I know it has been a VERY long time since I’ve posted and a lot has changed. The cliff note version:

  • We welcomed our little girl, Finley Harper, on March 13
  • I completed my masters degree on May 8
  • We moved to Montgomery, Alabama on May 28 — hence the title of this post
  • We put a contract on a house under construction in late June and we expect to move in some time in October

I will do my best to post a little more regularly, but we are in an apartment in the meantime and I haven’t really been working on any interesting projects. I will be posting progress on the house, so I thought I would take a few minutes to introduce you to the neighborhood.

We settled in the eastern part of Montgomery County, in a growing town called Pike Road. Last year the town of Pike Road separated from Montgomery and is currently in the process of creating its own school system. The school is scheduled to open in 2015 — two years before the little miss will enroll. We chose a home in a subdivision called The Waters. It is like none other that I have ever seen and we fell in love immediately.

There is a sense of community that you get just driving in. On our first visit we were surprised to see young children riding bikes on the sidewalks and streets without a parent in sight. It really takes you back to a lifestyle that I am sure existed across America at some time, but not one I have ever known in my lifetime. 

The lots are small, but half of the neighborhood is designated as green space. The neighborhood is flush with amenities, including a 200 acre lake with world class fishing. I’ve decided to sell the surfboards — let’s face it, they aren’t going to get used in the gulf anyway — and buy a SUP. If you would like to see more of The Waters you can visit the website at www.thewatersal.com

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Above photos courtesy of The Waters.

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ImageAbove photos taken by Alvin Becker

I’ll post again soon with an update on the house!

 

 

The nursery for our baby girl is starting to come together. We still need the bedding for the crib, but I at least have the fabric design completed. Below are some photos, including the one that inspired the color palette.

The fabric designs are below. I’m having them printed by Spoonflower.com The bedding will be made primarily out of the fabric on the left. The bedskirt will be striped with a few large pleats.

Crib:  Pottery Barn Kendall

Rug:  Calypso Cotton Jersey Aqua Shag Round Rug from Wayfair

Chandelier:  West Elm Small Round Capiz Pendant

Chair:  Little Castle Treasure Recliner from BuyBuyBaby – this isn’t online, but it was about $450 after 20% off coupon

Changing Table:  Antique sideboard painted Martha Stewart Haystack yellow (Home Depot)

Lamp:  Homegoods

Mirror:  West Elm Round Coco Mirror (no longer available)

Artwork:  custom designed by me in Adobe Illustrator

Mobile:  handmade, followed online instructions for making fabric poms and adapted to a mobile — very easy, but time consuming

So much has happened since I last posted. We spent most of the summer on the lake and not working on the house – a welcome change. As you can probably guess from the title of the post, we are expecting! We found out in late July and the little one’s expected due date is March 17. We decided to have a gender reveal party with family and friends so that we could all discover whether our little one is a boy or a girl at the same time.

Gathering ideas from other blog posts, we went with a “cravings” table.

Spicy – Kettle Cooked Jalapeno chips

Sweet – Oreo balls

Salty – Popcorn

Sour – Sour patch kids

Creamy – Mac & cheese

Cruchy – Almonds

Cold – Fresh fruit

Chewy – Chocolate dipped marshmellows

We had the ultrasound tech write down the baby’s gender in an envelope and then we took the sealed envelope to the baker. The baker was instructed to use pink filling for a girl and blue filling for a boy. With our family and friends surrounding us, we very nervously cut into the cake.

It’s pink!

It’s pink!

Matt was thoughtful enough to order a boy gift and a girl gift. A Mississippi State jersey onesie for a boy and a Clemson cheerleading outfit for a girl.

I’m sure the next several months will be spent getting the nursery and the rest of the house ready for our little girl.

Last Christmas, Matt & I were given a fire pit (thanks, Mom) and until recently we had no where to put it. Yes, we have a gigantic deck but neither of us felt comfortable putting it there. So, we devised a plan to build a small patio off the deck.

Here are a few of the before pictures…

And here is what our deck looks like now…

If anyone is in need of good patio chairs, those came from Garden Ridge. I waited (and waited) for them to go on sale, but finally just gave up and bought them at full price. They were only $24.99 each anyway, so in hindsight I probably should have bought them two months before I did.

We stained the deck with Benjamin Moore Arborcoat (Georgetown Gray, semi-solid). It definitely needs another coat on the deckboards because we were staining over the very dark red color. However, with temperatures headed towards winter already I think the second coat will have to wait until spring…especially since work on the kitchen has begun.

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, somehow I actually still have readers. For those of you who have wondered if I fell off the face of the Earth, the answer is no. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting (or reading) any blogs. I will confess the only one I have read in the past two months is Fireflies and Magnolias. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to read my favorite blogs, it is just that I really have no free time.

In case you didn’t notice, my disappearance correlated with the beginning of the academic semester. I’m enrolled in the Master of Health Administration program at the University of Kentucky and this was my first semester as a full-time student. I’m also still working full-time at UK and volunteering 8 hours a week at the VA hospital. All of my classes are in the evening (6:00-8:30), so I try and spend what little free time I have with my amazing husband. Enough of the whoa-is-me though…Matt probably thinks it is worse than I do.

We have managed to do a few things around the house. We stained the deck, built a patio, and just finished rearranging all of the furniture in the living room. Most of the other projects are still on the to-do wish list.

We are still hunting for a new rug to go in front of the fireplace, but for now here is the update of the living room…

Okay, I wasn’t really thinking of Wal-Mart and Target when I titled this post, more like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, West Elm, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all. Their pages (web and catalog) are always filled with fresh ideas, but sometimes I just want to see something completely new. I happened to come across Origins Crafts the other day and couldn’t help but spend a while looking around. (I know what you are thinking, but no they aren’t a sponsor and I don’t have  giveaway – I don’t have nearly enough readers for that) The website navigation is a bit clunky but the items are fabulous.

I’m lusting after this…

Beside water bottle

I’ve been short on comments lately, so let’s make it fun and post a comment with your favorite small site or something from Origin Crafts that caught your eye.

After 6 months and three paint colors I think we have finally finished our upstairs bathroom. I know I’ve posted about expanding it before so I won’t go into all of the details, but I did want to share with you some before and after photos.

Bathroom before

Bathroom after

Bathroom after

I finally broke down and bought a wide angle lens for my Nikon. After many weeks of ebay stalking, I landed this one. It wasn’t a steal, but I did come out about $150 below retail.

Now I can share better pictures with y’all. Check out the difference below. These shots were taken from the same place using the 17mm lens and the 28mm lens.

Can you believe the difference? By the way, the room now has sample paint swatches from 4 colors painted in six places on the wall. Who would have thought that a sand color paint would be so hard to settle on? Too white, too yellow, too peach, too brown, too dark, etc. Hopefully I will find the right color soon.

Bathroom update coming tomorrow!

It is finally finished. Here is the Pottery Barn Stratton inspired bed that we just completed.

The only thing left to do on it is make the dog bed for the end. The one you see is Major’s old bed. In hindsight, I would have shortened the overall height. Don’t worry though, I’ll explain exactly where in the tutorial below.

Materials:

  • 3 – sheets of 1/2″ MDF
  • 3 – 6′ 2x4s
  • 3 – 8′ 2x4s
  • 6 – 6′ 1x4s
  • 1 – 8′ 1x4s
  • Trim

NOTE: I allowed for a 2″ thick headboard to attach to the bed. If you are not using a headboard you may want to shorten the boxes.

  1. Cut MDF for top and bottom into 61″ x 21.5″
  2. Cut and attach 21.5″ lengths of 2×4 to the left, center, and right bottom of the MDF – this will elevate it off the ground the perfect distance to add the 1×4″ facing boards at the end (I know the picture shows two sections but that is only because I was using scrap 2x4s and didn’t want to waste anything. The other two boxes were done using 21.5″ sections)

  3. Cut and attach 14.5″ 2x4s to the MDF base (we used the Kreg jig for pocket holes) to the MDF in six places (front left, back left, front middle, back middle, front right, back right) Our 2x4s were cut to 17.5″ and if I were to do this again I would shorten it by 3″. I suggest you cut them to 14.5″

4.  Attach MDF board to the top (61″ x 21.5″)


    5.  Attach MDF panels to the inside walls of the compartments (21.5″ x 14.5″)

    6. Add 1×4 facing boards horizontally to top and bottom first and then vertically to left, middle, and right

    7. Add trim pieces (I used cove molding because it is the same width as the 1×4)

    8. Add beadboard for backing.

    I chose not to finish the ends on the two benches that would be used for the left and right side of the bed. I wanted the box at the foot of the bed to fit snugly up against them. However, the ends on the box for the foot had to be finished.

    Footboard box notes:

    • Make sure to account for added width of the boards you will be using on the ends. I had to cut the MDF down to 59.5″
    • Remember that whatever you add to the back will push the box away from the other two – I added trim pieces inside on the top and bottom and then used liquid nails to glue the beadboard to it. The beadboard was then flush with the edge of the MDF

    It really wasn’t hard to make. I apologize for not taking better pictures. Just remember to think through the concept before you make your cuts – especially on the footboard box.

    We attached the headboard using large L brackets

    If you are wondering what that stuff on the vent is, yes, it is duct tape. The bed was going to cover 1/2 of the vent and I didn't want to heat and cool under the bed. It is working like a charm.

    Bed with two boxes in place

    We didn’t want to use a boxspring with our mattress so we opted to add slats instead. I attached a 2×2″ to the back of the boxes for the slats to rest on. The slats are made from the left over MDF.

    The baskets are the the large Wicker Pole Handle Storage Baskets from the Basket Lady. The paint is Pottery Barn Decorators White from Benjamin Moore.

    There was a lot of progress on the bed this weekend. I spent about two hours putting a coat of primer on the first box and then decided that we HAD to have a paint sprayer. We I have been talking about getting one for a while, but my Dad said he had an extra  gravity fed paint sprayer (brand new, in the box) that he would bring up with him the next time he came. So, I waited and waited and frankly got tired of waiting. See the thing about my Dad is that he needs an incentive (a project) to come visit and while we have a very long list of projects they aren’t really up to his specifications. He doesn’t care about repairing the mortar, staining the deck, or weeding the beds. He needs a real project — a take down walls, tear up floors, build a new garage type of project. Since we aren’t planning on getting to those any time soon, Matt and I decided to bite the bullet and buy an electric paint sprayer.

    We opted for the Wagner Control Spray Double Duty from Home Depot (which was $69 in the store, not the $54 on the website). It is amazing! How did I live without this for so long?

    Matt actually did all of the spraying. I thought he deserved a treat for being such a trooper and helping me cut the MDF. I still don’t understand why that stuff is so heavy. Other than drying time, it only took about 20 minutes to spray all three boxes.

    Headboard is attached - still needs the third box on the end

    I told y’all in an earlier post that I was making a few modifications from the inspiration. The major one is leaving the third box (at the foot of the bed) open instead of adding the compartments for the baskets. Why you ask?

    Major's new home

    Major had developed a habit of sleeping under our bed. He had his bed on the floor beside ours, but apparently that was just too out in the open for him. For the last two months he has been squeezing himself under our bed, which was no more than 8 inches off the floor. We really should have gotten a video of this before we took the bed down. He had to maneuver himself in and out while laying on his side. So, I figured I could make him happy by building him a small space to sleep in and keep his bed off the floor of the room.

    I’m planning on sewing a bed to fit perfectly in the open space, but it may take a few weeks months until I get to it. The other major modification is that I added beadboard to the back of the compartments and the end panel. I thought it would give the bed more of a cottage feel.

    With the baskets

    Our baskets from the Basket Lady came yesterday. The quality on these is fantastic. Has anyone else ordered from her before? I searched everywhere and these were the largest ones I could find. In hindsight, I wish I had made the space in between the baskets and the top of the compartment smaller, but maybe once we make the bed it will look a little better.

    I apologize for not uploading a finished picture. It isn’t quite complete. We still have to cut the slats to fit between the boxes so that the mattress be used without the boxspring. I couldn’t bear to upload the picture as it currently is. With the mattress and boxspring, we are sleeping 41″ off the floor. Yes, you read that correctly. We are almost halfway to the ceiling. It was hilarious when we set it up, but I’m still not willing to post a picture of it (yet).

    I will put together a tutorial with the final post. Hopefully we can get this thing finished in the next day or two.