Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Get Ready!

If there's one project I seem to keep finding myself  into knee-deep lately, it's building beds!

First, it started with a new bed for my husband and I, then a new bed for my niece, and now, it's my girls' turn!
Ever since the twenty week ultrasound gave away the addition of baby girl number two, I've been hatching a plan for a bunkbed. I'm sure I've mentioned before that our house is tiny. A thousand square feet and two bedrooms tiny.Thankfully, God knew we weren't moving anytime soon, so another daughter was a welcome blessing (considering any children we have under this roof will be sharing a room).

With daughter number one came the sweet baby nursery... soft colors, vintage floral, custom sewn bedding. I laugh when I think about it because it was my first pregnancy and toward the end, Sam and I kept looking for signs that I was "nesting." You know, all the books tell you that instinctively, the mommy gets an ungodly amount of energy, cleans like crazy, and prepares for the impending arrival.

Well that never happened.

Anyone who knows me knows that cleaning is not my strong suit and that I'm just a trinket away from being on "Hoarders."

In hindsight, my nesting came in the form of sewing. For two weeks, I sewed like the wind! I had my own personal sweatshop. Day and night, night and day, you could hear the sound of the Singer sewing machine in overdrive all the way down the street. There was no time for eating, no time for sleeping, and no time for talking either.

I made Ava new crib bedding, slipcovered my Grandmother's old glider, sewed new window treatments, lined baskets, and whatever else needed done.


Ahh, ready for baby (For the record, 12 hours before labor, I did find myself lifting the fridge because it just wasn't "clean enough" back there).

We enjoyed that room for two and a half years. Then came the big news that we were expecting again. All of the excitement got my creative juices flowing.

But this time, I had bigger plans.

A new house! Because after all, we couldn't have two kids in this place.

Riiiight.

You can read all about how that worked out for me here: The Day I Got My Mojo Back. Let's just say I'm glad God is in control because my way of doing things usually ends in an overwhelming mess.

So here we are. In the same house with our two girls sharing a room. Fortunately for me, my kids are little, they could sleep in a crib until they are in braces if need be.

But that's no fun, right?

Growing up as the only kid in the house, oh, how I longed for a sibling.  The idea of sharing your days with a sidekick, through thick and thin, tears and joy, was something I always wished to experience. My girls are blessed. I love seeing them together. They have a bond I will never know, and I hope that it will continue as they grow through childhood and into adulthood.

And what's cooler than an actual bunkbed when you've got to bunk with your little sister?
Nothing, that's what.

THERE'S SO MUCH MORE ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!


 "Stepbrothers."

Bwahahaha! That movie makes me laugh so hard!

So came my plan for a bunk bed.

 I stalked Ana White for months. I read over any and every plan I could find on the net. I paid close attention and  scrolled over every comment left by every mom and took note of every important consideration. I Googled pics, searched high and low, and then somewhere in the middle- Pinterest was born. Ahh, thus became my board for the girls' room. I found thousand dollar dreambeds built for NBA Players and Rapstars' daughters (Check out the photo gallery, those beds are Ah-MAZING!). I found basic bunkbeds that were so creatively designed, the "wow" factor was taken up to eleven. Storage bunkbeds with clever stairs and cubbies galore- I loved them all.

And then I found the winner:


This adorable little bunkbed designed to look like a house. It had everything a little girl could want: Windows, stairs, a cute little roof- even a picket fence!

I stewed over this Google pic for weeks and when I tried to find the source, it was nowhere to be found. I started to wonder if the builder of this bed had joined the Witness Protection Program and changed their name (I am watching WAY to many episodes of  "The Firm" these days.). It was one of those elusive pics that had been posted everywhere in cyberspace, but no one knew where it came from. After a month, I tracked it down to an old article in "Architectural Digest" magazine. I looked up the publication date (2007) and finally had a name. This bed is by www.ronwilsondesigner.com. 

It is glorious.

Along with my other pinterested beds, it is the inspiration behind what will be known from this point forward as:

"The Bunkbed to End All Bunkbeds."


And I wouldn't be a good blogger if I didn't give you a little teaser now, would I? 


So stay tuned. I've got exciting news ahead. 

I'm freaking out!!








Thursday, May 24, 2012

She Moves Like Sea Breeze

Every once in a while, I play this song and it takes me back. I <3 this song.



Years ago, before I was married, I met the man of my dreams.

And then he moved away.

We tried to keep a long distance relationship going. It was tough.

Here I was in Idaho, and there he went to attend school in Southern California. We emailed, we burned through phone cards like they were going out of style.

One night, over a scratchy telephone conversation, he played me this song. He had gone to a little coffee shop and watched this guy sing. He was inspired.

He said, "This is for you." As I listened, I felt like the most special girl in the whole world.

We made it through five months of a long distance relationship. Then there was talk of another semester away. Heartbreaking, but I was a fool for this guy and would have tried my best to make it work.

But I didn't have to.

Secretly, one day he drove straight through from Huntington Beach, California all the way to Boise, Idaho. He stopped at a gas station for a burrito and to bathe in the sink before he got into town. He surprised me with a card and roses. And shortly thereafter, a promise ring. And very shortly thereafter, an engagement ring.

Things moved quickly.

Best decision I ever made.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

...Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

What a loooong night!

I've been up late tweaking my little blog. Check it out! I've got a new background and a new header designed by yours truly- and on Microsoft Publisher, if you can believe it!

This has been a daunting task, I know nothing about html coding (and I still don't), but thanks to some lovely blog women out there, I am slowly beginning to put things together.

It's been a challenge to learn, and even though it's 4 am, I'm feeling pretty accomplished at this point, I've even got my Facebook page all Timelined out with some pictures. Feel free to "like" me if you haven't already!

If you are looking for some blog design tips, there are a few tutorials I found along the way that were extremely helpful:

Teresa Belle Designs has a great tutorial for designing and uploading your own background. I don't think I would have made it without her!



I am now officially a ".com," thanks to Amy Lynn Andrews from Blogging With Amy. I found her tutorial on creating a blog button which led me down a rabbit trail of all things blog. Definitely a place I will be returning for more help when the time comes.



And, who got me started with this task?....Renee at Living, Laughing, and Loving, of course. She has an entire series called "Beautify Your Blog." I enjoy her writing, she has a great personality and a wealth of knowledge.


So there you go, good luck with your blogs, ladies! Hopefully you will learn some new tricks and put them to use. Let me know what you think of the "New and Improved" version of Birds and Soap! 

Seriously. Leave me a comment, I seem to have lost my comments again. Blogger is switching things up! poop.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Save The Plants!

If you are a mom, then chances are you just received flowers over Mother's Day weekend. My husband surprised me (more like I sent him an email a month ago to plant a little bug in his ear) with some potted plants, birdfeeders, and a couple of hanging baskets for our backyard. He rocks!

I've had a few metal hanging baskets with cocoa liners that we've used on our patio for several years now. I love them, and every year we plant new flowers in them and they look awesome till mid July and then it gets really hot outside and I get lazy and everything dries up and dies.

So, as I'm planting my new flowers  this spring, I remembered this tip that I came across somewhere last year. I only wish I had found it BEFORE I planted last year's flowers. There's something self-defeating about planting  flowers in cocoa liners and expecting them to make it through a hot summer. Every time you water them, the water just drains out the bottom!

So here's what you do:

This year I purchased new liners for my hanging baskets and a few plastic party plates. If you go looking for flower pot drain pans at a garden store, they are over $1.00 each, and the price goes up depending on size. I found clear plastic party plates on clearance for $.75 for 9. They are the same material, and are about an inch deep from the base of the plate to the rim.

Place a plate in the bottom of your cocoa liner.


Add some gravel for a little bit of drainage. I just used some landscaping rock that I took out of the flowerbeds that line our driveway. This way the water will pool between the rocks when you water. It will create a wicking system for the plants to draw up moisture when it gets hot. Also, you won't feel like a fool watching it drain out the bottom while you water the top.


Then, plant on! That's it. Two easy steps to save you some grief. You still have to water your plants, of course. I'm going for a record this year; let's see if they are still green by August!


With helpers like this, I should have no excuse!



Linking up and partying over here:



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Breakfast At Tiffany's" Inspired Bedroom


Last fall I had the opportunity to makeover my niece's bedroom. My sweet niece Brooke was turning fifteen and having one of those "my room's not cool" teen moments. With her parent's permission, I got to work on a surprise room redo just for her. After some pinteresting (Check out my board for Brooke's room) and covert spy operation by her sister, Ashtyn, I was able to get a design tailored just for her. Brooke loves fashion and Audrey Hepburn, so a "Breakfast At Tiffany's" inspired bedroom was the perfect fit. There were several times along the way that I thought I blew it, fishing for information and trying to ask questions without giving away the surprise was tough. Then there's my sister-in-law. Lia! You tell everything! I totally thought she would blow the surprise.

Here's what we decided:

1. A shade of "Tiffany Blue" for the wall color
2. Bright pink and black for accent colors
3. Damask prints for a "frenchy" feel
4. A new bed with lots of storage
5. A giant sofa made from a clawfoot tub (yeah, right!)

Since I missed Brooke's June Birthday, I was shooting for fall. I thought if I could have her room finished as she was going into a new school year, she would feel ready to take on her sophomore year. August was an insane month, let me tell ya. I had 30 days, start to finish, I had to be super sneaky, and figure out a time to makeover her room while she was away.

Last summer, I built myself a brand new bed.

It rocks.

I love it and I thought I would share the love too. So I planned a twin-sized version of the "Farmhouse Storage bed with Hinged Footboard" just for Brooke. It's such a simple design, I knew it would work great for a teen room, especially with all of the cubbies. It took about a week to build, I was in a hurry and didn't give as much detail to my work as I could have, but when you're on a time frame, sometimes that's what you've got to do! As long as it can hold her up and there are no stray nails hanging out, I figured we would be good, haha.

With the bed complete, I moved on to my next objective- accessories! Since I had a budget of $0.00, I did what I do best.

Thrifting! I found some cast-off items at Goodwill that could get a little makeover themselves.

First were these:


Gross, old picture frames.

They just needed a coat of black paint and some fun Audrey Hepburn quotes to a lift a girl up when she's feeling down.
I also used one and lined the canvas with a black damask fabric, and one with a bright pink paper to show off her student letter she received for Basketball (I don't know how you letter in Basketball when you are only 4' tall, but in small schools it can be done.).


Next was this chair that I found. I absolutely love how it turned out! It's got those frenchy curves that suit the style of the room and a fun fabric. The caned back was in excellent shape too, not so fun to paint though. All of those little nooks and crannies took some time.


Between the building and projects I was keeping in constant contact with my sister-in-law, Lia. Trying to plan excuses to get the kid out of the house for a few days and put the room together "Extreme Home Makeover" style was a little crazy.

I made a memo board using fabrics to go with the room.


This is an awesome idea that I found on another blog called Laura Thoughts.


It's a fabric covered magnetic board that you use for storing cosmetics. I purchased another frame at the thrift store and cut sheet metal (hardware aisle, Lowes, $10) to fit. You just hot glue magnets to the back of your makeup and they are in plain sight. What teen wouldn't want this? (apparently this teen- she has let me know that she now stores her makeup in a case, but still uses the board for photos and jewelry. Go figure.) I think I need one of these. My kids are always trying to get to my makeup, and I have it in a mini tote hanging on a nail on my bathroom wall- I know, classy. But if it is within reach, I'll be scrubbing blush out of my rugs for days. My two year old is constantly rubbing lip gloss wands over her eyelids and my four year-old begs for "sparkles." (I swear they have radar, the SECOND I go to get ready, they are in there asking for eyeshadow and blush).

Nothing greater than finding a toddler trying to give herself a "smoky eye."

I found this little plaquard/hook thingy at Goodwill too. It had one broken hook, so I got it for $.99. I removed the hooks, got out my scrapbooking supplies, and a little Mod Podge. I had no idea what I would do with it in the room, but with a little Cricut magic, I had a cool monogrammed wall hook. After I readjusted the hooks and gave it a quick clear coat of spray sealer, it was finished. My niece found an ingenious use for it. Storage for all of her hair stuff. She has a large mirrored closet, so she just sits in front of it on the floor to do her hair. This is a great idea to keep her heat tools from burning the carpet.


I searched high and low and found a great bed set from Walmart.com. I couldn't find anything locally in my price range, and Walmart had this one on sale for $60. Yay! It was just what we were looking for. I sewed a quick pillow to match the other fabrics in the room and we were ready to go.

Finally the day came. My sister-in-law calls and lets me know that Brooke will be gone for the weekend with a friend! Wouldn't you know, it's the same weekend my husband plans a draft party for his Fantasy Football league! I've got 48 hours to makeover a room, plan a party, and not lose my mind!

Two things I love to do, throw parties and decorate...just not in the same 24-hour period.

I was able to tweak my schedule and convinced myself I could pull an all-nighter, decorate the room, finish by morning, and set up the party by afternoon. Doable, right?

Uh-no.

Well, I enlisted the help of my niece and sister-in-law. Ashtyn and Lia were painter extraordinaires. While the girls painted the bedroom, I repainted all of Brooke's furniture to match her new bed. Her desk, hutch, and dresser all got a fresh coat of white paint. The walls were painted a beautiful Tiffany Blue, or what Valspar likes to call; "Sea Wave."

We were finished by 2 am.

I went home and got some sleep! My all-nighter was unbelieveably short. I came back in the morning, we brought all of the furniture into the room, set up her things, and then I left to go set up the "Snackadium" at the Fantasy Football draft party. Done and done.


My niece came home to a new room, totally surprised. She didn't see it coming at all! So what was the first thing she did? Well, she had to call her best friend, of course...and rub it in a little.



Linking up and partying over here: