture.

Is there ever anything more frustrating than not knowing the password to the wifi when you’re visiting somewhere? I decided to solve that with a jaunty little picture.

I feel like it's a pretty cozy little nook for my mom or my in-laws or whomever else decides to pay us a visit! (Come visit soon!!)

I feel like it’s a pretty cozy little nook for my mom or my in-laws or whomever else decides to pay us a visit! (Come visit soon!!)

But what my kiddos are most excited about is the playroom space. I have to admit… I am too.

Pay no mind to the painters tape that I just realized is still on the ceiling fan, ok?

Pay no mind to the painters tape that I just realized is still on the ceiling fan, ok?

I love how bright and fun this looks. It's better (to me) than some of the local indoor playspaces! I'm so glad we did the Flor carpet tiles.

I love how bright and fun this looks. It’s better (to me) than some of the local indoor playspaces! I’m so glad we did the Flor carpet tiles.

Read about the disgusting job of removing of the old carpet and how I laid the new carpet tiles!


This is from the inside of the “secret” room… I made a conscious decision to do square tiles in here rather than the triangles in the main playroom. First, we only decided to finish out this hidden crawlspace after we had initially ordered the Flor tiles for the main play area. I wanted the secret room to have a different feel than the main room, but still match it, you know? I think the beadboard and the square tiles helps accomplish that.

The secret-hidden room slash reading nook was an afterthought, but man, am I glad we after-thought it.

We decided to finish the crawlspace all the way to the back wall... it's pretty long but I figured it would be great storage space after the kids are grown and gone.

We decided to finish the crawlspace all the way to the back wall… it’s pretty long but I figured it would be great storage space after the kids are grown and gone.

The cubbies really make it, in my mind. You can see the toys but there's also a place for everything, which is what it's all about, right?

The cubbies really make it, in my mind. You can see the toys but there’s also a place for everything, which is what it’s all about, right?

These chairs and table are my favorite shopping conquest ever! We got them at the Land of Nod's warehouse sale--they were floor models from The Land of Nod store so they had a little wear and tear, but I thought

These chairs and table are my favorite shopping conquest ever! We got them at the Land of Nod’s warehouse sale–they were floor models from The Land of Nod store so they had a little wear and tear, but I thought “Hey. They’re for kids to use! They’re going to get beat up anyway!” You cannot beat a deeply discounted 75% less than the retail price, right? Right.


None of those books taught my kid how to swear, by the way.

My kids seem to love anything that has a million pieces. Thank goodness for Ikea's storage boxes.

We used some scrap beadboard from the secret room to back the kallax bookshelves so toys wouldn’t fall behind into the abyss. I love the look of beadboard. I want every room to have beadboard somewhere.

I love being able to display some toys and hide all the rest! Maybe this will encourage me and my kids to put things back where they belong.

I love being able to display some toys and hide all the rest! Maybe this will encourage me and my kids to put things back where they belong.

Here's a floor plan for those of you who like to see how it all actually fits together!

Here’s a floor plan for those of you who like to see how it all actually fits together!

I hope you like it as much as we do! Now I want to redo EVERY room! Maybe I should just start by cleaning every room. Ha!

Source List

Playroom & Guest Room Walls: Benjamin Moore “Atrium White” in eggshell

Secret Room Walls: bead board painted with Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Semi-Gloss trim paint

Flooring: Flor carpet tiles

Guest bed, table, shelves and lamps: Ikea

Guest bedding: Target

All Storage Baskets and Bins: Ikea

Table: Land of Nod (discontinued)

Chairs: Land of Nod

Train Table: Melissa & Doug

*There are still a few things left for me to do up there. I need to put the shoe on the baseboard to bridge the gap between the carpet and the baseboard. I need to obviously remove the painters tape from around the ceiling fan. I’m going to sew a curtain for the secret room opening (when I learn how to sew… ha). The insanely huge and unsightly brown air conditioner that just stares at you from the wall… I’d love to get rid of that thing and get something more sleek, energy-efficient, pretty, but we just can’t right now. The thing is a tank and it works really, really, really well. It sticks out of the siding of the back of the house so replacing it isn’t merely the same as replacing a window air conditioner and it would be far more expensive. So in the wall it stays, until one day, it finally dies on us. And I want to figure out some sort of art for the walls… that is going to take time.


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How To Lay Triangle Carpet Tiles In a Not-So-Square Space

Now that all the things have been done to the third floor playroom/guest room, it’s time to do the final bit: laying the wall-to-wall carpet tile! Isn’t it exciting when a complicated project nears the finish line??

As I’ve shared before, this is our “inspiration room.” I’ll take a minute while you marvel at it’s beauty:

Done? Yeah… I pretty much want to move into this space. It’s so bright and clean and fun and inspiring. And I’ve been hell-bent on recreating it in my house, come what may. Determination… I haz it. Continue reading

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Thinking Ahead: Millie’s Big Girl Bed

I’m wrapping up my playroom/guest room redecoration and so I’m starting to get that familiar itch… the “Can’t Wait to Start My Next Project!” itch. Maybe that’s why I so often leave projects almost finished, but not quite there… I get inpatient and anxious to do something new. Writing this blog is helping me to actually finish what I’m starting, thankfully.

But I can’t help myself… I’m starting to plot and plan the next project: Millie’s Big Girl Bed.

She’s in a toddler bed which is just her crib with the toddler rail on, but it’s showing signs that it is becoming a bit structurally unsound and since Millie is also growing like a weed, it’s time for a more permanent bed that she can have for years and grow into.

For several years, I have been obsessed with the Ikea Kura bed because of its infinite possibilities… the thing can be used as a lofted bed or as a bed on the ground and it’s simplicity lends itself to whatever “hack” you can imagine for it. There are dozens of blogs out there showing off the ways creative folks have customized the bed and I can’t help but want to join them. One particular customization has just drawn me in and I want to steal the idea completely:

This. So so so much this.

How much would you have loved having a bed like that as a kid??? I know I would’ve adored it! I had this tent thing that had a fitted sheet at the bottom and every so often, I would put my bed tent on and sleep that way for a few weeks… I just loved sleeping in a cozy, enclosed space (which is why I think the best night’s sleep a person could get is the sleep one gets in one of those coffin-like bunks on a tour bus).

I’ve started to build up the “You’re going to get a big girl bed soon!!” thing with Milie, which is important to do because as a preschooler, change is… well, difficult. She is pretty jazzed up about it though and has already specified that she really wants the curtain part to be rainbow.

Rainbow, huh?

When I think about rainbows and beds, the first thing that comes to mind are the rainbow sheets we had when I was a kid (I think everyone had these). So I got my happy little ass on to the internets and I found a seller on etsy selling a queen-sized flat rainbow sheet from this set. From that, I think I will create the rainbow curtain on the Kura bed that Millie is dreaming of.

I don’t think we had the comforter, but I am certain we had the sheets…. in fact, I still have one of the pillow cases.

I’m still trying to decide what to do with the rest of the Kura bed frame–how I will customize the frame and the panels. I think the rainbow is now going to dictate the colors. A few hours on Pinterest should do me, though, right?

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My Weekend, In Google Searches 

Is it bad that most of my 3 year old’s diet comes from food in pouches?” Seriously, y’all. I had purchased a bunch of baby food pouches when Poppy was six-months-old, thinking I would feed them to her but it turned out the girl wanted nothing to do with purées of any sort. She apparently did some reading of the Baby Center Birth Club boards while in utero and decided she was a “Baby Led Weaning” kind of kid. (I don’t call it baby led weaning… I just call it feeding your kid food that isn’t puréed)

Anyway, I digress.

So I have all these food pouches. Millie asked what they were and I, quick on my feet, said “it’s applesauce!” So she sucked it down. She didn’t know it was butternut squash, beet, peaches and kale or some crap like that. She thinks all food in pouches are “applesauce.” So for the past few weeks, that’s the only way I’ve been getting her to eat veggies. You gotta do what you gotta do, right??

How the hell do you fix a pocket door?” We have a pocket door that separates the first floor half-bath from the kitchen and dining room. Some family came in from out of town recently and a member of said family got a little rough with the door and ripped it off the track. So now the door won’t close, the wheels at the top have ripped off and we have quite a fix on our hands I think. Also, open door bathrooming. Yikes!

Quick vegetable side dishesGarlic Parmesan roasted broccoli for the win! Millie even ate a few pieces (after I bribed her with two M&M’s).

I keep forgetting to brush my baby’s teeth” I can’t be the only one right?? Someone tell me it’ll all be ok, please?

Typical paint finish for beadboard.” The beadboard is finally all hung and trimmed out in the playroom’s secret room! I had originally thought that hanging beadboard would be a great way to avoid having to paint in there but after seeing it with all the nails that have been filled in and caulking and stuff around the trim, it will need at least a thin coat of paint just to get everything looking cohesive. I am a total idiot when it comes to picking the correct paint finish for a wall… I have spent so many years living in rentals with terrible flat white, dirty walls that I’ve got this hatred for flat paint. In a poorly informed knee-jerk reaction to that flat-paint-hate, I had the entire interior of our house painted in semi-gloss (I know, I know). Now that I’m a few years in, I’ve learned that eggshell and satin are not the devils I thought them to be and that semi-gloss is totally inappropriate for most rooms. As I lay in my bed looking at the shiny charcoal walls reflecting at me, I know that now. It’s embarrassing.

So I had to find out what exactly I should do to the beadboard. Turns out, semi-gloss IS appropriate on beadboard, at least according to a few of the forums the Google search sent me to. I’m happy about that because I have a giant five-gallon bucket of Ben Moore trim paint sitting barely used in my basement. So any chance to use what I already have and not have to spend more money is welcome!

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