I’ve made a pact with myself that I am not going to start another blog post with an apology for the lack of a prior blog post. There is nothing to apologize for. I am still creating at about the same pace as I used to, I just choose to keep creating, instead of stopping to blog about it. I still haven’t figured out how to do it all and I have thoroughly embraced this season for what it is. The end of having my kids both home all day is way too close for my comfort and there is so much to be said for living this life, not talking about living life through a screen. Which brings me to my four month old project…that I love… :)
I’m in the thick of preparing my home for the market. (side note: should you, or someone you know, be looking for a home in San Antonio in June, mine will be turn-key ready!!) Staging my very personalized home is at the forefront of my mind. Given my own background in home staging, you’d think it’d be easy. But it’s still a struggle when it is your own space. That you love. With your babies faces smiling at you from every wall. :) I digress. But I do love pictures and they are all over!! I think the rule of thumb is, if they look like they belong in a magazine, leave them. If not, depersonalize, depersonalize, depersonalize. That being said, I am lightening and brightening everything. I am neutralizing. I am de-wrought-iron-ing (is that a word??) Regardless, early 2000’s wrought iron be gone. It’s not my style anymore and my bedroom (my, first furniture we ever purchased together, bedroom) needed a serious facelift. You may remember my old bedroom back when I talked about how to place a rug under a bed. Well, I physically could not look at the bed anymore. If I was doing it all over again, I’d NEVER buy a 5pc bedroom set. Never. The old me was matchy matchy. That was ten years ago. These days, the more imperfect, the more beautiful. But this darn furniture is so solid & such good quality that I just don’t have the heart to ditch it. Well, nor do I have the budget to replace it.
So I had to get creative.
I tossed around a ton of ideas as to how to cover up the space that was left empty after I removed the wrought iron (see 2nd picture below) & after consulting with my best design-y friends (thanks, Beth!!) trying a fabric covered panel, a wood panel, even a blank space, my bestie Nicole got my creative juices flowing. I have to give her credit. This was all her idea. I just executed. & gosh, I love it so much I kind of want to do a lighter, rustic, horizontal striped version for everett over an entire headboard! It was so easy. & so cheap. Here’s the scoop.
- 6- 12 packs of wood shims (that were $1.50/ea!)
- wood stain
- wood glue
- mounting whiteboard
- spray wax
- wood screws
- hand saw
- circular saw
HOW I DID IT:
- First, I measured the board to fit in the space. The precut wood was just shy of being tall enough to cover the open space, but perfect after I mounted in on another board. This made it nice & sturdy for mounting, too.
- Second, I laid the wood shims out in the pattern I wanted. Shims are thicker on one side than the other and have the most beautiful texture! Some pieces were broken or just poor quality, so I bought two extra packs to account for the duds. These are only meant to be functional, not pretty, so I had to be selective!
- Once I figured out how many I needed, I started to stain. I grouped them into thirds. Each set getting one, two or three coats of stain, so I could get a nice variation in color. I also stained the board I was mounting on, since I knew parts of it would show through.
- After the shims were stained, I laid them out and began securing them after I made sure they were perfectly centered and lined up top to bottom. The hardest part, for sure! I used a foam brush to paint on the glue, only because my bottle was plugged from the last time I used it!
- Once I got down to the little tiny corners, I used a hand saw to cut some smaller pieces to fit in. I tried to cut the shims with a shears, but they cracked. A little handsaw goes a long way. I did not cover the tiniest portion of the board. You can’t tell at all.
- Once the board was completely covered in my herringbone pattern, I watched a few youtube videos to finally conquer my fear of the circular saw. I knew this project wasn’t going to get done if I didn’t just do it myself, so it was time to learn! & I did it. In a dress, nonetheless. ;)
- Once it was trimmed, I applied a couple of coats of spray wax, let it air out for a good week, and then mounted it to the bed frame with my wood screws and I was done! (almost)
Part of my decision to keep this bed this color (I almost went crazy and painted all my furniture…thank goodness I didn’t) was how pretty the insert came out. I loved the texture & color variation that was missing from before. & who doesn’t love crisp, neutral bedding next to some pretty wood?!
The last step of this transformation was chopping off the foot board. I have this thing for foot boards. It’s my ultimate pet peeve to have bedding falling off the end of the bed & seeing as we only need a quilt a couple months out of the year, that duvet is mostly for decor. & I do love it, so it must stay. A foot board is a necessity. But, I wanted it to be a lower profile and I was SO surprised how hacking a foot off changed the entire feel of the room. It opened it up SO much! It complimented the bedding and diverted your eye. It drew you right to the headboard. I’m thrilled!
Now we have that darn couch that I refuse to get rid of because I know we’ll have the right place for it in our next home. For now, it lives there, but when we show the home, it will go into storage.
I made over this room on a major budget. I ended up getting a store credit for a massive Homegoods rug that fell apart and decided to do this whole thing using that gift card. Thus, beyond wood and paint, I was limiting myself to ONLY Homegoods for accents. I managed to grab the ikat pillows, sunburst mirror, six curtain panels (!!), lamps and new mirrors over the dresser for the value of the card. Score!!
I changed my “accent walls” (from this art, seen here) and framed out the window with a few mismatched frames I got several years ago for $6 on clearance at target. They were a fun size, but all different colors, so I greywashed them & put 5x7s in them. This one is actually an instagram that I blew up!
I replaced my “factory” dresser mirror a long time ago (you can see the “before” above in the IG images!) but after I painted, I needed something with more contrast since the paint was lighter. I found these amazing old “windows” turned mirrors at Homegoods, and there happened to be three, which was perfect! Eventually I want to replace the vase with sometthing made of reclaimed wood and some natural flowers. I’ll also replace the hardware on the dressers with some rustic pulls. I plan to remove the bottom drawer from each nightstand and replace it with a basket, to add some more visual appeal, too.
& speaking of paint color! I have seen this gorgeous chameleon of a color in several of my friends’ homes and absolutely loved it. If you aren’t yet acquainted with Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage, then give her a look. Is she grey? green? blue? She can’t decide. She looks completely different on every wall. I specifically did not run any actions on these images because I wanted to show you how different Silver Sage looks on each wall in this room. The color is just as dynamic in person as in these images. I just LOVE that about it! It even feels like it gets lighter in the morning and darker in the evening. I’m doing everything in my power not to paint my whole downstairs Silver Sage before we move…!! I had it color matched at Lowe’s. It’s beeeeeautiful!
& something to note–I took a picture of the herringbone pattern from both angles, because the texture is different depending upon the side you view it. I love that. But just expect this if you do this pattern on something!
I really think you could go crazy with this technique. Tables. Trays. Full headboards. Shims come in several sizes, and the combination of wood stains is endless. I can’t wait to do it again, a little differently!
Hello friends! I have so many comments to moderate and so many things to share, but my little people sure do need me right now. I know that I am going to be sending them both out the door to school before I know it, thus, I am cherishing this time with them.
I know, I know. Same old story. It’s true. My real life is getting my energy. Not my Internet life. Happy. Sad. (but mostly happy.) :)
I just want to alert you to a new stylebabyLOG update. With all of our major life changes ahead, I am streamlining some of my business practices. One of the decisions is to suspend International shipping of the stylebabyLOG. This may not be forever, but for at least the next year, I will only be shipping stylebabyLOGs to Domestic United States and APO addresses. A trip to the post office and customs paperwork may not seem like a big deal, but it takes away valuable time from my kids (and stresses me out!) every week. During this season, it’s just something that I need to take off my full plate. Thank you for understanding.
Should you wish to place one last International order, you may purchase here until Noon CST on Thursday, October 10, 2013. I will be making one last trip to the post office this week.
Thank you, again, for your incredible support of my business. I wish all you organized mamas lots & lots of SLEEP!
Hey local friends–we are in for such a treat!! I have talked the amazingly talented Gina Zeidler into a trip south for a live in session with me…and she’s added some mini sessions so you can all enjoy the gift of her talents too! She’ll be here in November and will have mini-session images ready in plenty of time for your holiday cards. :) She is incredible–modern, vibrant, authentic. You know I won’t just recommend anyone. She’s only got a few spots left and I am sure they’ll be booked in no time–so hop on over to her blog for details. She’s got her current availability listed too–and the list was empty 48h ago. So if you are interested in this special opportunity (I know you’re always asking me for local photog referrals!!)–you’ll want to book quickly!
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Yes, I fully realize that as I sit here & share this, I still have not finished everett’s first birthday images. Poor, sweet second child. I’ll share soon enough, but my first baby just turned FOUR! (sad!!) & we wanted to do a little something different for her this year. :)
My husband and I have decided that as we raise our children we want to make their holidays and birthdays about experiences, not stuff. Kids have enough stuff and birthdays, to us, don’t mean the accumulation of more junk. What do kids really NEED anyway? I have one answer to that question: BOOKS and FUN. Well, babies and blocks and trucks and crayons too, but mostly, BOOKS. & some fun as a family. At least in our household. So what we decided to do for caroline’s fourth birthday is to each give her some precious one on one time (in the form of a new experience) with each of us AND change it up at her birthday celebration.
My little bookworm started to read last spring, so we are constantly encouraging her love of learning through flipping pages. So how best to share our love of reading with our friends and nix the birthday junk? Enter The Birthday Book Swap! In lieu of gifts, we decided to ask each of our little party guests bring their very favorite book, wrapped. We asked for one for each child attending the party, so no one was left out. I bought a couple of our favorites to add to the swap and after cupcakes we confused all the kids royally, by handing them a gift. :) Each child opened a brand new book to take home and so did we! There were a couple of last minute adjustments (as a couple of kids got books they already had, so we swapped those out, WHEW for extras!) but overall, I’d say it was pretty successful! I went home with a couple of great new books and NO JUNK. Win Win! Cloudette (by one of my favorite illustrators) is a new fave. :)
On my continuing quest to ban the junk, we opted for these AMAZING Kiwi Crate Party Favors to send home with our guests. Again, gifting an experience! I had no idea these were part of what Kiwi Crate had to offer–but when they offered to send me some wings I jumped–because we adore all things Kiwi. & I kid you not, by the end of the day nearly every single guest of mine sent me a picture of their kids in the wings that they made together. They were a MAJOR hit. Totally better than a bag of junk.
I took my sweet girl to her first yoga class–so so fun. We do yoga together almost every day, but this was her first studio experience. She was smitten! We had a blast. I hope we can do this together for many, many years to come! :) Lisa teaches a great kids class at San Antonio Yoga Center, for you locals!
For her real birthday, my sweet girl requested a trip to the Children’s Museum and a sweet treat at her faaaaaavorite place, Bird Bakery. I surprised her with a special mini cake in her favorite color. We LOVE Bird! It’s the cutest place in San Antonio. It’s a good thing I don’t live closer. ;)
Those baby blues take the cake…
Ah, so much fun. Now hopefully I can share some of the fun BOY details from everett’s first birthday soon…seven months later. HA! :)
Hope you are having a great back-to-school week!
I purchased ours on Amazon for $20 each, here: Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for Kids. I also have the Belkin RockStar 5 Way Splitter–(each listener gets sound in BOTH ears!)-so we can all enjoy the same movie on the plane. I have each kiddo’s iPad loaded with different movies since neither of theirs can hold all of the movies in our library. For more on our mini iPads and the cases above, see The Best Mini iPad Case for Kids.
Seriously, the only headphones my kids have ever kept on, and we’ve tried a bunch!
I purchased my cases for about $20 each on Amazon, here: The i-Blason ArmorBox Kido series for apple iPad Mini.
& a note on the iPads:
My parents bought these for my kids as a gift and I wasn’t sure how we were going to like/use them. We use them every so often right now as I put major limits on my kids’ screen time. Everett (18 months) isn’t really into his at all. I use it as my Kindle more than he ever has–it’s the perfect size! I’m sure someday he’ll enjoy it as much as his sister.
Caroline (4 years, as of last week!) uses hers mostly for her Pandora station, which she sometimes gets to listen to during quiet time. I set up a Pandora station with all the Disney songs and she’s in heaven. :) I also created a gmail account and added iMessaging to her iPad–which has been this device’s biggest [smashing] success yet. Since we have no local family, she keeps in touch with our loved ones using her iPad. I enabled the emoji keyboard for her and she sends emojis, pictures and all the words she knows how to spell. I am so impressed at how she has used the keyboard to advance her spelling skills. She is curious and interested (asks me how to spell things and remembers!) and there is definitely some value in learning to spell and read words that help her communicate. She has started reading and those skills are translating into her messages to our family–it’s so neat!!! I do have a couple of movies on hers and her favorite [only] TV show, Team Umizoomi. She’s not a huge app lover right now, but we have nearly everything from Montessorium and Duck Duck Moose. I don’t like junk apps, even if they are free, so I try to only have mentally stimulating apps for her to play with. Nook also has a kids ebook app, where you can get digital versions of some of the classics/our favorites. It’s pretty fun! Though nothing beats the library. :)
Oh, and I created their home screens using the BubbleFrame App. Super fun!
More on the awesome & totally useful headphones next!
You know, every time I log on to Facebook I’m reminded of exactly why I very intentionally have signed off. It’s just not the healthiest place for me to be. It serves its purpose of staying connected and picture sharing with loved ones far away, but is best kept as a very limited part of my life.
Several days ago I shared this article about the drug-free birth of Kate Middleton. I was, and still am, thrilled at the media attention this might stir up for those of us who are passionate about drug-free birthing. It is always great to normalize what some people consider an “out there” choice. But…some nastiness arose. Now, those of you who read my blog have come to know where I stand on a lot of topics and know the tone I bring here. I welcome other opinions and love sharing for the sake of learning but I will never tolerate judgment or negativity.
But I got to thinking about what happened and what the core of the problem really is and I’ve come up with a question that solves my own question. If that makes any sense at all. & that question is:
Why do we share information?
At the heart of most internet conflicts, I think this question is of paramount importance.
What is the intention of the writer?
Now here, I share to inspire. I share because I am passionate. I share because I want to help you or encourage you, by giving you insight or tools or new ways to solve problems. A different way to think, based on experiences I have had or things I have done or made.
When I write anything here I make a very deliberate choice to share the positive perspective. For example, “I like green.” I don’t say that I hate red and red makes me angry and I’d really not care to ever look at it again (partially true, but I digress). I choose to share that I like green. That I like green because…blah blah blah. Taking the positive perspective completely sets the tone of the discussion. My intention is never to say I like green and you should too. And if you don’t you are wrong and further, you should feel bad because you like red and I don’t. Such a simple analogy, but it is exactly what happened over on my styleberry facebook page. & it makes me just want to shut it down because I just don’t like the internet behavior sometimes–I give respect and expect it back. I have good intentions.
But I’ve learned, not all women are like me. & I am pretty naive if I think that this kind of courtesy is the norm. It is probably not their fault–there are a lot of places on the internet where you can find judgment and criticism and nastiness. My site is not one of those, and never will be.
If I have learned anything since I have tried to figure out how to minimally incorporate facebook into my life (both personally and professionally) it’s to ask myself this question again & again: Why do I share information?
On my blog, as stated above, it’s easy to share because I know exactly what I aim to do with the content. My styleberry page is no different than my blog, I share to educate, inspire, inform etc. & that is that. You’ll notice I’ve dropped off managing it a bit because the conflict that arises is just not worth my energy. I’m fairly certain that a lot of people over there never come here. & that is fine, but I hold myself & those around me (and those on styleberryBLOG and the styleberry facebook page) to standards and I will not compromise them. We will be kind and supportive and helpful. Period.
So maybe this is a learning experience for all of us. I’ll think even more before I share stuff. Personally and professionally, and decide what it is, exactly, I would like in return for what I share. I also know that I cannot control how my well intentioned information is going to be received, and that is part of what I have to expect when I choose to share so much. So if you’re with me in this well intentioned journey, I am thrilled to have you. :) The internet just needs to be a nicer place. Dammit.
& then, moments after I finished this article, I read this one: I support you. EXACTLY. As it applies to any mommy topic. Enjoy. :)
Images from a recent trip to the amazing San Antonio Botanical Gardens, my favorite place in the city!
School notices are coming in the mail and it’s hard to believe that summer is winding down (wahh!!) but it is! Time for a gut check. Can you put your phone down more & play with your kids? We’ve only got a few more weeks. I’m up for the challenge. Are you with me? I have been trying very hard this summer to just BE with my kiddies. Their behavior is SO much better when I choose to put my phone down.
Here are a few of the things that I have been trying hard to implement during the last few weeks:
- No instagramming while the kids are awake. Take pictures? Sure. But nothing gets uploaded until naptime or bedtime.
- No facebook on my iPhone. Period. FB checking allowed at naptime/bedtime. Limit status updates to 2/3 times per week to cut down on notifications/checking.
- No facebook inbox. I recently shared that I would not be checking my FB messages & wrote in my profile to contact me by email. I will log on once a week or so to see if there is something pressing or if that is the only way I can communicate with someone I care about, but beyond that, I’m free of that obligation.
- Lock my phone in the locker at the gym. I try to do this if I am not expecting any important phone calls/messages–those close to me know exactly when I am there so they can call the gym if there is an emergency. I will get it out if we are heading to the pool and I might have a photo op.
- Texts get returned when no one needs me. I try very hard to ignore them (turn off sound) and they do pile up. Then I will respond when I can. I treat it more like email than instant messaging. It doesn’t need to be instant!
So tell me your tricks? How are you successfully turning away from technology this summer? Surely you’ve done something smart that I need to know about! Please share! I am always looking for new & encouraging ways to break the screen addiction!