Conrad loves animals, so we headed to a zoo in Madison! It was a great little (free!) zoo that was BUSY, haha. Lots and lots of families in Madison and I think every single one was at the zoo with us. It seems to be a happy little place and we loved how intimate it was. Haha, James and I did laugh at ourselves as even smallish Madison felt hectic and busy to us….what happened?!?! We hit a co-op grocery store and picked up treats that are harder to get closer to home. It was a good day!

Thank you to everyone for Conrad’s birthday wishes! He had a great day! His favorites were: prairie dogs (he laughed so earnestly at them, that I noticed it made other kids smile and laugh too), bison, and the american alligator (visited the alligator twice and spent a good half hour total just hanging out here). We took a carousel ride as a family for the first time and while Natalie LOVED it, Conrad seemed quite serious about it….haha, maybe next time. Onto the photos!

I have to make a lot of posters this week and get ready for volunteering at the Fun Fair at Natalie’s school on Friday and then Saturday, we host our family party! Busy week ahead! Happy Monday and Happy Leap Day!


Stenciling is fun!

Well, once you figure out how to avoid the paint bleeding underneath the stencil and whatnot! I picked up some thick chalk paint and got to work. I’ve had this stencil for years and I’m finally putting it to some use! I’ll put in another stencil under the other window and then we’ll see if I want to do any more. It’s quite time consuming, but I’m really happy with how it looks!

I have yet to paint the trim and window in the final coat, but that’s only because I need to hit the store and pick up some more! Curtains and free curtain rods to come! Here it is so far:

(always assume there will be a before…haha)

Conrad is four!

Four years ago today, we welcomed Conrad. It was nerve wracking and exciting and lovely, all rolled into one! He came out with a full head of hair and weighed a whopping 8lbs 8oz (huge compared to our little bug, Natalie at 5lbs 13oz). His first word was Nat and his love for her is as solid as ever. Happy Birthday, Conrad!

Our big boy!


We’re spending the day in Madison! Pictures to come!

My favorite free project yet!!

I absolutely hate the cheap bracket style curtain rods that were left here by the previous owner – they’ve served us in the interim, but I wanted to swap them out. Unfortunately, curtain rods can be a bit pricey, so I decided to go shopping in our basement….I managed to find 4 rods (I need 5) that will work!!

We have:

  • white tension rod
  • white cafe rod
  • 2 pieces of an awful bright brass rod that are the same diameter
  • spray paint
  • key rack
  • knobs left here by the previous owner

How can these things be made into 4 rods??¬†Let’s figure out the stairwell first – those windows are offset and the rods will not really be visible together from any one angle, so it’s perfectly fine that these windows get the rods with close, albeit different diameters. I spray painted the tension rod and cafe rod, but now needed to find something to hang them on. While searching through our tool bins, I came across our key rack – it has 4 little hooks that fit each of the rods perfectly and can be easily removed and spray painted! Voila!! I already have the curtains and the curtain rings (using an old tablecloth cut in half and the rough edge finished with some fun burlap trim), and now I have a free solution for curtain rods as well!

Next, let’s talk about the kitchen eating area – those windows are aligned, so those rods must match in diameter and length. We took down an old and very long brass rod when we moved in and stuck it in the basement. I took a look, found two lengths that were identical with identical diameters and spray painted them. Needing finials, I started searching my house for knobs and remembered that the previous owner left some in the upstairs bathroom. I only have 3 of those, so I’ll need to either find another one or purchase one, but not too shabby so far! We also have 2 random finials lying around (b/c who doesn’t?!) with 2 matching ones on the rods in the sunroom, so I may just remove those to get 4 and put in the knobs on those rods since I would only need to replace 2 finials on that rod. Now to hang these rods up, I’ll need to find some sort of bracket, but luckily we have a gazillion of those, so done and done!!! We have the fabric for these windows too (it’s actually a really fancy sheet that we don’t use at all) and I’ll just make a pocket for the rods so that we won’t need any curtain clips!

I’m SO crazy excited about this project, it’s not even funny!! Once the camera is charged, I’ll post some pictures!


Some final touches

After you’ve lived in a space for a while, you end up making little adjustments here and there – nothing major, just little additions of style and decor. It’s fun! My favorite room is my room, naturally! It’s the sunroom and I drink my tea here in the morning and the kids do art and love to rock in the love seat rocker and it’s where the bulk of my houseplants live and people just seem to like this room! The furniture layout is great and I’m very happy with it, so the only thing left are final little touches, that make the room feel extra complete. I like to change things around and it’s a small room that is easy to clean and is a refuge from the deluge of projects I have littered around the house. I tend to spruce up this room when I’m feeling overwhelmed because it’s basically a complete room – move a plant here or there, add some curtain ties, and it’s just gotten a bit more cozy. ¬†Little stuff really, to make it even better or perhaps magazine worthy!

I did not like the look of my desk and James needs a standing desk, so I decided that I could use my antique walnut table (it’s the same height/length as my current desk) and gift my Ikea desk to James, to better his basement workspace. However, I do have desk things….I do all the budgeting and all the bill paying and those things need a place to live and I do require the sunroom to be aesthetically pleasing, so I’m very picky about how to make it an office space too.

Here is what I came up with……(before pics, of course)

Just some little sconces and a curtain tie!

Easy enough to change again if I get tired of it! The stairwell is coming along nicely and aside from trying to figure out how in the heck you edge where it meets the ceiling without killing ourselves or breaking limbs…it’s nearly complete! I tested my stencil and it’s great, so once I get that up, we’re set!

Hopefully pictures to come on Wednesday, then onto Conrad’s room, and beyond! Although first I should find a spot for my bills and stuff……




I’ve been painting the stairwell, but I don’t want to post any pictures until that space is done. It looks nice though! Instead, I’ll share some older pictures –

here is Conrad’s duplo version of an Imperial Walker (the 4 legged walking tanks in The Empire Strikes Back) complete with a Star Wars person inside!

i did not help him build these at all!

I also scraped the kitchen more and started priming the red. I just couldn’t take it anymore! I think it will be really nice and serene once it’s all done. I included a before for fun!


I also have the green light from Conrad to complete his room, so I plan on tackling that this week. I noticed I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to get things done before our family birthday party for the kids and it was making me feel frazzled, so I stopped that and decided that whatever I get done is what I get done. I’m also volunteering for Natalie’s school’s Fun Fair the night before our family party and I have to make stuff for that and also plan and coordinate her friend party the weekend following our family party, so I have enough going on without adding to it! Isn’t it silly that we always do that to ourselves?

Happy Monday!