Kitchen Updates

Happy Monday, friends! We had such a great weekend, I'm so sad it's over. A and I have been miserably sick since Wednesday, but by Saturday morning we were both feeling well enough to enjoy the beautiful weather. We spent every waking moment outside, and loved every second of it!

A few weeks ago I mentioned we were planning to make some updates to our kitchen, including a new paint color. I'm loving how bright our kitchen feels now (just in time for spring!).

The day after A's birthday party, I went on a kitchen cleaning frenzy. You know those days... the ones where you need a room (or the whole house) to be immaculate? I had one of those days. And what better day to take pictures of the space, right? Looking back at these gives me a little inspiration to go put some more stuff away ;)

Here's our hutch updated for spring: 

And a close up of the new artwork...
These pictures are of Times Square and E 41st Street in Manhattan. My in-laws found them in C's grandfather's house after he had passed away, and thought that I'd like them since NYC is close to my heart. C and I met in the city, and I have worked there for the last 10 years. I had the printed matted, and bought distressed black frames from The Rusty Roof. I'm obsessed with these pictures. The larger one (not shown) is dated from 1937, so I assume the entire set is around 75 years old!

And as a reminder, here are some of the "before" pictures:

SO much brighter!

We have one new project for the kitchen coming up soon, and I might need some help from you guys in making the decision of what to go with. I'll be sharing this week, so be sure to check back soon!

Linking up with:
Saavy Southern Style
DIY by Design
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Liz Marie Blog 
Thrifty Decor Chick
A Stroll Thru Life
City Farmhouse


DIY Play Kitchen

Our little guy is the best "helper". He always wants to do what we're doing - cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, cooking... the list goes on. He and his dad cook together before I get home from work, and it's their special time together. C cooks our dinner (our real dinner), and A pulls up a chair to the counter, and makes his own meals... car soup, cinnamon and cheese tea, and iced coffee with a dash of animal crackers. He insists that we try it all, and if we tell him it needs to be cooked a bit longer, he goes right back to using the coffee pot as his stove.

So way back in January, C and I started planning his birthday present, which we knew would be a play kitchen. I had looked everywhere for one that fit our decor, and could withstand constant abuse, but came up empty handed. The ones I really liked were either out of our budget, or too large. The ones that fit our budget were too flashy, and didn't look durable. Next step? A DIY kitchen.

I found these plans in The Handbuilt Home by Ana White, and C agreed that it seemed easy enough to tackle in a weekend. So we brought A to Lowe's (by far, his favorite place on earth!) and picked out all the wood. Then I started searching for all the "fun" stuff: faucet, sink, pots & play food!

This was A upon seeing it the morning of his birthday!

He made us breakfast that morning, and has been cooking on it (and in it!) every day since. I think he likes it :)

Oh, and just to keep it real around here: this picture was taken before A ever played with this. It N.E.V.E.R. is this clean or organized. What can I say? He cooks like his momma!

Oven Mitt & Pot Holder:  Lil' Kingdom on Etsy
Play Food: Melissa & Doug Food Set & Food Groups
Pots & Pans: Amazon
Burners: paint can tops (quart size)


Little Blue Truck Birthday Party

Finally... A's Little Blue Truck Birthday Party!

I am crazy proud of how it all turned out. I wanted to give A a truly special day, and what better way to do it than with his favorite book... Little Blue Truck! If you've never read this book, I highly suggest it. Aside from being beautifully illustrated and having a wonderful lesson in the end, it's about a truck. If you have a boy, chances are you know the importance of this. A is crazy about planes, trains & automobiles, but this book holds a very special place in his heart. He learned how to say "blue" and "beep beep" from hearing us read this over & over, and continues to request it every night before bed.

Ok, onto the party!

Starting with the invitations, this is what our guests received when they opened up the envelopes. A little "present" to unwrap. The tags were a little preview of what was to come inside, and the license plate read "ARPIS2".

The photo is an instragram picture, printed from Printagram.

Once they unwrapped the bakers twine, this was the invitation inside!

Once the invitations were in the mail, I started planning the rest of the party! I was able to use a lot of things we already owned, and even re-purposed A's birthday banner from last year.

This way to the Little Blue Truck Party!

This year, I tried very hard to keep A's party 'green'. I was shocked by the amount of garbage we created last year with our napkins & plates, and from early in the planning process, sought out ways to change that. The sign above instructed guests that the paper plates could be put in our compost, the silverware was recyclable and the napkins were washable. I was very happy to see that we only had one trash bag at the end of the night - a huge improvement from last year!

Needless to say, the cake was my favorite part! Deborah from Cupcake Stylist totally brought my vision to life with recreating the cover from Little Blue Truck, and created a custom "toad" for the front of the cake! 

Aside from the freezing temperatures, the party was a success. And A literally beamed when he saw his cake! That was all I needed. The smile on his face melted my heart. Unlike last year, he loved eating cake & frosting, and laughed the whole time we sang happy birthday. It was such a special day for him, and I loved being able to celebrate him for an entire weekend. Can't believe my little guy is two!

Invitations: Bella Carta Boutique
Wooden Chalkboard Arrow: Save On Crafts
Gingham Tablecloths: Amazon
Giant Balloons: Shop Sweet Lulu
Vintage Egg Cartons: Shop Sweet Lulu
Chalkboard Food Signs: Save On Crafts
Striped Straws: Shop Sweet Lulu
Mason Jars: ours from canning peppers!
Giant Little Blue Truck Book: Amazon
Wooden Wine Crates: passed down from C's grandfather
Wooden Wine Carrier: from Home Goods many years ago
Birthday Banner: Bella Carta Boutique
Gingham Reusable Napkins: myDrap Linen Napkins
Cupcake Liners: Shop Sweet Lulu
Cupcake Flags: homemade with washi tape & toothpicks
Cake "Fence": re-purposed Melissa & Doug toy box
GMC Model Truck: ebay
Fondant Animals: Cupcake Stylist on Etsy

I need to give a very special thank you to my mom, mother-in-law & sister-in-law for helping me the morning of the party, without them, we never would have started on-time! They made cupcakes, fixed my poor excuse of an icing job, and help set up everything for pictures before guests arrived. And of course, my amazing hubby is owed a HUGE thank you for listening to my crazy ideas, helping me pull them off, and greeting me with a bloody mary before the party started. He's seriously the BEST! 

Linking up with:
Saavy Southern Style
DIY by Design
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Lady Behind the Curtain 
Liz Marie Blog 


Our Finished Bathroom

 It has only taken 6 months, but I'm happy to report that the bathroom is finally complete!

And a few before & afters...

I'll be adding sources soon {which could mean next month}, and some of our suggestions on how to renovate a bathroom on a budget.

My hubby and father-in-law worked tirelessly on this bathroom: 3 consecutive weekends of work, including 1 long weekend, and installing & reinstalling the tub after the tile had been grouted {story for another day!}. ALWAYS read the reviews on an item you are about to buy. If more than 1 person (or all 11 reviewers) have the same problem, chances are you will too. Lesson learned.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Linking up with:
DIY by Design
Savvy Southern Style
DIY Showoff 
A Bowl Full of Lemons 
Liz Marie Blog
It's Overflowing 
Thrifty Decor Chick
A Stroll Thru Life


Praying for Boston

I was all ready to post about A's birthday party, but right now, it seems so inconsequential.

Another tragedy, today in Boston, and I'm moved to tears. I was so relieved to hear that my friends in Boston were all safe, especially those that ran, and their families that were waiting for them. I'm praying for all the victims and their families, and especially for the little children fighting for their lives tonight.

image from here

A is all about daddy these days. Only daddy can put him to bed, or snuggle after bath... and daddy gets all the hugs & kisses. I know its a phase, but it breaks my heart a little bit. Today A fell asleep on the couch (side effect of a little cold), and so I carried his sleepy body upstairs and snuggled with him as the tears fell on his face. I want to soak up all of him, bottle him up and keep him innocent. Keep him safe.

Sometimes I feel like my prayers aren't enough, so I offer up sacrifices... and they're always the same. Take me. Always take me before him. I know I'm not the only momma who prays these things, but on a night like tonight, I feel like it is all that I have.

You are in our hearts, Boston.


Happy Birthday, A!

I wanted you more than you ever will know
so I sent love to follow you, wherever you go.
 It's high as you wish it. It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow it...it stretches itself!
It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...
if you're working...or playing...or sitting with friends.
You can dance 'til you're dizzy...paint 'til you're blue...
There's no place, not one, that my love can't find you.
And if someday you're lonely, or someday you're sad, 
or you strike out at baseball, or think you've been bad...
just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the grass...in the smell of the sea...in the clouds floating by...at the top of a tree...
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day...
"You are loved.  You are loved.  You are loved," they all say.
My love is so high, and so wide and so deep, it's always right there, even when you're asleep.
So hold your head high and don't be afraid
to march to the front of your own parade.
If you're still my small babe or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you is you're never alone.  
You are my angel, my darling, my star...
and my love will find you, wherever you are.

Happy happy birthday, sweet A. 
Words cannot describe how you have changed my life, or how you have changed me.
You make every day sweeter.
You are a joy... a true & perfect joy.
You have the energy of a wild animal, and a heart as big as the sky.
Thank you for choosing me to be your momma.

- Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You, Nancy Tillman



Busy Bees & Birthday Week

We are hard at work finishing up last minute projects & cleaning before A's birthday party this weekend. Motivation at it's finest. I always make this "master list" of things to finish before a big event, only to deeply regret it the weekend before. C and I are both looking forward to some quiet weekends the rest of the month - no more house projects, birthday present crafting or paint touch-ups. Phew!

This may be my only post this week (except for Friday of course!)

A little weekend recap (& phone dump)!

Friday night we spent some quality time drawing the the playroom. My little guy loves to erase what his momma has drawn.

Saturday morning was haircut time! The lollipop is a total bribe, but it gets him to sit still for 15 minutes.

The rest of the weekend was gorgeous. We spent 5 consecutive hours outside on Saturday & Sunday. Yes, consecutive. A wouldn't even come inside for a diaper change or snack, so we made some accommodations. Why would he want to, when he was playing with this?

It wasn't easy, but my awesome hubby got this together just in time for his birthday!

After bedtime, I spent some time getting the birthday cake toppers together. I can't even handle the cuteness ...
Any guesses as to theme of the party?

And just because I love this picture (from Easter weekend), I have to share it here. His smile literally makes my heart melt. I really wish I hadn't been wearing C's sunglasses, but, this is real life.

Linking up with Emily & Leah for Mommy & Me Mondays!