Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Some Fun Changes in the Playroom

I'm always up for a good project! 
Once we got back from our Florida vacation, I was ready for the next update to make to our home and couldn't wait to start. 

Well....that part about not being able to wait to start the next project isn't exactly true...

Actually, we've been back for a couple of weeks now and I've only done one quick project. So it wasn't necessarily "full speed ahead" once we got back home, thankfully. I'm slowing things down a bit.

However, there is another project in the works- painting our kid's play space. There are still a couple rooms in our home that haven't been painted yet, and the playroom is one of those areas. 

And there's a good reason for that.

It's a fairly big room with high ceilings, so painting this space wasn't top priority and seemed a bit daunting.

Since we've lived in our home for a little over 3 years now, I figured it was time to update the space. The challenge was not only the size of this room, but the outdated, old blue carpet. The carpet in this space is about 25 years old and as you can imagine, is not in the best shape (Yikes! I know, right).  Unfortunately, we aren't replacing it anytime soon because of cost and time, so the new paint color will have to compliment (well, at least somewhat compliment) the floor. I've got my work cut out for me a bit with this one.

Before I ramble on about paint swatches and the like, I did want to share a quick and easy Lego table/area I made for our kids recently that you can make at home too. 

The materials used were two 4 foot long MDF boards from Lowe's. Each board was about $3.50/piece and I needed exactly 8 feet for this area. Super happy I didn't have to cut any boards (or at least ask hubby to do that part) ;)
We already had the L-brackets, screws, and anchors making this project well under $10 total.
The plastic 4-drawer container in the middle holds building tiles and wood blocks for building and also serves as a good divide between the boards while keeping things steady. We also already had that container, but they can be found at many big stores for pretty cheap. 
I'd also recommend putting some kind of tall storage container somewhere in the middle to help separate the table a little bit and add more support.

I purchased a bookshelf for $17 at Wal-Mart that holds all of our kid's Lego, but you can use pretty much any kind of storage container to hold all those Lego.

In the photo above, you can see some of the wallpaper left from the previous owners. That covers the whole room (but thankfully only as a border near the ceiling). But, we won't focus on that...just the cutie building some fun creations!

This girl loves to build things!

So focused. :)

Lego building/play has become a bigger deal in our household now that our girls are 6 and almost 5. Our youngest isn't into it too much.....yet. 

With that said, we do spend quite a bit of time here, especially during the winter months. I'm super thankful for this space and our kids are too, so it seems only fair to update it beginning with the wall color. 

I mentioned that we aren't changing out the blue carpet anytime soon, so I'm trying to work with what we have. Plus, I painted the hallway, (or the kid's "cafe") a bold but beautiful dark green (BM's Bunker Hill Green). I want each room to flow well together, so I had to think about that with the paint samples. 
Speaking of helping each room feel connected...if you want to see how this dark moody green looks on a door, check out this post here. I used it in our son's room as well. Love that color!

I started with 3 paint samples:

Top left: SW Aloof Gray
Middle: BM Gray Cashmere
Bottom right: SW Comfort Gray

Each paint sample was purchased at Lowe's and I've found that they do a good job matching paint colors.

This girl and her Doc McStuffins :)

Here are some more paint swatches I put up around the room (same ones as listed above).

To be completely honest, none of the colors jumped out to me as being "the one." I thought Aloof Gray had purple undertones, Gray Cashmere showed up more like a baby blue, and Comfort Gray was too dark.
Thankfully, samples are pretty cheap! So it's back to the drawing board.

However, I do want to say that the samples did help steer me in the right direction of what color family to go with- GREEN. 

So I'll be searching for a green(ish), possibly minty, paint color for this room. I'm hoping to get my girls to help me with that part. After all, this is their space. ;)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas in Florida

We spent our Christmas (and a few days before and after that) in Florida- where the low was in the 50's and the high was about 80 degrees. It was quite different from what we are used to here in Virginia during the winter, but it was a nice change. 

A few days before we headed South, we let the kids open their presents at home. It was a joy seeing them excited about this and getting to spend time together, so I'm going to begin with pictures of our Christmas at home before sharing our Florida pictures.


Our trip began with a stop in Starke, FL (a small town just outside of Gainesville) to have lunch with my college friend, Olivia, and her two boys. It was so good to see her and catch up since we don't get to spend a lot of time together these days. Being states away makes that a bit difficult, but I'm so glad our schedules lined up enough to spend a few hours together.

My has life changed in the 10 years since we first met at UF!

Then we drove to Gainesville and took the kids to the University of Florida, our alma mater, and let them run around the stadium a bit to stretch their legs before continuing our trip.

Go Gators! 

When Chris and I were engaged, we had a good friend take some engagement photos of us around campus. One of the photos we took together was with this "bull" gator- the kids wanted to see it and take a silly photo next to it. 

So glad we got to do that with them!!


One of our afternoons in Orlando was spent at Disney Springs. We took the kids to the Lego store and then had a wonderful lunch with family.


On Christmas Eve, we stopped in Tampa to see my mom, dad and step mom.

The first picture I'm posting of that trip is quite funny because, well, 

you will see...

Our son was using a small shovel to dig some dirt out of a pot my mom had outside on her porch. He kept throwing the dirt onto her porch, so when we told him he had to keep the dirt in the pot, this was the face he made. Lydia took this picture and happened to capture the moment. ;)

His unhappiness didn't last long though. Here he is with my mom enjoying a tickling sesh.

Family photo- the first of a couple that we took with family.



Next stop was dinner at my dad and step-mom's house.
The kids enjoyed some good food and opened some more presents.

One of the gifts they got were swim goggles- you can see that they thoroughly enjoyed wearing those around their house. :)

Ring Around the Rosie, anyone?

Family photo #2.

Before heading back to Orlando, we stopped at the Wiregrass Mall and took a family photo in front of this gorgeous Christmas tree there. This is the spot where Chris proposed to me 9 years ago! My how time flies!
It was fun telling the kids our story and being able to take all 3 of them to this special spot. 


We also spent Christmas Day at Chris' brother's house- good food, gift grab, and great memories. Here are a couple photos taken from that night.

Gavin was very excited to help Mema and Jim open their gift grab presents. ;)

Amy and Gavin having fun- Gavin kept asking her to pick him up to sit on her shoulders. I think he finally realized that was his last turn and she wasn't going to do it again (and rightfully so!). haha!


One of the places we wanted to take our kids was Sea World in Orlando.

The kids really enjoyed seeing all of the animals there and learning a bit about each one of them. They said their favorite parts were the orca show, playing at the kids play place on the nets, and watching the ice skating show.

Turtle Trek!

Our oldest, Tess, asked one of the guides at Turtle Trek a question and she was given an information card to keep because of it. 
Our collector of little things was pretty excited to take home that card!

We stopped to see the penguins...and man was that place cold! Needless to say, we didn't stay at that place too long before heading to see something else.

Orca show at Sea World- The last time I remember watching this was with my 4th grade class when we took a field trip to Sea World- in 2009. Much has changed about the show since then, but it is still pretty amazing what these whales are capable of. 
The kids were pretty fascinated by them.


Another part of the trip was spent with friends and a shopping trip to IKEA. There will be a post about that coming soon.

Here's Chris and Lydia, with her balloon hat that a lady made for her at Dave and Buster's. She got one-on-one time with daddy while big sis and I shopped at IKEA. Little brother stayed back with Mema and Poppie to spend quality time with them. :)


Family photo #3 with Mema and Poppie!  :)

It was quite a whirlwind of a trip with so many things to do and people to see. However, we are very glad we had the chance to do this with the kids and create some special memories together with everyone. 

Here's to a New Year coming very, very soon! Can't believe 2018 is just around the corner!

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Few More Pictures of Christmas Decor Around the House

Well, Christmas is just one week away! 
I still find that hard to believe. I feel like the older I get, the faster time flies (and I've probably said that a few times on this blog!) Ha!

We did manage to decorate a little bit in the kids' rooms and in the playroom. We put out some smaller trees in the bedrooms- one that the homeowners before us left in the attic (score!) and the other was gifted to us by my dad. We didn't go over the top with anything, and I'm not sure we ever would because that in itself could get a little overwhelming. Plus, there's always remembering to take everything down and I sure don't want to have to spend hours doing that. ;)

I took some photos to share for the blog, so here they are!

This girl loves to look at pictures from her, her sister's and her brother's baby album. It must be fascinating at that age to see yourself as a baby and probably wonder what it was like. She likes to ask us, "What did I do as a baby? What was I like?"
It's fun to have their books around for them to look at.

These nutcrackers are popular around our house. In fact, the fairy one needs to have her crown glued back onto her head. Oops!
No matter how many times I say she is not a toy, someone's little hands grab her to play. Haha!

In the girls' room, we put this cute little tree up. The girls love having the lights on at night when they sleep. 
There's something warm and magical about Christmas lights I think.

Our son got the Charlie Brown tree. He loves saying "Charlie Brown" whenever he sees it. We have another one downstairs and he just loves it!

Lydia took these next photos of our tree herself. She has really shown an interest in photography lately and takes some pretty decent photos.


She also wanted to take this photo of our December calendar. It's Christmas-y enough, right?

Lydia wanted to try out the camera timer, so we played around with that. :)

At our church, we did this fun activity with the kids! They got to use Mod Podge to glue pictures of the manger scene to wooden pieces. How cool is that?! I think the kids did a great job with it and had a lot of fun!

These two...;)

Our little boy and his fascination with books! The book he is looking at here, I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, was a gift given to me from one of my students when I taught. 
It's really neat to see my own kids looking at the books that I once had in my classroom. :)

My kids are super excited about there being 7 more days until Christmas! This is definitely a fun age to have around the house at this time of year. I'm very grateful to have them and it's a blessing being able to share these moments together.

Merry Christmas!!