a shared big boy room

Eventually the boys, Jay and Charlie, will be sharing a room. We have tried a few times to get them to either nap or go to bed in the same room unsuccessfully. We know that it will happen eventually and we have made a big no-turning-back push this week for it to happen. Our fingers are crossed that it will work out and that they can figure things out. That being said, I did take this upcoming “move” as an excuse to change some things up in Jay’s room. Everything was finished before Luc arrived (yes I did all of the painting while 8 plus months pregnant) but I haven’t been able to post anything about it until now. Aside from painting both the room and the dresser, not much else was done and I didn’t spend much money (I only purchased the wall paint, the large J and C and blackout roller shades for the windows, everything else was just moved around from one place to another or repainted). I am pretty happy with how it turned out and LOVE that I can now take photos in there that aren’t a pain to color correct ;)

Cross your fingers for us that this arrangement eventually works…

Here’s a few of the before photos so you can see the awful wall color.
Jay's room before

Jay's rom before

Jay's room before

Here’s the after. When I took these photos I hadn’t changed the photos in the frames yet or painted the wooden frames grey- they are that way now but you will have to either visit or use your imagination to picture it;)
shared room after

Charlie's one day bed

Jay's bed with his quilt

Charlie's bed

decoration ;)

a new room for a new boy

It’s no secret that I like to decorate and change things up around our house. So after almost 4 years of living with the nursery the way it was I was ready for a change. I didn’t do anything drastic, just made some updates to things that I haven’t always loved and I spent less than $50 doing it (and most of that was used to purchase fabric etc for Luc’s quilt)!

I decorated the nursery before we had Jay and it had looked pretty much the same since; feel free to take a gander at the old nursery post here if you are interested. The fish theme was nice but I was ready for something a little lighter and I really wanted to change the window treatment. We didn’t have the toy chest below the window when I decided on black out curtains and since the panels were long and had to be behind the toys chest it was a pain to get them open and closed and I rarely opened them. Now with the fake roman shade I open them frequently to get the natural light in the room  and I LOVE it.

Here are few of the before photos, sorry they aren’t super great but you get the idea…

nursery- before

nursery- before

nursery- before

And the updates…
nursery- after

nursery- after

nursery- after

one with the roman shade closed

Here’s a few of the details in case you are interested:
Roman Shade- I used a pintrest tutorial to make the fake roman shade; although the measurements/directions were really off on the tutorial so I am not going to link to it. Basically, I took an old set of mini blinds (I got them from my Mom for free- thanks Mom!) and pulled them apart to so I just had a few of the actual metal pieces and the skeleton for the shade and the cord. I used a piece of blackout material from the original curtain panels and sewed it to the teal fabric and then glued it all together.
Window Topper- It is made out of foam core board and then covered with batting and then fabric. My mom gifted me the fabric (thanks again Mom!) and I already had the board and batting so it didn’t cost us anything.
Fabric- I used Michael Millers Backyard Baby for everything aside from the teal on the roman shade which is Moda Solids Ice. The Backyard Baby line is a little harder to find these days since it has been out for a while but I loved it so I searched until I found it. The fabric was used to make Luc’s quilt and then I used the scraps to make: a pillow cover (we already had the pillow), the bunting (I used ribbon that we already had), to cover a canvas that is hanging above the dresser and to put in the frame above the chair.
Teal Mirror- This mirror was black and originally hanging in our foyer. I used some teal paint from when we painted the house (I think it’s the same color we used in the hallways) and then hung it alongside a frame I already had and the fabric covered canvas. The frame has this adorable Katie Daisy print in it, saying “We are all Magnificent Creatures” it which I love!

backyard fort phase 2 and 3

A few weeks ago Jamie and the gang tackled phase two of the fort- the second level. They built a second floor, a rail that goes all the way around the second level, added a fireman’s pole, a bucket with a pulley and a space for the rope ladder to go. The week following Jamie and George strung up the rope ladder and all was complete on our awesome fort. Jay happily “helped” with all of the construction and building and loves to play up there. Right now his favorite part of phase 2 is probably the bucket and pulley but he is really getting a hang of the rope ladder and loves to be on the second level. While Charlie doesn’t (can’t) climb the rope ladder just yet he still loves to be on the second floor and both boys are really getting a hang of the fireman’s pole (with assistance of course). Thanks so much to everyone that helped out; the boys LOVE it and I am sure will only grow to love it more.

getting measured to ensure safe positioning of rail height
getting measured by Daddy

love these next two with Uncle Sean
thumbs up

thumbs up returned

our free labor

wearing the “ear ma phones”
wearing the

so happy to be helping

power tools

putting out nails with Uncle Bob

happy helper

happy helper

Charlie wanted in on the action too. Don’t worry, that is a toy drill that he is playing with ;)
Charlie wanted in on the action too

Charlie loves that drill

helper Charlie

taking some measurements and marking things for Daddy and Josh

testing out the bucket and pulley

first turn on the Fireman's pole

Fireman's pole

Daddy wanted a turn at the Fireman’s pole, although we made the opening to reach the pole more Jay sized than Jamie sized ;)
Daddy wanted a turn on the Fireman's pole

getting stuck

Jamie giving it a try

Phase 3

adding the rope ladder

Jay enjoyed playing with the extra rope
Jay enjoyed playing with the extra rope

testing it out

still testing it out

backyard fort, phase 1

There has never been any doubt in my mind that our boys are lucky. They want for nothing, are constantly showered with love and attention and most importantly they have an awesome Daddy! The later most applies to this post specifically but the others were worth mentioning too ;)

Why is Daddy so particularly awesome these days you ask? Because after not much convincing from Mommy he agreed and almost immediately started working on their very own fort!! Let me back up a bit.. It’s no secret that our boys LOVE the outdoors. If they are sad/grumpy/bored, we walk outside and all is well with the world again. Because of their love of the outdoors we spend a whole lot of time out there. Frequently, we head out front to our courtyard (such a great area to have with little kids) to play in the water table. Jay and Charlie usually take time to “wash and rinse cars” and basically drench themselves in water while we play. However, most recently Jay has taken to digging and moving dirt with his dump truck and cars. He digs in the flower bed out front, which doesn’t bother me (I don’t have a green thumb or the time/desire to do much with it so it’s not like he’s digging up my flowers) so it wasn’t a problem until we potty trained. Prior to potty training we/I would just take off his dirt covered diaper, hose him off and then head inside. After potty training we now have this…

our problem

See the problem? And yes it is a cute tushie and yes he will probably kill me later for posting this photo but I am okay with that ;) There is a whole lot more scrubbing that needs to take place these days after playing in addition to it just being kind of gross.

So in an effort to refocus this post and brag on my ultra-talented and fantastic husband we decided that Jay needed a “clean” place to dig and hence the fort idea was born. Jamie had help from Josh and George last Sunday with the planning, initial purchasing of materials and building of the sandbox and frame and this Saturday with the help of Josh and Uncle Mark, the cover for the sandbox was built and installed. It (the fort) isn’t finished yet but I am too excited about it not to share. There is a mix of iphone photos and DSLR camera photos below to show the progress and I promise to post again when it’s finished. Get ready to be jealous because it’s cool and you know that you want one :)

purchasing of supplies
purchasing supplies

purchasing of supplies

sand, sand and more sand


Bupper’s Big Guck helped haul home the supplies.truck loading

a very full truck


The fort project kickoff happened to take place on the coldest day of the year so far, hence the hats and jackets.getting started

Daddy's Boy

riding with Pepere


Using Pepere’s awesome nail gungetting started on the frame

framing the sandbox

Charlie wanted to help with the digging. Also, he says “cheese” frequently when he sees a camera now, hence the face.
tiny helper


Trimming some low-hanging branches.nighttime tree trimming

nighttime workers

finished for the night

The day after, showing the boys the initial construction that finished after they were asleep.
initial unveiling


One week later, adding more sand (1400lbs total)adding more sand


building of the cover

cover helpers

Daddy's Boy

finally getting to play!!
finally it's done!!




a few from the phone


When we decided it was time to go in for the night. To say that they like it would be quite the understatement.
when we needed to head in for the night

I thought having someplace to sit near the sandbox would be especially nice and after looking around for a few ideas I stumbled upon these plans. Jamie and the guys took these plans and kind of ran with it and let’s be honest, ours is so much cooler than the original!  Here’s a video of how the lid works so you can get a better idea of how it works…

serious house projects

Jamie and I have had some serious house projects going on lately. Within the last 6 months we have re-painted every room in the house with the exception of the bedrooms and the kitchen and along with that we have polished, sealed and waxed the terazzo floors in the office (which was a HUGE job and mostly done by Jamie), purchased and updated (are updating) some second hand furniture for the family room, hung new window toppers in some of the rooms among many, many others things. I am excited to be able to show some before and after photos soon; however, we have a few more things to finish before it’s ready for “after” photos. Until then enjoy these few of the kiddos using our bookshelves (which until yesterday afternoon were in the middle of our family room) as tunnels. They loved the new family room addition and I am glad to have survived it ;)

it wasn’t as high as mr dramatic makes it seem, besides he got there all on his own

door hangings

I have finally been able to complete a few of our house projects to the point of wanting to share them with you on here.  However, I need to get my act together enough to actually take photos of them so that I can share!  Until that happens I will show you these cute little name plates that I made for the boys doors.  Jay loves having his name on his door and well I love them too- they are just cute in my opinion.

I would offer up a tutorial on how to make little gems… however, step by step instructions is not really my thing and it would end up going something like this…

1. have husband make random comment about how we should put signs on the boys doors so people can tell which is the bathroom and which rooms are theirs

2. think on it- decide that embroidered name things (yes that is a technical name) would work perfectly for this

3. doodle some simple line drawings until you have a design that you like (a Jay Bird and a Charlie Tuna in our case)

4. look up how to embroider- stitches, transferring said “patterns” to fabric, etc

5. purchase the necessary fabric (this was the only thing I needed- yes, I had embroidery floss and a hoop and I haven’t ever done any stitching until now…)

6. do all of the pattern transferring

7. stitch it all up

8. iron out the creases in the fabric that were made from the hoop

9. spray paint some simple wooden frames to match the rooms/ embroidery

10. rig up the frame so it would hold the embroidery

And, since I am pretty sure those kind of instructions won’t be helpful… I won’t give you any more than that ;)  Just know that I enjoyed making them and that if you give it a whirl you might too.

Also, just so you don’t think that I have the luxury of time here’s a photo to keep it real for you…

Yes, that is me ironing on a towel in the kitchen while a sweet kiddo (if you look closely you can see his sweet little red head over the top of the couch in the first picture) plays with duplo and very large trucks!

our chalkboard wall

In a moment of insanity I decided that it would be a good idea to redecorate our home… this moment came sometime after Jamie went back to work after Charlie was born and probably after days of not getting out much.  I told Jamie that it had never really felt like ‘our’ home (we were younger when we moved in and painted every wall in the house and I most certainly would not pick the stuff that I picked out then again) and that I really wanted a change. Surprisingly, he agreed to let me change things up and I haven’t looked back since.

If I had my way we would be able to do it all in one fell swoop (I hate the in-between stages of projects); however, our budget says otherwise and we are doing it little bit by little bit after saving and budgeting for the changes… it’s what we can do right now so it works ;)

I am nowhere near being ready to share any before and after photos with you all (like I said it’s been a process); however, I do want to show off one of my favorite changes so far- our kitchen chalkboard wall!  We took the simple green wall in the kitchen and turned a 4×8 section of it into a massive chalkboard!  I was desperate to find something to entertain my super busy toddler during the last hour before Daddy gets home- you know the hour when he is tired, hungry and cranky AND I am trying to make dinner and entertain my littlest chunk of love.  We needed something that would allow for both of us to be alive and in one piece when Jamie walks through the door and we hit the jackpot with this addition.  Our little bird loves it and it proves to be a great conversation piece after Daddy gets home and we sit down for supper.  I am sorry but I really don’t have any great tutorials on how to make one of these for yourself and I certainly didn’t take any photos of the during process; however, if you really would like more info feel free to leave a comment and I will try to answer as best I can.

couldn't resist

Jay is on a dinosaur kick right now so this is commissioned work... (don't judge the artist too much!)