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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

the new place: first glance

It's officially, officially time to share our new digs.
(Okay, so its way past time, but whatever, I just moved. All the grace, right??)

I detailed quite a bit in my last post about how we were on the search locally for a new home for our family. Eliza's mobility needs truly didn't mesh with where we lived and it was time to accommodate her fully. Though the buying and selling process was a bit trying, I'm so excited to share our new place with you by way of our actual real estate listing photos. This was our very first glance at this home as well! While it already looks dramatically different in several rooms, I wanted to show it from the beginning. So sit back and relax!

We've moved only about five minutes away from our previous home and into the loveliest of neighborhoods. I really wanted to be in an area with community vibe and was crossing all my fingers for a pool. I got one! Our neighborhood is pretty large and boasts a gigantic salt water pool, a playground, two lakes for fishing, and an active HOA with seasonal parties and tons of activities for the kids. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Our home is a one story, of course. And I immediately loved the open, welcoming feel from the foyer. My eyes started on the lovely wood floors and went all the way up to the 12 foot ceilings! Those high ceiling really do wonders for a home!

The floor plan is pretty basic. As you enter the front door, you have the office on the right and the dining room on the left (oppositely situated in this photo above).

We knew the office carpet would go and we'd change the paint color to something more light and neutral in this room. But what a great study space. I've always wanted an office with french doors!

The dining room is wide open and has the same pale grey walls as the rest of the house (holla!!). Other than an updated fixture in here, its good to go!

Coming further into the house will land you in the living room. 

I was initally perplexed by this room. The way they had their furniture set up made zero sense to me. It's a great sized room, but the two full size couches smack in the middle of it makes the room look tiny! I also have a pretty deep hatred for pocket TV's above the fireplace. I went around and around about how I'd arrange this space with all the doorways and halls coming off of it.

The long term plan here is to repaint the fireplace tile into something more current and also remove the doors above the fireplace. We might ship lap the mantle to the ceiling. I'd also like an updated chandelier. But for now, the room is great and just needed our stuff in it!

Off to the left of the living room is the kitchen and breakfast area.

I'm not going to lie... the kitchen scared me a little. Pretty wood floors in the living room were traded for old, broken tiles. The wood cabinets needed a revamp and there were so many different textures happening. J.B. reminded me that the bones were good and I smiled and nodded.

The breakfast area is huge. That table doesn't do it justice since you can't tell that the table is also massive to fit into the massive space. I loved that detail because it would just make it all the easier for Eliza to bop around!

Still farther over on this side of the house are the garage entrance, the laundry room, and the master suite.

The master was a great size and color. It just had an old and very matted carpet.

The master bathroom brought out my hives again. Back with the busted up old tile and cabinets and a rust color on the walls. But it was a great size! Two walk in closets, an enclosed toilet, jet tub, stand up shower and a double vanity. Again, bones are good. We could rework the cosmetics with a little dreaming.

If you explore back to the hub of the house, you'll find two hallways branching off the other side of the house. The front hallway takes you to two bedrooms and a shared bath.


This pink room is going to be the new playroom! A playroom! A room just for playing! Just for toys!
Everyone is pumped, y'all.  Some color on the walls and we're good to go!

The second bedroom would be Jake's. Its a decent size, though smaller than the big space he had at the old house. We snagged him a loft bed that contained a dresser and desk underneath it to maximize space. He loves it!

And finally the back corner hallway off the living room takes you to Eliza's space!

This little nook of the house was made for our girl!! The bedroom is slightly larger than the other two, which is perfect for Eliza's wheelie needs. She also has her own bathroom back here! For her to have her own exclusive bathroom, away from the bustle of the house, is totally an answer to prayer. There are a lot of complications with spina bifida that make this space really important to her privacy and I'm so thankful she'll have it here. Over time, we'll covert this bathroom into an accessible space with a roll under sink and an zero entrance shower. 

The back yard has a great patio space with both covered and uncovered areas. And the yard is basically a blank slate! The kids are so looking forward to dreaming up their new play place to parallel the old tree house.

As you can see from the listing photos, this place wasn't exactly our style from the moment we saw it. But could you see its potential? Did you see some of the big stand outs to our needs? Hardwoods in all the kid's rooms! That extra bathroom! An awesome wide open layout! We even snagged an extra room compared to the old house! And the cosmetic stuff is my jam anyway. I had idea after idea and project after project that just buzzed thru my mind. It has everything that we needed, plus it left some space for us to make our own mark on it. What more could I ask for?

And my girl... I've never seen Eliza so comfortable, so excited, to be able to go and do whatever she wants. Seeing her independence grow even in the few short weeks we've been here has made this completely worth it.  God certainly had a plan for the Wilders to find this place and thrive in it!

We've been hustling these past few weeks. Moving with small children has been quite a feat, and we've had some large upfront projects to tackle before any boxes got unpacked. But we're chugging along to make this house a home. 

I can't wait until I'm unveiling the first few rooms!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

our beloved first home

It was our first home! 

Seven years ago doesn't sound like that long of a time (is this a sign that I'm getting old??) but wowza, it was a whole different life. Newly married, no kids. We didn't even know how to buy a house. 

We happened upon this home that was bigger than we needed and an amazingly renovated blank slate for all my crazy decorating ideas. I couldn't believe it was ours! So much space! I've painted and decorated, crafted and hosted. I took advantage of every corner.  Over time craft rooms became nurseries and sunning on the back deck became mom patrol to make sure no one fell out of the tree house. And you can even tour many of the rooms over on the our home tab.

But when Eliza was diagnosed with spina bifida over two years ago, we realized our time here was limited. This house was about as far from accessible as one could get. Narrow hallways, carpet, and for the love, STAIRS EVERYWHERE. 2017 was the plan. We were past the craziness of Eliza's first year, and we were quickly approaching the point where she'd want more independence than this house would allow. Girlfriend couldn't even go to her own room.

But can I be transparent for a moment? 

The idea was depressing

While we knew that moving was the right choice and 100% what was best for Eliza, it wasn't our original plan. I didn't really want to go anywhere. I loved our house and felt like I had finally gotten everything just how I wanted it. Our finances said to wait a few more years. The local market said this was a not so hot time to sell. And when we looked at our must-have house list and what was currently for sale out there, we were pretty sure we might just end up homeless by the end of the ordeal.

But we pressed on. We depressed on. 

In May, we took the plunge and listed our home for sale. For sale by owner, even! We cray. We had approximately 8 billion showings the first week and started house hunting ourselves. The stress was tangible. After dissecting hundreds of local properties, every single one had a major deal breaker. Imagine that dream list we all make up when we describe the house we want. It's specific, right? Now add a bunch of lame things to make it completely accessible for a kid in a wheelchair. Ultimately, we were super needy house hunters and we knew it. But we couldn't do anything about it! I was completely sure that a horrible house or a van down by the river were in our future.

Week two of showings and house hunting came around, and suddenly, we had an offer. This life I live is insane. That's not the norm for our area. Guys, we sold our house in two weeks! By ourselves!! It felt like the biggest, boldest nod of confirmation that we were doing exactly what God wanted us to do.

(I fully credit the quick sale to my own OCD neatness and great staging. People have spent years telling me that my house was too neat and tidy and to them I say for such a time as this!)

Our excitement to sign that sales contract was still mixed with dread.
Where were we going?? What would we do?? Where would we land??

Everything for sale was terrible. It was all wrong. Our list was too specific and our budget was too low. #always  My heart hurt. I was leaving my lovely house that I'd labored over, that was filled with so many memories, that I'd brought both of my babies home to for the first time. How would I leave this place for something smaller, uglier, and more expensive? Gross. No.

I didn't sleep that night. I was mad at life.

But remember how, despite the muddled mess of the details, God is always in charge and doing His amazing thing? Less than 24 hours after signing the sales contract on our home, the perfect new house landed right in our laps. It was the place. My sadness evaporated in a heartbeat and was replaced with schoolgirl excitement. Hello roller coaster of feels!

So. It's been a few months since the craziness all began. Between this and many of Eliza's recent medical needs, our family has been a bit distant from regular life. Sorry blog! And friends! And projects! But last week, we finished packing our final boxes and prepared for a new adventure! 

Number 110 is no longer mine. I'm sad. Closing day was much harder than I imagined. And I still get a lump in my throat when I think about my place belonging to someone else.

My big fat silver lining? Number 144 is absolutely lovely and almost everything a girl could want. Guys, its so so good. I'm typing this surrounded in boxes and dust, as our floor crew installs the last of our new floors, and I couldn't be happier about the mess. I have so much to do here! So many memories to make! So much fun to have!

And you, you let me drone on and on about this. What do you get out of this? You get to sit court side to see my girl blossom in a home that's made for her. And you get whoooooole lot of projects and interior design posts to boot.  

Cheers to both Number 110 and Number 144. 
Cheers to those beloved memories made, and those to come!

Friday, May 26, 2017

jersey knot bow hanger {diy tutorial}

A few months ago, one of my dear friends and I were having a chat about being boy moms and how different it is to be a girl mom. She has two rough and tumble boys and was bringing home her adoptive daughter from China in just a few weeks!

We both concurred that one of the best part was definitely... hair accessories. 

Sorry, but its true! Accessories make everything so much more fun!
So I had the opportunity to make this new girl-mom a bow hanger for her precious daughter! 

I decided it was an awesome time to try to recreate a crazy overpriced jersey knit bow hanger I've seen circulating the interwebz. I adore this design, just not the price tag that seemed to come with it. In true DIY fashion, I was able to recreate a large bow hanger for under $15.

Let's talk supplies:

 - Start with a dowel rod of some sort. I actually nabbed a thick square rod from Hobby Lobby. Paint it or leave it natural - your choice! 
 - Then snag two yards of jersey knit fabric. HL also carries this for about $7/yard. With a coupon, I got two yards for under $10. 
 - And from around the house, grab some good scissors and some sort of glue (super glue, fabric glue, Elmers - its all good!)

This process is actually crazy simple. You're going to cut your fabric into super long strips and then knot them to create the hanging effect. Yes, that's it, y'all. 
So fold that fabric in half (either way is fine) and start cutting it in 2" section from the fold on out.  

Grab a strip, shake it out, then fold in half. Lay the top 3-4" under the dowel rod.

Pull the end length of the strip through that top loop to make a slip knot.

Tighten it down.

And keep going! I started in the middle and went out, but you can start wherever!

Now to hang the whole contraption, I tied another strip to each end of the dowel rod. After knotting it, I used glue to secure the ends of the fabric so it didn't move. Keep in mind that jersey knit stretches a lot so less is more with this hanger piece.

Then you're going to trim the bottom of the strips to your shape!

The bow hanger is lightweight enough that a small nail can hold is up, but it still has a TON of room for 298347298 hair bows. Perfection!

Awesome gift idea too!! You can even load it with a few bows!

Enjoy this one!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

that time I disappear because life...

It's been a ridiculous amount of time since I last popped in here on the blog. I promise I didn't become a Navy Seal or a contestant on America's Next Top Model in my absence (though I'm clearly fearfully and wonderfully made for both of those roles). 

I know you've likely been staring into your internet for hours each day, desperate to know what's up here and how I could ever forsake you. If not, feel free to just lie to me, okay?

So a sentence for each major endeavor...

  • Jake turned FIVE. Hold me please.
  • His swim party at the YMCA was the cutest. Space themed because, duh.
  • Eliza has been back and forth to Vandy approximately 3 millions times in the last few months. All the things. Procedures, clinics, equipment. Feel free to follow along at Expecting Eliza.
  • Easter was so fabulous - look how cute! Watching both my babies egg hunt outside was pretty marvelous too.
  • Our annual Spina Bifida Association Bowl-A-Thon was a raging success. And our family was the top fundraising team! Holla!!
  • We sold our house. In two weeks, y'all. I could talk forever about this alone. And I'm so emotional about it! More on this later.
  • Jake is playing soccer with the other tiny people, so cute!
  • I'm a little obsessed with Matilda Jane for Eliza. Well, secondhand MJ, because money.
  • It's officially OUTSIDE season!! Water tables, chalkboards, even a new dune buggy! I love outside play time with these two! Spring, lets never break up.


Amidst the madness, I have actually been working on some more creative things too.

New bow hangers, accessible chalkboards, design planning for a house, and even some great new prints in the shop. Stand by for some of the crafty vibes coming your way!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

wooden Lego tray {diy tutorial}

 Since we have a resident, almost five year old boy, we are a Lego house. 

Legos for daysssss. 

Which means I am perfecting the art of keeping them organized, put away, and in no way, shape, or form in contact with the bottom of my feet. 

This tutorial helps a bit with that, and is also great for travel and gifts!!

I love how slim and easy to put away this little tray is! We've had Lego trays in the past that were bulky and hard to find a place to store. Those bulky trays have now joined the yard sale pile... 

So what do you need for this project? 

: :  Materials : :

- Lego base plate
- thin plywood*
- 3/4" trim*
- finishing nails 
- Gorilla glue 

*Precut or you'll need a saw to cut it. The neat thing about this supply list is that a single 2'x2' plywood sheet and two pieces of eight foot trim is actually enough materials to make four boards! Think gifts! Woohoo! 

So start by making sure your wood is cut down to the right size. I cut my 2' by 2' board into four one foot squares. 

Then I cut the trim pieces down to the correct measurement for the four sides of the tray. Two pieces are 11" and the other two are 10.25". 

Make sure everything is sanded down really well. 

Using the gorilla glue or wood glue, attach your trim pieces on top of the outer edge of the plywood square. Remember: a little bit of Gorilla Glue goes a long way. 

Once it's dry, add a few finishing nails from the back side to make it completely secure. 

Tip: Feel free to use your Lego baseplate (pictured above) while you're working with all these dimensions. Make sure it fits comfortably inside the border. 

Your wood working is done! Feel free to paint or stain your Lego tray if you like! I didn't have time to wait for stain to dry, so I used a brown paint and then distressed it for a worn look. 

Now just fit your Lego baseplate into the board. Mine fit so tightly m that glue wasn't even needed to hold it in place! If you need to, dab some on the back of the baseplate hold it. 

And a Lego tray is born! 
I even added a quick painted name using my infamous wood stencil trick from years ago. 

I love what a cute gift idea this is! One of Jake's little preschool buddies spent some time in the hospital last week, so we fastened up a tray and little Lego set for her. She loved it! 

And Jake has been a huge fan of his! Lego organization for the win! 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

jake's a-doh-rable valentines

It's probably no surprise at this point that I like to come up with a fun anti-candy Valentine for Jake to take to all his little preschool buddies. 

Don't misunderstand, I love candy. You don't get this hot bod by hating candy. But there is so. stinkin'. much. given out during holidays like Valentine's Day (and Halloween). Plus he's four. He doesn't have the years of sugar tolerance built up that I do. Him eating all that candy is a recipe for madness. 

So I do my thing to break up the sugar rush with a fun toy or healthier snack. This year, he picked out PlayDoh! 

I nabbed a party pack of mini PlayDohs at Target. 15 in each pack!
Read: Leftovers for us since there are only ten kids in his class. Score! 

Then I designed a little card and printed it on card  stock. I left a place for Jake to sign his own name. Because cuteness. 

Then with a dab of hot glue, I attached all the tiny tubs right onto the card stock! 

Badda bing! 

We also created a fun little surprise for his teacher. He decided to get her a little Dunkin Donut gift card for a sweet treat. How cute did this card turn out?!

I'm so pumped to have these done ahead of time!
And with a few extra days to share with you!
Go H E R E to download the PlayDoh Valentine card.
Go H E R E to download the donut card. 

Have fun with these!!

For more non-candy Valentine's ideas, check out our Valentines from the previous years!
the silly glasses valentines // the Goldfish valentines // the animal cracker valentines

Thursday, January 26, 2017

bible journaling {a beginner's guide}

That's my vibe. 

A creative avenue makes everything better in my little corner of the world. Give me that option, and anything I do immediately becomes more enjoyable and applicable to my life. I'm the sign-maker of the pep rally, the prop designer of the play, and the arranger of the style items on the book case. So when I first saw the concept of Bible journaling, all I could think was "YES!!" A creative way to learn and imprint God's Word? Sign. me. up. 

Odds are, if you're following along on this creative, DIY space of the internet, you appreciate a lot of the same things that I do. But I guess there is also the possibility that you are currently yelling "WHAT HAS SHE DONE TO HER BIBLE?!" into your screen. Hang with me here! Before I tell you how I do Bible journaling, let me share with you why I do Bible journaling. After mulling it over, I think it all boils down to three things...

 - Scripture memorization. This is something I've always struggled with. It's easy to read a passage, nod in agreement and then move on with your day. I find myself defaulting to the familiarity of Scriptures rather than actually knowing the Bible verbatim. I'm thinking "Oh yes, I've heard that verse" or "I could quote the general idea of that Scripture." or "Hmm, isn't that in such and such book?" Truthfully, God wants us to deeply know and apply His Word. It's supposed to be hidden in our hearts, not just an app on our smart phones. Gosh, it's one of the ways God communicates with us! But truly studying and meditating on Scripture takes work and discipline that's not often a part of our busy days.
Through Bible journaling, I'm praying over and selecting a Scripture at least once a week. I'm pouring into each word as I create a design and apply it to my Bible. For a few hours, that verse is my sole focus and when I'm done, I have a visual image of it through the design. I can truly say that every single page I've journaled is now a Scripture I can easily recite!

 - Creative fun. Guys, three words... adult coloring books. They are all the rage. I think its because they allow a busy, stressed out adult to sit down and just focus on a pretty design. They're relaxing to work on and fulfilling to complete. I know y'all aren't shocked in the least to hear that crafting, creating, and designing do this for me. Making something beautiful is a beautiful thing in and of itself! 

 - Worship. I think any time you're actively giving God glory, you're worshiping. This comes in a lot of shapes and sizes, but I'm pretty sure God is happy to have them all. Spending time in His Word, reflecting on what He wants me to know and learn, usually listening to some awesome music in the background, what a great way to worship God!

Are you convinced? Have you whipped out your debit card, pulled up your Amazon Prime account, or already jumped into the card to head to Lifeway? Drive safe and keep reading!

Here are a few recommendations to get you started.

 a journaling Bible. This is your only must-have for Bible journaling. I have this Bible and give it two thumbs up. I selected it based on the translation and the make up of the outside cover (it's an NIV with a soft brown, flexible leather cover). Amazon seems to have the most affordable options, but you can find journaling Bibles (or sometimes they're called notetaking Bibles) most anywhere Bibles are sold. They also come in both lined and unlined margins varieties, so keep that in mind if its a deal breaker for you.

a journaling bible mat. This is a hard plastic mat to place behind the page you are working on. Whether you purchase one of these or just use a piece of cardboard or heavy card stock, I'd definitely recommend using something. If there's no buffer between the pages, your artwork will be imprinted on the following pages and potentially even bleed thru the super thin paper. I learned this the hard way with my very first page (got the sads) and immediately ordered the Illustrated Faith mat pictured above.

pens. Pick your poison here! I feel like pen choice is such a personal decision so feel free to use a few different options and see what you like. Be on the look out for pens that bleed through the page and for pens that are not waterproof if you're using mixed media. I found this blog post to be a great resource on different types of journaling pens and what might work best for each person. Having said that, I agree with it's author that this variety pack of pens are my favorite. Just make sure to hide them from the rest of your family! I'm looking at you, J.B.!

twistable colored pencils. These are a popular tool for most Bible journal folks. The Twistable colored pencils are inexpensive and simple to use. Lazy? Come sit by me. And get excited because these bad boys don't ever need to be sharpened! Huzzah!! The tips are also super soft on the thin pages and the colors blend together wonderfully.

gelatos. Currently these are my favorite way to color my designs (and the one I used on the design below)! Gelatos are sort of a half crayon, half watercolor option. They draw on like a crayon, and then you can used a sponge or a damp cloth to smooth out the color. If you aren't paying attention, they can be a bit pricey online, but I've found them to be super affordable at Michael's. Plus you can use up to a 50% off coupon with their app!

watercolor paints. Y'all know I'm a watercolor girl. And I enjoy using them in my Bible journaling too! The only downside for watercolor paints is that they do color thru the page. Where as a gelato color isn't going to show thru on the backside of a page, a watercolor paint definitely will. That might not be a big deal to you, but its something I weigh when I'm considering a design. Can't beat the price though. A watercolor paint set can be found almost anywhere for just a couple bucks!

washi tape. While I own an entire basket of various patterns of washi tape, (True story. Support group is imminent) I actually have not used a bit of it inside my Bible. But my day is coming. I can feel it. And you can find washi tape anywhere! Craft stores, Target, online. Go nuts! The great thing about washi tape is that it's lightweight and both permanent and non-permanent. Meaning, you can stick it down wherever you like and it's not moving, but if you did decide to readjust it or remove it, washi tape peels up easily without leaving any damage in its wake. What more could you ask for out of decorative tape?!

A great resource for Bible journaling ideas is simply to do a Pinterest search! There are so many beautiful designs to take in! There are even traceable designs for free or to purchase if you're apprehensive about beginning. 

These are a few of my favorites.

via  /   via  /  via

You can also see the great variety in styles. Some folks go all out with the stickers, washi tape and paint. They'll use a page in their Bible as a canvas for a specific scripture and exclusively use their journaling Bible as a work of art. While these are beautiful tributes to God's word, I'm a bit more subtle with my own style. I prefer not to cover up any scripture text and stay within the confines of the margins. That allows me to continue to use this Bible as a study reference if I choose to.

For a more concise idea, I'll give you a peek into what I'm working on this week.
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about  these things."
 - Philippians 4:8 

The madness of today's political climate has been seeping into my heart and God knew what I needed to focus on this week. So I've been churning this verse around day after day. 

I started my journaling design on the computer. This is probably where I differ from most folks. While I think the majority of people like to grab a pencil and work on a free hand design, I love my graphic design work via Illustrator. So I usually carefully create my design on a computer before bring it over to my Bible to trace with a pencil. 

From there I added ink and then color. In my mind's eye, I was planning a metallic gold ombre look for underneath this pretty script. Key words there are "I was planning". Bless my heart. 
This design is the perfect example of design plans gone wrong. As I started to apply my metallic gold gelato color, I realized that the pen I used for the script was not waterproof! GASP. Smears incoming! Since both the ink and the gelato had already been applied to the page at this point, I was stuck.
So the gelato work was done really tediously and didn't come out with quite the application its supposed to. Never the less, I think this design is still along the path of what I was originally imagining. The metallic gold shimmers beautifully in person! These are the golden things to rest our mind on!

I hope you'll consider Bible journaling! It's been such a fun venture for me and I love the real life application that these Scripture are making on my heart.