3.04.2014

The Playroom


I realized a week or two ago that the Our Home tab at the top of the page is seriously out of date!  There are a few rooms that haven't looked like the pictures shown in months.  Yikes!  I have totally dropped the ball on taking pictures the last few months.  Call it a combination of laziness, busyness, pregnancy, who knows?  But I've GOT to do better at taking pictures!

I thought a good place to start on updating house pictures would be with the playroom.  For the second winter in a row, our playroom was unusable for months.  ugh!  Last year, it just got too cold out there for a baby to play, and we needed the extra space for storage for unpacked boxes and to work on projects like staining the main bathroom cabinets.  We moved everything back into the playroom about this time last year and LOVED having that space dedicated for toys all summer long.

Then the roof started leaking.

The playroom is an addition off the back of our house, (it used to be a covered patio that led to an uncovered patio), and the addition has a flat roof.  We tried every product the big box hardware stores carried for fixing flat roofs over the past few months.  It was kind of a frustrating process, we would have to wait for nice weather to attempt to patch the roof, then we would have to wait for bad weather to see if the patch worked.

Long story short, nothing worked and the roof, (and subsequently the playroom ceiling), just kept getting worse.  We finally admitted defeat and had pro roofers came in replaced the flashing where the two roofs meet and put a new roof on the flat part.  So now we should be good for at least 20 years!  That's a HUGE stress relief for me!  It was really annoying to not be able to use the playroom.  There have been toys everywhere in our house for months, and they were about to drive me absolutely crazy!  As an added bonus, the new roof seems like it's better insulated than the old roof, so the playroom feels a little warmer.  Which is great news since it's currently in the 20s here! Brr!

Because the ceiling was damaged from the water leak last week husband ripped out a 1 foot by length of the room section of sheetrock last week and replaced it with new sheetrock.  We were kind of in a hurry to get the room put back together before we had some people over this weekend, so the section of ceiling with new sheetrock hasn't been taped and mudded yet, and looks a little rough, (you may be able to see it in a few of these pictures), but it's such an improvement that we don't care!

I think that brings the situation up to speed, now for an obnoxious number of pictures! ;)

For starters this is what this room looked like when we first bought the house:



In November of 2012, (wow that seems like such a long time ago now!), we painted the walls Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois, (the same color as our living room), and this was what the room looked like then:

you can see more pictures in this post

Here's where the room stands as of now:


It's a LOT more colorful thanks to the addition of lots and lots of toddler toys! ;)  The larger rug was given to us by a family member who was redecorating, and really helps keep the room warm in the winter time and provide a soft space for kiddos to play.

This is the view from the doorway into the room:


Husband built the red picnic table last summer from an Ana White tutorial.  It's been so great for snacks and craft projects!  The 3 Sprouts mouse caddy on the table holds stickers, washable crayons, and washable markers for H to play with.

We moved H's water table inside and filled it with a 10 pound bag of pinto beans and it has been the greatest thing ever!  He spent an hour straight playing with it one night, and it's been a hit with all his friends too!  I just put some $1 sand toys from Target and a couple trucks in it, and it's provided hours of play time!  Yes, the beans do get thrown all around the room, but they're SO much easier to clean up than sand!  I highly recommend it!!!



All the furniture in the room we already had.  The chair and ottoman and the couch were a set we bought right after we got married.  They fit perfectly in our apartment at the time, but are really small for a main living room in a house, (I think they're technically classified "apartment size" so that makes sense!).  They work great in this room, but our long-term plan is to replace the couch with a daybed and trundle for my nieces to have somewhere to sleep when they get older.

The teal desk I've had since I was in kindergarten and it's currently storing construction paper and art supplies for H, but I think it may move to his room sometime in the near future.  We'll just have to see!


In the corner by the door you can see H's still unfinished kitchen.  Husband is building it using an Ana White tutorial, (she is just the best!).  It was supposed to be finished by Christmas, but life has been so crazy lately that it's still not done.  Thankfully H has a great imagination and thanks to lots of play food and dishes, he plays with it just like it was actually finished! ha! ;)

We bought this Expedit storage system from IKEA when we lived in DFW and it's fantastic for toy storage!  We are debating getting a larger one though, because after two Christmases and birthdays we're starting to run out of room!


I love having everything so organized, but given that we're adding a new family member, (very!), soon, I think it would be a good thing to have a larger shelf that we could grow in to.  Then this one could move back into a closet somewhere and store my craft stuff which is still boxed up. :)

 Looking back towards the other end of the room:

You can see the one window in the room that actually has curtains right now.  ha!  The curtains are really just a large canvas drop cloth cut in half and trimmed with teal pom pom trim.  I had grand plans of finishing them for every window in the room, but haven't quite gotten there yet.  Maybe one day? ;)


We also have a small IKEA Billy bookcase and two Benno bookshelves that house books, a few toys, board games, and some video games and DVDs in the corner.  The extra storage is great, but they also act as a buffer to hide the rough edges of the backside of the fireplace! win, win. ;)

So that's the playroom as of this morning.  We love it and it works so well for our little family!  Our wish list for this room includes finishing the ceiling, finishing the curtains, replacing the couch with a day bed, adding more storage, and possibly replacing the rug at some point.  But for now we're extremely happy with the way everything is, so this will probably be the last update on this room for a while.

Just a quick before and after to keep everything in perspective:


Hope you all are staying warm this week!  Anyone else really ready for Spring?

Jennifer

2.21.2014

A Little Nursery Progress

We've had a crazy busy few weeks around, but I wanted to pop in and give y'all a few updates!  First off, I'm now 36 weeks pregnant! INSANE!!  In some ways it feels like it has gone by so incredibly quickly, and in other ways I am really beginning to feel like I have been pregnant forever!  It's definitely been rougher this time around than when I was pregnant with H, mostly because I'm chasing him around all the time.  I've only taken a handful of bump photos, but I feel like I look so much older and more tired than I do in the pictures when I was pregnant just two years ago.  I guess being almost 30 and having an almost 2 year old will age you a little bit! ;)

We've finally started really making progress on the new nursery.  I don't think I've ever shared a single picture of this room, because it was just our spare 3rd bedroom.  We knew that it would most likely remain a spare room for junk and the occasional family guests, unless we unexpectedly got pregnant.   Basically, with all the other crazy projects we've had on the docket for this house, this spare room was rock-bottom on the priority list.  Except that all the sudden it got skyrocketed to the top!   Here are a couple before photos though:






Definitely a blank slate.

I shared a little peak of one corner of the room a few weeks ago where you could see the new pink paint job.  Here's that photo again to refresh your memory:


Well, turns out that innocent little pink paint caused quite the chain reaction.  You see when we painted the walls pink, suddenly the ceiling paint looked awful.  It looked dirty and dingy, and a really unappealing greige color.   No problem, we just took our happy selves to Lowe's and picked up a can of the Olympic no VOC ceiling paint and came home and painted the ceiling.  Problem solved, right?

I forgot to take a picture before we painted the ceiling, but in this pic you can see the dingy line that's the old ceiling color.  yikes!

Wrong.  The walls looked great.  The ceiling looked great, but the trim then looked like this:


More dingy beige.

Thankfully after a coat of Kilz Premium (it's no VOC) and a coat of the leftover paint we used on the living room ceiling, the trim is looking a LOT better!


Now we just need to cover up that pesky line where you can see the old ceiling color with some crown moulding!  We actually got the crown last Friday night, and had planned to install it last weekend, but  my car decided it wanted to act up, so car repairs kind of took precedence.   The trim is still hanging out in the sunroom safely away from the toddler, ready to be painted and installed this weekend. ;)

While husband has been busy painting the room, I've been working on a few sewing projects.  The only one I have complete is a little blanket I made from scraps for another project I hope to finish soon:


But I still have a BIG long list of sewing projects that need to be completed, including making a bed skirt from these three pink fabrics:


I know this is kind of a boring update, because it's mostly prep work, but hopefully we'll have a more exciting look at the nursery soon!  My goal is to have it finished by the end of this month.  Every thing for it has been ordered except new curtains, (I've been holding out for a sale or coupon code, but might just have to bite the bullet and pay full price soon).  We still need to paint and install crown moulding, install a new ceiling fan, install new blinds, paint some furniture, and finish all those pesky sewing projects.

In the meantime, this little corner is kind of my sanity and preview of things to come:


It's still not finished or perfect, (those curtains are the old ones from H's room and will be replaced, more stuff will be on the walls, add in some pillows, etc.), but I've loved that "For Like Ever" poster for years, and I love seeing it hanging in there.  Even at 9 months pregnant, I still can't believe we're having another baby or that we're having a baby girl!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Jennifer



1.31.2014

Money Saving Friday Deal - Saving $100 on a Convertible Car Seat

If any of you are in the market for a convertible car seat, Target has a great deal this week that I wanted to pass on, and share a few ways you could get an even bigger discount!

Last year when we moved H from his infant carrier car seat to a convertible seat, we bought a Britax Boulevard 70-G3  on the recommendation of many of our friends.  Honestly, it is a great seat.  It had tons of the features we were looking for, (extended rear facing, metal frame, etc), and everyone we knew seemed to love it, so we went for it.  We bought our seat at amazon because they had the best price at the time.

Britax Boulevard 


But after a year of use, we just don't love the seat.  It's always been a little awkward to get it to fit correctly in our car, (we have a crossover SUV).  It fits great in the middle seat, which is where it's been for the past year, and we've been perfectly happy with that!  But sometime in the next 7 weeks, (!!!), we're going to have to install another seat in the back for our new little lady, so H's seat will have to move to the side where the fit is just plain awkward and doesn't look right, (and by right, I mean as safe).

Additionally, we've found ourselves needing a second seat for grandparents on more than one occasion lately.  Uninstalling and reinstalling car seats is a pain, (I'm sure many of you can back me up on that one!), and we've been shopping around for a second seat that we'll be able to install in grandparents cars when need be.  That whole 7 week deadline is also looming over this decision! ;)

In my normal neurotic, over-researching fashion, I've been researching car seats for months now!  I've read blogs, car seat forums, watched YouTube videos, the whole nine yards.  We slowly started narrowing in on the Chicco NextFit convertible seat.  I really liked this review of it on The Mommy Dialogues blog.  The only problem we had with it was the price, $279.99 regular retail price.  I'm a firm believer on not putting a price on my childrens safety, but the fact that we already bought one pricey seat and one of these would be delegated to a second seat that wouldn't be used often kind of made it seem frivolous to buy another pricey seat.

Chicco NextFit


But, this week is baby sale week at Target!  It seems like the entire baby department is on sale, including the Chicco NextFit we've been eyeballing for months.  All Chicco baby stuff is 20% off this week, which brought the $279.99 price down to $223.99.  Fifty bucks off is always great, but I wanted to see if I could get the price down lower.

"And there is Kevin!" - obscure "Friends quote anyone? ;)

If you sign up for Target Baby mobile coupons, (click here to do so), you'll receive a code for 10% off any online baby purchase delivered to your phone within a few minutes.  That brought my purchase price down to right around $200.

Next, I also had a $5 off coupon from RecycleBank that I added to my cart, and got my price down to $195, (but I realize not everyone just has random coupons lying around).  ;) Then I used my Target red card to get an additional 5% off the purchase price which brought it down to right around $185.

Target.com does free shipping on purchases over $50,  (or free shipping on purchases with a red card, so we were actually doubly covered), but we actually chose to pick-up our seat in the store.  I knew they had the car seat in stock at our local store, because I just looked at it a couple days ago to make sure we liked it.  This way my impatient self doesn't have to wait a few days for the seat to ship and then stalk the UPS/FedEx man on delivery day. ;)  I got an email from Target that our seat was ready to be picked up in store 23 minutes after I checked out online.  Not too shabby!

Since we didn't have to worry about paying for shipping, all that was left was tax.  With the tax included our car seat came out to $202.17.  I went through ebates.com before I started my transaction, and they're currently offering 2.5% off purchases from Target.com, so at some point we should get about $5 back on the car seat through ebates as well!  If you're not already a member of ebates, you should definitely think about signing up, (especially if you frequently shop online)!  You can do so here.

In case all that was a little confusing:
Original Price $279.99 - 20% off sale price = $223.99 - 10% off  Target Baby Coupon = $200 - $5 off online coupon = $195  - 5% Target Red Card savings = $185 + tax = $202.17 - $5.05 cash back from ebates = $197.12

If we'd bought the car seat at regular price with tax it would have been $303.09!  That's a savings of $105.97!!  I think that's pretty stinkin' awesome!

Anyone else find any great deals lately?

Jennifer

P.S.  This is not a sponsored post, I'm not even a Target affiliate, I just love a good deal and wanted to pass it along in case anyone else is in the market for a new car seat as well! :)


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