This Is How I Stroll

In the Spring, one of my favorite things to do is stroll around my yard. I stroll in the early morning and I stroll at dusk. I stroll with the baby in tow and I stroll by myself. I stroll in quiet peace and I stroll while on the phone, catching up with family and friends. No matter how I stroll, the simple act of wandering my yard brings me a lot of joy and contentment.

I call it the "perimeter walk" as in, "Hey Matt, I'm going to do a perimeter walk for a few minutes." The purpose of the stroll is to check in on the variety of garden plantings I've worked on during our 4 1/2 years in this house. I literally check in with each corner of the yard, taking stock of what plants are emerging and what areas of the garden need work.

My Nana told me recently that when her husband (my Grandpa Harrison) was sick with cancer, he did the same thing. She said he jokingly called it "walking the estate." It was funny to them since they owned a modest house on a relatively small parcel of land. It makes me smile, too. Matt and I named our son after him, and learning this small tidbit about his life makes me feel even closer to a man I wasn't lucky enough to meet.

On my most recent stroll, I snapped a few shots.

Weeping Cherry Tree (Named Wonky!)

Peonies (10 Days Ago)

Peonies

Peonies (5 Days Ago)

Peonies (Today!)

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

Lungwort

Azalea Bush

Azaela

Tulips

Daffodils

Daffodil

Magnolia Tree (Last Week)

Magnolia

Magnolia Tree (Today!)

Magnolia

Irises

Iris Rising

Pink Heather

Pink Heather

White Lilac

White Lilac

So that's what's popping up in my yard of late. 

I don't meditate per se, but I think my perimeter walk... ahem... I think walking the estate is my own version of meditation. It does everything for me what I imagine mediation does for those who meditate: it helps to center me and brings me great joy. 

Anyone else take part in a perimeter walk? Don't knock it 'til you try it.

Nursery Budget Breakdown & Source List

This is the last of the nursery posts... for now. Let's take a look at the transformation before jumping into the budget breakdown and the source list!

When we bought the house, the room looked like this...

...painting the trim and laying hardwoods were high on our priority list...

...then came paint and new baseboard trim...

...followed by guest room furnishings...

...at which point we realized we had a baby on the way, so it quickly became a storage room...

...before donating the bed and turning the space into a sweet nursery for our boy! (Pardon all of the ellipses. I get carried away.)

So, do you think I did it all for under $750 as I set out to do? We'll see...

Rug: $199

Curtains: $27

Rocker: $270

Paint for Rocker: $39

Pillows: $65

Dot Wall Decals: $25

Mobile Materials: $7

Harrison Mark Materials: $1.50

Wall Frames & Mats: $20

Drum-shaped stool: $40

_________________________

$693.30 

I did it with money to spare. :) Of course, without all of the hand-me-down goodies and gifts from my baby showers, I would have totally blown that budget. We are so lucky to have so many loving family and friends to hook us up with so many beautiful things!

I've also included a source list (where I got everything!) for those interested. This room is the only room that's close to 100% "done" in our home, which is funny. They say you put your child before yourself, right? That's the case with us - our master is so un-master like and completely untouched.

Blue and white striped floor bins: gifts from Land of Nod, rug: Costco, changing table: hand-me-down from Land of Nod, white shelf: an antique find that I updated with Annie Sloan's "Pure White" 

Dresser: my dad's childhood dresser that I refinished with a Minwax pickling stain and hardware from Lowe's, red lantern: a gift from IKEA, curtains: I made them here using Timeless Ticking fabric in Nautical Red, drum-shaped stool: Homegoods, hardwoods: Bruce Hardwoods from Home Depot

Crib: hand-me-down from Munire Furniture, polka dot bean bag: a gift from Overstock.com, blue crocheted blanket: a handmade gift from Matt's Grandma, red floor pillows: Target (For so cheap!)

Crib bumper: hand-me-down from Whistle and Wink, brown pillows: Homegoods, car pillow: a gift from Jonathan Adler, animal quilt: a handmade gift from Matt's Grandma, mobile: homemade, letters: handmade from red cardstock, white vinyl decals: Land of Nod

Rocker: painted with Annie Sloan's "Pure White" with cane work by LaSilla Design, nursing stool: a gift from Amazon.com, seat cushion and star pillow: Snow's of Cape Cod, red frames: a tag sale find that I painted with Annie Sloan's "Emperor Silk," truck art: custom art by my brother-in-law, white rug: a gift from IKEA, Moses basket behind rocker: a gift

White cabinet: hand-me-down, baskets: gifts and hand-me-downs, frames: gifts that I painted white and filled with photos and art on cardstock, red lamps: I refinished them here and topped them with shades from Target, metal bin behind Griff: a gift from Land of Nod

So... I think that's it. We can officially call this room done. Well, "pretty much done" I guess. I still want to fix up the inside of the closet by building and painting shelves, as well as fix one small gap near the windowsill apron, but since those are non-essential to the room being enjoyed by Harrison, "pretty much done" works for me.

A Curtain Switcheroo

When I was attempting to furnish our guest room last year, I bought and hung a pair of linen-y curtain panels to outfit the space. They were too long, but I never got around to hemming them.

Using What You Have: Curtain Edition

It's a good thing I never hemmed them because they're not in that room anymore. That guest room is now the nursery, and it has its own curtains. I decided to try the curtains down in the sitting area at the back of the dining room that was rocking a valance Nana made when we first moved in.

Using What You Have: Curtain Edition

The valance was hung on a rod that was screwed into the trim, which wouldn't fly for the new panels I wanted to hang.

Using What You Have: Curtain Edition

I unscrewed the rod and sanded down the area to prep it for white paint.

Using What You Have: Curtain Edition

With the trim all touched up, it was time to address the curtains having a gathered, bunched, look. I wanted a pleated look so just like I did with the nursery curtains, I sewed on a few pieces of ribbon to create the effect I was after.

Using What You Have: Curtain Edition

As I was patiently waiting on Harrison's arrival, I was also patiently waiting on Matt to re-hang the brackets. He eventually obliged and I popped the old guest room curtains up. They won't always be sporting the "It's a Boy" banner... just for a little while longer. ;)

 

I like the change. I also like how it makes the window look larger. Griff is indifferent, as usual. 

 

I want to replace the brown wood blinds with white wood blinds. We got a quote for somewhere around $300. Before we go ahead, I want to try spray painting them. Yes, you read that right. I want to try spray painting my wood blinds. Don't tell Matt. He already thinks I'm crazy enough as it is.

The Final Nursery Reveal!

I thought today was a fitting day to share the final nursery reveal. Today was our original due date for Harrison! We ended up with a March baby instead of an April baby and a Winter baby instead of a Spring baby. Lucky for us, we've been able to enjoy our little man for the past 17 days and didn't have to wait for today to come!

I'm so happy with how this space turned out. I think it's cute, cozy and comfortable while boasting a little bit of masculinity for our little guy, too! So without further adieu, here we go! Due to lack of sleep on my part, this post will be a quick picture tour and I'll check back in later with all of the details like the budget breakdown and the source list!

Red, White & Blue Boy Nursery

Red, White & Blue Boy Nursery

Red, White & Blue Boy Nursery

Red, White & Blue Boy Nursery

Red, White & Blue Boy Nursery

Well, there it is. It's officially done and I can't wait to get Harrison in his new room over the next couple of weeks. He's in our room for now, but we're inching closer to setting him up in the nursery each day. What do you think? Is it too matchy-matchy with the color scheme or colorfully coordinated? 

My School House Nest

Let's talk about "nesting." Well... my experience with nesting in particular. 

(Source)

If you're not familiar with the terms "nesting" or "nesting instinct," let me fill you in. It's a time in a pregnant woman's life* when she feels the need to compulsively organize and clean every surface that crosses her face or nose or enormously swollen uterus.

Me? I was totally nesting. And apparently, dropping phrases like: "enormously swollen uterus." Sorry 'bout that.

I like to think I have a generally neat and tidy house.

(Source)

No, it isn't always sparkling clean but for the most part, the cleanliness level of my house keeps me happy enough and close enough to a comfortable level of Godliness.

The list of things I've cleaned or organized in the last couple of weeks is kind of astounding. For me. Astounding for me. I know a lot of people that do this type of cleaning on a weekly schedule so if that's you, don't judge me. You're definitely closer to Godliness than me.

I didn't follow a list. There's no rhyme or reason to what I cleaned. Each thing just sort of hit me out of the blue. I'd like to share some of my thought processes with you, so you can make me feel better about my level of crazy.

  1. "These stair treads are such a pretty color. Washable, too! Sweet. Good purchase. When did I buy these? Two years ago, I think. Two years ago, two years ago, TWO YEARS AGO! I haven't washed these stair treads in TWO YEARS." [Into the washer they go.]
  2. [Looks around bathroom.] "I really hope this bathroom gets the facelift it desperately needs in 2014. It's not in bad shape, it's just in need of some good ol' updati---- ACK! Why is there so much dust on the ceiling fan?! How long has that been there!? Have I been breathing that in forever? Have my house guests noticed?!? [Grabs step ladder, removes fan plate, cleans.]
  3. [Watches Travel Channel's Anthony Melchiorri run his finger along the top of hotel picture frames to check for dust.] "Hmmmm, maybe I should do that in my house." [Gets up to run finger along the tops of picture frames.] "Good Lord."
  4. [Cleans the outside of the stove.] "Wow, these cabinets haven't been wiped down since we painted them. They're kind of gross. I wonder if they're all gross." [Looks around at the cabinet fronts.] "Must. Wipe. Down. Every. Cabinet."
  5. [Notices a drip of laundry detergent dried to the side of the washer.] "I will feel so much better about myself if I sanitize and wipe down every part of my washer and dryer! This will make doing all of that baby laundry so much more tolerable!"

As you can see, my nesting instincts knew no boundaries. I tackled nearly every surface in the house. This includes but isn't limited to: the ceiling fan, light fixtures, screens, windows, behind and on top of appliances, under couch cushions, the porch floor and the garage floor, the mattresses and box springs, kitchen drawers and the icing on the nesting cake: the garbage can. Yes, I cleaned and sanitized the garbage can.

Of course now that Harrison is 2+ weeks old, the house has gone to crap again. Oh well. It's cyclical, right?

They say that nesting happens right before labor, and that was my experience. My instincts kicked into high gear about a week before I gave birth!

If you've been pregnant before, have you found yourself to be a slave to the nesting instinct like me? If you haven't been pregnant, do you ever get the urge to clean every surface in your home? I'd love to say that I do a deep clean every Spring and Fall, but that just doesn't happen.

*Apparently, fathers-to-be nest, too! I'm not sure if Matt is nesting or not. He popped on a new camera, video camera and bedroom TV to prepare for this baby... does that count? Also, it took him 3 weeks to help me hang a curtain rod over the back window. If I wasn't so scared that I'd rip out drywall, I'd have done it myself in 3 seconds. Looking at these examples now, I'd say Matt isn't affected by nesting instinct...

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