Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Party

George’s birthday was a while ago, and yes I am just now getting to his pictures.

George loves anything that goes and has wheels, so this was the perfect theme for our three year old.

This was a pretty low key party, and it came together so nicely.

I got the invitation from this Etsy shop. (Those blue boxes are just covering up our personal info.)


We love doing our parties at our church because they have this full kitchen, so much space to play, all the tables and chairs we would ever need, and most of all, I don’t have to clean for visitors. Win all around.


The birthday sign I got from this shop. I didn’t get a close up of it I guess, but it has trains, planes, and automobiles on it. We also went really simple on the food. It was mostly snacks. I did not theme the food or have food labels.


We got these books from Usborne. They were one of George’s birthday presents from us. They are so very cool. Those are little wind up toys that drive on the pages of the books. So much fun!


These cupcake toppers are from this shop. We printed these off ourselves, cut them and taped them to toothpicks. Easy peasy. I opted for cupcakes this year over a cake, and it seemed so much easier. Hy-Vee (local grocery) for the win!


Our party give aways were train whistles. I got the whistles from Oriental Trading, and the tags came from this shop. They say, “Thanks for zooming by.” All the paper products, I ordered instant download and printed ourselves.

The table top decorations were all George’s toys. I love little personal and FREE touches like this. We had a couple tables of planes, trains, or cars.


Like I said, I love having it at the gym so there is space to play. We had a couple activities for the kids, and they seemed to love it.

We had a paper airplane station. I wish I would have gotten video of them competing for the best “flight.” It was so fun to see what they created.


We brought all of George’s wooden trains, and they built some awesome track scenes. George was in heaven.


My favorite part of the party was the car making station. This was so easy. I collected boxes from some friends who were moving (perfect timing), and just bought several packs of construction paper. We brought our markers and colored pencils and let the kids at it. It was the “mechanic shop.”

They built some really cool cars.


George had so much fun taking them all for a test drive.


I bought these little car candles off Wish.


We loved celebrating our little man, and it is the one time of the year that I become a Pinterest mom. Seriously though, this was a simple party because most of the stuff for decorations we already had or could easily print off. We had all the craft items, so that wasn’t an additional expense. Including food, I think I spent around $200 when all was said and done.


It was a great birthday for our THREE year old!

Daphne’s Nursery

With everything going on this summer, it has been hard to put together posts about the house. My goal is to do so before I go back to work in August. Four weeks is enough time to get pictures hung and document everything right?

Daphne’s room is the only one I feel confident saying is complete. And of course it’s for the roommate that doesn’t really care what her room looks like.

I had picked this theme and color scheme long before we were even pregnant. I love the combination of navy and kelly green, and with the gray undertones-Perfection. I also loved the idea of sea creatures, so that is where the sea life came in.

Here is the grand tour of her room.

IMG_8025 (2)

The dogs love this room because the windows have the best view of the entire yard and street. This is the view from the doorway.

IMG_8029 (2)

My sister-in-law made this bow rack to hold all the hair accessories for Daphne. All the bows were handed down from my niece too, so I love that. Someday she will have enough hair to actually wear them, but for now George likes to wear them. We need to add some more hooks to hold all her headbands.

IMG_8041 (2)

This is the same set we had for George, but with the new colors I feel like it looks so different. I love the cubbies to hide away all the things I need quickly during bedtime routines and diaper changes. There are onsies, sleepers, diapers, and more there. I got the green boxes from Amazon, and my in-laws found the blue whale bins at Home Goods. The one by the crib holds blankets. I got the stuffed octopus that is on the crib at Target.

The two pieces on the wall are from Hobby Lobby. They were having a wood sale, and we basically stole these for how cheap we got them.

IMG_8038 (2)

I love this sign. Such a good reminder.

IMG_8060 (2)

This whale bins and laundry basket I got on Amazon. The stuffed whale is from Target. The oars are from the Hobby Lobby steal. The little lighthouse was given to me by my grandpa, and I enjoy those little personal touches. And we have no shortage of books around here.

IMG_8052 (2)

This rocking chair was in George’s nursery as well. This time around, I did not make the chair cover. I got an outdoor chair cushion from Target. The seahorses are from Hobby Lobby as well.

The stool Tom made so I could feel more comfortable with my feet propped. We will be able to use this much past breastfeeding days too.

I got the curtains from Target when they were having a sale. I felt like I had really hit adult status because we have never had actual curtains before.

This is my favorite room in the house right now, and not just because it is done. I love the colors of the decor and the paint, and I especially love that we used the same furniture with George but it looks vastly different.

Now to just finish the rest of the house. And how do you decorate bathrooms?

House Renovation Update

It is coming along. It is coming along. It is coming along.

For real. I have to tell myself this every day.

We are making progress, but all I am seeing is that I have no room for this baby…So pray for me. Pray for my husband so he can deal with me. Pray for our contractor that this timeline keeps moving down.

Some days I am in a hormonal panic that I don’t have things organized for DC’s arrival, and other days I am completely calm about the status of our house. This was completely insane to do this now, but she won’t know any different.

I just need to keep myself calm. She will be sleeping in our room for the first couple months anyway.

Here are some progression pictures. It is really fun to watch it all come together.

Seeing walls go up made it more realistic. Huge progress!

The dogs are going to love the new windows!


Currently, my clothes are in piles in our spare room. So I cannot wait to get in this closet! I need to organize! I haven’t been able to nest AT ALL.


Baby Girl and I barely fit through the studs.


This will be the longest hallway. However, it will be perfect to put our family pictures throughout the years. We would have outgrown the walls in the dining room in the next couple years.


Walls were my flashy gesture from the contractor this past week. I start really panicking when I can’t see things actually happening like the electrical. So Tom told our contractor that he needed to do something flashy every few days to calm me down.


We are turning the new basement part into a gym. Both of us feel frustrated about our fitness. We both have access to gyms at work. However, it cuts into our time with the kids if we stay after, and we both feel like we don’t get the workout that we really want. We know having this at home will give us more flexibility since we won’t have to drive anywhere to get our sweat on. Tom dry-walled and painted all of this in two days. We both are so excited for this!

We just got the siding this week. AND I LOVE IT!

We will be painting the old house to match the siding here soon. Then we are going to add stone to cover the brick. Although, we probably will leave the brick in the back you see here, because no one sees that.


So that is where we stand currently with the house.

It’s coming along.


Burning Down the House

I have always wanted a fireplace, but all the houses we looked at did not have this feature. It was not a priority, but one of those bonus items I hoped for.

Thank goodness I have a husband who entertains my ideas.

Like building a fake fireplace!


We have this weird corner in our living room, and it also happens to be where they put the cable.

So that is where the TV must go without doing something crazy with the cable wire.

Before we were using an old bookshelf that I have had since I was in elementary school.


While I love this bookshelf and carries sentimental value for me, it was not cutting it for the look we wanted.

Tom came in and worked his magic.

We had to figure out that it wasn’t a square corner so we were working with an oblong triangle. Tom had to figure out how wide the fireplace could be and still be square. He also kept in mind we wanted to put a fireplace like heater in the middle and be able to put the TV on top.

IE: He is really good with math. His words were “Corners are just a mathematical pile of garbage.”

The tricky part of every project is trying to figure out how much wood you need.

Tom used 20 ft of 1 X 10, 20 ft of 1 x 4 (all the back bracing), and 30 ft of various types of trim. This is all pine (our personal favorite to use).


Here, he is making the trim into boxes on a flat piece of wood. It gives the fireplace a little more character with the picture frame affect.


He used a finish nailer to put the trim on.


Once the three long pieces were done with the boxes, he used the bracing in the back to put them together into one piece.


The top is two boards sandwiched. He had to be aware of how much space we needed for the TV, but also so it was snug in the corner. We knew that this will be temporary as we have plans to knock this corner down some day. So we wanted it to look big and fancy but also easily moveable.


We bought one of those space heaters that look like an old fireplace, and just stuck it in.

Then Tom stained the wood.


No joke, we used a piece of black poster board behind the heater so you cannot see the cords. Don’t worry, it is not an actual fire hazard because the heating component is in the bottom front (also something we looked for when we bought this item).


Fireplaces seem magical with stockings, so that was a must for me!

All in all, this project cost about $200, which includes the space heater. If we bought this commercial, it would be at least $500 for just a base model. Some nicer end fireplace inserts cost up in the several thousands.

It looks so perfect and like it was always there. It is probably one of my favorite projects he has ever done.

I honestly don’t know what I would do if he didn’t have these skills.

In the House

We have now lived here for almost 3 months! While it doesn’t seem like it is that much, I feel like we have always lived here.

We still have a long way to go on our home improvements, but it definitely feels like our house now.


The house before we bought it.

Although we still have no pictures on the wall…maybe next month.

We have, however, done a lot of other things. Well Tom has done a lot, and I just keep him and George fed.

So here are some of the things we have gotten done.

We now have a place for a hose. Tom poured this concrete pad so we can put this thingamabob here for the longest hose ever made.

0926151512We now have a storage room. Y’all, I am so excited to have an actual place for storage. Tom built these shelves. We have two sets that hold 5 large storage bins across. Having real storage is life changing.

1002151943aWe are adding motion sensor lights on our fence. Our yard is huge, and it gets like scary dark out here at night. We want to be able to see the dogs out in the yard, so these are the easiest and most cost effective way to light our yard. They are solar powered, and they work really well. We have the front half done, and we are waiting for another sale before we light up the back half of the yard.

1003151036One of Tom’s must have projects was putting up these flag poles. He did all the digging, concrete, and raising.

0926151511aWe have cedar siding, which is nice, but it can easily and quickly turn gray. I also felt like our house didn’t look finished. You can be the judge from the picture at the top of the post. So we decided to stain it this reddish color. We have a different house! If we decide to make this our forever home and do an addition, we will put medal siding up and cover the brick with rock.Tom did this all by himself when I was out of town one weekend. I am super lucky to have such a handy hubby.

0926151510 0926151509And the part that we have just recently started is the craft room. My heart is swelling at all the possibilities here. Tom has just put up the frames. We are waiting until we find some really great deals on cabinetry before moving any further. But one wall is painted and done!

1002151942The house is definitely keeping us busy. Homeownership is no joke.

You can see our full project list as of now on the “Home To-Dos” tab at the top of the blog.

What is your favorite room in the house? How long does it take you to put pictures up?