Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Great Home Improvement Post

Just one year ago, Zach and I moved into our Downton Blabby home. You can see what it looked like here: and we've worked on some things over the last year. Especially in the last few months! I'm not an interior designer by any stretch of the imagination, so choosing colors and picking things to put together was not easy. We're really happy with how things have turned out! We still have projects (the mantra of home owners I guess) but for now, we are set. I personally LOVE before and after photos, so I'll post mine here. :-)

Front Yard

  • Landscaping
  • Lights
  • Park bench

Future projects:
  • Install lights to shine on the house itself

It doesn't look a lot different, but we spent a lot of time on the flower beds adding flowers, plants and also planting fescue grass in bare spots. My favorite part of the front yard is that park bench. We sit on it drinking our coffee and watching Ellie chase squirrels.

Formal living room

  • Furniture and some decor from my Grandma Sara and my Wilder grandparents
  • Console from Jena Miller
  • Rug
  • Chairs from World Market
  • Table handmade from a Craigslist vendor
  • Candles from Pier 1.
  • Decor
  • Reupholstered wingback chairs from Grandma Sara

Future projects
  • Reupholster sofa
  • Window treatments
These rooms took a while to put together, but we really like how they have turned out. I dreamed of having a big enough table for dinner parties, and now we've got one! I love the teal pops of color. We'll eventually reupholster the sofa in a cleanable grey... it's white silk right now and nearly impossible to clean. You can't see the console by the door, but we love that too. :-)


  • Matching office suite by Restoration Hardware (Craigslist for the win!) refinished by Jena Miller

Future projects
  • Hang Ikea picture ledge shelves with my cover photo art / Zach's art

This room has been in working order for a while (hey, we both work from home--necessity!) but we still haven't put the photos up on the walls. We'll get there. For now, we have matching desks and file cabinets on opposite sides of the room.


  • Added crosses, books from my Papa Wilder and vases from Pier 1. Sticks/feathers from Michael's.

Future projects
  • I have one more picture to hang up on the right wall. by the front door.
Powder Room

  • Wallpaper removed
  • Walls textured and repainted off white and grey
  • faucet and toilet paper roll replaced with nickel
  • New light fixture
  • Decor

Future projects
  • Clean up baseboard paint
This was one of the "biggies" Zach took on this fall. Wallpaper is a jerk to get off! His uncle helped us with plumbing and a lot of other things, but the wall paper and painting was done by Zach and his mom and it was a long process. We love the cooler color in here!

Living Room

  • Decor on walls, furniture
  • Stools from Target
  • Small table from friends
  • Hung TV mounted on wall 
  • Coffee table from Jena Miller
  • Blinds

Future projects
  • Photo collage on wall
  • More decor over bedroom doors
We spend a lot of time in here. Zach and his uncle did a really good job mounting the tv on the wall -- it can pull out and swivel and everything!

Utility room

  • Blinds
  • Washer/dryer
  • Table from my mom's store
  • Storage cabinet
  • Fresh paint

Future projects
  • Replace knobs
  • Reorganize area over washer/dryer
I love that we haver the washer and dryer up on pedestals. And the table is special--it was in my mom's store for many years, and now it's perfect for folding clothes in our home.

Master Closet

  • Replaced flourescent light with can lights
  • Resurfaced and repainted walls
  • Installed Elfa shelving
  • Removed carpet and replaced with ceramic wood tile
  • Repainted cabinets
  • Replaced brass knobs with nickel knobs
  • Added a stool and runner rug from target

Future projects
  • Add additional shelving in one section on right
This was a major project this summer with Zach's uncle. Our closet is spacious, but the shelving was falling off the walls, didn't use the wall space well and the fluorescant light was like a disco. Now it's WONDERFUL. Holds our clothes in a way more organized way and it was really the start of using grey in the house. Love the closet now!

Master Bathroom

  • Removed wallpaper
  • Textured walls and repainted off white
  • Painted cabinets grey
  • Replaced all brass fixtures with nickel (faucets, lights, showerhead, tub faucet, knobs, toilet paper holder, towel rods)
  • Added shower head fixture to tub
  • Added white and teal towels
  • Stenciled rugs
  • Removed one panel of mirror and added a medicine cabinet and shelf (teal)
  • Painted over toilet cabinet teal
  • Plantation shutters by tub (not shown)
  • Decor from Pier 1
  • Replaced ceiling lights with LED can lights

Future projects
  • Replace brass shower stall with nickel
  • Hang decor/framed photos

This was our last project and by far the most labor intensive. Zach's uncle did plumbing, lighting and helped with wallpaper. Zach and his mom painted everything and I helped paint cabinets, picked up towels and stenciled the rugs. My one hope for this house pre-baby was to get the tub faucet replaced because it broke around December last year. I can now take wonderful baths again!! We are so happy with how this room turned out!

Master Bedroom

  • Blinds
  • Bed from Restoration Hardware (Purchased from friends - thanks Stacy and Jason!!)
  • bedding from Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Bookshelves 
  • Oak furniture from my mom's house
  • Glider from Buy Buy Baby
  • Table from Grandma Sara
  • Decor

Future projects
  • Window treatments
I love how our bedroom turned out. It took a long time for me to figure out the colors I'd like to have in here, but neutrals + teal and more recently a bit of purple, worked out great. Love the bed and the glider--we just got the glider and it's already my favorite seat in the whole house.


  • Replaced non-working can lights and fluorescent light with LED can lights
  • Replaced dishwasher
  • Decor

Future projects
  • More baby-friendly table and chairs
The kitchen is white and black--colors that at first, didn't seem to match the rest of the house. But we ended up going with those colors and a splash of yellow (thanks to a great picture from a friend) and it now has a French bistro vibe going on. Love!

Upstairs living area

  • Furniture (thanks Stacy and Jason!)
  • Decor
  • Hung our rug from Istanbul
  • Blinds

Future project
  • Eventually we'll have more kid stuff in here.
For now, this is a nice sitting room for guests and a good place for me to do my yoga videos at home. Probably we'll have some toys and such later on. :-)

Workout room (upstairs)

Exercise equipment

Future projects
none at the moment

I use this room almost every day. I love to workout at home--have everything I need right here. We bought the house with it having indoor/outdoor carpet, mirrors and even a TV stand already set up in here, so we've been using it for working out ever since!

Guest bedroom (upstairs)

  • Blinds
  • Furniture
  • Decor

Future projects
  • Window treatments
This furniture was Zach's before we got married and it was our master bedroom before we moved to this house. The bedding was also ours, and it works really well in here, especially since the living area just outside the door also has dark wood and red accents.

Guest bathroom (upstairs)

  • Removed wallpaper 
  • Textured and painted walls off white
  • Painted cabinets grey
  • Replaced brass faucet, shower faucet and knobs with nickel
  • Painted grey and installed over toilet cabinet
  • Replaced lights
  • Decor

Future projects
  • None at the moment!
This was the *very* last major project we undertook. Zach's uncle did the plumbing and Zach and his mom did the rest--I did the decor. :-) I love the grey with black and white and red--this was what we had in our master bathroom before we moved into this house. I like how upstairs has a lot of the red throughout. And we have a working shower head!!

This weekend we're tackling the nursery! It used to be a guest room... now it's in the middle of transforming to be Baby Wilder's room. Can't wait to share photos!

Friday, October 11, 2013

35 weeks!

You know you're getting close when milk has a sell-by date on your due date! This is from THREE WEEKS ago. Yikes!
I just looked at my last post, and man that was a long time ago! Let's see if I can recap. :-)

Bump watch:

Baby Wilder has done some GROWING! It's crazy to see how much over the last few months. I definitely feel it some days, but I still feel really good. It's hard to get up in the morning... as in, physically challenging to untangle myself from pillows and pets and get upright. But I do have to share the greatest invention for pregnant women since nutella:

The Snoogle
Don't laugh--this thing is awesome. It's like 5 pillows in one, and it sets you up to sleep on the left side like you're supposed to. It's also impossible to move to any other side with--or get out of bed. But I sleep really well with it and i haven't had any trouble sleeping all night!

We took a babymoon back at 25 weeks with some of our friends. We went to a resort in Cabo San Lucas. It was WONDERFUL to get to relax, swim, sit on the beach and eat amazing food. We even got to snorkel!

We traveled a lot in August. After the trip to Mexico, we went to Oklahoma to visit my brother and his wife -- a "sibling weekend"

Zach and I also went to New Mexico and Colorado for two stories. We stopped at the CS Cattle Co. in Cimarron, NM, and spent the night in Red River. Then we headed up to Colorado for a Campdraft event in Kiowa. Lots o' driving, but we had a good time.

That trip wore me out--we drove more than 1,000 miles in less than a week, and we were outside all day every day for 5 days. But it was worth it!

Since then, we've had two showers from our sweet families. We have one more tomorrow, so I'll cover all of those together in another post. It's been such a blessing to be surrounded with supportive friends and family. As we count down to when Wilder makes his arrival, I'm just blown away by people's care and generosity.

We also went to the state fair with my brother Jonathan and Holly. We tried a smorgasbord of fried food-- and it was *mostly* all delicious. :-)

Fried Kind Ranch Chicken Casserole (YUM), Fried Cuban Roll (pretty good), Fried Spaghetti and Meatballs (gross) and Fried Nutella (good). Not pictured: Fried Red Velvet Cupcake (AMAZING)

My fave: Fried Autumn Pumpkin Pie

Please note--fried food is usually not in our normal diet. Can't handle it! But the State Fair is the exception. You HAVE to have fried food at the fair.

We also had some maternity photos taken at 32 weeks with the oh-so-talented Jena Miller.

What else has been going on... I've been taking prenatal yoga, started prenatal chiropractic adjustments and we've been attending Birth Boot Camp - a natural childbirth class. I'm starting to feel more prepared and I think Zach is too... but I know we can never TOTALLY be prepared. :-)

Other things... I've been working on my freelance assignments a lot. I have a few more to turn in if I want to take November and December off, so the pressure is on.

We've also been doing a lot of improvements around the house. I'll write about that in another post. :-) But we've got just over a month to go before Wilder's due date! Crazy crazy.

Thanks for listening to my rambling!!