Friday, February 27, 2015

Ben's 5th Birthday Party

Practically every friend of Ben's has had a 5th birthday party and invited their friends from daycare. Ben just assumed that he'd be having one too. And who can resist his cute little face. So, this year we opted to do the big party at Bouncetown (Ben's pick) and invite his daycare friends, rather than have a large family party.

Ben had a great time, and we had quite a turn out! I think there were 24 kids total, including our two kids. Pretty crazy few hours but a good time for the kids.

Despite all the bounce houses, Ben spent a good part of his time at the air hockey table. If it is related to sports, this kid wants in!

Just look at that concentration. You'd think he was playing at the Olympics. So cute.

Here are all the kids. Liv was so happy to sit up there with all the big kids--she totally thinks she is the same age.

They told the kids to do silly faces. Livvie is so cute and smart--as soon as she saw the other kids making faces, she joined right in. Adorable.

Here's Ben in some of the bounce houses. With a ball of course. I don't have a picture of Liv in here because she was just a blur or activity. But she got right in there and was running around with the kids, totally unphased if she was knocked down or fell down.

Liv on Dad's shoulders playing football. Ben's not the only one who likes sports.

Time to put back on their shoes. Liv has to do her own of course. But she is pretty good at getting them on herself, as long as they are velcro.

Pizza, cake, and juice in the party room. The rooms are so small, which is my main complaint about this venue. Otherwise, they do a nice job. The adults all had to wait in the entry area because there were only enough seats for the kids.

Ben's batman cupcake cake. He and his friends were quite impressed. :-)

Then, finally, the moment Ben was waiting for. They inflated the throne chair and Ben got to climb in. I think this chair is the main reason he wanted a party at Bouncetown. He's seen several friends get to sit in the throne, and he was desperate for his own turn. Ah, the things that make 5 year old kids happy.

For some reason, all the kids got in a line and decided to pose with Ben. This hasn't happened at other parties, but it was cute, if not time consuming. I got a photo of each kid with Ben, so that might be cute to include in the thank you card. I'll spare you all 20+ photos, but this one cracks me up--what a character she is. She's been going to daycare with Ben since they were newborns.

Guess who LOVES sweets. The blue frosting might have been a mistake. Total mess, but so cute.

Then it was time to open presents. I'd have rather done this at home, but it is part of the throne chair experience. And Ben loves the attention.

We now own more plastic action figures than you can shake a stick at. But a good time was had by all!

Monday, February 16, 2015


Here's a random sampling of our weekend in photos.

Our new oven arrived! Now the old microwave and brown counters stick out like two sore thumbs. But baby steps. At least we have a functioning oven again.

I got started on the guest bedroom makeover. We said goodbye to the pink paint of Liv's old room and put up Marth Stewart's Zinc. More on this room in a future post.

My view from the kitchen table after breakfast:

I convinced Liv that Daddy could read her a book instead of me.

Dee is still hoping some eggs will be spilled.

Liv decided it was Mom's turn to read a book to her.

Hugging her book. :-)

Ben is obsessed with basketball and wears this outfit whenever we are home. The minute we get home, he's upstairs putting on shorts and a tank top.

My plan of lounging at the table drinking my mocha were short-lived. Here I'm playing with Liv. Notice the outfit: a dress, jeggings, and bright striped socks. Her pick.

Dad and Ben went to the sports store and came home with pink tulips for Mom and Valentine's Day. Thanks boys!

Liv emptied the toys out of this basket and climbed in, and then got herself stuck. Oh, this one. Do you see the spaghetti stains on her pants? This was after a trip to run a few errands and dinner at Portillos. This kid likes a good meatball.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nightstand Fix Up

Two summers ago, while visiting us, Mom snagged this cute Land of Nod nightstand at a garage sale. I do not recall what she paid for it but I'm guessing under $10. Mom, do you remember?

It started as a reddish wood (from the looks of the underneath of it) but had been painted (shabbily) white. There were drip marks and areas where the paint didn't cover and it was stained and dirty. But it was a great, solid wood little table for Liv's room with just a little TLC.

It doesn't look bad at first glance, but just look at these and trust me. ;-)

Anyway, I had stored it away and finally decided to tackle it this week, since I was doing up her room anyway. I decided more coral would be too much, so I went with blue to match her curtains. I am trying to do this room on the cheap, so I didn't want to buy paint. I looked through my stash and found four little samplers of Martha Stewart that I'd bought on clearance years ago.

I gave it a coat, but it was too bright for the look I wanted.

So I went through my paint stash again and grabbed some dark gray and white. I added here and there until I had a color I was happy with. Then I gave it a coat of wax and called it done.

Now Liv has a cute little nightstand in her room with great (and much needed) additional book storage in the bottom. I'd like to show you a cute, staged and decorated nightstand. I tried just putting a cute little decoration on it. And this shot shows how it coordinates with the curtains. Although the lighting is not great, so it is hard to get the true picture.

But I'm keepin' it real. We needed this table top to house her humidifier and baby monitor (which we hadn't been using but need now that she is way down the hall).

Thanks Mom for grabbing this gem for little Livvie Lu!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Livvie's New Room

When the temperatures started dropping, we noticed that Liv's bedroom seems to be the coldest room in the house. The guest room seems to be the warmest room in the house (just ask Grammy and Grampy). So we figured why not switch them? The guest room is a little smaller, as is its closet. But we can make it work. And down the road when she's potty training and in a big girl bed, it makes sense because it is right next to the kids' bathroom, so she won't have to traipse down the hall to potty.

So a few weeks ago, I dove in. I cleared everything out (our hallway is like a mine field) and gave it a coat of BM's Pristine. I wanted a very soft, pale coral pink. This color fit the bill, though, as always, it does not look exactly like I expected once it was up. But it is fine. It would look better with white trim, but I didn't have the energy to tackle that yet. The wood doors and trim definitely detract from her room's look, but so be it...

Then I painted some IKEA spice racks and a mirror we weren't using in Behr's Guava Jam as a fun accent, found some cute art for her art wall, and some curtains at Home Depot. Once I got all that painted, hung, ironed, etc., we were in business.

Then I measured the crib. 1 inch wider than the door frame. Doh. So Mike took it apart and then put it back together (breaking a piece in the process, but it is still functional and safe). Tonight Liv cuddled into her bed in her new room for the first time. She went to sleep like it was the same old room as always. I've made a point to hang out in the room with her several times, but also she is just not one to mind about this sort of stuff.

Here is her room. We still need a ceiling light and some accessories and things, but it is getting there. Just a few projects TBD. For this project, I bought paint, curtains, and a few art prints (the big one is actually a sheet of wrapping paper for $3 at Papersource). I had tons of cute ideas on my Pinterest board, but was trying to do the switch on the cheap for now. Until she is ready to move into an adorable big girl bed. I heart the teal Jenny Lind beds, but we'll see...

Here, the paint is up and Ben is "helping me" hang art.

The $16/panel Home Depot curtains, up close. They are more aqua than they appear in this photo. Another nice thing about this room is that it gets a ton of natural light, as it has a West-facing window, but it makes taking photos a challenge.

 Our master bedroom mirror, with a fresh coat of Guava Jam. And her existing dresser and stool.

The IKEA spice rack bookshelves, and a memo board I've had for years and years.

(Um, ignore the painting bar in the background. Not sure how I missed that. But it is cleared out now.)

Her gallery art wall. Mostly prints I had already or that were free. The teacup art is the wrapping paper I mentioned. I found that heart canvas at Homegoods and couldn't resist.

Her door is on an angle, so it creates a weird issue with that wall, but I think I made good use of the space with those shelves and memo board.

So there you have it. Her mostly complete using what I had on hand new bedroom. I'll keep you posted as we add elements to her room.

Not pictured is the massive closet overhaul I did. I went through all her bins, closet, and dresser. I sorted everything, matched up outfits and folded them all neatly, gave a ton away that she'd outgrown (she's in 24 month pants and 2T or even 3T tops), and have all that she is yet to fit into neatly sorted in bins. Perhaps I'll do a quick closet post soon.