Fall Sprucing

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Posted by Rebecca, October 30th, 2013

Long time, no blog? :)

I figured I’d jump back on the blogging wagon with some simple seasonal decorating. I’m not really one to go big for most holidays except for Christmas, but I love a little Fall decor. We host Thanksgiving each year, so I keep things fall neutral to get a good 2 month stretch out of everything.

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First up, the porch. My favorite fall wreath got ruined when our basement flooded during Hurricane Irene in 2011. I went 2 years without a replacement wreath until I spotted this one on clearance at Target about 2 weeks ago.

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I added our same old doormat from Target about 3 years ago, some mums and 4 pumpkins, 2 of which Easton painted himself. Can you frame a pumpkin?

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You may have noticed that we also changed out our (off center) porch light for this one from amazon.

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We still need to put a clear bulb in there. We ordered another for the other porch light, but the glass was broken so we’re awaiting a replacement.

For the entryway table, I just added my usual twine pumpkins from Crate & Barrel several years ago. I mixed in some white gourds. Placement is based solely on the length of a 17 month old’s arms.

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I also added some gourds to the powder room, along with some orange towels and a candle. Just call me Martha Stewart over here.

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I probably could have folded those towels better. Oops.

Apparently, I lost steam once I got to the inside of the house since the family room got one lone update…

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Okay, it got two updates, there’s a pillow on the other side of the couch.

Really, we’ve spent the past several months a) living it up for the summer b) working on that outdoor kitchen and c) decluttering the house and minimizing. I’ve been trying to focus on one thing at a time, which may not be a fun and bloggable thing, but that’s life.

But! The outdoor kitchen was grouted today. Once it’s all haze free and full of appliances, I will be sure to post pictures.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Roar!

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Ikea To The Rescue

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Posted by Rebecca, July 17th, 2013

A while back, I posted about wanting to add some book storage to the playroom. I mentioned possibly building some ledges since it seemed fairly simple. Well, after a trip to Ikea a few months ago, we realized that we could use their picture ledges for a cheap and fast solution. Since my goal in life these days is to keep it simple, we decided to buy them.

First, let’s talk about Easton’s love of Ikea. If you follow me on Instagram (@lilhousecould), you are already aware.

(ps- I made my Instagram private since it’s more of my personal pictures than blog pictures, but as long as you look like a genuine person, I’ll accept!)

easton ikea 1

We went (again) over the 4th of July weekend, so the store was empty. Since he’s currently a full out toddler, he had enough of the stroller at the end and just wanted to run. A giant, empty warehouse was the perfect place for all of his energy.

easton ikea 2

We picked up 3 of the Ribba ledges in white, in the longer length (45 1/4″). We hung them while we were together one weekend during a nap.

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We used the stripes as spacing and decided to hang a shelf every stripe and a half to make sure Easton has space for taller books as he gets older. The stripes are 12 inches wide so the shelves are 18 inches apart from the actual flat part the books sit on.

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As Mike put it, it’s such a great use of space. Easton has a lot of books (he still has some in the family room and his bookcase full in his room) and this saved us precious space in his toy storage. Plus the colorful books “make it look like real playroom” according to Mike.

When Easton woke up from his nap, he ran over to his new book wall right away. Baby bookworm.

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I am thankful that we did not put that lower shelf any lower or we would have a child standing on it. I originally thought of adding a 4th shelf lower for him, but it definitely would have become a ladder/climbing wall. Just to be safe, each screw that is not in a stud is drilled into a drywall anchor that holds 50lbs. Thankfully, Easton is only 24lbs :)

His only objection was to where I placed his chair, he prefers it like this…

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One day I’ll have to take a picture of him rearranging the furniture in our family room. I’m talking full out chairs and ottomans moving across the room. He says he just has an eye for these things….

After the shelves were up, we decided to head back to Ikea (this was the 4th of July weekend trip) to look at tables for the playroom. I’ve been eyeing up sales at Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod, but their tables were all still ridiculously expensive. The playroom is small, so I didn’t want anything big, but something that Easton can use now and as he gets older. More and more, we’d been building blocks on the lid to his drum set, on the carpet, so I knew it was time…

blocks 1

We went with the Sundvik children’s table in white. It’s solid wood, which was something I really wanted and it is the perfect size.

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We picked up 2 of the matching chairs to go with it, but for now they are still in their boxes. Easton wouldn’t be able to reach the table sitting and would definitely use them to Spider Man himself up on the windows..or the book ledges… or my head. In a couple of months they will be perfect and I might even paint them a bright color, we’ll see.

For now, the table is perfect for Easton to stand at.

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He has a nice little section of the room furnished now. There’s still a lot I want to do in here and I know it will be never ending as his needs/skills are constantly evolving.

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I’ve been trying to bust out some arts and crafts, but he’s more fascinated by how the crayons fit into the little Crayola palm grip things we have. He has been a master stamper though, even if it means there are stamps on the new table. We’ll be testing the durability of that Ikea paint with the multiple wipe downs. He uses the table for his blocks and stacking toys mostly, but also as a place to put his sippy cup.

play table 1

Wonder where he learned that one?

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Guest Posting

7 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 24th, 2013

Hey everyone!

Dropping in to say hello and share a guest post I wrote for the Breastfeeding Diaries series over at The Girl In The Red Shoes 2 weeks ago. I know, I’m awful for not sharing sooner.

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I usually don’t talk about boobs around here, but breastfeeding is hard work and if I can help someone else along the way, I’m going to.

I’ve been working full time for the month of June, plus late hours and even last weekend. Easton has been staying up until 9 or later most nights so that I get some quality time with him, which means I’ve barely had time to shower before its time for me to hit the hay. Our house is currently a land of weeds and unfolded laundry. Hardly blog worthy. Mike and I keep reminding ourselves that we are just two people holding down 3 jobs, so it is okay.

But, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have 4 more days of working full time then I go back to 30 hours a week. I give those of you who work full time and manage to not eat cereal for dinner several times a week major credit. Also, please tell me how you take your coffee and how many ounces per day I should be consuming.

I miss this place and I miss you guys.

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Recap By Number

2 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, May 24th, 2013

The past two or so weeks here have been a hectic whirlwind. So much to say, so little time. What’s the easiest way to tell you about the chaos without putting you to sleep or writing 20 posts? A little life by numbers summary!

1 first hair cut

first haircut

4 house guests for 4 days

easton and hadley

1 stomach bug for me

(sorry there’s no picture ;))

12 trees planted (7 right here)

backyard trees

65 birthday party guests

12 mason jars as centerpieces

75ish cupcakes made

0 pictures taken of party :(

5 garlands made

sewing garland

2 shoes muddied from family photoshoot

muddy toms

2 runny noses (Easton & Mike, no picture necessary)

1/2 of a countertop frame complete

bar top progress

2 heads in a hole at the Please Touch Museum

heads in a hole

7 bags of stuff donated to Goodwill (and one closet cleaned!)

2 walking legs

walking easton

1 one year old boy.

happy bday easton

Some of these topics deserve more detail (yes, I’m talking about you, 12 trees). We’re hoping to get some good weather over this 3 day weekend to work on our ongoing landscaping project, snap some pictures of the trees and get back to work on the outdoor kitchen. Also, I’m hoping to summarize Easton’s first year in photos and steal someone’s pictures of his party.

But yes, my baby turned one yesterday. Holy smokes.

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Outdoor Kitchen Part One

7 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, May 7th, 2013

This weekend, we finally got started on building the outdoor kitchen we’ve been dreaming of for 3 years.

patio with grill

When we planned out our wood plank stamped concrete patio, we knew that we wanted to add a caddy cornered type of built-in grill. My brother and sister-in-law built their own grill and bar area when they moved into their house about 5 years ago and used BBQ Coach. They sell grill frames, complete with plans, instructions and videos. You basically choose the shape you want, along with how many appliance cut outs, and they send you the parts. When we were ready to pour our patio 2 years ago, we went on the site and chose the New Yorker BBQ Island. With the measurements in hand, we decided how large to make the one curve of our patio.

new yorker island measurements

(via BBQ Coach)

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We assembled the frame this weekend, so we finally got to see how it was all going to work out!

I don’t have many pictures or much info to share at this point, but I figured I’d try to keep the progress up to date…And avoid a giant, overwhelming (mostly for me) “after” post. I admittedly did zero work on this, since I was with Easton all weekend while Mike and our friend Steve worked away. Steve’s sister is married to Mike’s brother so he’s kind of related and was more than willing and excited to help us out.

They spent the whole weekend just getting the frame up due to confusing directions and a whole lot of parts.

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The frame was 3 rectangular pieces, connected by two 45 degree angles.

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The good thing was that a) whenever Mike had a question he could ask my brother, who had built one of these in a different shape a few years ago and b) BBQ Coach responded so quickly to Mike’s emails that it was practically real-time support.

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This is where we stand at the moment.

island frame

We finally brought out our patio furniture and though the island looks huge, it really works well with the size of the patio. I’ll have to take an aerial shot from Easton’s room one of these days, but we even have room to keep space behind the grill to add some bar stools. We could have done without that element, but we wanted it to feel nice and cozy out there.

Up next we have to decide how thick of a counter top we’re adding to finish out the frame. We want to do a concrete one and bought the thicker steel to support it. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to make one, or my concern, how to actually get it up on the frame since it’s going to be so heavy.

Then it’s adding concrete board, stone to the bottom, a backsplash and appliances. Who tackles a giant project two weeks before hosting a large first birthday party and having out of town guests? We do. I accepted a while ago that we are not logical thinkers. I just roll with it now.

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