A Sweet Baby Girls Room

I’ve been wanting to share our baby girl’s bedroom since before she was born.

She’s 10 months old.

Procrastinate much?

I guess she’s still a baby…it still counts, right?

Decorating a baby girl room is so fun, but I also find it more challenging than a boy’s room. So much girl stuff seems overly gaudy – with more frills than this mama could handle.

I was shocked by how expensive baby bedding can be – so much money for such tiny things! Many sets come with accessories you don’t plan to use, and who wants to pay for that?

It took hours of searching online to find the Babyletto In Bloom bedding – sweet and girly, but not frilly. I love the combination of coral and navy. If you like it, shop around. It comes in different combinations of accessories, and is carried by quite a few stores. (I snagged mine for about half the price at Kohls using a 30% off coupon and a Kohls Birthday $10 off reward)

Crib and Artwork

Now for artwork.

ABC Photo1

First, we used the Etsy ABC digital artwork we already purchased for our other daughter’s Ballerina and Flamingo Bedroom.

 

 

 

 

 

All Gods Grace 2All God’s Grace Wooden Sign from Hobby Lobby when we found out we were pregnant (Always, always use a coupon or buy on sale at Hobby Lobby).

Every time I look at it, it makes me smile.

 

 

 

 

Ok. Enough money spent! Now for some free stuff.

You guys, there are SO many free printables online from amazing and talented bloggers, photographers and graphic designers.

Amazing stuff.

Just look at what I printed and framed at home!

You are Capable 1

This You are Capable of Amazing Things printable from BrePurposed is adorable and really compliments the In Bloom bedding. She has many more beautiful options to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Table ArtYou can’t go wrong with the Psalm 4:7 and 1 Peter 1:6 printables from Danielle Burkleo.

So pretty!

I also love her Bless The LORD Oh My Soul printable and may still frame it to use somewhere else in the house. She has so many fun options, for boys, girls, or anywhere in your home.

 

 

Baby Bedroom2

We love how the bedding, decals and artwork look together, and Audra sure seems to like it.

baby girl

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom | thisgratefulmama.com

The hall bathroom is mainly used by our 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. But often, it is used by guests. Almost 3 years after moving in, the bathroom was still builder-white.

With two little people using the bathroom, the walls were starting to look dingy from wet hands and water splatter on flat white paint.

The bathroom needed a satin-finish paint job to protect the walls and clean it up.

Plus, with a colicky baby keeping us home more than usual, I needed a project.

Bad.

With a start and finish.

And I roped my husband into it when a simple paint job became a slightly larger project. We picked out navy paint for the space, but navy was just too dark for the window-less bathroom.

To keep the space bright, and protect walls from the wear and tear that is inflicted by small children, we decided to add white bead board.

Home Depot carries this two-foot width bead board product with pre-cut grooves to fit seams together. We needed just 5 two-foot boards for our small bathroom. We spent $35 on bead board and under $10 on chair rail and caulking.

The spendy part of this project was the paint. Sherwin Williams matched the white paint to our existing trim. One gallon of satin Super Paint along with velour rollers for an ultra-smooth finish was $50, even with a $10 off coupon!

Yikes.

But now we have enough high quality white paint to use for our future mud room lockers and bead board border.

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom | thisgratefulmama.com

We taped and painted the navy color during nap time one day.  My husband spent half a day working on the bead board. And I spent one more nap time applying two coats of white paint to the bead board.

 

 

 

 

Paint completed, we just needed a few finishing touches.

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom | thisgratefulmama.com

We found the wooden ‘Splash’ sign for $15 at Home Goods. You can find something similar from this Etsy shop.

 

 

 

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom | thisgratefulmama.com

The wooden Whale was found on clearance for $7 at Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom | thisgratefulmama.com

Hand towels are hung using $9 wooden fish hangers from Marshalls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Kid And Guest Friendly Nautical Themed Bathroom | thisgratefulmama.com

The space was completed with the Wave Blue shower curtain from Target. Usually $17, we paid $14 using a 20% off Cartwheel deal.

 

 

 

 

 

Voila.

It’s amazing how just one little project can make you feel energized…and ready for the next one.

A Ballerina and Flamingo Bedroom

When getting ready to transition our daughter from a toddler bed to a big-girl bed, we asked her what she wanted in her room.

Unprompted, she confidently answered – Ballerinas and Flamingos.

Hmm. Interesting combination. That might be a tall order.

I’m not sure what I expected her response to be, but ballerinas and flamingos wasn’t it.

Not surprising since she loves to twirl, and stand on one leg. Ha. Plus, she wanted a ballerina birthday party and ballerina birthday cake.

I  was thrilled when I found these pictures of a gold-polka dot quilt with ballerina sheets from Pottery Barn Kids. She was equally thrilled. Unfortunately I soon found the quilt and accessories were no longer available. Then when I found out how much they had been selling for, I suffered sticker shock. The quilt and shams alone would have put us back around $250.

Yikes.

Wanting to give her what she wanted, but to also be a good steward of our money, I decided to see if we could do something similar for much less.

As for the flamingos, at first, I could only find these Martha Stewart sheets. But the price was still more than I wanted to spend for mostly white sheets for a potty training child.

Stumped, I went looking for alternatives and inspiration at Home Goods.

Bedding

Oh, Home Goods, you always come through for me.

There, in their tiny kid’s bedding aisle was a Nicole Miller gold-polka-dot bedding set for $40 (less than a quarter of the Pottery Barn quilt alone).

Next to the comforter? Lyla Rose Ballerina sheets for $15.

There I stood, surprised, pleased and cracking up by myself in the Home Goods aisle.

Yep, I’m totally that lady.

Then I made a mistake I won’t make again. Unsure of whether white bedding was a good idea for a 3-year-old, I decided to think about the comforter overnight and come back to buy it.

Bad idea.

It was gone the next day. Thankfully, after calling every Home Goods in the Twin Cities, I found the LAST one 30 minutes away.

After getting almost exactly what I was looking for at a fraction of the price, imagine my surprise when Target came out with their new Pillowfort bedding…including Flamingo sheets for $18 (bought for $15 using a 20% off coupon).

Perhaps a ballerina and flamingo bedroom isn’t such a tall order after all.

ART.jpg

I ordered some alphabet, ballerina and flamingo artwork on Etsy, and found a framed arrow picture on clearance at Gordmans. I  was able to display them in frames we already owned.

Ballerina and Flamingo Room

Inspired by this Pinterest Pin, I ordered gold polka-dot wall decals from Ebay for $16.Accessories.jpg

We kept the string of bird garland from her baby room, added one painted wooden “A” from Home Goods, and a scripture verse made by my mom (the one we wrote on the wood studs of her room while our house was being built).

Done. The bedding and decorations for just over $110. And we should be able to keep it the same for several years.

Now our little sunshine girl has a BIG girl room.

To say she is delighted by her room may be an understatement.

She did some ‘twirling’ to celebrate it.

 

Spray Painted Flower Pots

Since baby girl was born in May, nothing has been created. And I have been in desperate need to make, decorate or complete something, anything, for my own sanity.

Since we moved in, I’ve wanted large, blue flower pots in front of our house.

Have you ever purchased large planters for your home? Talk about sticker shock! When I find one with a price I can stomach, they aren’t the color I want. And when I find pots I love, well, they are so expensive I just can’t handle it.

Last spring I told myself I would wait and find some on clearance.

Of course I then forgot to look. So this year, spring rolled around and still, no planters.

Then wandering around Target with a sleeping baby I saw these flower pots on clearance for $15 each. I like the shape and metal handles.

A Fun Weekend Project - Spray Painted Flower Pots | thisgratefulmama.com

As usual, the price was right, but not the color.

Still wandering through aisles, I stumbled upon matte Valspar Devine Color spray paint in pale blue. With paint and primer in one can, and good for interior and exterior projects, it was worth a try!

A Fun Weekend Project - Spray Painted Flower Pots | thisgratefulmama.com

I returned home excited to paint. But the problem with spray paint is you need a day that is not too hot, not too humid, and not too windy.

A tall order in MN.

So the pots sat in my garage.

Waiting.

Finally, two weeks ago it was 75 degrees with little wind over the weekend.

One nap time and two cans of spray paint completed the project.  This paint coats pretty well, but definitely needs multiple coats. The handles were protected with painters tape while painting.

A Fun Weekend Project - Spray Painted Flower Pots

These planters are pretty light weight. Instead of filling them with dirt (which is hard to get rid of in the fall, and makes the pots unbearably heavy for me to move), we decided on a different plan. We bought cinder blocks for $1.05 a piece.

They didn’t fit as perfectly as I’d imagined, because I didn’t take into account basic geometry when I measured the pot…turns out 8 inch diameter means the DIAGONAL of the cinder block needs to be 8 inches, not the edges. Whoops. Not my brightest moment.

Thankfully my resourceful husband rescued me with a helpful and can-do attitude (and no complaining!). He used a hammer to break the cinder blocks up so they fit into the bottom of the pots.

A Fun Weekend Project - Spray Painted Flower Pots

The cinder blocks provide weight so the pots won’t blow over. They’ve survived some pretty severe weather in the past two weeks and I’m confident they’ll stay put in the wind. The blocks add just enough height so our already planted flowers in their pots could be placed on top of them.

A Fun Weekend Project - Spray Painted Flower Pots

Voila.

I’ll follow up in September to let you know how the spray paint held up outside for the season.

A Ballerina Themed 3 Year Old Birthday – Ballerina Birthday Decorations

We celebrated our daughter’s third birthday last month. It was a lovely time with both sides of our family. By request, her party decorations were ballerina-themed.

The banner below was created using a chalkboard banner I received as a gift. You can find this similar product at JoAnn Fabrics. The ballerina image is a free downloadable vector designed by Freepik.com. The paper fan is one of a pack of 5 Paperchase Card Fans from Target used throughout the house for the party. They will later be used in our daughter’s ballerina and flamingo themed bedroom.

This cake was homemade and topped with cut-out ballerina figures using glittery scrapbook paper and wooden skewers. For the cake and frosting recipe, see here.

Happy Birthday Adelyn

A paper birthday photo banner was made using black and white photos printed on cardstock, hung using clothes pins and twine.

Birthday banner.jpg

The walls were decorated with 2 inch gold or pink glitter polka-dots and ballerinas made using the remaining glitter scrapbook paper from the cake toppers.

polka dots and ballerinas.jpg

Several strings of tissue paper tassel garland were made with 3 colors of tissue paper and twine. I followed this great tutorial from PIZZAZZERIE.com to make the garland. The tassels are easy to make. I love the look of them, but they were a little more ‘putzy’ than I prefer for quick decorations. I’m not sure I would be motivated enough to do it again.

Garland

A Ballerina 3 Year Old Birthday: A Homemade Ballerina Birthday Cake

Our 3 year old girl loves to twirl. I think she spends a quarter of her day spinning.

So, when she saw one video of a ballerina, she was hooked. This made it no surprise that she wanted a ballerina birthday cake.

Order one, right? Wrong. We have food allergies in our family and have trouble finding a bakery that guarantees a peanut and tree nut free cake.

This ballerina cake needed to be homemade – a tall order.

Baking is not my strong suit. But I’ve been making an effort to learn and develop the skill because baking safe birthday cakes will be my job for years to come.

After much research, I decided to make this chocolate cheesecake layer cake from Recipe Girl. The recipe was well written, easy to follow, and the cake is delicious!

The recipe was modified to fit our needs as follows:

  • Line the pan with Parchment Paper: After reading reviews of how to ensure each layer of cake releases easily from the pan, each pan was lined with parchment paper. Not only did it work well, it was less messy than greasing and flouring the pans.
    • To line with parchment paper, spray the pan with cooking spray (I used PAM), then trace and cut out a circle of parchment paper to place in the pan. Finally, spray the top of the paper with cooking spray.
  • Freeze all layers: Due to time constraints, all cake and cheesecake layers were baked 3 days in advance and frozen.
    • Once cool, wrap each layer individually in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by one layer of tin foil. Place them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer until ready to assemble the cake. NOTE: To avoid freezer burn, don’t freeze in a frost-free freezer (that heats and cools to remove frost). I used our chest freezer.
  • Use a decorator cream cheese frosting: Instead of the recipe’s chocolate sour cream frosting, this cake was decorated with this fantastic crusting cream cheese, butter cream frosting. With so much chocolate, the cake is plenty rich so skipping the chocolate was ok. Plus, decorating with sour cream frosting won’t work – the designs will just melt away. This cream cheese frosting is great for decorating a ‘girlie’ cake.
    • FYI – my hand mixer started smoking and died while mixing the frosting – it gets thick before it is thinned out! My off-brand mixer wasn’t a very good one. I sprung for the Kitchen Aid hand mixer because it happened to be 20% off and similar in price to the one I had before. I was amazed by how much better it worked. If you feel like YOU are doing all the work when mixing this stuff, I recommend borrowing or buying a better hand mixer (or use a stand mixer). Your arms will thank you and it will cut the prep time in half.
  • Assemble with frozen layers: Handling frozen layers is a cinch – they stack easily without crumbling, frosting is easy to spread, and the cake turns out super moist.
  • Decorate with rosettes: After watching this Cake Trend video, I was able to decorate the cake with rosettes. The process was really forgiving! When things don’t look perfect, you can cover the edges with the next rosette. And because this cake used only one color, it was easy to blend and fill any gaps after finishing.
    • This cake was assembled and decorated one day before the party and stored in an airtight container overnight in the fridge.

Rosette cake

Now, didn’t I say she asked for a ballerina cake? Well, drawing a ballerina with frosting is simply beyond my skill level, so I needed something to stick in the cake.

I bought two sheets of glittery cardstock from JoAnn Fabrics (one gold, one pink). Then I traced and cut out ballerina figures. Each figure was taped to a wood skewer and stuck in the cake the day of the party.

Approval.jpg

I think she liked it and it was delicious!

Trust me, if I can make it, so can you!

 

Write Them On The Doorposts: An Idea For Building A House

During construction of our house, my sister-in-law shared the coolest idea with us – when building their house, their family wrote scripture and their names on the wood studs with a Sharpie.

A home built around God’s word. Literally.

The passage in Deuteronomy about teaching scripture to children came to mind.Focusing on God’s word isn’t just for Sunday morning, but instead for every day, and should permeate every aspect of our lives.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

-Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (ESV)

As my husband and I prepared to walk through the house after framing (before drywall), we considered what we wanted to write on our doorposts.

What do we want our house to be used for? How do we want to live life as a family? What scripture is special to each member of our family? We really do desire for God’s Word to permeate our lives and for our home to reflect it to others.

We thought about what we do in each room of the house and picked scripture to remind us of what we WANT to happen in each room. It was really fun to think about the purpose of each space.

Thinking about our kids and what we desire for their relationships with God was even more fun. And special. By far, this was one of the best parts of building a new home – and yes, I think it was even more exciting than picking out countertops and finishes.

We’ve lived in our finished house for 2 years. While we know what verses are hiding just behind the drywall, it just isn’t enough to know the words are there. No, we want those words to affect our life.

Now we are finding ways to display the verses in each room. They will not only be part of the structure, but also part of the livable space.  We have a few more rooms to go, but are making progress!

Many of the verses are displayed today because my PhotoShop-talented mom gave them to us as a gift (Thank you!). Talk about a gift with deep, lasting significance!

Here are the verses we chose for our home and family.

Kitchen and Dining Room:

Kitchen and Dining Room | thisgratefulmama.com

Our family’s day starts and ends in the kitchen and dining room. We share our meals and talk about our days – the heart of our home. We chose Joshua 24:15 because we want to be a family who daily chooses to serve the Lord.

Choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15 (ESV)

Living Room:

Living Room

Our living room is where we hang out as a family and guests. It is where the television is, and where we spend a lot of our time. This is where life happens! Philippians 4:8 reminds us of what we want to happen in this room. We want our activities and talk to be filled with GOOD things that honor the Lord.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

Front Door:

Write It On The Door Posts | thisgratefulmama.com

On the post for our front door, we chose Numbers 6:24-26. I cannot think of a better prayer to pray over those who enter and exit our home. We are still looking for a way to display this one above the door.

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

Office:

Write It On The Door Posts | thisgratefulmama.com

Our office is currently being used as a ‘LEGO room’. One day, it will be an office displaying Proverbs 19:21. This seems like a suitable verse for the place where we work, pay our bills, and consider our finances. We want all of these things to be submitted to the Lord and to follow His leading for our family.

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Our Son’s Room:

Write It On The Door Posts | thisgratefulmama.com

Ephesians 6:10-11 was the first scripture verse our son memorized. He learned it while we were helping him work through his fear of thunder storms. It is our goal as parents to teach our children how to be clothed in God’s armor so they are equipped to stand firmly in faith on their own.

10 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)

Our Daughter’s Room:

Write It On The Door Posts | thisgratefulmama.com

Proverbs 3:5-6 was written on our daughter’s doorpost. It is our prayer that she will grow up trusting God to guide her steps. We pray this verse with her and over her often.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Our Bedroom:

Our Bedroom.jpg

For our room, my husband and I chose two verses. Ephesians 4:2-3 expresses how we want to treat each other – with gentleness, humility and patience through love.

The second is Song of Solomon 6:3 – we belong to each other…now and forever.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

and

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine

Song of Solomon 6:3 (NIV)

While our family is not always good at living these things out, the verses serve as a reminder to point us to God. Often, when the day seems chaotic, a glance at the displays in each room can give me words to pray for our family, and change our attitudes.

Our kids are also very interested in the verses and often ask us to read them out loud. And, we can refer to them as we teach them about each verse and what it means.

I am so glad we took the time to select and write scripture during construction. I love how displaying them helps our family to remember in God daily life, and as we share our home with others.

How have you posted what is important to your family in your home?