Sunday, November 22, 2015

Touring Our Home: The Boys' Room (Shared space between THREE kids) :)

My boys are all in one bedroom now as we get the nursery ready for the next baby.... We've gone through this process before... First moving Isaiah in with Drew to get ready for Jaden, now moving Jaden in with his big brothers to get ready for baby girl. Jaden couldn't be happier. :)
I am head over heels in love with the photo below, all three in jammies in snuggled up together :)
So this is what their room looks like now. Well, this is what it looks like when we spend a little time picking up and making beds first anyway. Just for the record, I don't make their beds on the daily. They did every morning this summer, before school started. Now we just don't have time before rushing out the door and starting the day.
 Here is what that corner where Jaden's bed now sits looked like before:
 I like it better with all the little furniture moved and just the bed there now. We took the white covered end table out of the room, slid the wooden one over next to Drew and Isaiah's bed, and moved the book case next to the door. The little table is kind of a floating island in the corner where the dresser and closet are, and in some ways is in the way, but they love sitting around this table to color and read and play so much there was no way I was moving it out. So a little crowded is ok with me.
So Drew and Isaiah still share the double bed on the left. Jaden now sleeps in this single bed on the right. It is actually the bottom frame to a bunk bed with the railings from the top bunk attached to it. We have plans to eventually add the top bunk frame to it and puts two twins next to each other perpendicular to the top bed to create a king size bed on the bottom. Drew will get the top, and Isaiah and Jaden will start sharing. But this is what works for now :)

When I told them I was taking pictures of their bed Drew and Isaiah lined their favorite stuffed animals up in front of their pillows "for the pictures."

We just pulled out all their Christmas books to stack up on their end table. And underneath are their "treasure box"- the contents of which are always changing, and their sticker books and crayons in a little basket. They keep their fish food and card games in the drawer. 
Dresser Number one. We play music all through the night and day in their room, so the ipod dock sits here. And their awesome antique car, that is sometimes decoration, sometimes hauling around their stuffed animals on the floor. And their two fish. Underwater, and Little House. The best fish names ever. 


The closet is where the real magic happens. (In my opinion) It's what allows three boys to share a not so big bedroom comfortably. Besides the visible dresser, I have another one tucked into the closet. This means each boy gets three drawers (one for pajamas/socks/underwear, one for summer clothes, one for pants and sweatshirts) plus a third of the closet hanging space for long sleeved shirts/sweaters/vests/coats etc.. 
I have a pretty precise clothing rotation system down by now... Isaiah is really just one year behind Drew in clothes, so I only have one year of clothing in storage ready to be pulled out at a time. I keep the boxes for the year gap between Isaiah and Jaden under the bed. When it's time to change them over, Drew gets new clothes, Drew's clothes get moved to Isaiah's drawers, Isaiah's clothes go to boxes to wait for next year, the boxed clothes move to Jaden's drawers, Jaden's clothes go to the attic. (That last step brings me to tears every time... moving the things they've all three worn into storage for now...)
There is a big bin of stuffed animals to the left of the dresser tucked into the corner of the closet. the right corner has a bag with their toy nativity set and pop up tents in it. The clear plastic bins hold shoes waiting for each one to grow into. And there's that wire bin to hold all their sports balls.
These frames will eventually be updated to photos of all three of them. I have quite a few favorites I can't wait to pop in there :) I also have a corkboard to hang, a really cool silver moose head and three hooks for their backpacks to hang on. Not sure when those things will be hung though... might wait til a little later. :)
And now.... let's be real.... Here is the minefield you might have to walk through to get to their bedroom more often than not. Their stuffed animals are always going on adventures and taking over whole rooms or hallways of the house. I wouldn't have it any other way. :)
 Sweet Jaden boy asleep in the early morning light. And this is what the bed would likely look like the rest of the day too. :)
 Looking at their VERY special Peter Pan pop-up book from aunt Nan.

 And reading their nativity book on the floor:
It is so fun watching the three of them become so close. I shared a room with my sister as far back as I can remember until the day before my wedding. I wouldn't trade that for the world. Late night talks and falling asleep laughing and not being able to avoid each other if we were fighting... We would clean our room together and rearrange our furniture for fun and look through each others closets... I'd do her hair and we'd dance and we basically had the most fun sleepovers every night. I am so looking forward to them experiencing the same kind of bond of closeness and time together, falling asleep and waking up in the same room just does something for that, I'm convinced.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Maternity wear: basics plus accessories

I've been noticing a trend in the way I am dressing as it gets colder and my bump continues to grow... Basic, simple maternity pieces combined with accessories that feel seasonal and like me. 

I love the texture of the knit sleeves on this white maternity sweater. And the fact that it is so neutral and basic and can be worn lots of different ways. Here a white sweater and ripped jeans feel a little more special with red flats and a striped scarf. 

White sweater: H&M 
Ripped Jeans: Motherhood
Gray scarf: J. Crew
Red flats: Gap 

Believe it or not, nothing in the below photo is maternity. This neutral, basic dress is from J. Crew and wears like a shift dress when not pregnant. I kind of like it better with a bump. I styled it with a jean jacket, red infinity scarf and brown boots here. 

Dress: J. Crew
Jean Jacket: H&M 
Scarf: made by me
Boots: Steve Madden

This might be the best example of all: A long sleeved gray t and flare jeans. But add a plaid blanket scarf and the red flats again and it feels current and seasonal and so fun. The waterfall braid has been my go to here lately also. 

Here I'm wearing thick gray maternity leggings from target and a purple maternity tank from Old Navy that I got during my pregnancy with Jaden. To "winterize" it I added tall black boots, a chunky cream infinity scarf, long black cardi and a floppy hat. 

(Same outfit as above, just more fun shown outside where I actually wore it) 

Hat: H&M 
Scarf: Target
Tank: Old Navy
Cardi: Target
Leggings: Target
Black Boots: DSW

And last, another perfect example of what I mean by basics: A black maternity tank and black maternity leggings, adding pieces that are non-maternity to spice it up. And again with the waterfall braid. 

Black Maternity  Tunic Tank: Old Navy
Black Maternity Leggings: Target
Aztec print cardi: Cotton On
Brown Boots: Steve Madden
Necklace: Stella & Dot 

Hope that can inspire ways to invest in the most basic of leggings/pants and tanks/tops and then combine them with fun statement pieces that you already have!! :) 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Touring Our Home : Back Porch

If you head out the sliding glass doors from our dining room, you step onto our back porch. One of the major selling points of our house for us. Beautiful, vaulted ceiling,  outdoor fan, shades that can be rolled up or down for privacy, a little cobblestone landing at the bottom of the steps... room for a picnic table, some porch furniture, a hammock and our grill... 
We spend a lot of time out here. I have lunch outside with the boys in spring, we do lots of outside dinners through the summer, and we have an overflow seating area just off the dining room when we have a lot of people over. 

I would really love an outdoor sofa or love seat and big comfy chairs. But that has not made the priority list the last couple summers. And it will probably wait another summer or two still. In the meantime, these two beautiful vintage velvet chairs (for only $15 for both yard saling) and a long crate turned on its side as an end table worked well this year. :) 
We just hung the hammock out here this past summer. I don't know why we waited so long. It has such special meaning to us. I brought it home from a missions trip to Honduras in 2004, the same trip where Shaun and I told each other our secret feelings for each other and the love of a lifetime began. We sat in hammocks like this over a moonlit lagoon many of the nights we were there talking. I bought one at an open air market to bring home with me. It's now one of our boys' favorite spots too. 

We hung galvanized metal sconces with candles in them on both of the back pillars. It looks so pretty at night with the candlelight. 

And this last picture is from quite a while ago, before I had stained the picnic table even. But it gives a little better perspective of the detail of the porch... I love the scalloped wood on the outside and the red metal roof. So many wonderful times have been had out there. 
Since taking these photos I've brought in all the plants and the green velvet chairs have found a home in the basement for the winter. It looks a little empty right now, but some years  we've draped garland and lights around the railings. We will see how much I feel like doing this year ;)

To see the rest of our house tour so far:
Living room here
Dining room here
Kitchen here 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Touring our Home: Kitchen

Today, the kitchen. If you saw my before and after of the kitchen this past winter you may have seen some of these photos before. We replaced light fixtures and added recessed lighting last October. Then we painted the walls and hired out to have the cabinets painted white this past January. I am still amazed at the difference those things made. If I could do everything I wanted to this kitchen I would put a butcher block counter top on the island, black counter tops around the perimeter, and a white subway tile back splash up. But I am so content with where it's at. Pretty sure this is where it will stay. But it's always fun to dream too :)


I had questions about our berkey water filtration system in the last post and always meant to answer but never got around to it. That two tiered stainless steel tower creates the best water you ever tasted. Each Christmas Shaun and I choose one bigger thing that we'd like to get together and last year this was it. We absolutely love it and highly recommend. 

This last photo reflects a more recent view of the kitchen... I had just hung up sage to dry, and our window sill is usually lined with fall fruits... sometimes apples, this time pears.
And as with the dining room, I just don't feel right posting photos of the room all perfect and without anyone in it when it only looks like that 1% (or less) of the time. So here are some "kitchen in action" photos I just chose at random from my recent photo folders:
Counter full of baking supplies, helping me make Isaiah's birthday cake, which was actually a giant skillet chocolate chip cookie.

 Some random photos of things that have come out of this kitchen:

whole roast chicken, one of our favorites: 
 Burrito bowls, another favorite.
 In the summer there's lots of fresh produce, here I was about to make bruschetta
 In the fall are the root vegetables... this was fried sweet potatoes with rosemary and brown sugar.
Our kitchen also doubles as the barber shop, and is where I cut all four boys hair... this was Jaden's first hair cut this summer:
There is homework done at the counter at night, lunches are packed, I make huge batches of soup in our giant stainless steel pot and let them simmer all day this time of year, I wipe down that island more times than I can count, I clear it off, it fills back up just as fast... (anyone else have that problem?) Mail is sorted, bills are paid, I plan out my week and to-do lists here more often than not. Our kids race around the circle the island makes after dinner most nights, Isaiah helps unload the dishwasher, they raid the pantry for cheese balls and mandarin oranges and goldfish and apple sauce pouches and juice boxes.... The kitchen is in many ways the heart of a home, and this is ours. It is noisy, it is chaotic, it is warm, it is usually messy. It is perfect.  
(If you missed the first two parts of our house tour, the living room is here, and the dining room is here.)