Monday, July 27, 2015

Ready or Not, Its Back to School

Can you believe its already the end of July? I've been so busy snuggling our new little lady that I was shocked today when I went to the store to find all of the Back to School sales in full swing. Then I realized that school starts in three weeks...three weeks! Ah! I seriously feel so unprepared!  As many of you know, last year we made the decision to homeschool.

And while I haven't shared too much about it here on the blog, it was definitely one of the most life changing (in a good way) and hard things I've ever done. Taking on the responsibility for your child's education is both humbling and thrilling.  My boys absolutely thrived last year and we all learned a lot along the way.

One thing I learned is that, for our family, having a dedicated learning space was a must.  That's when our Birch Family School Room took shape.

As a person who loves decorating and having things organized, I had so much fun designing this space for our school.  It truly became the most used room in our home over the past year and it filled my heart with joy to see my boys migrate into the room to work on projects even when it wasn't school time.

As the school year wore on this room gathered more and more curriculum and projects and now I feel like we are bursting at the seams!  I look forward to revamping this space over the next few weeks and making it more functional for my boys. Nothing says back to school like a little DIY, right??

Another thing I learned about homeschooling is that sometimes you find the right curriculum through trial and error.  I ordered some curriculum last year that I was really excited about, but when it came down to it, it was a lot of busy work and both my boys and I quickly grew bored with it.

 This year I've been searching all over for the right curriculum and have found some fun new programs for my boys to try.  One of those is Time4Learning. Time4Learning is a web-based program that is leveled for each student. It is ads free (yay!) and has videos and games to teach topics.  It can be used as homeschool curriculum, homeschool supplement (what we are using it for), or just to supplement your child's education after school. And my favorite part is that it does the record keeping for you! If you've ever homeschooled you know how important it can be to produce proof of testing and grades.  My boys will be starting to use Time4Learning this week to help ease them back into the school mindset because lets face it... with a new baby at home we have done absolutely no school all summer!

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Kibri's Nursery

On June 24th we welcomed our sweet little Kibri Ann into our family, and oh my goodness we are so in love with this little lady!

After having four boys she sure is a special (and spoiled!) little girl.

A few months ago we kicked two of her brothers out of their room (to see the before click here) so she could have her very own nursery.  If you follow me at all on Instagram (@_theaquahouse) then you've seen pictures of her nursery as we've worked on it.  I'm here today to show you the whole nursery and I'm pretty excited with how it turned out. It even made the perfect backdrop for her newborn pictures!

When I found out we were finally getting our baby girl, I knew that I didn't want an all pink nursery.  I wanted something with a vintage-glam vibe that would hopefully grow with her.  When I started painting her room my favorite paint color (Almost Aqua by Glidden) my husband joked with me that I'd finally gotten a girl but I was painting her room blue.  However, I think its the perfect Tiffany Blue to compliment the glam feel.

|Chandelier-Home Depot|

Some of you may have seen her mobile tutorial featured on Makeit-Loveit (go here to check it out!). I'm still in love with those little butterflies and I think that Kibri likes them too.

This collage turned out better than I expected and even has a vintage picture I found on a local home decor thrift page.

|Frames from Hobby Lobby and Rod Works|

|Pillow and Crib Sheet-Target| |Blanket-Minky Couture| |Crib-IKEA|

My sweet husband worked hard to make this diagonal grid wall and I just love it.

This old hutch was mine when I was a little girl and has so much meaning to me.  My grandpa took me to a thrift store and let me pick it out.  Then he fixed it up for me and painted it pink.  Its in pretty shabby condition now and I'm torn about keeping it shabby or fixing it up.

 I made these curtains from fabric found at Jo-Anns and added in some sheers from IKEA.


View from her door.

  |Frame-IKEA| |K-Hobby Lobby| |Hairbow holder-Gordmans|

One of my most favorite places in our house for sure!

Today this little miss is already one month old! I'm hoping she's enjoying her nursery as much as I am!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bedroom Restyle Part 2

Do you a remember a long, long time ago when I posted about our Bedroom Restyle Part One? Well, its about two years later, but after a lot of work, we finally have Part Two and Part Three ready!!!

One reason for the long delay was that after a lot of talk (ok, maybe more like me saying "Hey, it'd be cool if we knocked down that wall."), we decided to completely remodel our bathroom/closet area.  With a husband working 70 hours a week, and me--who has no experience framing or sheet rocking-- the process took a lot longer than we had anticipated.

The theme I wanted to go with for this room was Farmhouse Glam.  I wanted some rustic elements such as planking and a barn door mixed with higher end looks like chandeliers and crystal lamps.  I even ventured out of my "decor comfort zone" and incorporated gold into the color scheme (much to my hubby's chagrin) and I love it!

So with out further ado, here it is!  Warning:  there are lots of pictures.  And some great Before/After shots because I love a good Before/ really helps you to see the progress.

As I mentioned in  Part One of the series, our Master Bedroom was the eyesore of the house.  Seriously.  Look at that...ugh!

And now when I walk in...I just smile! I love it so, so much!

You may notice that my dresser is where my Office Nook once was.  It made more sense to move our office nook into the Birch Family School Room.  Now my room is really my own, with no dedicated office or workout space, ha!

 The old window frame was a fabulous find from the Vintage Whites Market in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago. If you haven't been to a Vintage Whites Market, you need to go!! There were so many fabulous items there and it was hard to walk away after I spent my budget.  I may already be saving for next year's market...

Gold candlesticks-thrift store find | cake plate- Rod Works | Paint Color is "Notre Dame" by Valspar |  Idaho Falls Glass Temple-cake topper from my wedding | dresser-IKEA 

The "Together" wood cutout is also from the Vintage Whites Market and I got it from Adorn It's booth. I actually bought it thinking I would hang the frame around it, but when I got it all home, I found out that the "Together" slid perfectly into the slot where the glass used to be, so it is suspended in the frame.

I love the chippiness of this frame...the perfect color combo.

Picture frame and floral arrangement - Home Goods |  "Mom I love you so much" by my sweet little Jonas, who is always giving me love notes!

Its definitely my favorite corner in the room!

The bed is usually the main focus of the Bedroom, and ours was more than lack luster.  While I'd loved the sleigh bed when we were first married 10 years ago, it had long since been outdated.

So I sold the bed and used the money to purchase a new headboard...

It was a lucky find at the RC Willey outlet.  In fact, when I first looked through the headboards, this one had a "SOLD" sign on it.  I was instantly in love with it and asked a sales clerk if they'd be getting any more in.  He told me that since it was in clearance probably not.  I was heartbroken.  Then he looked it up on his computer and told me that the people who had originally purchased it, had failed to pick it up and that I could have it!!

Planking Tutorial-House of Smiths | Gray beaded pillow-Home Goods | Sweater Pillow-IKEA | Floral Pillow-Custom Fabric order from The Black Goose Design | Comforter-Target

The Ivory color is perfect and I love, love, love the tufting!

Of course it was time for "grown-up" nightstands and lamps!

Nightstands-Target | Lamps- Gordman's | Picture Frame-Rod Works | Clock- inherited from my Grandma

This clock is one of my most treasured possessions.  It belonged to my Grandma, and I can still remember sitting in her living room as a little girl, and being enthralled with the moving pendents on the bottom.  It was a great honor to inherit it when she passed on.

His side of the bed.

I also got rid of the lovely purple sash and added these beautiful embroidered curtains.

Curtains-Target | Curtain Rod- IKEA

Above the bed we updated the builder grade "boob light" ( Ha! I know I'm not the only one who calls them that!) to this chandelier from Home Depot. It adds the perfect touch of glam and class to the room.  Its also a great focal point.

My elliptical is now gone and living in my basement.  While it was super handy to just roll out of bed and workout, I think I like how the wall looks now better!

This wall is still pretty barren as we are planning to have baby girl room in with us for the first 4-6 months.

Right now my Halo Bassinest is there, right below my Sunburst mirror from Lowe's. Yes, Lowe's!

 I've saved the best for last! So, I talked about knocking down a wall.  Well, here is what the room looked like before, with separate doors for my closet and bathroom.

And here it is (again!) with just one new door centered in the middle!

Big props go to my husband for knocking down the walls, reframing the new door, rewiring the lights, sheet rocking, taping and texturing the wall, and building (yes he did!) the new door. I'm so excited about this door and everyone who has seen it can't believe that he built it.  I'll be sharing the tutorial with you later, but I'll tell you that this door has NO joints or seams on the front!

I love the functionality of this door! It still closes off our bathroom/closet, but it also adds a great architectural feature to the room.

Barn door hanging kit-Home Depot | Door handle-Lowe's | Door-custom built 

Whew! Well that's about it for now!  I'm so thrilled to have our own little sanctuary...which is what a Master Bedroom should be.  After it was all put together, my husband and I just sat in there, not wanting to leave.

I hope you enjoyed the Restyle, and I'll be back next week with a tour of the bathroom/closet area!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Seeing Pink

Things are about to get a little more girly around our house...

and a little more pink!

We are finally going to be adding a sweet baby girl to our brood of boys and we are all so excited. I kind of think my boys don't really know what's coming.  One of my sons said to me "So are we going to have Barbies in our house? Weird!" Ha! And you'll probably be talked into playing dolls and dress up with her too!

 I have so so many projects I've been saving up "just in case" we did get our little girl one day.  The one I'm most excited about is restoring an old miniature cupboard I had when I was a little girl. I bought some coral colored paint about a year ago and purchased some crystal knobs for it, and now I finally get to tear into it! I'm also excited to jump into the world of headbands, bows, and dresses and can't wait to show you guys some items I'll be making for her.

I've also been stashing some of my favorite coral colored fabrics and can't wait to use them on a Mini Swoon.  I'm hoping these mini quilt blocks go together quickly because its probably going to take a lot of them to make a lap sized quilt.  Its been much too long since I made a quilt and I am excited to have a reason to pull everything out again.

I also have a bunch of projects winding down around here and have spent the afternoon editing pictures... so hopefully I'll have a few new tutorials up on here next week.  Also, our Bedroom Restyle is FINALLY almost done (I'm just waiting on a new sink and granite counter top to arrive....hurry up!) and I'll be sharing some pictures of some upgrades we've that plank wall in the above picture... and a source list of products we used.  There'll be some good before and after shots too, because who doesn't like a good Before/After comparison?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rosette Valentine's Heart

Ooh, I just love Valentine's Day! Its the one time of year that I get to decorate in pink! As I have become a parent to all those sweet little boys, Valentines Day has become more fun for me as I plan out little ways to show them how much I love them. Plus, decorating the house in bright colors and focusing on love helps me get over those post-holiday blahs. That's why this rosette heart was so much fun to make.

This project is so versatile and there are so so many ways that you could vary it! I scaled my heart to make it a focal point but you could easily scale this down to a much smaller heart.  Or put those rosettes on a white washed many possibilities!

I just love how this heart adds the perfect amount of pink to the room without being overwhelming. Are your ready to make your own rosette Valentine's heart?

For this project you will need:

  • assortment of fabric scraps
  • hand needle and thread
  • glue gun and sticks
  • paint and painters tape
  • 24 inch by 24 inch board (or really any size or shape your want!)
  • optional: upholstery staple gun, if you want to add a ribbon to hang it from 

I started out by cutting my fabric down to 2 inch strips.  The lengths of the fabric varied depending on the size of the scrap...this will make some rosettes smaller or larger and add variety. 

I just kept cutting until I had a nice little pile of strips. The amount of strips you need will vary depending on how big you want your heart.

After my strips were cut, I started making rosettes.  This is the most time consuming part of the whole project.  These were perfect to work on while I had some free time to sit down or while I was watching a TV show! To make the rosettes, you start by twisting your fabric.

Then roll the fabric into a flower shape, taking your needle and thread and securing each layer with a stitch. When you reach the end of your fabric, tuck the end in and sew it down.

Before long you should have a bunch of pretty little rosies!

Now its time to get your board ready.  I sprayed mine with several layers of gray paint.

Then after it dried, I taped off a 1 inch border and painted it white.  

Now its time to add those rosettes! In the middle of my board, I arranged the rosettes into a heart shape. If you are nervous about getting your heart shape just right, you could print off a large heart template to help you.  I personally liked free handing it so it didn't feel too cookie cutter.

Then I secured them to the board using hot glue.

Make sure your rosettes are snug next to each other.  Mine even overlapped a little bit as I wanted to make sure that the heart looked full and had plenty of texture.

After you have your heart exactly how you want it, its time to pop that board up on your mantle or favorite shelf.  If you don't have a place to set it, you could easily use some of your scrap fabric to make a ribbon to hang it from.

I love the simplicity of the heart and the depth of the texture!

It adds the perfect pop of pink to my living room.  

I hope you enjoy making your rosette Valentine's heart!