six mothers day baskets

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Gift idea lists are one of my very favorite aspects of reading blogs. Now that I’m blogging, I figure I’ll join in on the fun. I am a huge fan of creating a themed gift in some sort of container. A “basket gift” if you will.

In my opinion, simply putting a few like-items in a container that is, in itself, another gift, can elevate any present. As mother’s day approaches, here is a list of 6 basket gift ideas for mom.

I know you could find most or all of these items at my favorite shopping spots–Amazon and Aldi! Now for the round up:

1. The Baking Mom – fun cookie cutters (these are on my wish list right now), an oven mitt, a shiny new rolling pin and this awesome cook book about cookie cutter hacks all wrapped up in a new glass mixing bowl.

2. The Gardening Mom – a fresh pair of gloves, a few new tools, a new garden flag and even some plant food or seed packets all placed inside a nice new flower pot OR a pretty watering can.

3. The Mom Who Loves to be Pampered – a variety of new facial masks, rose water spray (I have this one and love it), a nice springy OPI color, a bath bomb and a loofah gifted inside a new make up bag.

4. The Yoga Mom – a new pair of leggings and/or workout gear, a cute new water bottle (monogram it!), a new band for her Apple watch or fitness tracker, maybe even throw in some deodorant and dry shampoo for on the go workouts. Stuff it all into a fun new gym bag.

5. The Joanna Gaines Mom (I want to be this one!) – mini potted succulents, a large candle, a pretty magazine, these adorable and stylish tea towels , and pretty much anything from her Target line all nestled in a chic wire basket.

6. The Brand New Mom – A coffee mug (she needs the caffeine and will appreciate this Mean Girls option), a bottle of wine (or two), something personalized “from the baby” such as a ring or necklace with baby’s name, birthstone, etc. Give her flowers too–maybe skip the basket on this one. Just writing this last one gave me baby fever. Happy First mother’s day to all the new moms!

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rosie the roomba

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When our house was built in the mid/late fifties, it was really cutting edge. It has gorgeous bright blue/green St. Charles kitchen cabinets (which I will be featuring in a post soon!) with every little built-in convenience factor you could want. We hear stories all the time about how it had the first microwave and first light dimmers in our home town. It actually has this old master-control thing in the master bedroom that looks like it may have let the owner control the electrical to the whole house while sitting in bed?! (still unsure about that thing– but photo below!)

This post contains affiliate links for products I love!

It was trendy in a Mid-Century way that has actually proven to be timeless. And the fact that we have decked it out with a talking alarm system (“front.door.” “system. armed.” it reminds us), our Alexa who controls our lights on smart bulbs, and now our robot vacuum…all just seems to work.

Here are some articles from one of my favorite sites, https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/, showcasing some mid century innovation. And yes, that does look like an  old-school Roomba!

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-mad- men-era- roomba-final- frame-190629

 

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/home-intercom-system-history-257665

My grandparent’s house had one of those intercoms!

 

So, our Roomba (who we named Rosie to pay homage to the Mid-Century cartoon The Jetsons) fits right in and does an amazing job. I love having this thing!

My thoughts on Rosie:

Don’t get one if you don’t pick up often. She will eat phone chargers, shoe laces, leggos, you name it. Luckily I seem to become more and more of a neat freak with age which  means I don’t usually have problems with this. We DID have an awful experience where our Roomba ran over a spider glue trap, but since then no issues.

Don’t get one if you think it will replace your vacuum (still completely obsessed with my Shark Navigator Liftaway vacuum cleaner). We run our Roomba M-F at 9am. This has allowed me to go down from vacuuming 2x a week (we have a lot of carpet, a dog, and two kids) to about every 10 days. This is a huge break for me, but it definitely still needs to happen.

Take care of your Roomba. My three year old will tell you our family is “Mommy and Daddy and Tom and Boo and Rosie.” He has reallllllly taken a liking to her. So, we treat her well! Empty often, try to eliminate places where she gets stuck, clean out brushes, remove my crazy amounts of hair from it, etc.

 

Now—any thoughts on what this baby was capable of in the 1960’s?!

 

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diy play kitchen

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When I first got my Pinterest account, I remember being drawn to a few kid projects. I mean I was early 20’s, single, no kids and yet I still thought it would be so much fun to find an old dresser on the side of the road to turn into a dollhouse or an old entertainment center to turn into a kitchen.

Flash forward six years or so, and I got my chance thanks to this beauty, free for the taking!

Check out the transformation and process below for this budget-friendly DIY. I spent $60 for a completely custom, heavy-duty kitchen for the boys and I am pretty proud of the end product!

 

I started by removing hardware, doors, etc. and cleaning it really well. Then I used liquid de-glosser  generously because I hate sanding! Prime as well. Luckily I already had this stuff on hand so I was still in for $0 at this point.

 

One of the first accessories I found for the kitchen was these little wooden trivets I found at Aldi that I thought would make good burners. I painted them black with paint I had on hand. You may also see I tried some contact paper I had for a “butcher block” look but ultimately changed my mind. $4.50 in for “burners”!

 

Next it was time to paint! I used two coats of leftover paint and then sealed the whole thing with two coats of poly. In this picture I was leaving the inside of the refrigerator area to be painted white and oven black!

 

At this point I changed my mind on the contact paper and painted the “countertop” in a leftover grey we had. I bought the potted plant for $2.99 at TJMaxx. I also got the baskets but ended up using them for other Christmas gifts. I was indecisive, it seems.  Under $10 still!

 

I found a bowl for the sink at Goodwill for $1 and  a sink faucet set at Walmart for $8 and Travis cut the holes for me to drop it in. I firmed it up with caulk.

I was stumped for a long time on backsplash then had the idea to just staple up a science fair board ($2.75)! I drew a subway pattern on with a black crayon. Don’t look too closely because I messed up repeatedly on those lines!

 

We happened to have a roofing project wrap up about this time and I scored a fridge door!  It wasn’t as smooth as I had pictured, but it was free and my roofers were enjoying watching my kitchen progress so they cut it to size from our scrap wood.

Handy hubby cut out the middle section of one of the entertainment center’s original doors. I needed to rotate the door to open like an oven and, unfortunately, it was a hair short to be able to use the original hardware location. So, I used some wood filler and (crudely–I couldn’t get it to look great)  filled the holes then painted everything metallic silver.

 

Hinges and pulls were probably where we spent the most. I was determined to DIY as much of this myself as I could, so this was a process. Three or four YouTube tutorials later, and I did it, but won’t be rushing to put hinges on anything else any time soon! I re-used some of the magnet closing things for the oven and fridge so they would stay closed and attached hardware pulls. $5 on hinges and $15 on pulls.

 

I used some baskets and a chalkboard I had around the house to accessorize a bit. The oven “glass” was the plastic from a dollar store poster frame that I cut to size and caulked in. Tom has stood on it and it’s still holding!

That custom vinyl ($15) really made me fall in love! Not pictured yet are some oven knobs we found on Amazon warehouse for $5.

 

 

We had these great Melissa and Doug pots and pans which I just love! Melissa and Doug is my go-to brand for toy gifts and I appreciate that they are wood or metal vs plastic! I also made some felt food which is adorable and something I may try again but it was ultimately very time consuming. My kids like the store bought fake food better I think…

 

Overall I am so so happy with it. And considering it’s their toy I should mention that the boys are too! It cost me right at $60 but if you needed to go out and buy paint you may be closer to $80-100. I still think that’s a budget-friendly option with most decent play kitchens costing $100 and up.

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This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

big boy room ideas

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The time has come for our oldest to get a true big boy room! He was a crib veteran, moving out only about 6 weeks shy of his third birthday–and I LOVED that. I occasionally read about 18 month old kids moving into a real bed and honestly can’t wrap my head around it. More power to their parents, but I certainly relied on those 4 confining walls of a crib to help bedtime and naptime feel less negotiable!

That being said, Sam has done great since he moved out and hasn’t yet got up to wander around or start the day at 5am–thank goodness. Since we are almost 6 months in to this big boy phase, I want to spruce up his room a bit!

He actually sleeps in our old queen. I loved the idea at first since we already had the bed and since he could roll around more and not fall out. But it takes up so much space that there is no room for anything other than sleep in there. He has a really cool room with mid century style built-ins that I’d like to see him use more.

When we moved into this house, I was focusing more on the nursery for the one on the way, so I didn’t do much for his room. It was his second “nursery” but his old decor didn’t match his wood walls. I ended up with a half-hearted  gallery wall attempt and these buffalo check pillows, but it has always felt a little blah.

So, I am collecting ideas for his new room and think I have honed in on something classic but quirky. His walls are all wood (that we will not paint) so working around that to make it feel kid-friendly probably means some pops of fun color and one or two statement pieces on the walls. Check out my inspirations!

Wish list:

Jenny Lind or similar style bed painted a bold color
Let me digress for a bit: I had never heard of Jenny Lind until I was hunting for nursery ideas about 4 years ago. Then it seemed Jenny Lind cribs were everywhere and I just assumed it was either a brand or a designer. They seemed highly sought after at garage sales and I thought if you flipped it over you’d surely see a mark reading Jenny Lind just like you would see Heywood Wakefield or Eames.

Well, while planning the big boy room I noticed Amazon and Target were selling Jenny Lind beds and I just thought…so is she still alive making beds?! Or are they knocking it off for $300 and no one cares? One quick Google search later… I found that Jenny Lind did not design or manufacture furniture at all. She was an opera singer who is said to have slept in a wooden spindle style bed during her American tour. So it seems now any bed of that style is referred to by her name. You may remember her if you’re seen the movie The Greatest Showman! The more you know…

Anyway, Jenny Lind style or similar vintage wood bed is on the wish list, here are some favorites:

Boho Little Boy's Room
https://hitherandthither.net/boho-little- boys-room/
Colorful Shared Girls Room with Butterfly Wallpaper
https://projectnursery.com/2014/10/butterfly-shared- girls-room/
clientawesomebyamberinteriors31
http://amberinteriordesign.com/before-after- the-farewell- tribute-client- awesome/
https://www.crazy-wonderful.com/jenny- lind-bed- paint-diy- bed-rails/

Fun but no fuss bedding
Out little guy runs hot and rarely sleeps with so much as a sheet. So the duvet cover and decorative pillows that he has are just an annoyance. With those wood walls in his room giving off an adult-vibe, I’d like to make it more playful with some punchy sheets while keeping it mod and minimalist so he doesn’t have anything to sweat under. These are some I like:

You’ll always wake up feeling positive with the Plus Sign Sheet Set from Pillowfort. This printed sheet set comes in a variety of sizes and colors with a pattern of plus signs to add some entertainment to your bedding.

 

Bedside lamp
He loves a good bedtime story and it’s only a matter of time before he may want to read books on his own at bedtime. So a mid century style table lamp with a child friendly on off switch is on my list. Maybe along the lines of:

Luxury Furniture,Living Room Ideas, Home Furniture, Contemporary Furniture,Contemporary Living Room, High End Furniture, Entryway Furniture,Mid century Modern Home Decor Ideas

Wall art
Wall décor can make or break a space. If only it didn’t cost an arm and a leg! As I mentioned above, I did try a gallery wall in his room, but it was a bit scattered and everything seemed so small with his super high ceilings. I hate when art work is too small for a wall, but it’s a constant struggle of either breaking the bank and going large enough, or saving some money but the art work looking too small and falling flat. My idea this time is to thrift for huge frames or prints and do maybe two clean statement pieces like these rooms accomplish:

Vintage inspired nursery with buffalo prints framed by Framebridge | brittanyMakes
http://thevintagerugshop.com/2016/09/12/buffalo-prints-framebridge/?epik=0n1YvE_IWH2V2

gus

A Californian boy's room with pillows made from Mexican blankets and gold wall sconces

Plant
Plants are the flavor of the month for me. I love how they add texture to a room and contribute to cleaner air. I have been drawn to examples of plants in kids rooms. I think Sam will get a kick out of watering his own little plant! Examples below:

calivintage_0275
http://www.calivintage.com/2016/06/its-ok.html?epik=0rVYvE_IWH2V2
California eclectic neutral Big boy room
https://thevintagerugshop.com/2018/04/10/zanos-new-big-boy-room/

 

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five reasons why I love Aldi

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Guys, I love Aldi. What a random blog post, right?

It came to mind because April is almost like a January for me… It’s sort of a fresh start to spring and I find myself wanting to eat right, budget better, work out as summer approaches, and of course, spring clean! I’d say Aldi helps me accomplish three out of four goals, unless you count shopping with my kids as a workout…which is probably why I prefer to go alone!

1. The diapers! Aldi’s Little Journey line of baby products didn’t exist when I had my now 3 year old. Since he was our first-born, and slightly spoiled in the way first-borns tend to be, he wore Pampers Swaddlers. These were towards the top of the line when it came to cost but I couponed when I could and just felt like it wasn’t wise to buy cheap diapers if you wanted things to stay…contained. Then, at 18 months he woke up wet almost every morning and I didn’t know where to turn. We tried Huggies and Luvs but they were worse! Around this time, Aldi was advertising the new baby line so I gave it a shot and he woke up dry morning after morning. It was amazing since they are about half the price. Our second was born a few months later and has been in them from the start!

2. Random non-food aisles. I feel like this has really expanded over the last few years, but the aisles of random items can contain some really great finds! I love that it changes from week to week, but that they keep seasons in mind. Weight sets and organizers in January, garden and lawn care in May, rugs/lamps/dorm room items in August, etc. You really never know what will be rolling out next—how much fun is that?!

3. Plants! This is fairly new for me, but I want so desperately to be a green thumb. I have slowly worked up from plants that can survive without water for a month in a windowless bathroom, up to taking home random house plants from Aldi and not killing them! Over the last few months I have acquired (and kept alive) 3 hydrangeas, two full green leafy things, one taller plant with long purple leaves, and another two with big green leaves. Clearly I could stand to learn their names, but most were $1-$4 and included an actual pot and not just a plastic one. To class up any plant that needs it, I love sticking it in a mid century modern planter and there are never ending choices on Amazon, of course.

4. Fancy cheeses. If I host bunco or any sort of gathering, I am known to provide a cheese assortment. First of all, I love cheese. Second of all, so do a lot of people. Third of all, it involves no actual cooking. To make a cheese assortment more impressive, you can buy all kinds of artisan cheese at Aldi. I’m sure you could get them at most other grocery stores as well, but this
is a budget grocery store and I’m talking about nicer cheese, so I appreciate the selection!

5. The weekly ad. I grab a weekly flyer on my way out the door every time I go in so I can see all about next week’s products. I think it’s interesting how their selection isn’t constant, but changes often. Just a few weeks ago the inside layout of the ad was a Mon-Fri meal prep suggestion. During Lent I noticed they had tons more seafood than usual. They provide recipes, gift and décor ideas, and show anything that will be on sale. It really is the simple things, but I am excited to look through the ad every single time!

In case you were on the fence…check it out! A lot of people I talk to are surprised I shop there exclusively– from baby products to dog food to (most) toiletries to paper plates. I only have to go elsewhere maybe once every 4-6 weeks to get something Aldi doesn’t offer. Aside from the reasons above, the main reason I shop at Aldi is because a cart full of what my family needs for the week is usually around $50-70 at Aldi…or at least $100 at Walmart. That adds up!

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Bringing up Georgia

Ireland – what to do, what to wear, what to remember

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It’s been two weeks since I’ve been home and it almost doesn’t feel real…but I went to Ireland! It was an amazing trip that I never want to forget, so I thought it would make a great blog post that I can always look back on. We spent a week in and around Dublin and although the foreigners let us know plenty of times how crazy it was that Americans get so little “holiday” time, it was the perfect amount of time to see the sights and then get back to my boys. Shout out to my husband for holding down the fort with ease!

I know that I personally spent way too much time on Pinterest and blogs leading up to the trip to find out what to do and what
to wear—so if you’re here for that, check out my lists below after all the pictures.

It’s fun for me to remember that this whole trip started off at the table of a Missouri winery while celebrating my sister’s bachelorette party. Honestly if the sangria pitchers hadn’t gone down as smooth as they had, we may have never taken this trip! But, as fate would have it, we had wine, we had sangria, and the cousins had a fun hypothetical discussion about surprising our moms at Christmas with a trip to Ireland…the rest is history!

I still get excited thinking about our corny little rhyming clues on Christmas. Is there any feeling better than giving what you feel like is a good gift?! I think not!

Pictures don’t do it justice, but here are some sights we saw:

St. Patrick’s Cathedral was gorgeous on the inside but no photos allowed. Surprisingly (to us) it’s not Roman Catholic! Who knew?
The Brazen Head–oldest pub in Ireland–dates back to 1198!
Hiking in Howth was probably my favorite day! We had pretty nice weather and amazing views.

The Guinness Storehouse is a really nice museum that was so well done–beyond my expectations for a brewery museum! The 360 bar at the top was the perfect spot to sip my first Guinness. Acquired taste….but when in Rome!
Shameless sheep selfie. Rural pub tour in the Wicklow mountains! The scenery was just as picturesque as you would imagine–it was like a movie!
In Glendalough I just couldn’t get over how old everything was. Our country is so new comparably. To walk through ruins of churches and graveyards well over 1000 years old was surreal.
Pictures really don’t do any of it justice…
So maybe all the locals know it’s a tourist spot and the drinks are twice the price…but I really enjoyed Temple Bar! The Irish, of course, offered Irish coffee everywhere but this was a delicious take on an iced version
St. Stephen’s Green was like the Central Park of Dublin

WHAT TO DO – A list of some of my must-do things would have to include:

1. Visit Howth – I think the majority of our group ranked this as one of the best days. Howth is a fishing community about 30 mins outside of Dublin by train. The scenery was incredible and fresh seafood restaurants line the marina. We hiked for hours and basically logged the best days
anyone’s fitbits had ever seen. I could spend much longer than a day trip in Howth!

2. Guinness Storehouse – This was a really nice, really interesting museum. Who knew that Arthur Guinness had something like 20+ kids and that he signed a 9000 year lease for the Guinness factory?! There are plenty of neat things to see here and the 360 bar at the top with your complimentary Guinness had an amazing view!

3. Rural pub tour – this was such a memorable experience! We booked a small pub tour and our guide picked us right up in Dublin. He then drove us up the mountains to 6 unique rural pubs. We learned traditional Irish music and met with locals at locations we never would have found on our own.
We felt like this was a very authentic Ireland. They are truly a sing-songy people, but it was more genuine than I would have imagined. I don’t think they just sang corny “Irish songs” for the tourists…we got to visit some real hole-in-the walls and the live music always consisted of the same handful of folksy songs.

4.  Glendalough and Kilkenny day tour – this was a bit of a trip (around 2 hours) outside of Dublin, but we saw some amazing things. Glendalough is an area with ruins so old and history so rich that I truly felt dumbstruck around structures built that long ago! Kilkenny was a charming little town complete with a castle, of course, and fun shopping. We were even surprised by what appeared to be an impromptu marching band parade upon walking out of a shop!

WHAT TO WEAR – because I struggled with this and repacked my bag twice:

  1. Boots – It rains a lot, so we learned, and the one time I wore flats for an hour I regretted it. Tennis shoes just get soggy. I wore either riding boots or these super inexpensive duck boots 95% of the time with really thick, cozy socks. I kind of ran out of time and took a chance on them and I want a second pair now since Amazon has so many colors/options.

 

2. Scarves, layers- scarves are easy to pack and often times saved me when the sun set and a cold wind came in. Layers are a good idea too because if it warms up or you warm up from hiking, you don’t want to be too bundled up!

3. A hooded coat (and/or umbrella) – I didn’t follow this advice that I read so many places. I bought a cheap umbrella while there and it died within an hour along with many, it seems. The streets were lined with broken umbrella stuffed trash cans! Get yourself a good one and a coat with a hood in case you get caught in the rain!

4. Comfy/cute – for me it was a legging and tunic heavy trip, but I didn’t want every picture of me taken on this once in a lifetime trip to be so casual and, dare I say, soccer mom-ish.  Dresses were easy too and, with flat boots, still practical enough for exploring. This is an affiliate link coming up, but probably my favorite Amazon clothing purchase ever so definitely check it out! this dress I ordered for the trip is now a favorite and I’ve ordered another color. Affordable, super flattering and comfortable! I love a good Amazon find because I tried on at least 5 that did NOT work.

WHAT TO REMEMBER (so maybe this part is for me):

1. Our rush to come in out of the rain one afternoon while lost and tired from hiking only to stumble upon a pub with quaint live music and the best atmosphere, a happy accident!

2. Meal time – our group didn’t separate often, but the whole 9 of us sitting down to lunches and dinners all week really made the trip.

3. How happy we were to find that pub on top of the mountain in Howth! Lord knows we had hiked our hearts out and didn’t pack drinks or snacks.

4. Those three old men in a pub somewhere in the Wicklow mountain area, singing  old Irish music, singing in Gaelic, reciting poetry, telling jokes, sharing sandwiches with us and talking about their parents farming back before the Easter Rising. We felt like we got a really genuine bit of Ireland there!

5. Our hurried shopping off Grafton street in the hours before our flight when we stumbled upon Ohm Diva! We didn’t know where we were going or what we would find but this perfect little store and vintage shop and it’s owners/employees fit the bill. Now I follow them on Instagram and feel like a little bit of me is a Dublin local-ha!

If you can’t tell, I would recommend a trip to Ireland.  Let me know in the comments if you have every been or plan to go!

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painting over bathroom tile

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Only one more week til Easter and it’s getting to be that time of year where I get into spring cleaning/organizing and like to tackle a project or two. Right now I have a half-finished bathroom facelift that is driving me crazy so that will be first on my list. It is the third bathroom at our house that I’ve painted tile in and I am so happy with all of the results. It took a handful of blogs like this for me to take the plunge, so if this is what you needed then check out my pictures below!

Can you paint over bathroom tile? If you only knew how many times I have Googled this phrase! Most of the bathrooms in our mid century house have the traditional look of the time–square tile going up the wall in the entire bathroom. And while we are lucky the builders didn’t go with mauve or baby blue, there was just something about the 60 year old bisque tiles that I wanted to freshen up. I took a few tutorials’ advice and went with an oil-based high-gloss white paint. I have used a tile refinishing kit as well (and I’ll review that one at some point) but I like this method better.

Today I’ll show you the second bathroom I painted tile in because it is my favorite and it’s completed. For your viewing pleasure I give you my TWO before photos. The previous inhabitant of our boys’ bathroom was a teenage girl, hence the purple. I knew I needed to paint it, but for some reason I felt like I needed something dark to go over the dark, so I chose navy. Notice the vanity was painted too and although I did weakly attempt to sand it down…I ultimately chose paint as an easier route.

The paint goes on pretty much…..like paint. I wish I had an amazing step by step tutorial to give you but there isn’t much to it! Anyone can do it. I will say, I think it’s best to do 2-3 light coats and I always start by painting the grout lines with a brush. After all the grout is covered, then go back and finish the first coat over the entire surface of the tile and use a foam roller. Be sure the tile is very clean and dry before beginning.

We chose Alabaster by Sherwin Williams for the walls (we were expecting more of an off white, but it worked well and really made the room feel bigger) and some leftover grey paint for the vanity.

Throw in some Shutterfly canvases on sale, an Aldi rug that doesn’t exactly match but cost less than $5, and a plant that you cannot kill (seriously all you black thumbs check out Sansevieria , which sounds like a Harry Potter spell but is actually the name of a plant I have personally kept alive for over 3 years) and I think we ended up with what we were going for! It feels much larger and cleaner and I think that we managed to keep the mid century vibe and original charm.

As far as holding up, this is the boys’ bathroom which gets plenty of use and it has held up great for about a year so far. It is worth mentioning that we don’t shower in that bathroom, so the walls aren’t getting sprayed down every day. But if you can imagine two boys under 3 at bathtime–you know the tile is getting soaked.

I know it’s not for everyone, but if you don’t want to rip out tile and are in need of an update, this is pretty hard to beat. For anyone out there Googling Can I paint my bathroom tile? I say go for it!

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10 Easter basket ideas that aren’t toys

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I love something concrete like a stocking or an Easter basket that once it’s full, it’s full. I’m sure we all have those occasional spill-over Easter basket items…but for the most part, I like stuff to actually fit inside the basket! Maybe it’s because I am a minimalist wannabe but the basket is the perfect size to delight a child without overwhelming them with plastic toys. Since I have a growing aversion to excess toys I am doing a mostly non-toy list below. And it’s still fun!

At our house we have an ongoing request from our 3 year old for “a lab.” If dad is on a trip, can he bring back a lab? If he’s good at school, can he have a lab when I pick him up? Will the Easter Bunny put a LAB in his basket? You get the idea. And you might be thinking he is referring to a sweet, gentle puppy dog. But no, actually our child is fixated on a owning a laboratory where he can turn people into robots and take over the world (he says these things!)…thank you so very much PJ Masks.

If you have that level of specification at your house, then maybe you don’t need this list. Personally, I love reading gift lists and getting ideas for all those last minute items I can find on Prime.

1. Chalk, bubbles, kites – bring on spring time with these easy to find, affordable crowd pleasers!

2. Books – Our first Easter as parents we filled the basket exclusively with books. Now that we have so many at our house I only need to put one in there for them to share. Our little guy is stuck in an Eric Carle rut (who could blame him?) and our oldest loves pancakes so I have my eye on Pancakes Pancakes.

3. Umbrellas and/or rainboots – it’s not all clear skies and sunshine! We found a tiny umbrella at the Dollar Store about a month ago and it’s a huge hit with our 3 year old.

4. Bath stuff – I enjoy giving and receiving bath items for the boys because they are a limited use item. Just like bubbles and chalk—you use them, they bring joy, they get used up, they are gone! (Unlike tiny cheap toys that end up at the bottom of the toy box.) I have bath bombs from Lush
going in our baskets but I did these easy bath color tablets for Valentines and they are perfect.

5. Beach towel, flip flops, beach bag – this is especially fun if you have an early summer vacation coming up! Unfortunately we do not…

6. Gift cards –Giving experiences is all the rage now and for good reason. Give them a movie theater gift card or admission to a local children’s museum and be happy your play room doesn’t actually burst at the seams.

7. Gardening supplies – this is just springy and fun. Get them outside and cultivate a green thumb from an early age…I wish I had because I struggle now! Try this sweet little watering can and/or small shovels, gloves, etc.

8. Glow sticks – sometimes on a Friday night we go a little wild and toss a handful of these cheap glowsticks in the bath tub for the boys and turn the lights off. They love it. I may even bust out a glass of wine for rave bath night. Wild times at our house, wild times.

9. Child plates/silver wear/cups – sippy cups are gross. Keep it fresh and buy some new ones with whatever cartoon is the flavor of the month! I love those fun dump truck forks and character plates too. Anything to get them to eat their dinner, am I right?!

10. A lab – Do you want to join the madness? Truthfully I think this will fall slightly short of his expectations since he is expecting a full-blown BUILDING. But this chemistry set is the best we can do. I think we’ll use food coloring and glow sticks to color the water and then work on our plan to take over the world I guess…

Happy Easter and happy shopping!

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it takes a village

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I’m officially a blogger again! It has been a while since the last time I blogged regularly and even though I have wanted to start one back up many times, I could never settle on the subject matter. Since quitting my old blog from college I now have a real job, have gotten married, got a dog, had two kids, bought a house, and even got a Kitchenaid mixer…so it seems only natural that my blog will be one in a sea of many—a “mom blog.”

They say it takes a village to raise a child, a phrase I wholeheartedly agree with and would even like to expand upon. It seems these days that it takes a village to determine the perfect grey paint color, or come up with a million ideas fora 3 year old’s lunch box, to know if it’s okay to paint my bathroom tile (is it?!), or how to make royal icing. It takes a village, of mom blogs at least, to show me exactly how their pallet coffee table turned out, how they meal plan with Aldi groceries and how they make their Erin Condren weekly spreads look so pretty.

I may not have the perfect niche subject that brings readers flocking to my blog, but I know that my all too common Google searches about anything from what to pack for Ireland, to stocking-stuffer ideas or even how long to boil eggs are directing me to the sites of other women much like myself. Maybe they like to write and they also like to watch a little HGTV so one day they find themselves in their bathroom painting tile. (You CAN do that, right?!) Because I did….thanks to the four women who were gracious enough to take pictures of their own painted tile and who told me and the whole internet that it would be okay. Sure these weren’t technical tutorials–but they were mom blogs and they were good enough for me. It takes a village. So I’ve decided to join the village blogging about life and whatever that entails.

A little about me—I’m a 28 year old (for 2 more weeks) full-time working mom of two little boys and a Catahoula Leopard dog. My husband and I have been in our Mid Century mod house for almost two years now and have developed an appreciation for the architecture and furniture of the time period.

We may spruce things up here and there, but any home projects I post should include us being true to the house. Often times I try to be a Pinterest mom but I don’t get too hard on myself when I lean more towards Amazon Prime mom. Then again, I DO have that Kitchenaid mixer (and a sewing machine!) so you never know. You’ll be the first to see if my cookie decorating and seamstress endeavors will have me going pro.

I have a new-found interest in attempting to keep house plants alive and a strange love for the fine art that is baby sleep. ( read Babywise if you are sleep deprived, just saying). In fact, I’m sure it was on a blog not unlike this, that back in the early days of 2015 I learned some key baby napping skills that led to an actual baby nap. What I did with that blissful two hours, I don’t know. I’d like to think I did some dishes, since pre-2016 us didn’t own a dishwasher (the horror!). Or maybe I slept when the baby slept.

In reality, I probably read another mom blog.