From the Iris’ just about to bloom outside our kitchen window to ALL the cleaning going on around here, spring is definitely in full effect.
That and the fact that I’m nearly 29 weeks pregnant! WHAT!?
I have to say I’m pretty stoked about all the work we’ve put into the new room for our two little boys. We have been busy putting the final touches on it, which is always my favorite part! I love seeing all the pieces come together.
With this room remodel we’ve been able to updating quite a few things and create even more storage space. With that said, I’m definitely on the final stretches of my budget (saving for an IKEA trip next week!) so I’m looking to create or reuse things with what we have on hand. I had totally forgotten about a really cool handmade quilt (image above) I got a garage sale for $7!! It’s just the perfect amount of manly-kid-friendly appeal that I’ve been looking for. I love the colors the quilt adds to the room and the fact that since it’s not a family quilt of ours I won’t feel too guilty if it gets poo on it.
Just being honest.
The plywood accent walls are coming along just great! The extra shelving is so functional. Instead of buying more trinkets and things we’ve covered them up with books and specialty toys we already had on hand. This section (image above) sits directly above James’ bed so he can reach the magnet board and the first shelf of cars all by himself. Even though the plywood walls were added to cover and insulate an old exterior door. the raw look brings a very natural and playful feel to the room that we really like.
I’ve been looking for some little chairs that James could sit on while playing with his cars at our coffee table. The problem is they either take up a lot of space, or he can’t get right up next to the table to play because there is not enough leg room. On a recent trip to Hobby Lobby I found these mini puff balls (image above–excuse the laundry!) and seriously can’t get a enough of them! The green is such a fun accent color in the boys’ room and the puffs are so multipurpose. We can stack em in the corner and use them as a little side table for books, they make great pillows to lean up against, tiny stool type chairs for their bedroom or the living room, and even make great balls to throw around the house (cause that is what boys do!)!
Since purchasing the mini puff balls I have become obsessed with finding fun ways to bring green into the room. From the quilt, to the puff balls, the color is adding another level of pop that is very different than James’ original nursery. I snapped a photo of this adorable doggy fabric (image above) at Hancock Fabrics, but still haven’t found a good excuse to purchase it yet. Cale thinks it might be a bit too much?! At first I was thinking curtains, but to be honest we are trying to keep cost down so I may throw some pillows together instead.
The room is still a work in a progress, but we are finishing it up slowly and I’m really excited with the outcome. Watching James interact with the different design elements has definitely been my favorite part thus far.
We are looking forward to sharing the completed room very soon. I don’t know if it it’s just because it’s a new space, but the new Nursery + Toddler Room Combo is seriously my favorite space in the house right now! It’s so bright and cheery.
You just can’t go in there and NOT be happy!
From The Farm
Is it just us or has April felt like one of those months where you just can’t seem to get a head!? Surviving is more like it.
Last Sunday going to church felt like another thing on our to do list so instead we had church in our living room. Soaking in one of our favorite worship bands we danced, we played, we laughed, and we took time to feel the spring breeze move through our old farmhouse.
We enjoyed life as a family. We enjoyed our
baby little boy.
In all of our spring lists and chores let us not lose focus on what is important. On why we dream. On why we pursue and stay so busy. May we remember to stop and enjoy each season. Each moment. Remember that achieving your goals is less about getting there and more about the journey. Don’t make the road harder than it needs to be. Rest, play, sing, dance… whatever it takes for you to find and stay in that place of joy.
Your kids need that from you. Your spouse needs that from you. Your soul needs that from you!
“So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine“
- Oceans | Hillsong United
Happy Easter weekend everyone! Hope it’s filled with love, family and friends, and the kind of worship that feeds your soul!
From The Farm
It seems Cale and I are always hosting parties for our friends and family. We love it, but we’ve realized we don’t initiate having get togethers unless we have an excuse to get people together. This year we wanted to be a little bit more intentional about our gatherings and sharing our home. We wanted to have a “just because” party.
Low key and simple.
Our friend David Lord, the guy behind The Wonder Revolution, contacted us with the perfect opportunity. He was looking to fill a spot for his solo guitar project, Francis Moss, and was wondering if we would be open to hosting a house show. I told him several times that we have a very small house, but he insisted that our place sounded perfect!
“Francis Moss is guitarist David Lord (Solagget, The Wonder Revolution). Bridging the distance between jazz, rock, and experimental music, Lord creates meditative soundscapes with Francis Moss with attention to concise compositions and clean melodic lines. Although still recognizable as Lord, the music of Francis Moss resides in its own unique space.” – Francis Moss Website
We are happily planning away for our little Spring Music Yard Party in late April. I’ve been thinking about the kind of atmosphere that I want to create. Intimate, but casual enough that the kids can run around and play, acoustic and simple, spring sunsets with our friends, and maybe a sweet treat or two!?
Here is a list of images and links that are inspiring me for the event (corresponding with the images above):
- Our old oak tree surrounded with quilts and blankets. (top left image from the lovely Samantha Lamb).
- Minions running around barefoot chasing fireflies.
- Adult summertime beverages garnished with Pickled Green Beans from the garden.
- Picnic style gatherings similar to our Grilled Cheese Grill Party.
- Little garden gnomes and tiny mushroom stools. The dreamy things that make The Wonderful Revolution and David’s heart for music truly magical.
- Sipping out of mason jars just waiting to be re-canned with our garden’s first bounty!
- Homemade pie, cobbler, or maybe strawberry shortcake?! (bottom right image & Cherry Pie Recipe from Gimme Some Oven)
- Wouldn’t it be fun to serve fresh fruit sodas like this Strawberry, Rhubarb, Ginger & Peppercorn Soda Recipe from the Vintage Whites Market Blog?! (image not shown)
- Loving this family-friendly S’more’s Party by the lovely ladies at Merry Thought. (image not shown)
I’m looking forward to creating a fun space for David’s music. Do you have any other inspirational links that would help with the overall party vibe?!
Can’t wait to share the final details with you all!
From The Farm
Come on. Let’s not over think it. All of us could list a hundred different things that we are trying to juggle right now, in this moment. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles. For me, this time, I’ve chosen to let the dirty dishes win. I just can’t seem to keep up with it all and it stresses me out! My solution? Paper plates on the weeknights! Don’t get me wrong we still save our fancy plates for special nights with friends and for cutting thick pieces of juicy meat, but most nights we eat on these babies.
And it’s awesome!
It’s true, the dishes and I have finally found a mutual happy place. And when momma’s happy, everyone’s happy!
Say it with me; “We can’t do it all!” As a mom, as a wife, as a homemaker, and as a business owner there is no way I can give 100% of myself to all of those things 100% of the time. To be honest there is not enough of me to give. But we try. We try blending and weaving it all into one great song we call “life”, or at least for a few “pretty moments” where everything seems to be in perfect order. You know those moments in between naps when ALL the toys are put away, the laundry is not mounding over the couch, and I’ve got next week’s posts all written and ready to go!
And then comes Monday and we start the cycle all over again.
Everyone’s battles are different, and you have to learn not to compare. It’s easy to see how all the other moms are juggling it all and feel like you need to keep up with Mrs. Jones. Let me tell you right now, STOP IT! The grass is always greener, and someone else will always have a cleaner house than yours. Our biggest battle is against ourselves as we try and balance it all.
You have to be honest with yourself and what you like and don’t like doing. Personally I actually like grocery shopping, but cleaning the bathroom!? Ugh. I look forward to the day that I can hire a maid to deep clean my house (ain’t no shame ladies)! I say all that fully intending on working from home as I raise my kids. Does this make me a lazy parent!? Absolutely not!
Pick your battles when it comes to the rhythm of work+life.
The Miss. Do It All has got to realize she can’t do it all! And honestly, finding ways to streamline daily chores and tasks so that you get even 10 more minutes of quality family time, personal time, or business time is more than worth it!
What little ways have you learned to cut corners on daily tasks?!
For me, one of my solutions has been paper plates on a weeknight.
And if it makes you feel any less guilty, buy the pretty ones!
From The Farm
We are officially 14 weeks till baby #2 is in our arms. Life has been SO full. It’s the kind of full that leaves you tired of running and going, but so glad you’ve had the time to visit old friends and family. From girls’ trips to Boston and KC, to spring break in Wichita we are looking forward to spending most of April at home. Not to mention there are some really exciting things happening around our little corner of the interweb. We are praying through lots of changes and updates. The good kind! We are brain storming and organizing our task list for Bringing Design Home, updating the nursery & toddler room combo, and Cale is continuing to study for his architectural license. Not to mention we ALSO picked out the perfect spot to build our dream house, of course now we can’t stop designing our future farmhouse, and Meg has officially started to waddle like a duck.
It’s definitely a busy season, but an exciting one! And to be honest, we don’t really see it slowing down anytime soon.
We’re trying to take it one day at time!
Learning to spend more time TRUSTING and less time WORRYING about ALLLLLLL the details.
Over spring break we visited this really cool train museum where the kids can climb on and inside all kinds of old trains in Wichita, Kansas! If James was a little bit older, we could seriously just let him roam around freely. The museum is just small enough you can keep tabs on the kiddos, and the train tracks run right by it (separated by a giant fence of course!) so the kids get to see real-life moving trains up close and personal.
If you are ever in the area pick a nice day and definitely visit the Great Plains Transportation Museum.
Don’t know about you all, but there is something extra refreshing about having a few extra hours left in the day. Thanks to daylight savings we’ve been enjoying lots of evening walks in the field next to our house. Now that James is old enough to
run walk by himself, it’s so exhausting fun watching him explore every. little. detail.
We’ve also been thankful for some quality family porch time discussing deep thoughts on life with our 19 month old. Pretty sure Cale has waited his WHOLE life for THIS daddy moment.
Meg made it her mission to use up ALL of her canned fruit from 2013. Apparently she thinks that when we run out spring will get the HINT and hurry up and get here! We’re ready for fresh garden veggies, fruits, and more!
In the mean time we’ll be stuffing our faces with cobbler and homemade skillet desserts before the weather gets to hot to bake anything in our current farmhouse!
And lastly, we revealed the gender of baby#2 with a silly string fight! Any guesses on the gender?!
Looks like our life is gonna be surrounded by even MORE cars, trucks, plains, and trains.
It’s a boy!
Full speed ahead!
From The Farm
We’ve been excited to brand a new up and coming event on Saturday, April 12th in OKC. The Birth & Baby Connection is a great place to get all your natural birth and parenting questions answered. Join us in a relaxed, family-friendly, atmosphere while mingling with local moms, families, businesses and non-profits.
PLUS there are tons of incredible giveaways AND door prizes! Checkout The Birth & Baby Connection Facebook Page to see the full schedule of the day. We are looking forward to sharing photos of the event and more pieces from this branding package after April 12th.
Hope to see you there!
From The Farm
Click here to read Our Homebirth Story: 42 Weeks + 5 Days
Recently we were able to work with Cut Loose Hair Design on not only their branding, but their interior design as well. One of the biggest draws to their salon is that they are very family-friendly and wanted to encourage that in every part of their space.
Our inspiration for a waiting room with a large family style dining table was originally found here. Although they loved the idea, Cut Loose didn’t have the extra square footage to host such a large table. Instead, they shrunk the table size down to accommodate their space. The finished piece is a slender sized dining room table that functions great within their space, but also creates an inviting and relaxed client waiting area.
We found several Table DIY’s as examples to help Cut Loose Hair Design visualize and create their own custom design.
Our list included:
- IKEA Vika Lerberg Iron Legs DIY from Stylizimo
- 3-Prong Hairpin Legs DIY from A Beautiful Mess
- Pottery Barn Inspired Wooden Legs DIY from Shanty 2 Chic
- 9 4x4s
- 1 2×4
- 2 8ft 1/2″ threaded rod
- 8 1/2″ washers, split washers, and nuts
- X4 Joint plates
- Box of Truss Screws for low profile on joint plates
- Drills bits
- 4 Casters (consider to hold enough weight)
- 8 3″ x 3/8″ lag bolts for x beams (2x4s)
- 16 2″ x 1/4″ lag bolts to hold casters
Ultimately the final design was one Cut Loose customized to their personal tastes. We asked the maker Matt Yacko, the owners son-in-law, to share his final thoughts, creative process, and any tips that might help others looking to make a similar table.
- Start with making the table top first: I identified where the structural supports needed to be which were close to the ends and then split equally across the middle.
- Experiment with the arrangement of the boards before inserting the metal rods: Since all of the boards were slightly different in thickness or had a unique warping, each 4×4 had to be measured and marked so that the surface of the table would be as close to flat as possible.
- Cut ½” threaded rod to the approximate desired width of the table: Make sure there is plenty of left over just in case! After drilling the first board, inserted the rods through the holes in order to line up the next 4×4.
- Use decorative hardware on the sides of the table to cover up the rod holes and add additional support: I cut the ½” threaded rod so that it would sit just recessed inside the counter bored holes and then installed the hardware to secure the tabletop into one piece.
- Assemble the entire table, stain the bottom, and add the casters while upside down: Flipping the table right-side-up is a task in itself, wait until you are completely finished and then use a friend!
- Install the legs using a framing joint commonly found at your local hardware store: Afterwards, measure out the desired angle of the cross beams securing the legs lag bolts in countersunk holes.
- Sand the bottom of the table with a heavy 40 grit belt sander: Legs are likely to touch this area but the finish is not as important because it will not be seen.
- Lightly sand the top, side, and legs of the table to preserve it’s natural finish: I used 2 coats of medium-sheen gloss polyurethane to seal the wood and smooth the surfaces with a light 200 grit sanding in between coats.
It’s always fun seeing clients take your initial ideas and truly make them their own. Walking into the Cut Loose Salon, the table is such a fun focal point and is always filled up with people, coats, and crayons.
Regardless of if you are looking to create a similar table for a waiting room or for your actual dining room we hope you’ve found a good example to get your creative juices flowing!
Now start drawing up sketches on that napkin! Go a head. You can do it, and send us photos when you’ve finished your own Rustic Table DIY!
Thanks again Matt for providing the supplies list and how to instructions!
From The Farm
I’ve been getting truly spoiled lately! Not only have I gotten to travel to Boston to visit a good friend, but I recently traveled to Kansas City for another girls trip to catch up with Ali from Gimme Some Oven.
Being friends with a food blogger has it’s perks! I’ve known Ali for nearly fourteen years now and have definitely taken advantage of MANY of her yummy recipes. Not only is she a great friend, but she’s a true inspiration to me as a woman, a creative, and a blogger. My time with Ali was pretty simple, but just what I needed. For two solid days her downtown loft apartment became my home (and I saw the real mess of dishes when her kitchen doesn’t look like this!). Together we pounded out blog posts, talked through long term goals for Bringing Design Home, created our own version of Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs, watched cheesy tv shows, and got addicted to Bundaberg Ginger Beer.
Ali, you sure know how to show this pregnant lady a good time!
Isn’t Ali’s dog the cutest thing!?!??? I’m honestly not a little dog person, but I just fell in love with him. He was my snuggle buddy while I was away from James.
This trip wasn’t so much about site seeing, but some of my favorite things included:
- My first sip of Pour-Over Coffee and a morning work session at Quay Coffee.
- Getting lost in World Market looking at beautifully designed cookbooks and tiny dishes.
- Stocking up on Bundaberg Root Beer (for Cale) & Ginger Beer (my latest pregnancy craving).
- Learning about Nootch Popcorn-who knew nutritional yeast could taste like butter!?!
- Meeting other full-time creatives like these cool guys at Photo Bus Kansas City.
- Seeing ALL the behind the scenes creativity and hard work that goes into producing ONE blog post at Gimme Some Oven.
- Dreaming up, creating, and eating Easter Egg Oreo Truffles.
- Treasure hunting in River Market Antiques.
- And of course, no Ali visit would be complete without enjoying some quality chips and salsa! Sure, Jose Pepper’s is a chain, but it’s REALLY good!
It was such a breath of fresh air to have a few days to focus solely on Bringing Design Home. I’m so thankful for my mom who gave up a few days of her spring break to watch my little minion, a husband who told me to “go and have a great time” even when that meant spending a whole week without seeing his family, and a wonderful friend who I got to share life with for a few days and bounce ideas off of.
I’m really excited about the future of Green Couch Design and our blog; Bringing Design Home.
Stay tuned. It’s gonna be amazing!
Thanks Ali. xoxo
From The Farm
My friend Ali is so legit! We’ve been through a lot together and it’s been so much fun watching her blog, Gimme Some Oven, blossom into a full-time career. I recently took a little business trip to KC to
hangout work on some long term business goals and learn a few tips and tricks from a blogging pro.
As most girls weekends go we enjoyed a wild night in our favorite stretchy pants, sippin Ginger Beer through dainty straws, and catching the latest Dancing with the Stars Episode. It was during this time we had a very important business meeting and brainstormed these magical creations–just in time for Easter!
I don’t know about you, but I think these babies take the traditional Chocolate Easter Egg to a whole… nother… level! Their cute presentation and ideal serving size are simply perfect for not only Easter, but any spring occasion.
Wouldn’t these be adorable at a baby shower?!
Follow Ali’s easy Easter Egg Oreo Truffles Recipe at Gimme Some Oven to make your very own!
Also, checkout some of these other yummy recipes from Gimme Some Oven that are now some of our personal favorites:
- Pesto Pasta With Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Guaranteed to rid the world all Brussels Sprouts haters!
- Autumn Chicken Soup: A hearty soup that uses those last few apples you just can’t seem to get rid of.
- Buffalo Chicken Cups: A perfect dish for your next big game day party.
- Grilled Peaches, Arugula & Feta Salad: Top with grilled chicken and you’ve got a super fresh and easy meal!
Look for more photos from my little KC getaway with Ali later this week!
Are you hungry yet?!
From The Farm
Our 1910 farm house is slowly filling up with babies, toys, furniture, and just the kind of “stuff” that follows you around after 5 1/2 years of marriage (where does it all come from!?)! Although it feels like we are constantly getting rid of stuff, at the same time, we are also re-evaluating how we can better utilize every inch of our 1,000 square foot home.
You could say our house has three bedrooms, but… not really. When we moved in the washer and dryer were in the kitchen so we promptly found them a new home in the smallest bedroom. Although it’s made a great combo laundry/guest room, laundry/office room, and laundry/nursery room, it’s not the best setup. Originally we had switched the office into the largest bedroom in the house for our Green Couch Design Product Line. Now that we are focusing solely on our graphic design and architectural backgrounds our office space needs a little less room for inventory, packaging, and shipping.
With baby #2 on the way we decided to move both the kiddos into the larger bedroom hoping to give them, and their friends, a little more playroom when we have other families over to visit. The laundry/nursery room has worked great up to this point, but with James getting older and more mobile, there’s definitely not enough room to really play in his room. By combining the nursery & toddler room into the larger bedroom we can provide two play spaces, the living room and the kids’ room, and also shove them and their toys into one larger space when entertaining.
Poor kid, he has no idea what’s about to hit his little only child world.
One of our biggest problems with moving both kids into this room is that there is an old exterior door that is horribly insulated. In reality, it needs to be removed completely and become a part of the exterior wall, but that is a whole nother project that needs to be done when the house is resided. As with most home renovations sometimes you have to pick your battles, and this door issue was exactly that! Looking for a way to insulate AND hide the door (we’ve literally had snow come in the house, it’s that BAD) we had to come up with a really smart design solution that married good-looking aesthetics and function.
Instead of replacing the door AND the house siding the plywood accent walls buy us sometime until we are ready to invest in a more permanent solution. Since the room doesn’t have a closet space we had to get really creative with our storage options. By anchoring shelves to the plywood walls we won’t have to paint and patch as many holes in the future. Also, plywood can hold a lot more weight than sheet rock, so we plan to use the upper storage for heavier baby/toddler items that are not needed on a daily basis. By keeping the plywood sheets raw they add a balance of natural and masculine flare to the room that looks really cool! Not only were they easy to put up, but they provide lots of functional storage space.
What was unusable wall space due to a horribly insulated door, is now a flat, insulated, and usable surface with lots of potential!
We are also looking at putting more shelves on some of the larger wall spaces, but they still won’t be able to hold as much weight as the plywood accent walls.
It only took him about 5 seconds to make the room messy again. We promise we really do try and tidy things up when you guys stop by for a visit!
The changing table is another area that needs lots of storage. We are experimenting with one long shelf at the top, and then several smaller shelves toward the changing table. You definitely don’t want to get to close to the table otherwise you’ll have little ones hitting their heads and pulling down things while you are trying to change a poopy diaper!
We plan on implementing a lot of the same furniture pieces from our original nursery room design. Gray, white, and orange are still our main colors… until we find out we are having a girl?!
We should know in the next few weeks!
At this point we’ve spent $10.00 on the toddler bed we found at a garage sale, but other then that furniture in the room has either been passed down as freebies, handmade completely, or given as a gift, like our antique rocker! The only money we’ve spent thus far is on three sheets of plywood and paint. I know the eclectic furniture drives Cale a little nuts cause they don’t always “match”, but I like the challenge of making them work together AND staying within a good budget!
How about you guys?
Any advice for creating a shared nursery and toddler room? What items are a must and what can we leave out?!
We’re always open to your suggestions!
From The Farm