Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Do you remember your first DIY?

Since I have about a million projects I'm trying to get finished (oh yeah the playroom and Rhett's room I I keep saying are almost done...I'm the worst at getting the final few details done), I thought I'd show you a cute finished project from a friend of mine.

Meet Jess, a new comer to the blogging world!

I stole this picture from her Facebook because I LOVE her freckles. So beautiful. 

(Hope you don't mind Jes!!)

Her blog is Mommy Envy which is a lil' bit of everything blog where she does a great job of showing moms (and women in general) that we don't need to feel envious of each other or feel like because one woman is great a one thing, that we are less because of that. 

What a great blog mission right?!

Anyway, she recently redid her first piece of furniture and sent me pictures. 

I was so impressed that I thought it would be fun to show her hard work off and help us who do a lot of DIY/furniture refinishing to remember back to our first piece or for those thinking about taking on a project to feel like they can do it too. :)

So I'll turn the time over to Jes! I sent her some questions, interview style, and her answers are below. 


My name is Jessica (I often go by Jes) and I am a Texan currently loving her life in Colorado. I have a passion for trying new things. Some things stick and some things don’t – and that is OK! I created Mommy Envy out of a desire to stick something out. I’ve started blogs before about family, photography or home renovation but my need to always try new things had be abandon them for my next adventure. Mommy Envy is a collection of my many wonderful projects.

1. What intimidated you the most about starting the piece?

The first piece I ever did intimidated me. It was a free dresser and the project went terribly bad…and then got worse! That dresser still sits in my garage and taunts me. After that I felt like I couldn’t do DIY, that I didn’t have the eye for cute things, and my ego was shot. This time I had my mom with me. Yes, I admit to needing my mommy. She hasn’t done a project like this but she knows about paint, and tools and things. Plus she isn’t scared like me. 

2. What was your inspiration for choosing the color? 

Yellow is so happy! (The color is Jackfruit by Behr) My sister-in-law recently said that it made her happy that I wasn’t afraid of color in my house. That made me smile. I’ve been debating if I’ve put too much color in my house though. My dining room is a happy yellow too but it’s too much for me. I think I need to go neutral and put color in my house through pieces like this. 

3. Would you do this again? 

If yes, what would you like to do next? Heck yes! In fact I have a 1960s dresser waiting for some love as well as a farm house table.

4. What was your favorite part of the process? 

I was pretty thrilled during the purchase. It was the perfect piece at the perfect price. Oh the possibilities! 

5. What's for favorite style for decorating etc? Vintage? Eclectic? Country? 

I have a vintage-eclectic-modern twist vibe going on. Is that possible? Most of our furniture is hand-me-down so I don’t think I’ve found my voice yet. I love the clean lines of craftsman style homes though.

Didn't she do such a great job?!

I spray painted my first piece and didn't sand it down between coats. 
Or really shake the can enough. 
#grittyfurniture #yuck

Yellow can be such a tricky color and she nailed it. 

Hop over to her post for more details and to leave a little love. 

Your first DIY can be a little nerve racking and she did such a great job!

Thank you Jes!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Chosing to have a baby after having post-partum depression

When I started this little blog, it was really just to show furniture. I had a family blog as well, but over time it just became better to merge them.

So part of merging the blog was being pretty honest about the severe post-partum depression I experienced with Rhett. That was the main reason I started refinishing furniture...I needed an outlet. You can read more about it HERE.

I've debated for the past few months on writing this post. Like I said above, this blog is part family, part design/furniture/DIY. But I get a lot of  emails about my experience with PPD, especially in the past 2 weeks for some reason, that I thought this post might help someone, somewhere. PPD is kind of a taboo subject. Having a baby should be the biggest joy of your life. At least that's what everyone says. So when they hand your child for the first time and all you want to do is give him back because you feel so much dread and panic and anxiety, who do you tell? Umm...excuse me, but I kind of hate this baby for some reason I can't understand...

I remember feeling so posed and terrified taking this picture. After we took it I ran to the bathroom and threw up.
When Rhett was born, I became a person I didn't know. In any sense. I couldn't be in the house with him alone. I couldn't touch him. I had horrible thoughts. I had panic attacks multiple times a day and the only way to help them was to throw up. Don't ask. So because I was throwing up every thing I ate, which sending me to the hospital because I lost almost 30lbs in 2 weeks. After that I became suicidal and ended up in a psych ward. Yeah.

I am so grateful for the family and friends and faith and medicine and miracles that saved me. My depression (in it's most serious form) lasted about 4 months. Then it started to get better. But those 4 months were my personal hell. This week is Rhett's 3rd birthday and I've been waking up at night with memories of how dark that time was. I still can't look at some of his new born pictures without feeling anxious. So yeah, 3 years later I still have memories so strong and feelings so vivid of that time that there are nights when I cry because that time was so dark. And so real.

So maybe it goes without saying, but the thought of having another child was too much. I was done. There is no way that I (or to be honest or our marriage) could go through that again. The risk was too great.

But at the same time I knew there was one more baby. I knew that having another child was one of the greatest trials of my faith that God could give me. And I was so angry at Him. How could he expect me to have faith in Him when I had felt so literally, completely abandoned? Hadn't I given everything to bring Rhett to the Earth?

As a disclaimer before I continue, much of my experience is influenced by my faith. I understand completely that not everyone has a "faith" or a God. But I still think that we, as women, all share a deep, eternal connection when it comes to bringing children into the world.

I really struggled with the fear of getting pregnant. Intimacy was a struggle for me. I had planned my whole life to be a mom. I always wanted to be a mom more than having a career. I thought I would be an amazing mom and that the moment I held my first born I would say, "Yes, this was worth it. I will have a lot of children; have them close together and I will love it. This is my choice."  So all of a sudden thinking that everything I had wanted was slipping away made me think again about having another child. Maybe I could do it.

BUT. The real decision, not the hypothetical, maybe I could-ish, one, took a long time. Over 2 years. I prayed a lot. I told Heavenly Father that I would have one more. But that depression could not be as bad. I just really knew deep in my core that I could not do that again. I don't know if you can make conditional promises with God; but I did. I had faith that I was His child. He knew me. He loved me. And He has blessed me so much that I eventually rebuilt my faith in His ability to deliver me.

When Rad was born I had my sweet moment that I missed with Rhett. I felt love for him. I wanted him.  Oh how I wanted him. I felt that connection to all mothers through time- when you love someone that you have never met, never touched, never laid eyes one. When you love them instantly with a love that hurts so deeply. And I felt complete. I felt God whisper to my heart that I had done what He asked. And I know now that I have given my best. And God made up for where I lacked.

And I cried.

So to those who have had PPD. And who want another child but are so scared, or anxious, or apprehensive about it. I promise you can do it.

I don't promise the depression won't come. I've had some with Rad. But nothing like with Rhett. If I could sum up what I learned before and after having a baby after having PPD it would be this:

1. You've been through depression before. It does get better. There is always an end.

2. Think about how amazing you are now. You've been through something horrible in a time that should have been wonderful. If there is anyone in the world who has learned to love, it's you. You now can give love and empathy and tenderness to anyone because you have been to the darkest side and back. And that makes you a great mother.

3. Whether you believe in God or not, brining a child into the world is a spiritual experience. And for whatever you believe or have faith in, be it God, or family, or friends, or science, or simply in nature and the good that is in the world, there are resources to help you. You are not alone.

4. You know the PPD is REAL. It is not just silly emotions. It is not a myth or something you can just snap out of. You can't just smile it away. Do you realize the power it knowing that?! You now know what to expect and you can make a plan to help mitigate any depression that might come. We knew some of the things that could trigger my depression the second time and we prepared as best we could for them. There is peace in preparation. I promise.

5. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to be good enough. I don't mean settle for being mediocre, I mean, I had to learn that good enough somedays means giving 95% and some days it means giving 13%. And that's OK. That's more than OK.

6. And lastly, I believe in you. And I don't mean that lightly. I know I won't meet or probably ever really know most people who might read this. But I am a mom.  I am about as normal and boring and imperfect as you can get. And if I can do it, you can. I don't mean that everyone needs to have more than one child. That is between you and whoever else you chose to include in that decision. But I know what it's like to become someone you never thought you could be and I really believe that you can do it.

I don't promise the next child will be a perfect experience. Somedays I just don't think I can do it. But I love my boys. I love them in a way that makes me think it's that kind of love that hold the stars in the sky. And that's enough for me.

Some amazing resources for those going through PPD: Pin It

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

so much to say, so little time: part 2

Conversations with an almost 3 year old are fantastic.

Before bed:

"Rhett what kind of animal are you?"


"What kind of animal is Dad?"


"What kind of animal is Mom?"



At Olive Garden on our family date night:

I get back from using the restroom to find Rhett talking to the waiter.

Rhett (to the waiter): "This is mom. She goes pee pee in the potty. BIG PEE PEE!"

In the checkout line at the grocery store: 

Person in line behind us: "Oh wow, what a cute baby!" (talking about Rad)

Rhett: "HEY! DON"T TOUCH MY RAD!!!!!!"

In the car:

I heard Rhett whispering to Rad in the backseat of the car;

"Mom, I tell Rad my big secret! He no tell you mom. He can't talk!! (Laughs hysterically.)

Making cookies: 

 Rhett pulls a melon ball scooper out of the drawer.

"Mom! What's this?"

"A melon ball scooper."

"Why you have ball scooper?"

"Because sometimes people buy silly things."


"To help the economy."

"Oh that silly economy!"

In the kitchen:

"Rhett can you come here?"

"No mom, I can't do that. My ears are too dirty."

He's a chatty kid. :)

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Dark Side of the Wall

On Thursday I posted some of the dilemmas we are having choosing a paint color for our front room.

Although paint isn't a crazy expensive update, repainting the same room over and over adds up. 

And well, as much as my husband loves a DIY project, repainting isn't his fave. 

*As an update to the previous post on Thursday, I forgot to mention that between the original gray and current grayish/blue we painted an off white. Big fail. The room doesn't get a ton of light, so the white looked dingy and dirty, like the original gray did. 

So we spent the weekend looking at some inspiration online, making a list of colors we want to pick up samples of, and going back and forth on whether we want to go dark or a rich neutral.  

In the end we felt like what was holding us back on making a final decision was being scared of painting it dark; and then going to sell one day and having the color be a issue. 

But then we were like wait a minute.

Who's house is this?


Who lives here?

We do!

Whose actually buying the paint and doing the grunt work?

Gosh darn it, we are! 

(Think Mighty Ducks pep talk.)

So we are going in the direction of a dark color.

We will still pick up a few neutrals just to cover our bases, but we are really feeling the dark side vibe. 

Here are some inspiration pictures we found and love.

Since we pretty much literally have no furniture in that room, we feel that a dark neutral fits with our vision for the room. We're thinking lots of natural wood furniture, gray/white upholstery, and of course some great metallic and color thrown in. 

I'm working on learning to make a design board (how do I not know how to do that yet?) so once I get that completely figured out I'll share. :)

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Choosing a paint color takes a village

So as a blogger who loves the DIY blogging niche I love getting inspired by all of you. 

I love the little "village" we have where we speak the same lingo and know what "patina" and "grieg" and "anthro knock-off" mean. :) 

So I am calling on all you villagers to HELP ME PLEASE settle on a paint color for this room!

And not to be overly dramatic, but I don't know if our marriage can handle too many more times of busting out the rollers and painters tape.

Jake's the best paint partner, but everyone has a limit.  

So below is our front room. 

It acts as our foyer/formal living/dining room.

Whew, talk about multi tasking!

When we moved in, it was a light gray. 

Terrible picture I know. 

But it really was a terrible room.

Isn't it amazing what hardwood and 7in white baseboards can make?!

Anyway, the room is far from complete. 

We're planning on adding some heavy duty crown molding in the next few months and buying furniture one day. (Who needs furniture right?)

But right now the easiest and cheapest update is to paint it. Again. 

Like I said, it was light gray when we moved in and I hated it. 

The gray looked dirty and dingy. 

So we painted it in SW City Scape

It's a great color, I actually really like it. 

But I don't really LOVE it for the room.

It the picture above, the color looks more gray and charcoal-ish, but most of the time it looks more blue and that's the problem I have with it. 

The two window above are the only natural light the room gets. The larger window actually just looks out at a cement wall and the smaller window has a medium size bush in front of it, that blocks the lower third of the window. 

So the room doesn't get a ton of natural light, which is my dilemma.

Do I keep the room in a darker tone, but something with less blue in it?

Or do I switch it up entirely with a warmer neutral?

I'm picturing some thing like this, this, this or this.

A Grieg with a little tan and maybe a hint of green in it...?

What do you think? 

Any suggestions for a good charcoal color?

What are your favorite warm neutrals?

Come on villagers! I know you all know your paint colors. :)

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Friday, July 12, 2013

under the Tucson sun

A few weeks ago we went on a family trip to Tucson. Jake's company sends the families on a totally paid for trip once a year (which is awesome). Jake went to classes from 9 to 12 everyday, but the rest of the day was for us. 

Woot woot for family fun!

So to be honest, this post is mostly just pictures. Because who wants to type a bunch about relaxing, fort building, good food, swimming, and your kid puking in the pool by the swim up bar? True story about the puking. 

 Oh vacation. 

We need more of you.

And I have to give a photo credit for some of these pics to my beautiful friend Tyrell. :) Her husband also works for the same company so it was a blast having them with us too.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

How to get pen ink out of a microfiber couch

A little over a year ago I posted on how to clean a mircofiber couch using a spray bottle, rubbing alcohol, a sponge and a bristle brush. 

You can read the full tutorial HERE

By far this is my most pinned post, and probably one of my favorite cleaning tips for our home. 
If you go back and read the original post, you remember that I really dislike this couch.
It's not my design style, not super comfortable and although I know how to clean it now, it still kind of drives me nuts how easily it gets dirty. 

So when I came down stairs a few weeks ago to find my 3 year old drawing on the arm of the couch with blue PEN...I hate to say it, but my first response wasn't to get mad. It was to do a happy dance. 

I really thought the couch was RUINED. I mean, blue pen. ALL over the arm.

There was no hope.


I felt like this might be just the right reason to start looking for a new couch (and hide all the pens).

But then I figured I might as well try cleaning it off,  just to prove it really was ruined. 

So I got out my supplies and started spraying and scrubbing. 

And wouldn't you know, the pen started coming right OFF!

What the....?!?!

I was so sure it wasn't going to come off that I didn't even think of taking a before picture of the whole arm, but when I saw it was coming off I snapped this picture.

Just picture this all over the whole arm. 

I scrubbed pretty hard to get it all off, and used a decent amount of rubbing alcohol, so now there is a little discoloration on the arm (it's a little darker than the rest of the couch in a few spots) but I think if I had used a little less rubbing alcohol it wouldn't be a problem.

Either way, a little discoloration is better than pen art. 

Here's the after.*

You can see the light discoloration I was talking about best in these two pictures.

I hope this is helpful! 

I was so surprised that this technique worked on pen of all things. 

I think I'm stuck with this couch for a very long time. :) 

*These pictures have NOT been photoshopped in anyway. 

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