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Thursday, October 26, 2017

a revamped kitchen design at 144

Heart of the home. Where the magic happens. Spot for the best conversations.

It's no wonder that the very first room that J.B. and I wanted to focus in our new home renovation was our kitchen. Now that we have a very open floor plan in our new digs, it's literally the traffic center of the house as well!

The original kitchen wasn't bad. Most of the changes we wanted were cosmetic, and simply altered the style from the original 2005 builder grade version into our own kind of niche. 

Here are some of the listing pictures from the previous owner...

The kitchen is a long, open room, much wider than even these picture depict. The cooking area is on one side, and a spacious breakfast area is on the other (they have a massive 5x5 table there!). The room has ten foot ceilings so the cabinets are a great wood quality and tall! Plenty of space!

But the floors are a mess. Cracked and ugly. The room itself has too many different textures and patterns going on that just don't match. Grey walls, wood cabinets, tan and grey tile backsplash. Black and brown granite counters, sandy tile floors, black and stainless appliances! It kinda of make my head spin. Hopefully, we can bring some of this together!

I started with some favorite inspiration.






Yes, yes, the neutrals again. Y'all should know by now that I'm a white kitchen gal!
After falling into so many beautiful kitchens, it was time to create my own design board for what I dreamed up.

The plan included, but was not limited to:
new floors
white cabinet paint
backsplash makeover
 updated lights
and some farmhouse decor! 

That's the plan to make this kitchen into our own.
 Pop back in for the reveal next week!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

currently {october}

It's been so long, friends! And I think I'm finally ready to hop back into the blogging realm. This summer really has been wild and crazy (and I can't wait to share all the goodness with you!), but I'm also ready to hopefully get back to some of my roots. 

It wouldn't be a true homecoming without one of my beloved "currently" posts! Imagine we have at last put our schedules together and met at the same coffee shop for a much needed catch up! What would you share? What's new with you?

Here's what my half of the conversation might look like...

 -   S U R P R I S E D   B Y   -

We received the loveliest of surprises the day before Eliza's second birthday! I was contacted by one of our very favorite high end clothing brands called Matilda Jane! They create the most gorgeous patterns and clothing styles for babies, girls, and ladies. And they were contacting me to find out if we would be interested in traveling to Chicago the following weekend to have Eliza model for their newest line. 

Yes! It was crazy jaw dropping! To hear the full story, pop over to Expecting Eliza and read up! Amazing!

And of course, we said yes! It was a whirlwind trip to the Windy City and we had the most wonderful experience with Matilda Jane. My heart was so full with her complete acceptance there, especially after a hard season at home of family members electing to do the opposite. It was truly the reminder that we needed of how deeply incredible our gal was and that we would never back down for her well being. The idea that other little girls and their families will see my gal, with her braces, her walker, and her wheelchair, as a confident part of a nationally known brand is knock-my-socks-off awesome! I'm so proud to be this lady's mama!

Though our trip was in August, the new line just debuted at the beginning of October. I have had so.much.fun finding my gal on their varying sites, sporting the most beautiful clothes and an even more lovely smile!

Feel free to pop over Matilda Jane's website, Facebook page, or Instagram to search for our little gal!

 -  S O M E T H I N G    N E W  -

A big thing that I've been somewhat silent about on the blog until now...

We are homeschooling!

I can promise you that it was never ever ever my plan to be a homeschool mom. The idea of sending Jake to kindergarten this year actually provided me with a little relief as I try to balance Eliza's many needs and appointments. But God had a better plan.

Our boy is years ahead of what most five year olds are learning, and we've known (and been told) for quite sometime that kindergarten would be a complete miss for him. Instead, we've started second grade at home!

I definitely plan to do a follow up post on this topic specifically, as its been so a journey for us so far. But I can happily report that my kiddo is flying through curriculum, loving each day in the classroom, and generally, an overall joy to experience this with!

He was super proud of his ocean in a jar!

 -   O B S E S S E D   W I T H  - 

Our new plaaaaace!!

Y'all know the struggle I went through as we prepped, listed, and then quickly sold our beloved house at 110. It was emotional and devastating and the craziest of roller coasters. But as always, God's plan was greater (Just FYI, this is reoccurring life theme around my house. Sarah makes plans. God makes better ones.). I look around this beautiful place and am overwhelmed with thankfulness that He led us to the most perfect spot for our family!!

And with that, my creative juices are going wild! I've had an entire house to tackle, which is equal parts amazing and overwhelming. We are officially unpacked and mostly decorated. I'm tackling the big projects like light fixtures, cabinet remodels, etc, little by little and hope to have my current list completed by the end of the year.

Which means, its time to start sharing my design plans and the before and after photos here with you!! Get puuuuumped!

-   R E A D I N G   -

With all these new projects, lesson plans, and general craziness, I haven't had a lot of sit down time to relax. But I do have an Audible account and a set of headphones. I live by audio books!! Painting, driving, gardening, whatever! It all allows me to mellow out to my latest book and still soak up another world.

Since reading Secrets of A Charmed Life earlier this year, I've been devouring all of Susan Meissner's incredible historical fiction books. I can wholeheartedly recommend A Fall of Marigolds as well!
Heck, I recommend each one of these below!!

I just picked up Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Fingers crossed for another enchanting tale!

-    L O V E D   -

If you follow along on Instagram, you'll notice that we just got back from an especially fun vacation!

Walt Disney World!

Oh boy did we have a blast! Every moment was exciting and magical for my kiddos and just experiencing that with them was something J.B. and I will never forget. Jake rode rides and hugged characters to his heart's content, and Eliza basically ran the parks like a princess herself!
I hope to take them again someday when they're older, but we are so thankful for this fun family trip! It can be hard to make room in the budget or our schedule with many of Eliza's needs, but J.B. and I felt strongly that we needed to balance some "normal" family experiences in there as well. Wowza, are we ever glad that we did! So many amazing memories made.

-   P L A N N I N G   -

Fall!! It's been a ninety to nothing summer with no breaks. I'm planning on a low key fall with all the seasonal traditions - pumpkin patch, football games, mums, camping, Halloween...

We like to do a family photo session this time of year (which I love and everyone else in the family hates). And I'm enjoying the first official decorating season in our new digs. 

I'm in such a season of thankfulness in my own heart and it seems to match perfectly with this time of the year. We've had some downsides to 2017, but more so, we've been overwhelmingly provided for by a God that knows our needs better than we do.

-   H A P P E N I N G   N O W   -

Coordinating perfectly with the Matilda Jane goodness, October is a special month around these parts because it is also Spina Bifida Awareness Month. It's a specific time to remind folks what spina bifida is, what it really looks like, how horrid the abortion rates are for this diagnosis, how joyful and fun life is for these folks, and just overall high five all the people that love and invest in our gal.

I keep a blog that's more specific to Eliza's story with spina bifida (Expecting Eliza), and I'd love for you guys to check it out! She is one amazing kiddo!

So grateful for this time to catch up with you and looking forward to hopping back into my typical rhythm!
I can't wait to share more about our new place and the always creative happenings around our neck of the woods! 

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!