Prepping Walls for Paint, Post-Wallpaper

The entry way is September's #letsroomtogether space!  Did I already mention that?  Who knows but I know I haven't mentioned the progress I've made in here.  What looked like this before we touched it:

Now looks like this:

Current Events

We are in the middle of a whole lot of rooms and projects and progress has been slow over here thanks to life.  You probably know exactly what I'm talking about.  School starts and all of a sudden, things get crazy.  You would think that shuttling half of our kids to school each day would free up a ton of time to create and get busy but nope.

So, since I don't have anything substantial to sink into a blog post, here are a few current events I might be able to distract you with while we scramble to find time to finish up some things.

1)  Our kitchen.  Le sigh.  Remember when I laid out all of the big plans for it in this blog post?  Well, it pretty much looks exactly like what it does in that post...still.
Why?  Well, we found out we have to wait to put the beam in the ceiling until the soaring temps turn it down a notch.  Welcome to the Southern United States.  It's something we totally didn't anticipate when we brought the wall down to the studs that one weekend long ago but something we understand.  (But would we have held off on taking that drywall/paneling off, no way.)  The beam work has to be done in the attic and right now, it's a lofty 120+ degrees up there.  I sure wouldn't want to be up there working away either.  So, we're shooting for the beam to go in in October.  Until then, we hope to start on the window side of the kitchen (painting, new countertop, backsplash, etc...) while we wait for the cooler temps.

2)  Along with one side of the kitchen, I've set a (v v ambitious) goal to transform the entry way next week.  September 1st, it's on.  Here's what it looks like right now:

Four Kids, One Bedroom

I get asked often enough how well our kids do sharing one bedroom and if there are any tricks we have up our sleeves to make that transition to bedroom sharing.

Well, we're not pros on the subject (or anything else regarding parenthood for that matter, ha!), but with a year and a half under our belts of successful sibling sleepery, we'll tell you the whys, whens, and hows we've found to make it work for us.

A Shady Master Bedroom Update

As we inch closer and closer to September, we also inch closer and closer to a better master bedroom.  I'll be honest, my motivation has been waning to finish our master but I think it's because I'm sitting over here trying to "finish" one room while there are a ton of other rooms that are still rocking the bare drywall look.  Sometimes I feel like I'm forcing a finish while secretly dying to get to another room.  The entry for example.  I've let several people in that front door over the past few weeks and every time I cringe and have to let out a lengthy disclaimer about why it looks like c.r.a.p.  It's pulled a heart string inside that's dying to slap paint on the walls and swap out that hideous chandelier.  Next month...

So, with that said, waning motivation and all, I have made some progress on getting a more retreat-worthy space in the bedroom.  I'll save a full "reveal" for the end of the month but this corner...

More specifically, that DRUM SHADE* on the fan!  It adds an extra little somethin', right?  Well there's a little backstory about it.  I put drum shades on my ceiling fans, nothing new (and if you want to see how, click here and watch the story highlight).  I wanted something a little more in our master though.  I didn't know what exactly...until I saw this shade* online.  But, the price tag made me sulk a little and move on.  Well, if I'm being honest, I actually tried to copy it a la DIY and that's still in progress.  It's taken a few turns here and there so I'll let you know if I'm successful later (and in that case, write a whole tutorial).  Anywho, it keeps popping up all over the internet in the form of those pesky ads...just taunting me.  But the other day, it popped up at 50% off and, not believing my eyes, I clicked over...and then I bought it.  It's a bit of a splurge for me but only because I'm el cheapo.  But it's amazing in real life.  Truly, truly.  So pretty.  It's made of capiz shells lined with gold metal and just the more I wanted for our master bedroom ceiling fan.

Our Favorite Kids' Apps

A few months ago after we closed on our house we started the daily task of getting her move-in ready (buh-bye popcorn ceilings).  The twins were in school during those couple of months but Seb and Gianna were not and so, during that time that we were working in the house, they were running around the empty rooms and sometimes...dun dun dun...on a screen.

We usually reserve playing on our Kindles for road/plane trips only, but a few hours at a time running around an empty house can get pretty uninteresting (we didn't bring toys over for awhile until we tackled the smoke smell).  We bought our first Kindle Fire*, a refurbished 10" screen, off Amazon a few years ago for a road trip and it was great at keeping the younger three kids (who were much younger) entertained in the back seat.  (Check out how we turned it into a "built-in" TV in our vehicle here.)  The next year, we took advantage of a Black Friday deal and added another Kindle Fire* (an 8") to the fam so that the twins both had their own (Seb was still a little too young to play with it).  Then, a few weeks ago we snatched up another two Kindle Fires* (we got two 7 inchers for $50!)  It seems a little frivolous and overboard in that first-world way, but as the kids get older and technology continues to flower in the way of screens, it's nice that each kid can have his/her own tablet to work on.  (PS, you might've guessed it but if you're looking for a super affordable tablet option, look no farther than the Kindle Fire*...we highly recommend them!)  With that though, we still reserve the screens for special situations - long trips, the girls will do some math on them for five minutes daily during the summer, and occasionally playing on a Kindle for 20-30 minutes will be a reward for doing something good.  It's HARD but I'm a big advocate of limiting screen time.  Believe me, especially when there's been a newborn in the house, we are no strangers to screens but I can definitely tell the difference in my kids attitudes when they've been watching too much TV.  On the flip side, I love watching their imaginations take over when they don't have the option of watching and we try to err on the side of that being the majority.  BUT, like I said, we're no strangers to that glowing, flat surface.  Nor are we enemies and when they come in handy, it's nice that there are apps out there that actually put stuff into their brains vs. just pulling cells from them.  ;)

Most of the apps we use are free and if not free, cheap.  If you're an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Marketplace is a fantastic place to find good free apps.

Here are our tried-and-true faves...