I’m Gonna Go Down To Emerald Avenue | Giveaway!

Non judgement zone here, y’all, but seriously I don’t think we’ve sent out a Christmas Card once since we’ve been hitched. Maybe we did it the first year, but after that, we just got all lazy bones about it.

And I’ve gotta tell ya, when I see amazing little shops like Emerald Avenue and their oh. so. cute. Christmas Greetings, it sorta gives me a pang in my heart for all those lost years of cute holiday greetings.

If there are those like me among the ranks – fear not – because one lucky winner will have all the holiday flair they need this year.

Christmas Card

Christmas card

On top of her very chic Christmas Card collection, she’s also got tons of invites available for all different types of occasions! Check out her shop to see all the goodies.

Win: A $25 Gift Card to Emerald Avenue
When: November 25th – midnight on Tuesday, December 2nd
Winner: Announced on this post, next Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tip Top Shape

You know how something can be mostly done around your house, and although that final 3% makes you want to rip your hair out, you kinda just grind your teeth every time you walk by it and say that you’ll take care of it next week? Yeah … story of my life around this house right here.

So our kitchen has been mostly done for a while. We’ve actually been waiting MONTHS for Home Depot to come by and finish a few small details – they’re actually scheduled to come by today – so fingers crossed, they will actually be done after oh, 6-months of waiting. ;) That saga warrants another post, y’all, it’s been crazy town with those silly kids. I think because we knew they still had to come through and finish their portion, we kept on holding off on simple things we needed to do. Things like the crown and caulking and backsplash touching up. But you know what, This weekend, we grabbed that kitchen by the horns and just did it.

This is what our kitchen looked like sans crown. Almost there, but not quite.

Subway Tile Backsplash

After last weekend, we now have this!

Adding Crown in Kitchen

Boom chicka lacka lacka – BOOM. No kidding folks, this lady likes, eer loves her crown.

So after some heartfelt pleas from Jay bird, we decided to go with smaller, more manageable crown than the last joint. Added bonus, it was actually sitting in our garage from our last crown install in the house, so it was kinda a no brainer to use it up.

Before we could add the crown, we had to put in a header piece (just like the last house) so it had something to affix to.

Header for Cabinet Crown

Since we wanted to give this a second to cure, we actually cut and glued these pieces on with liquid nails the evening before.

Normally, a section of this header would be showing, but when we got started in on this little project, we realized that our ceilings are so dang not straight that we had to sorta nix the original plan.

How to Install Crown on Kitchen Cabinets The second crown install option above is what we thought we’d be doing, and in reality, we landed up having to do the first. Totally fine, not a big deal. I personally think the second one looks a bit more regal (extra height, more dimensional) but in the end, I’m just super happy to have to crown up and installed. Gotta work with what you got in old houses. ;)

We also realized during our installation process that we had forgotten to add the top row of subway tiles back in the day. Not sure what happened there, but past self was definitely not looking out for future self.

Side note – notice the spot on the ceiling where there’s a curve – that’s where our old cabinets use to end! B-b-b-onus for way more cabinet space.

Subway Tile Above Range

All and all, it was a pretty quick project. After deciding to nix the visible base piece, we just had 10 cuts or so and this baby was done.

Adding Crown to Top of Cabinets

Here’s a close up shot of the crown up above the fridge cabinet. It still needs some paint touch up on the nail holes but man, does it look better. Oh my, why or why did we wait so long to bust this sucker out?

Adding Crown to Cabinets

Have you ever added crown to the top of your cabinets? How did it go?

Twinsies

I’m personally all about cramming as many children into one room as possible. To start off, they’re small, ya know. A 4′ (or considerably less) sized person and their life goods should not take up much space. Plus, for the longest time I shared a room growing up and it was fun! Hiding in closets for the scare factor, traumatizing my younger sister and through it all, having another warm body in the room (I’m a wimp).

So although Henry get’s to be king of the castle for a bit, if we decide to pop out another human or add to our family though adoption down the road, he’ll be chilling with a sister or mister.

Remember this layout?

Nursery Layout

For now, our little twin bed will most likely be a spot for my madre to sleep when she visits, but later, this space will be a bed for Henry when sister or brother inhabits the crib.

This weekend, we found a steal of a deal on some beautiful antique twin bedroom furniture, so in the name of having one more thing checked off the list in this room, we sprung for it.

Antique Twin Bed

For it’s age, the bed is in great condition. We bought the set from the original owner, who’s father used it over 80 years ago. So. Cool.

Antique Twin Maple Bed

The end of the bed has the same simple design and the headboard. I’m seriously loving how it looks in the room.

Large Wicker Basket End of Bed

For now, I added some thrift store find blankets to warm things up a bit. We’ll have guests in the house over the holiday’s, so it will also be nice to have an extra bed made up and ready to go.

How to Layer Blankets on Bed

As with anything soft, warm and cuddly. Malcolm has made himself right at home :D

Cat on Bed

In other nursery news, the crib has officially been ordered. I think that means we’re having a baby, or something crazy like that.

Posh Planning

Right now, Jay and I tromp downstairs to suds up whenever we feel like be all squeaky clean. Our upstairs bathroom, although a nice spot to use the loo, has actually never been used for bathing. 2 feet outside our bedroom door and we still prefer the downstairs bath. Go figure.

In a few weeks though, my sheestteer Rachel will be moving in and we’ll more or less lose that bath as it’s connected to her room and although if we knocked on the door and batted our eyelashes and said please – I bet she’d let us use it – we wanted to give the upstairs bath a bit of a makeover before she gets here, so that we have a good go to option for us, too.

And you know, Jay and I chatted about it, and in the name of actually having a tres functional bathing locale, we both decided that instead of just buying a new shower curtain and calling it good, that we were going to do a full fledged (albeit not expensive) reno in the room. Get excited. Right after Christmas, we’re turning our bath from this.

Bathroom Upstairs Before

To this.

  Bathroom Renovation

Needless to say – I’m pretty excited about this pending transformation. I owe you a full post on the bathroom’s current state, and why we’ve decided to give it all the heave ho, but for today, I’m just sticking to a quick post on the fun stuff!

We’ll start demo right after Thanksgiving, so look for updated posts on the baths progress soon!

Renaissance Man

First, I have to start out by saying my husband rocks. He cooks, he builds things, he laughs at my jokes. But… I have to say that husband and I have some differences of opinion the latest DIY in the Sell household. It took like 3-weeks, and the online tutorial said it would take 3 days. Fail. I saw the lower end of that spectrum and was like – rock and roll, baby!! But husband turned this into avoid crazy pregnant women who might either be 1) crying 2) hysterically laughing or 3) very mad at him for eating the last of the ice cream, which is obviously reserved for knocked up parties only. Or all of the above, also possible.

So, you know, I can’t really blame him. In the end, all’s well that ends well and considering I now have a kitchen table to eat my smorgeshborg of pregnancy cravings on – I’ll call that a win. I told y’all that I would provide a bob the builder play by play on our table – so here it is.

Spoiler alert, it turned out loverly.

DIY Farmhouse Table

Notice the green trees? Yes, you caught me, this photo was taken while back :D See the processed trees though, in the front left portion of the picture?

That would be the supplies for this handy little project. Basically a bunch of cheap framing lumber from Home Depot. Score.

DIY Farmhouse Table

If you all have not checked out Ana White’s website, stop what you’re doing right now and go find something and build it. I mean, this women has everything your heart could imagine.

Now we knew that we’d need to tweak the plans quite a bit to get the table dimensions and look/feel we were going for, but over all, we used this plan to build our table.

The supplies we need for our version of the table were:

  • (3) 2x6x8′
  • (1) 2x8x8′
  • (2) 2x4x8′
  • (2) 4x4x8′
  • 2″ Kreg pocket screws
  • Glue
  • Your choice of stain/poly (we used Golden Oak)

This was one of many projects that needed a new tool – this time, a kreg jig. We picked up our knock off version at Harbor Freight.

How to use a kreg jig

The jig allows you to essentially embed the screw into the wood, so it’s not visible at all once the construction is complete.

Like, so. Voila, it just disappears.

How to Use Kreg Jig

For the specifics on how to build the table, reference the link from Ana White’s webpage, here. We changed the dimensions to better suite our specific room, and we removed the bottom end pieces, in order to fit in flanking chairs for the end (so it sits 6, instead of 4).

Jay did do a few things differently on the construction of the table though, which gave us much nicer results than if we would have just cobbled it together (ahem, in 3-days, vs. 3-weeks) like the tutorial.

First, this man planed that wood like a boss.

How to Use a Hand Plane

Like shavings for weeks. Since the wood recommended for this DIY is the cheapest lumber available, it was not so hot looking in many ways. Jay bird took it upon himself to level everything out and make it look spicy nicey with his wood plane.

Second, Jay wanted to perfect the boards a bit more to make sure the crack action in between wouldn’t be out of control.

This is how the boards looked without any modification:

Building Farmhouse Table

This is how they looked after Jay took a tiny bit off, to get a tighter seam.

How to Build a table

Just thinking of all the crumbs and mess that is sure to be all over our tables down the road, this tweak was so worth it.

Notice how much smoother the boards are as well? I think Jay spent half the project time sanding these babies down so they were nice and smooth and ready for the stain.

So one cheat we made was using Elmer’s Glue, believe it or not :) It takes a bit longer to dry than wood glue, but it’s sticky power is just the same and we had it in the house already. A dollar saved, man.

Using Elmers Glue

After each piece of wood was prepped and ready to go, we attached them individually and clamped each piece until it was dry.

How_To_Make_Farmhouse_Table

We love how the table turned out, and after being table-less for a few months, we’re also pretty darn spanking happy to have a hard surface to eat our meals on! :D

Golden Oak Minwax Stain

Who else is an Ana White fan-atic. What have you guys built from her plans?

Outdoor Gourmet | Giveaway!

Ahhh, yes, the days of summer. I don’t know about y’all, but here in NC we’re having a doozy of a day with a high of 39. BURRR.

So I know that this giveaway will help us all to warm up our hearts as we think nostalgically, just a few months back, to the days of summer grilling.

Giveaway

Outdoor Gourmet specializes in hand crafted grilling planks, sure to make any feast oh so delicious. The winner of this week’s giveaway will snag the Northwest Sampler Gift Set, which includes:

  • (1) Wildwood Grilling 6 Flavor Grilling Plank Sampler Pack – This sampler has one each of Cedar, Alder, Hickory, Cherry, Maple and Red Oak grilling planks. The planks are 5″ x 10” and are attractively stamped with their wood variety. All of our grilling planks are 100% sustainably produced in USA with special attention to food safety.
  • (1) (5.7oz) Spiceologist Smoky Honey Habanero All-Natural Spice Blend
  • (1) (4oz) Mustard and Co. Garlic Dill Organic Mustard
  • (2) (1oz jars) Fat Daddy’s Barbecue Sauce Tasters: Mesquite, and Island Paradise.
  • (8) Wildwood Grilling Cedar Grilling Wraps
  • (1) 1 lb Wildwood Grilling Northwest Alder Smoking Chips

Now if that isn’t the perfect gift for the griller on your holiday list, I don’t know what is ;)

Win: A Northwest Sampler Pack from Outdoor Gourmet
When: November 18th – midnight on Tuesday, November 24th
Winner: Announced on this post, next Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No Other Babe Will Do

See, I thought I’d be this poised, confident, ready to take on the world pregnant woman. I thought that I wouldn’t worry, that I’d be certain in my ability to bring this boy into this world, in my body’s ability to carry him and my heart’s ability to provide space for him. But, quite frankly, I’m not. I’m scared. That I can’t do it, that my body will fail me, that I won’t be here for this baby from the first second he needs me. It scares me to the brink sometimes, just takes it all from me and shakes me to my core.

I thought I would be confident and brazen and ready, but I do worry. During my anatomy scan the Dr’s measured my cervix and found it was 3.2 cm – for the record – that’s totally normal. Anything between 3-5 cm, is totally normal. But I saw that low end of normal number and ever since then I’ve just been so damn worried that my body is going to fail this boy. That I’m somehow just not going to be able to get him to the entrance gate of this beautiful, wonderful life. A life I want so badly to share with him. A life I now, can’t picture without him.

Be Brave

Source

I count down the weeks now until viability, when he’ll be able to make it outside of me if my cervix fails and he joins the party early. I know it’s probably irrational, but damn, do I feel it. If I have a night with more Braxton Hicks than normal, I totally freak. This is it, I think. You’re going into labor and baby boy won’t make it. All because your body couldn’t hold out a few more weeks.

So I worry, and I cling to hope and I create irrational dialogues in my head. Because, so badly, I want to be enough for this little boy. I want to be the mother he needs, I want my body to provide for him. I want him to come into our home and be happy and healthy. My heart has so much space for him, more than I think I know what to do with. I just need him here with us. I just need a happy, healthy baby home and here with us.

courage

Source

See the thing is, I know as this pregnancy progresses, that I more or less need to get used to the worry. The love you feel built up, the fierce love and deepest desire to protect this human – is so incredibly real. I know after he’s here that I’ll worry too. But God, is it a vulnerable love, and that vulnerability can just shake you sometimes. So as I inch toward the 3rd trimester (still 6-weeks away) – could I ask of all of you to send me some good vibes. I’m new to this mama thing and need all the extra strength I can get.

You Got This

Source

Organizing the Obsession

Ok, now that I know my little fetus has boy parts I’ve been a little gung ho in the clothes buying department. Like, every few days, I’m coming home with another bag full. Shamefully bad, I know.

BUT – my obsession thus far has been centered around a marvelous little thing called the goodwill quarter bin. Which is a bin, where you get baby clothes, for a quarter.

I know, right? 

How to Save on Baby Clothes

I mean, you have the look. A lot of it is stained, or ugly, or girl clothes. And don’t get me wrong, I’m so tempted to grab the super cute girl clothes, ya know – just in case I have a little lady some day. I mean – it’s a QUARTER!

But for now, I’ve trained my mind to focus only on polos and plaid, since I’m looking to stock up this little guy’s wardrobe on the cheap.

It’s really,  more or less, become a giant game for me to see the swaggest baby gear I can find for a 4th of one georgie porgie.

Buying Baby Clothes for Less

Your eyeballs are not deceiving you. That’s a Lacoste Shirt (retail value $40), some Tommy Trunks, and Polo board shorts. Man, Henry, you’ve got it made, kid.

Not that I’m really a huge name brand wanna be or anything, but ya know, I’ll take it!

Michigan Sleeper

Jaybird is a Umich grad, so when I spotted this sleeper, I had to add it to the bundle. Disclaimer: I’m NOT a Michigan fan (au contraire, GO GREEN!) so this was actually a sorta big deal. Made my man smile though, so I guess it was worth the twenty five pennies I spent ;)

So, as I’ve added to this collection, I’ve realized I need a way to organize the madness, and keep everything ready to go for when little boy gets here in Spring.

I came up with this system to organize all his clothes!

Organizing Baby Clothes

I just sorted out all the clothes I’d found by month. Nice and folded, laundered and ready for our little guy.

When it gets to be a few months out, I figure I’ll load up his closet with 0-6 months, so that everything is ready for him to wear. Depending on how big of a chunk he is, we’ll just rotate out to the new gear as he grows.

How to Save on Clothes

Mama’s first little guy really liked this activity. I think it had something to do with warm clothes out of the dryer and big boxy bins to jump into :)

Kitty Helper

Truth be told, I loved this activity so much, that I went out and bought another bag full :)

Buying Childrens Clothes

For now, the skyscraper of baby clothes sits in the corner of our room, just waiting for my next haul.

Organizing Baby Clothes

Any one else have any tips and tricks for finding little people clothes on the cheap? Do share!

A Touch of Color

Whew! Sans our upstairs bath, we’ve now painted every. single. room. in this house. If this baby wasn’t cramping my bubbly consumption, I’d toast to that.

This house is so far from done I could snort laugh, but having the rooms painted, I must confess, makes it feel that much more livable. No more wallpaper, no more yucky gross walls that hadn’t been painted in decades. It was time, time to bring this house into the 21st century.

It took me a quick second to hunt all the room colors down, but I finally did. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, our house colors!

Top Paint Picks

If you’re looking for bright pinks and sea green blue, you’ll have to jump over to a neighbor’s shack, since I’ve gotta say, when it comes to wall colors, I like to keep the palette nice and simple. Accessories, people. That’s where I add the spicey nicey. But that big old backdrop, I like to keep that simple. :)

Here’s how each of the colors look live and in color in our joint.

In our hallway, we went with Revere Pewter. I’m a fan, man.

Revere Pewter in Foyer

In our bedroom, and living room we used one of my tried and true staples. Edgecomb Gray.

Edgecomb_Gray

For our future little mister, we went with ballet white from Benjamin Moore.

Ballet_White

This reads a bit more blue in person than the swatch. I actually wanted the gray tone, so this room might get a quick paint down the line! ;)

Montpeilier Madison White

And in our Guest Room, we’re rocking it out with some green walls. So nice, so green, so clean.

Lyndhurst Celadon Green

What are some of your favorite colors? Is there a room in your house you’re itching to get your paint on in?

The Stars to Guide You

Oh man, y’all, I’m on a baby kick this week. :D Even though this little man is still 20-weeks away from his grand entrance, I’ve finally gotten some energy back and it’s baby room planning time!

So a few months back, I showed y’all this rendition of the room. And although I liked a lot of things about this space, in the end, I landed up tweaking the board a bit and coming up with this little space, fit for a little tike.

Baby Sell Board

Noticing a subtle theme throughout the room? My mister has got a soft spot for the solar system up above, get that man going on constellations, and good luck getting him to stop. Well I came across some vintage constellation prints online that have become the theme of the room, more or less, and let’s just say I’m pretty smitten. :)

Right now, I’m trying to find a chandy on craigslist that has similar lines to the one below that I can spray paint. Cross your fingers I find one, cause this girl just ain’t going to spend $1,100 on a light for the little’s room :D I think I might have found a potential online option to hack too, for WAY less – stay tuned ;)

High Street Market Chandelier

We’re all stocked up on frames from our trip to IKEA, so I’m hoping to get the artwork up later this week. We’ll see if this burst of energy sticks around that long ;)