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our bucket list. {summer 2015}

it’s three weeks until summer vacation, and i. cannot. wait. sure, i’ve only been back at this whole big-girl-job thing for nearly two months since welcoming baby Q, but something about the increasing temperatures, the sunshine that greets us as we wake in the morning {in the words of L, “it’s the sunshine, Mama! it’s wake-up time!”}, and the two giggly boys that fill up my heart make me ache for the months to come.

Swimming L - June 2014

{our little fish, last summer}

so, in that spirit, here’s a summer bucket list of sorts – a list of activities that i can’t wait to share with the kiddos this summer:

  • go to the swimming pool and the splash park. i can’t wait to see how much L has grown since our trip to the pool last year on his second birthday, and i am SO excited to get Q all wet and see what he thinks! there’s also a splash park that we tried out last summer that was a big hit with L. we’re on the hunt for a kiddie pool for our yard as well; last year’s pool has since bit the dust. we’re also on the lookout for a float or ring for Q to wear in the water – any recommendations?!
  • visit the downtown Farmer’s Market. in our town, it happens every Saturday morning from May to October – i think that L will love to see all of the fruits and veggies, and i KNOW i’ll love treating myself to some farm-fresh flowers every once in awhile :)
  • storytime. various businesses downtown have storytime for littles once or twice a month, and i know that L would have a blast listening to stories with other kiddos.
  • go to the zoo, of course! we have a family membership, and i plan to get A LOT of mileage out of that activity this summer. we’re also planning our yearly family trip to the Omaha Zoo, one of our favorite destinations – it’ll be Q’s first time visiting!
  • introduce Q to the world of food. he’ll start with rice cereal on May 15! #timeflies
  • play hopscotch. L loves jumping {and he finally leaves the ground when he jumps!} so this will be a fun driveway game.
  • have a bubble bath for cars. L has a million cars already, i swear, and he loves taking baths, so he’ll love giving his cars a bath, too!
  • go to the park. we’re so lucky to live just a few blocks away from a park {complete with a small baseball field, which my sports-loving toddler just adores}, so we’ll be spending many an hour there.
  • attend daytime summer camp at our local Montessori school. L went for a week of summer camp last summer and LOVED it, so we plan to send him to five weeks’ worth of camp this summer! i’m so excited for him to learn all about careers {he’ll even get to meet a firefighter – his DREAM}, about transportation {and meet a train conductor!}, about alternative sports like karate and yoga, about sea creatures, and about cooking! i’m also excited for some solo time with Q those weeks – our youngest is growing up so fast!
  • eat popsicles. YUM.
  • fly a kite. L’s never done this before, but i think he’ll love it!
  • go boating. the boys’ grandpa has a speedboat, and L loves to ride around in the boat at our local lake! i’m not sure that Q will go this year, though – i’d rather him be a bit older.
  • go on a picnic. last year, L and i ate lunch outside on our deck, and he thought it was so cool to eat somewhere other than the kitchen table {“Mama, we eat outside!”}, so we’ll have to do that again.
  • blow bubbles. this is one of L’s very favorite activities, but i rarely allow it to happen indoors {ewww sticky bubble solution!}. but the nicer weather will allow us to have many a bubble-blowing adventure.
  • visit the library. summer is the perfect time to renew our library membership!
  • garden. as i mentioned here, we’d love to tackle planting our first-ever garden this summer, and i know that L will love to help with that!
  • work on riding a bike. L has a balance bike, and he’s been a bit hesitant to leave behind his beloved trike and try out the bike. but, he’s a whole year older this summer, so we’re hoping his bike-riding days are on the horizon.
  • do anything and everything sports-related. L loves to play any and all sports, so we’ll be playing catch and dunking basketballs and kicking soccer balls and swatting golf balls all summer long.
  • go on a walk in a local nature area. there are so many cool trails and nature areas in our town – i’d love to take L and Q for a walk! i’ll be sure to bring the stroller :)
  • go camping…even if it’s just in our backyard.
  • go out for ice cream, or buy ice cream from the ice cream truck. whenever we drive by the local ice cream shop, L always wants to stop, so he’ll be excited to actually do so when the shop opens come summer. there’s also a sing-songy ice cream truck that drives through our neighborhood periodically – i’d love to show L what it means to grab our dollars and run for the door when the song starts playing :)
  • watch Daddy play softball every Wednesday night. we’re also hoping that we can take L to see his very first Major League Baseball game this summer, too!
  • play play-doh.
  • play dominos. L loves to count the dots on them, and if i’m not watching him closely, he’ll hide them all over the house…
  • work on potty training. WISH ME LUCK.
  • weekly movie nights in Mama’s bed. every Tuesday night, L and Q and i watch a movie in the big bed while Daddy does his podcast. L so looks forward to this weekly tradition, so we’ll keep it going this summer. a recent favorite of L’s: Mulan. :)
  • make a car out of a box and paper plates, a la this from Not Just a Housewife
  • make airplane art, via Blippi
  • create paintings on canvas. i have a few bare walls and a few canvases lying around that i’m sure L would love to paint!
  • take family naps. oh, how i love taking afternoon naps with both of my boys snuggled in close…

i’m sure that i’m forgetting something…what are YOU doing with your kiddos this summer?

listy mclisterson update {january 2015}.

hi all! i think it’s time for another look at our good ol’ house to-do list, which, a la the Petersiks of Young House Love, we call our Listy McListerson!

the short version: the biggest changes on the list come in the form of L + Q’s shared bedroom, which is 99% complete – see their room over on the Tiny Prints blog here – and our lower level, which has undergone a major transformation in the past two weeks: the walls have a fresh coat of paint! i’m working on a reveal, so stay tuned.

Main Floor - Floor Plan - Original Paint Colors

hang on tight – here we go!

overall look + layout of our home

– install crown molding in all rooms

– replace standard light fixtures/fans in all rooms in favor of lanterns and chandeliers

– eventually install hardwood floors in common areas, and install tile {slate?} in kitchen + bathrooms

– eventually add a fourth bedroom in the lower level by closing off part of the large family room; resulting family room space will become more of a den/study

– eventually repaint exterior of house in grey with white trim

garage

– add some nice hardware to the garage doors to beef them up {like this}

– eventually replace garage doors with ones with windows/molding/character

outdoors

front yard

– add a few planters in front of the garage

– paint the exterior entry door{s} to the garage {Blue Lake}

– paint the storm door {white?} when we repaint the house

side/back yard

– build a pergola over stained concrete patio

– add Adirondack chairs in a fun color {red? coral?} to the concrete patio space

– DIY a sandbox for Lionel and Quincy

– add potted tall grasses around perimeter of deck for privacy {multiple planters? one long bench-like planter?}

– plant lilacs

– plant a food garden

– when we repaint the house, refinish the back deck in a light grey color; modernize/replace deck posts {metal?}

entry way

– add a bold stencil/wallpaper treatment

repaint the front door and garage entry door – lesson learned: i should have sanded the doors first, or used a high-adhesion primer!

– eventually add a fun lantern or chandelier

– add hooks for coats, art

kitchen

– paint

– paint a chalkboard wall in the eat-in area of the kitchen

– spray paint {Mint? Coral? White?} and hang empty frames on chalkboard wall {write notes, quotes inside}; also add upside down drawer pulls to hold chalk; also draw a family calendar on the chalkboard wall

– add curtains/blinds of some sort to sliding glass door for privacy

– find a cute vintage cake stand and use it to hold soaps/scrubbers beside sink in the kitchen

– add kitchen chairs in different, fun pops of color

– add art, decorator items above cabinets

– eventually replace the sliding glass door with double French doors {unpaned} or a Dutch door

– eventually add a farmhouse sink

– eventually install tile flooring {slate?} in a neutral tone {dark grey?}

– eventually install subway tile in a neutral tone above counters {white with dark grout?}

– eventually paint/upgrade to white cabinets {or a tuxedo kitchen, with white upper cabinets and darker {navy, gray, etc.} lower cabinets?}

– eventually take down some upper cabinetry to try out open shelving?

– eventually upgrade appliances

hallways + stairways

– add more frames + art to gallery wall at the end of the hallway

– add decorator items in lighted nook above the upstairs hallway

– organize upstairs hallway closet: main use for upstairs hallway closet = linens and board games

living room {upstairs}

– paint

– add safety gate to stairway before Q is crawling {find a style that doesn’t damage the banister and/or is visually pleasing}

– add an area rug

– add curtains

– mount the television on the wall

– conceal television cords behind the wall

– add a faux fireplace mantle?

bathrooms

upstairs

– touch up paint in both bathrooms {upstairs is painted a terracotta color, while the downstairs bathroom is charcoal grey}

– paint {Hale Navy}

– add white beadboard to walls {make sure to use bathroom-safe beadboard + adhesive made for damp spaces}

– replace white waffle weave shower curtain in upstairs bathroom with a ceiling height curtain

– update linens

– add art

– remove builder-grade mirror in upstairs bathroom and hang heavy black mirror horizontally in its place {dry-brush white after painting the walls?}

– eventually replace shower and tub in upstairs bathroom with a stand-alone tub

– eventually tile the entire back wall {behind the new tub upstairs}

– replace vanity in bathroom {repurpose vintage dressers? purchase a modern vanity from IKEA? DIY a rustic vanity, like this?}

– install double sinks

– install tile flooring {slate?} in a neutral tone {grey?}

– install new lighting {pot lights above the tub + lantern/chandelier?}

downstairs

– touch up paint in both bathrooms {upstairs is painted a terracotta color, while the downstairs bathroom is charcoal grey}

– purchase hand towels

– add art

– replace vanity and sink in bathroom {repurpose vintage dressers? purchase a modern vanity from IKEA? DIY a rustic vanity, like this?}

– install a tiled {grey penny tile?}, walk-in shower

master bedroom {upstairs}

– paint {indigo}

– Craigslist/sell IKEA Hemnes bed + replace with a DIY headboard

– add accent pillows {i moved our existing pillows to our living areas!}

– add end table on Jord’s side of the bed {i moved our gold Target purchase to our upstairs living room!}

– remove and Craigslist/sell the ceiling fan; add a chandelier

– purchase a vintage dresser in a fun pop of color

– add a closet organizational system or additional dresser storage {my grandmother gifted my mom an antique bedroom set that includes a small three-drawer dresser…perhaps have it refinished?}

– create a baby nook for Quincy

– eventually purchase king-sized linens for better draping/coverage of our queen-sized bed {much like Young House Love did here}

L and Q’s bedroom {upstairs}

– remove and Craigslist/sell the ceiling fan; add a warehouse-inspired light fixture

– add vinyl decals (triangles?) to one wall to create a focal wall in the room

purchase/make + hang new artwork

– paint little wooden rocker as well as a twin bed for L {one of two identical bed frames!} that we inherited from my Mom’s younger days {!!!}

– personalize L’s bed with a monogram {wood? vinyl decal?}

– purchase fabric to DIY a crib sheet in a fun punch of color {ikat, like this?}

– DIY a bed rail for L’s bed {we’ve been using pool noodles like this, and they’ve been working wonderfully!}

– purchase twin mattresses, bedding, sheets + accent pillows/blanket for L’s big boy bed

– build + hang wood shelving on either side of the window {2-3 shelves per side} for additional storage

– purchase + hang curtains

– add storage to the closet {2×4 Expedit? additional clothing rod?}

– eventually paint + bring in other twin bed frame {identical to L’s current bed frame} for Q, when he’s older

Basement - Floor Plan - Original Paint Colors

family room {downstairs}

– paint

– bring in TV {at least 55″}

– add a wood accent wall behind TV {like this}

– add a vintage sideboard/buffet/credenza {with doors for DVD/toy storage} under TV {repurpose 2×4 black/brown Expedit in boys’ closet for storage?}

– add large area rugs in living space and in playroom nook

– add graphic curtains, art {there’s still a few bare walls that we’re working on!}

– add playroom area for L and Q, complete with a reading nook

laundry room {downstairs}

– move the water heater to the furnace wall

– add drywall

– enclose the water heater, furnace and electrical panel in a closet with ventilated doors

– tile the wall above the washer and dryer {white subway tile?}

– DIY, stain + hang open shelving above washer and dryer to hold laundry soaps, baskets, etc.; use large brackets spray-painted gold!

– add a folding shelf made of MDF {DIY a faux bois counter, like this}

– paint the floor {use Valspar Oil Porch & Floor Paint}

– add shelving for paint storage {like this}

– eventually replace washer and dryer for a top-loader washer + steam dryer; place washer in a water-safe metal tray

 

third bedroom {downstairs} – remember, this space will likely serve as a guest bedroom/be in flux until it becomes L’s big boy room!

– paint

– bring in full bed, which is currently housed at my parents’ house

– DIY a wall ‘o shelves

crunch time’s a-coming! {boys’ shared bedroom + baby haven}

i’m back again with yet another update on the boys’ shared bedroom – the room is {almost} ready!

as a reminder, here’s the overall look that we’re going for in the boys’ shared bedroom:

Lionel-Baby-Shared-Bedroom

and now, here’s our updated to-do list:

1. take down the ceiling fan.

2. paint the ceiling {in Benjamin Moore’s Lacey Pearl} and touch up paint on the walls.

3. hang the warehouse light fixture.

4. install DIY custom shelving flanking the window in the room {two wooden shelves – stained grey – on each side of the window, hung with hefty, exposed black brackets}.

5. order two monogram pillows and a metal photo print, courtesy of Tiny Prints.

6. order the rug {pictured above on the left side of the inspiration board, from Urban Outfitters}, as well as a few knick-knacks for the boys’ shelves that i’ve been coveting on Etsy :)

7. print and frame some custom artwork that i made for the boys’ room, as well as a piece of printable artwork that i purchased from Etsy {we’re about halfway through this process, hence the half-checked-off text}.

8. pick up the repainted bed frame, the repainted Moses basket stand, the DIY Moses basket bedding, the DIY changing pad cover, and the repainted rocking chairs from my parents’ house.

9. hang the curtain rod + curtains, hang the artwork and vinyl decals, and dress L’s bed and baby’s crib – really, this is the time to decorate our hearts out!

the triangle vinyl decals {from this Etsy seller} look outstanding in the room, but my favorite moment happened when L walked into his room after i hung the decals. as soon as he saw them on the wall, he said, “Look at all the triangles!” and instantly wanted to touch them :) he loves them!

the biggest room-maker, though, has been the custom shelving. my engineer brother worked VERY hard late into the night to hang these shelves for us – we’re so grateful! we hung two shelves on each side flanking the window. plus, i’ve officially put away my drill and hammer as well – all of the wall decor in the boys’ shared bedroom is in place!

we also were able to dress L’s bed and officially start the move to the big boy bed this past week. {the bed transition has been a journey in itself, and i promise you a post on that process soon!} his bedding looks adorable; he especially loves picking out the trucks and the cars on his bed sheets and naming the colors of each one that he sees! baby boy no. 2’s crib bedding should be shipping soon from this Etsy seller – i can’t WAIT to see how it looks in the room!

my Mom also spent some quality time with her sewing machine over the past week or so, and the Moses basket bedding and changing pad covers are nearly done and looking OUTSTANDING! all that’s left is to pick up a few last-minute items from the fabric store to finish out the bedding, and then we’ll officially be ready to embark on decorating the baby’s “haven” in our master bedroom, which is what we’re calling the {one!} wall of space that baby no. 2 will have in our bedroom for the majority of his first year.

also happening in the “haven” – on another visit to our home, my brother built our Raskog cart from IKEA, our non-permanent storage solution for diapers and other baby necessities while Baby Boy lives in our bedroom – the fun turquoise color looks great with our indigo walls in the master bedroom, and the cart is fully stocked with cloth diapers in anticipation of baby’s arrival! i’m still collecting artwork and other items to hang on the wall above baby’s “haven,” but i hope to get started on the hanging process very soon – i can’t believe that in five-and-a-half short weeks, we’ll have another boy in our home!

in other news, we’ve decided to ditch the fun geometric rug from Urban Outfitters – the original plan was to put it in the boys’ room, but after arranging the furniture in the room, there wasn’t enough open floor space for the rug to make an impact. so, we thought about moving the rug into our bedroom, but the scale is just too small for the open floor space that we have in there, so back to the store it goes!

what projects are you working on around your home?

{mood board} a haven for baby in our bedroom.

as i mentioned here, Baby Boy will be spending the first part of his life in our master bedroom, for a variety of reasons, the main one being that we don’t want to disturb L’s sleeping patterns {we’ll try as hard as possible to avoid doing so, anyway}. i also will be breastfeeding {click here and here to read more about my experience nursing L}, so having Baby Boy close by during the night will certainly ease that process. while we bed-shared with L, we wanted to try to avoid doing that this time, since our bed is SO much more comfortable with just two of us in it {a well-rested parent = nirvana}.

so, with all of that in mind, i started planning a little “haven” in our master bedroom for Baby Boy. after my mom gifted us a Moses basket and stand, the design process became much more clear. here’s a taste of the little space that we’re hoping to create for Baby Boy in the next seven-and-a-half {!!} weeks:

Baby's-Haven-Master-Bedroom

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

1. This adorable snail pillow is already in my possession, and I chose a kelly green color with a natural background – it’s so adorable! i’ve ordered twice from this shop, and all of my goodies have been delightful!

2. This photo, as well as item no. 6 at the bottom of the inspiration board, are the first images that i came across when looking for a “haven” in Mama and Daddy’s room. i love how different they are, and i love how each of the spaces are full of personality, which, to me, is what a baby/kiddo space should be!

3. i mentioned here that i had finally decided on a piece of movable, non-permanent storage for baby items in our room. without further ado, i’d like to introduce…the IKEA Raskog! many a blogger are professed fans of this utility cart {just one Pinterest search will reveal this}, and i can’t wait to put this puppy to use in our bedroom. picture it full of adorable cloth diapers {more on that in a little bit} and other baby necessities!

4. i originally purchased this rug for the boys’ shared bedroom, but after arranging the furniture in their room, i didn’t feel as though it would pack as much punch in their small space. so, to our bedroom it goes! i can’t wait to see it paired up with our bedding and the moody indigo color of our walls!

5. this fabric is not pink. I REPEAT: THIS FABRIC IS NOT PINK. it’s actually a white fabric base with ivory arrow head pattern on top, and this is what Baby Boy’s bedding for the Moses basket will be made of. my Mom is sewing a liner and a few sheets for the basket, and she’s also sewing a changing pad cover out of this fabric. i chose this because it’s neutral {meaning that it fits with our decor in our master bedroom – i didn’t want anything that would compete with the patterns that we already have going on in the room} and because it’s geometric, but subtle, which is a look that i’m really, really digging lately.

6. as i said above when discussing photo no. 2, i love, love, LOVE the personal touches of this little baby nook! i hope to echo some of that in our baby’s haven as well.

7. i couldn’t resist showcasing a picture of a Fuzzibunz cloth diaper, of which we have many in our stash. we hope to add some BumGenius cloth diapers to our collection as well in the near future, but aren’t these so adorable?! we loved them with L until he was about 18 months old {then he became a heavy wetter}, so we’re hoping that they work for Baby Boy for quite some time, too.

8. like the photo above, the Moses basket that my Mom gave to us is natural in color, and she is repainting the stand white {specifically in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, my favorite white/cream}. the baby’s bedding will not be elephant-themed, as shown in the photo, but will feature the fabric pictured above {see no. 5}. again, i promise: the fabric is NOT pink – the picture is misleading!

*one feature of the nook that isn’t pictured is an adorable canvas sign {which hails from Hobby Lobby} that says “i love you to the moon and back,” which you’ve seen before in this photo of yore from our master bedroom {and uffda, we owe you an updated tour of our bedroom – i’ll get on that!}:

Master-Bedroom-Dresser-Close-Up

we plan to bring that canvas back in and hang it above where the Moses basket will sit {most of the time, at least}.

apart from the items pictured above, i can’t wait to add some personal touches {such as some Lionel art and possibly a few framed baby photos of Jord and i, of L, and of Baby Boy himself, after he’s born} that will remain a surprise until we do the big reveal. once we finish up the last remaining to-do’s on the boys’ shared bedroom, we’ll get started on the baby’s haven – i can’t wait! you know i’ll keep you posted :)

{boys’ shared bedroom} nearing the finish line.

i’m back again with yet another update on the boys’ shared bedroom, and this one is exciting, since we’re nearing the end of the ol’ to-do list!

take a look:

1. take down the ceiling fan.

2. paint the ceiling {in Benjamin Moore’s Lacey Pearl} and touch up paint on the walls.

3. hang the warehouse light fixture.

4. install DIY custom shelving flanking the window in the room {two wooden shelves – stained grey – on each side of the window, hung with hefty, exposed black brackets}.

5. order two monogram pillows and a metal photo print, courtesy of Tiny Prints.

6. order the rug {pictured above on the left side of the inspiration board, from Urban Outfitters}, as well as a few knick-knacks for the boys’ shelves that i’ve been coveting on Etsy :)

7. print and frame some custom artwork that i made for the boys’ room, as well as a piece of printable artwork that i purchased from Etsy {we’re about halfway through this process, hence the half-checked-off text}.

8. pick up the repainted bed frame, the repainted Moses basket stand, the DIY Moses basket bedding, the DIY changing pad cover, and the repainted rocking chairs from my parents’ house.

9. hang the curtain rod + curtains, hang the artwork and vinyl decals, and dress the beds – really, this is the time to decorate our hearts out!

so, in case you can’t tell above, the room now is full of art! i hung up all of the artwork in the room this past Friday evening {and i’m SO pleased with how it turned out!}. i plan to install the triangle vinyl decals {from this Etsy seller} this upcoming weekend; they recommend waiting 30 days after touching up the paint in some areas of the room, so i’ve been anxiously counting down the days until i can install them – i can’t wait to see what they look like! along with the custom shelving {see no. 4 above}, which i’ve recruited my engineer brother to do for us, i still have a few more odds and ends to install {little animal hooks to hold coats/sweatshirts and adorable little felt bunting} before i can put away my drill and hammer, but the room is coming along so, so well!

we also officially have L’s big boy bed {and mattresses!} – the bed has been painted {thanks Mom!}, poly’d {thanks Jord!} and installed in the room. i picked up this comforter a few months ago, and just this past week, L and i took another trip to Target to get a big boy bed pillow for him. we also ordered a waterproof mattress pad for his bed from Amazon {it’s this one, if you’re curious}. up next: we have a little sanding to do {after the poly on the bed sets for a few days}. we’re also waiting on L’s sheets {this cute set from Target} to arrive via mail this week. then we’ll finally be able to dress L’s bed and officially start the move to the big boy bed! and, baby boy no. 2’s crib bedding should be shipping soon from this Etsy seller – i can’t WAIT to see how it looks in the room!

we also have to hang some items and add some charm to the baby’s “haven” in our master bedroom, which is what we’re calling the {one!} wall of space that baby no. 2 will have in our bedroom for the majority of his first year. as a reminder, we plan to have Baby Boy sleep in our bedroom in the Moses basket until he outgrows it or until he is ready to be moved to the crib in the boys’ shared bedroom; we don’t want to disrupt L’s sleep patterns too much, if we can avoid it.

in terms of actual to-do’s for the baby’s “haven,” i have one large piece of artwork to hang over the space where the Moses basket will sit, and i’m still in collection mode for a few other items to add personality to the wall space above his little “haven.” i also finally decided on a movable/non-permanent mode of storage for baby items that we’ll want to keep in our room, particularly the many diaper change-related goodies like disposable and cloth diapers, wipes and lotions/creams. what’s great about this storage piece is that it A) will be easy to keep clean, and B) will also be able to contain a bit of closed storage as well via storage boxes; i think that these will come in handy for other necessities that baby and i may need {for breastfeeding in particular}. i can’t wait to reveal this item once my messenger gets it home – hint: it’s not sold around here! :)

what projects are you working on around your home?