Wall to Pillow

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Let’s see how I do at writing quick, short posts, shall we?

I’m just flying by today to commemorate some old pillow covers.  It’s out (and into the donate pile) with the old…
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and in with the new!
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Just over five years ago I wrote a post about those old covers; how I sewed them and then used a free stencil to paint a design on them.  I used latex paint leftover from painting the walls to paint the design, thinking I’d bring the exact wall color to the bed in the form of pillows.  I didn’t add any fabric medium or anything to the paint, just brushed it on straight from the can.  To this day, after being tossed in the washing machine a bajillion times, the paint hasnt peeled, cracked, or worn off one bit.

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So, go grab yourself some plain pillow covers and grab that leftover paint you’ve got laying around!  There’s design to be had!

DIY Fitted Sheet

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Remember back when Sebastian was about to arrive and we were just finishing up making his co-sleeper out of an old changing table?  Well, along with that co-sleeper, I whipped up a fitted sheet to fit the irregular-sized “mattress” that we cut to fit it.  I didn’t document the process or write a tutorial because I was seriously winging it and didn’t know if I’d be writing a ‘What Not to Do’ post instead of a success story.  But, ‘twas a success and so here we are today with a tutorial.  We went the whole of Sebatian’s time in the co-sleeper with one sheet (a big pain when it needed to be washed) but now that Gianna is here, we need at least two.  So, last week I whipped up another one.  Here’s how I did it and how you can too!

First, grab your supplies.  You’ll need fabric (I used and cut up a queen-size fitted sheet), elastic (you can reuse the elastic from the queen sheet if you go that route), scissors, a measuring tape, a safety pin, and a sewing machine.  (Abby at Sew Much Ado made up a great chart to help you figure out how much sheet fabric you’ll need for what size mattress you’ve got!)

Next, get the measurements of the mattress you intend on making a fitted sheet for.  The mattress on our co-sleeper was a piece of two-inch thick foam I bought from JoAnn’s that I cut to fit inside the co-sleeper – 34.5” long by 17.5” wide. IMG_0406 
With the mattress measurements in hand, you’ll cut a big rectangle out of your fabric.  To figure out how big your rectangle needs to be, you’ll add the depth of your mattress (x2) plus an extra few inches for extra fabric around the back to the measurements of the mattress.  So, since my mattress was two inches deep and I wanted six inches (including the pocket hem for the elastic) of extra fabric to extend around the underside of the mattress, I added 4 (depth x2 for each side) + 17.5 (width) + 12 (6 inches of extra fabric around each underside) to get 33.5; the width of my fabric rectangle.  The length of the rectangle then, was 50.5 or 4 + 34.5 + 12.  Does that make sense?

Here’s my mattress in comparison to the fabric needed to make a fitted sheet for it:
IMG_0410Because I measured and cut the fabric while also tending to the kids, I messed up.  After many, many mistakes made because I wasn’t cutting/sewing/painting with my full concentration on my work (read: while the kids were not napping), you’d think I’d learn.  Oops.  Well, what I did was measure the width and not the length before I decided to cut the rectangle out of the fabric.  I didn’t realize my mistake until I had tossed the remants of fabric so, out of the trash it came so that I could cut out two pieces to sew onto each end to make it the length I needed it to be.  I’m telling you all this because in most of the pictures below, there are two seams on my rectangle of fabric and fitted sheet that are only there because of my mistake.  They shouldn’t be so I put a white squiggly line over them hoping for less confusion.  In reality, you’ll just have a big rectangle without any seams.

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Now then, where were we?  Oh yes, your rectangle of fabric.  At this point, you’ll want to serge all around the outside edge to keep your ends from fraying.
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If you don’t have a serger or your sewing maching doesn’t have interlocking stitches, it’s ok!  Just iron the edges over just the slightest bit – enough that, when you fold over your edges again to make a pocket for your elastic, that you can sew a stitch right over it to keep it in place.
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Now, you’ll have to cut squares out of each corner.  The sides of the square cut-out should be equal to the depth of your mattress plus the extra fabric you left to go around the underside of the mattress.  So, I measured out an 8 x 8 inch square at each corner – 2” (depth) + 6” (extra fabric) = 8”.
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Next, you’ll sew together the two sides of your square.
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Pull the sides together, right side of the fabric pieces touching, and stitch them together.
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Or, if you have a serger, just serge them together like I did.  If you don’t have a serger, sew a zigzag stitch along the very edge to help keep the edges from fraying.
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At this point, you’ll have something that looks like this:
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It’s time for elastic to come into play.  You’ll need to sew a hem or pocket all around the bottom edge of your soon-to-be sheet into which the elastic can fit.
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The size of your hem/pocket depends on how wide your elastic is.  I used 1/2-inch wide elastic so I made my hem 3/4-wide.  So, sew that hem but make sure to leave an opening so that you can insert your elastic.  I left about two inches unsewn.
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Now, grab your elastic.  This is the elastic I used:
IMG_0439(This is post-unpackaging obviously…in case you were wondering where I got invisible elastic Winking smile )

For the first fitted sheet I made for this co-sleeper, I took the elastic out of the queen-size sheet I used to to make the sheet.  I just used a seam ripper to rip out the thread holding it in and easy was it.  I used 52 inches of elastic, or the equivalent of two sides of my mattress, in the fitted sheets for the co-sleeper.
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To make threading easy, stick a safety pin in the end of the elastic.  You may also want to pin the opposite end close to the opening in your hem so that it doesn’t get threaded into your pocket.
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Use the safety pin to help your fingers guide the elastic through the fabric pocket.
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Once it comes out the other end, sew the two ends of elastic together.
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Then sew that opening shut.
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Now you can make your bed/crib/co-sleeper/whatever it is you’ve made the sheet for.IMG_8085

And then daydream about all the cute fitted sheets you’re going to make now that you have thousands of cute fabrics to choose from and not just the pre-made sheets found down the aisles of stores!  I mean, look at these

In other news, you might’ve noticed that we added some fabric straps to Gianna’s co-sleeper.
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IMG_8090We were 98% comfortable in the fact that our newborn wasn’t going to pull herself up and out of her bed through that space between the top two rails but for the sake of the 2% of worry, I just cut out some strips of fabric we had leftover from our headboard and tied them in knots along the top.  They’re not hemmed or anything so they’re fraying a tad but I guess we’ll call that the rustic vibe.  ;)

So anyway, now that we have two sheets for the co-sleeper, we’re not hastily washing the one sheet before the next nap arrives but just swapping out clean for dirty.  It makes life over here a little less harried and chaotic…emphasis on a little less.  :)

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Look It

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As my kids would say…”Look it Mommy!”  Well, look it guys!  While I’m puttering away at deep cleaning our kitchen this week (and I really mean puttering because…kids), it’s a great time to pop in and share some creative ideas and pretty projects done by other people. 

Look it!

One thing that has a surefire way of making my heart swell is when a reader tells me they used one of my tutorials for something…and then they send me pictures.  Lisa has been a reader and one of the sweetest commenters ever here on my little blog for a long time and awhile back, she wrote me an email telling me that she had helped her niece make valances like the ones we made for our dining nook.

Here’s the before:
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And here’s the after:
IMG_0453I love that her windows are situated similarly to ours!  That makes it even more fun!  But seriously, didn’t they do a great job?  It’s always amazing to see just what a big difference adding window treatments makes!

Lisa also just sent me this picture of a bed post that her and her husband turned into a table!  Look!
IMG_0405THAT, is impressive, no?


Then there’s my friend Bonnie.  She blogs over at A Knotted Life and you should really go follow her and read all about her miracle story.  Then once you start reading her blog, you’ll want to call her up for a coffee date because she’s that great.    

Anyway, she posted about her birdbath on Instagram a month or so ago and I was so impressed.  The lady is genius!  As the story goes, the previous owners of her current home left a birdbath behind.  Well that’s all fine and dandy except that the birdbath was broken so no bird-watching could Bonnie and her fam do.  So, instead of tossing it, she filled it with dirt and turned it into a beautiful planter!
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I mean, isn’t that genius?  Can you imagine how many countless birdbaths have been trashed because they couldn’t serve their intended purpose anymore?! 


Last but not least, you guys know how much I love spray paint, right?  Well then it shouldn’t surprise you that I loved this transformation by Mary.  She shared this in a Facebook group and I thought it was so awesome that I asked if I could share her handiwork here!  The metal house numbers on her house were looking a little worse for wear. 
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So she grabbed a can of spray paint and now they look as good as new and just really fantastic, don’t you think?13612225_10155023360195031_5194626441292375286_nWould you ever guess, if you hadn’t known, that they weren’t brand new?!  Nope, me either.  Spray paint, I tell ya.  The stuff is magical.

So, let’s give a rousing round of applause for these three creative ladies and their A+ transformations!  Since we’re so slow at getting fun projects done around here these days, it’s nice to be able to show off everyone else’s stuff!

State of the Painted Cabinets

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It’s been awhile since I’ve filled you in on the state of a project or two so, since I just finished super cleaning the laundry room, it’s a perfect time to snap some pictures before the dust setttles once again.  So, let’s focus in on the cabinets, yes?  Shortly after we moved in, I painted them white.  This was prior to the blog so I don’t have a tutorial or anything but I scrubbed them down and then just slapped some Kilz primer up on them followed by some white latex paint.  (You can see kind of see what they looked like before on our Current Nest page.)  But the thing is, they’re laminate.  Laminate can be tricky to paint.  Sometimes it holds paint well and sometimes it doesn’t.  A lot rides on what paint you use and how you paint, whether or not you prime it first, and what state it’s in before you start.  Our cabinets were in great shape and I’m happy to say that, after almost seven years, they still look good.
IMG_8072 There’s no peeling paint to be seen but some of the edges by the knobs are a tiny bit worn with a little of the brown peeking through.  I added knobs to these cabinets three years ago so before that, they were opened and closed by pulling on the lower edges and corners, hence why those areas are worn.

Speaking of the knobs, they still look as good as they did the day I painted them, despite their frequent use.
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And, while we’re at it, the mirror I glued toothpicks to gets an A- because it’s missing one toothpick (11:00). IMG_8080I keep forgetting to grab pointed toothpicks when I’m out but someday I will so it can be complete once more.

In other laundry room news, we hung our ironing board awhile back.
IMG_8078It used to just rest against the wall but having it up and off the floor feels so much better.

We grabbed one of these small hooks* to hang it on (this mount* would work if you’ve got a t-leg board).   It hangs on that short horizontal bar between the legs.  IMG_8079
It was centered on that small expanse of wall until I added the tall shelves where we store our shoes.  The diaper box holds all the kids’ shoes until I can gussy it up or find a prettier basket.  The metal trash can holds all of our recycling…I mean, holds it for about two days at which point it overflows onto the floor.  We still have yet to figure out a good organization system for our recycling.  We have a fairly large laundry room but it’s pretty full of stuff (we don’t have a garage so it holds tools and paint too).  Ideas on how to tackle the recycling pile are welcome!  Please!

Also in other news, I nabbed this big basket from Goodwill last weekend.
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As you can see, one of the handles was hanging off and the other was just peachy.  So, to even things up, I just cut them both off.
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We’ve got plans to build a bigger countertop atop the washer and dryer area so eventually, that basket might hold all of our laundry supplies.  That will free up lots of space in the cabinets above to store tool and whatever else needs a home for the sake of organization.
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Per the usual, I’ve got lots of other plans for this room (and a Pinterest board to prove it) but first we’re reluctantly staring down a few other necessary but not-so-fun projects like rebuilding our entire chimney, replacing the collapsed floor in our outdoor shed, and getting our backyard into shape.  Ugh, you always gotta get the work done before the fun starts, dontcha?  It’s okay though because I’m a pro at slipping in little projects between those big, boring ones. 

Stay tuned.  :)

.           .           .

*affiliate link

kohls.com

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(Completely unnecessary disclaimer:  This is NOT a sponsored post nor did Kohl’s ask me to write it nor is anyone twisting my arm to type this here story about a shopping cart.  I’m just sharing because I had a little too much browsing-while-nursing time this week, I personally love shopping at Kohl’s (their Lauren Conrad collection is the bomb), and I happened to stumble on a great deal you might want to know about.  However, I did put some affiliate links down below on items I’m contemplating on purchasing.  Read on.)

I’m not a huge online clothing shopper for myself.  I feel like I have a hard time finding things that fit in stores much less online; you know, taking the gamble of buying online only to find out what I ordered doesn’t fit.  That alone isn’t the biggest deal though.  It’s the shipping costs that terrify me.  I only spend about $10-20 a month on clothing for myself so paying to have something shipped to me to find out it doesn’t work sounds like a fun or fruitful game I want to play.  #not  The kids however?  I could shop for them online all day because they fit into most things.  Which is why I have a whole shopping cart full of stuff for the fall for the girls over at kohls.com.  And it’s just sitting there until I figure out how to narrow it down or decide to just splurge and grab it all.  Why do you care?  Well you probably don’t.  But, you might be impressed at the numbers.  Let me explain.  But first, let’s dive into my cart contents, shall we?  (All prices are current as of today, 8.11.2016.)  

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1 // chambray tunic + leggings set  The set is $13.99 in baby & $16.80 in toddler.  I mean, how cute would it be to match all three girls?  My pre-kids self would’ve said not cute at all; only overboard.  But now I’d show a enthusiastic thumbs up!  So, that means I’ve got three of these in the cart.  The leggings aren’t necessarily ones I’d pick up were they sold separately even though they’re cute but I love, love, love the chambray top.  It’s simple with a touch of flair in the added pockets (my style in a few words) and could be paired with skirts and pants galore.  I could dress the girls in chambray everyday and be totally ok with it.   

2 // horse print skater dress  Cost:  $15.60 in toddler.  Maybe it’s the plethora of girls and therefore, the everlasting flow of pink we’ve got going on, but I’m personally sick of the color as far as baby clothes go.  However, this dress gets me.  It’s not a gaudy shade of pink, which helps it’s case in my book, but the prettiest shade of light pink.  Paired with the splatter of horses makes it *sigh*, I want it.  Put a tiny jean vest over it and an olive green infinity scarf ‘round the neck and we’ve got a mini fashionista on our hands. 

3 // printed leggings  Cost:  $6 in baby & $7 in toddler.  This print had me at hello.  Floral is hit-or-miss with me but this one is a definite hit.  It’d be super cute with the chambray top of #1 and many a graphic tee.

4 // pull-on ribbed waistband jeans  Cost:  $13 in toddler.  My girls aren’t huge fans of jeans.  They’re too restricting.  I guess the whole of the human race, or at least the women in it, might echo that sentiment.  There aren’t thousands of yoga pants memes for nothing, right?  But, with a comfy waistband and a cycle with some fabric softener, these ones might make them think twice.  Jeans go with everything but I snagged a couple of little red sweatshirts on clearance awhile ago that I’d love to pair with these.  Roll up the hems a little, put some booties on them, and I just might squeeze them to death.  ;)

5 // olive button-down & floral leggings set  Cost:  $13.99 in baby & $17.99 in toddler.  More of the dreaded pink in the leggings but they’re actually really cute with the olive green tunic.  Green is my favorite color and I especially love it in it’s muted shades like this.  I’ve got this in sizes to fit all three girls so, once again, it’d be the cutest ever match fest.  A fluffy ivory scarf and/or an ivory puffy vest would put this one over the edge, no?

6 // feather jumpsuit  Cost:  $11.99 in baby.  I’ve bought Gianna two outfits since she was born and one of them is her Halloween costume.  This might be the third thing.  I LOVE rompers and jumpsuits and the print on this one made me put it in my cart a second after seeing it.  That’s also known as an impulse buy.  But it’s just so cute though…

7 // kayla toddler girls’ boots  Cost:  $29.99.  I get (or grandma gets) the girls a pair of boots every year for the colder months and this year, I think I’ll skip the calf boots for some shorter booties.  I absolutely hated booties a couple of years ago and couldn’t understand why anyone would wear them but I’ve grown to love them and in small sizes, they’re even cuter.  I love these but then today I stumbled upon these booties over at carters.com and I think I like them even more.  Decisions, decisions.

So here’s the cost breakdown:
It’s $256.85 with no discounts, $246.85 with a $10 off coupon (we got in the mail), and then $172.79 with an extra 30% off mail coupon (the benefit of being a Kohl’s credit card owner…so worth it).  So that’s $173 (not including tax) for 16 different items (22 items if you separate the leggings + tops sets and remember, I have to at least buy double so that’s where that big number comes from) PLUS, we earn $30 in Kohl’s cash to be used another time.  I mean, that’s a pretty fantastic deal for all those clothes, right?  And this is coming from the mom who has probably only spent about $300 to clothe all four of her kids within their lifetimes so far (that number would be a bit higher if I didn’t account for gifted clothing of which we’ve recieved a lot).

Ack!  What’s a mom to do?  The 30% off coupon is good until the 14th so I’ve got a few days to decide what to deck the girls in from my digital pile-up.

Old Navy has some really cute stuff for girls on clearance right now too!  I had to force myself to close the window because it’s all just so tempting…but I did manage to sneak two of these dresses into my cart first.  I haven’t pulled out the plastic yet though because I have commitment issues and a budget to check first. 

One thing is for certain, I’ve been gathering lots of inspiration seeing all these cute clothes and my sewing machine is begging to make some little girls clothes.  Better get on that.  Leggings, maxi dresses, cute floral sweatpants, mini infiniti scarves, and more kimonos – they’re all calling my name.

Headboard Retrofit

3 comments:

Annnnnd we’re back with the last step in the making of our new, luxe headboard.  Get all the details on the tufting here and see how we made the arms here.  Pretend that it hasn’t taken me weeks to pound all these out for you and we’ll be well on our way to a harmonious and constructive blogger/reader relationship based on mutual trust and understanding.  ;)

Right after we got hitched, we made our way down the road from our new house to our favorite thrift store in Steubenville, Ohio where we found and purchased a new-to-us bedroom set.  We paid $100 for the solid wood four-post bed, long dresser, and tall dresser.  It wasn’t exactly the style I would’ve picked up new at the store but we needed something and our teeny, newlywed budget loved this set.

I know it’s hard to see the entire thing with all those pillows in the way but here’s what the bed used to look like and what it looks like now after we retrofit the new headboard right over the old:
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“How?”, you might ask.  Well, let me tell you.  Quick though because all the kids are apt to wake up in the next half hour.

The posts on the bed simply screw on and off so, off they came.  IMG_7829

Next we had to remove those two pieces of trim at the top of the headboard.  If they hadn’t been as bulky and thick as they were, we probably could’ve left them there but, alas, they had to go or the new headboard wouldn’t have fit in between the mattress and old headboard.  I thought it’d be as easy as removing the three screws holding them in…IMG_7830

…but once the screws were out, I still couldn’t get them off because they were also glued on.  In came Anthony and his hammer to the rescue with a few solid taps and that brought us to the new blank slate.
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Pan to the new headboard…

Before attaching it to the old headboard, we attached the arms.  Along the back of the plywood we used to make the headboard, we had to place a few boards – two 1 x 4s on the top 1/3 of each side, a 1 x 4 close to the bottom, and a 1 x 4 plus a 2 x 4 along the entire top.plywoodboard 
Those boards needed to be there, not only for extra support for the plywood but also so that the screws that would attach the arms had a place to sink into.
arm8The top of the headboard had to be extra thick so that it sat flush at the back with the arms, which were extra deep in order to completely cover the existing bed posts.

In order to attach the new we had to construct it so that it, in a sense, slid right over the old headboard.  Screws would be placed through the arms into the side posts of the old headboard and from the back of the old headboard into the 1 x 4 along the back of the new.   IMG_7870
And then we realized shortly before we went to install it that we (ok, I) mismeasured and that the 1 x 4 across the middle-back needed to be moved down so that it was between the old and new headboards.  My.  Bad.  #pregnancybrainIMG_7870too

Then it was up and at ‘em as Anthony and a friend slipped the new over the old.  It sounds super easy but really, we didn’t realize how heavy the entire headboard was being that it was solid wood and so when I write they “slipped” the headboard on, what I really mean it that they heaved it on.  They pulled the entire bed out from the wall and one held the tufted back while the other attached the arms.

Here it is on but unsecured; just standing on it’s own between the mattress and old headboard:IMG_7913

To give you an idea of how it slipped over the old headboard, here’s the old just prior…IMG_7908

…and here’s a mock-up of how the new fits on:
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Three screws were placed into the back of the old headboard straight into that 1 x 4 spanning the lower back of the new headboard and then Anthony put a couple of screws through the side of the legs into the posts of the old bed frame.

Here is the view from the back:IMG_7917IMG_7916
See how the arms extend back past the plywood in order to cover the posts?  That might help explain why we needed to add the 2 x 4 along the top of the new headboard – so that the back of the arms would be flush with the top back of the headboard.

I think McGyver would be proud, don’t you?

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The entire headboard cost us around $100 to make from start to finish.  That’s not including the tools we used (drill, a friend’s jigsaw to make the curves at the top of the arms, and a measuring tape) nor does it include the foam since that was given to us.  I could be a tad biased but the quality of this headboard would probably make it over $1000 retail so I’m throwing confetti over what we did (and didn’t) spend.  Oh what a little vision and elbow grease can achieve, no?

IMG_7984picm(Sources:  the sheets and duvet are both originally from Target but found at Dirt Cheap ($28 altogether), the lamps are updated thrift store finds, the euro pillows are down-filled, West Elm scores from a local resale group ($12 for both) and their covers I recently made along with the matching shades, the square decorative pillows actually belong in the living room, the small lumbar pillow was a thrift store find but originally from Target, and the faux bamboo mirror was a resale group find.)

I’ve conked out at the nursing wheel a bajillion times during these midnight feedings and I blame it all on the softness of what’s behind my head these days in our new headboard.  Also, it’s funny how much a luxe headboard will do to a room – it makes even the messiest moments look incredible.  Our bed is the home of the contents of the laundry basket waiting to be folded and with the headboard in the background, the piles of clothes look just fab.

Anyway, this is the last you’ll hear of the headboard but probably not the last you’ll see of it.  I still love it so much I take trips to our bedroom door just so I can peek in on it.  I can’t wait to gussy up those nightstands and figure out some wall decor to compliment it but something tells me I’ll have to wait until we’re well out of the newborn stage.

So, retrofitting.  It’s an awesome way to take what you already have and turn it into something else.  What have you retrofit?  I know there are some of you who have genius ideas that need to be unleashed!  Go ahead!  The comment section is open!  :)   

.           .           .

We are skimming right past summer and into fall and, for us, that means back into a routine of sorts and hopefully more consistent blogging.  This summer was crazy busy with Anthony being gone a lot for youth group trips and then a week-long family vacation with my extended family and, oh yeah, we added another human to the fam bam.  So I guess I should rephrase and say it’s been busy with a capital B.  But, that’s how I like it.  It’s better than boredom.  Am I right?  ;)

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