If you've been following me for a while, you know that I had a blast designing and decorating Brooke's nursery. I knew that once our baby arrived, my next project would be turning my former craft room into a fun playroom. Well, it only took the better part of a year...but I can say that it's now (mostly) complete! I have LOADS of pics to share with you, and hopefully a lot of good tips and information.

**NOTE: I have decided that I will do future posts outlining the individual DIY projects for this room in more detail. It's just too much to all do in one post.

So, with that said, here is a weird, fisheye view of the playroom (sorry it's the only lens I have that can get the whole room in one shot!)

My theme for this DIY makeover was a) bright & cheery primary colors b) keep costs down, and c) try & re-purpose items we already owned.

There is a lot of IKEA stuff in this room - are you shocked? ;) The main element is this large Expedit bookcase - it only cost $199 and just LOOK at all that storage!

Totally awesome. All baskets and boxes inside this shelf are also from IKEA. We are actually doubling up on storage with this bookcase, as I have a row across the very top containing office supplies, crafting supplies, and other miscellaneous items. Luckily we don't have THAT many toys (yet) so we are able to still use one row on this monster bookcase for us :)

The flooring is made up of these foam squares. (thank you, Amazon Prime for fast & FREE shipping!). I thought about the flooring for a while. We looked at MANY carpets and area rugs. Unfortunately, the carpets I found were crazy expensive and not large enough to cover the entire floor. We wanted something soft, colorful and relatively inexpensive. I got this idea from a friend, and it works perfect! It was WAY cheaper than a huge area rug - and it's SO much easier to clean. It can also be customized to almost exactly the size of the room (I still have a few blank squares I need to fill in here & there). If one square gets damaged, they are easily replaceable. All around win.

The curtain valances were another DIY project, courtesy of these full panel curtains from IKEA.

I bought just one set (for some reason they are showing $50 for price on their site, but I only paid $30 for mine. Not sure what that is all about?) Anyway, I cut them up & sewed them into these valances, then added some cute pom pom trim - just like the curtains in Brooke's nursery. I still had a BUNCH of curtain fabric leftover (still do, actually) so I used some to create these pillow covers:

(I followed THIS awesome and simple tutorial for sewing these covers). I keep these pillows on the floor so that we have something to lean on when we sit and read with Brooke. I already had the pillow inserts so this was a very cheap element to add to the room. 3 valances + 2 pillows for ~$35. Not bad!

We have a few walls with mini bookshelves, because this little girl has LOTS of books (which we LOVE!)

I stole this bookshelf idea from many inspirational rooms I found online. We recieved SO many wonderful books at my baby shower and I love that this gives us a way to display them all. (another inexpensive way to fill up wall space using items we already owned). Brooke is very tough on books at the moment, so I really would like to save these nice books until she is a little older. I keep the board books nice and low for her to easily grab, and the larger books with paper pages up top.

These bookshelves are actually spice racks from IKEA, painted white. They are only $4 a piece and I just love the look of them. The most annoying part about these was hanging them up (luckily hubby will do anything for his little girl. Sorry, Pete!)

The word "READ" was created using wooden letters that I found at Michael's in the unfinished wood section. They were already white so I didn't even bother painting them. Just had to hang them up to create this fun title. You might recognize a few of these letters from the Father's Day gift disaster. LOL. At least I got my money's worth out of them...

I filled the space above the bookshelves on this wall with some super inexpensive DIY art. This is simply fabric wrapped around cheap embroidery hoops. Full post on these coming soon.

This next wall has lots of fun stuff on it!

The bottom has both a chalkboard and velcro board - more DIY projects that were relatively inexpensive.

Brooke LOVES both of them (when she isn't trying to eat the chalk. EW).The velcro board has a bunch of laminated flash cards stuck to it. She really enjoys sticking things to the velcro and pulling them off. I plan to laminate more stuff soon and use this as a learning tool when she gets older.

Above that I have a wire from IKEA to display my little Picasso's latest creations. This was something we already had leftover from my old craft room, so there was no cost there.

Above that I have another shelf from IKEA, along with cheap IKEA frames. Inside the frames is some DIY digital artwork that I created. (mostly because I was being cheap and didn't want to pay for the ones I found online.) It's not nearly as nice as the ones I saw online, but it works for this room. I will do a full post on those soon, too. I filled the rest of the shelf in with some favorite photos.

This last wall displays my Sunshine wall art, more frames for Brooke's crafty creations, and my latest project, a fun magnet board:

I snagged some Melissa & Doug wooden magnets at my local craft store using a 50% coupon. They are perfect for her little hands! Our stainless steel refrigerator is not magnetic for some reason, so this DIY magnet board makes up for it :) I got the idea from this lovely tutorial.

One of my best finds for this room was this Fisher Price "door" that I grabbed around Christmas time. A friend's neighbor was looking to sell this toy for $30 - it goes for almost $80 brand new! I was so happy to get a gently used toy that is in great working condition for such a bargain. Brooke has a BLAST with this toy and it acts as the perfect centerpiece for the playroom.

Also, I thought I would let you all know that if you think the room stays this clean you are sorely mistaken. This is a pic of her doing what she does best - acting like a tornado & ripping EVERYTHING off the shelves, ha!

I must admit though, that it does not take long to clean up at all, thanks to all the storage bins & shelves in that IKEA bookcase. And don't worry, we have bracketed this shelving unit to the wall for safety. We also have gates on each doorway to keep the tornado Brooke from weaving her path of destruction to other rooms on the 2nd floor. AND to avoid the stairs...ha ;) Also, I realize I sound like a walking advertisement for IKEA in this post, but I can assure you that I am in no way being compensated from them. (although that would be pretty freaking awesome, LOL!)

So that's it! I hope you enjoyed this LONG tour of our newly completed playroom. I must say that Brooke really enjoys playing in here. The room is actually right off her nursery, so as soon as she wakes up, she toddles right into the room and starts playing. It worked out perfectly for the flow of our house, too - because in order to get to most rooms on the 2nd floor, you have to walk through this room. There really wasn't much else you could do with it, aside from making it an office/craft room/playroom.

I will try and do more specific posts on some of the DIY projects soon, but let me know if you have any other questions on things I might have left out. Thanks! :)

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Happy Sunday :)

November 13, 2011

in Baby

this is too good not to share. Brooke loves playing on Daddy's Shoulders. (and yes, I know we are silly & goofy and talk like idiots. But you know, it's SO much fun. We just can't resist!) Her faces just kill me. She is such a smiley happy baby!

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someone likes to swing…

September 7, 2011

in Baby

can you guess who? :)

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2 Months.

June 20, 2011

in Baby,Brooke Monthly

I cannot believe my little peanut is already 2 months old! We had a little photoshoot last week so I wanted to share the pics here with you all. It's been an awesome 2 months. She is growing & changing everyday and we are loving every minute of it! Brooke really recognizes us as Mommy & Daddy now and I have to tell you there is no better feeling than looking at your little one & having them smile back at you. GAH! Makes my heart melt. For example...


At 2 Months, Brooke is:

  • Smiling a LOT! She loves to smile at Mommy & Daddy, but really anyone who catches her attention.
  • Cooing a TON! Every day is seems she coo's even more and it's so freaking awesome. It's like she just discovered the sound of her own voice & she loves to hear it. I can really get her going in the morning when she wakes up for her first feeding. It's my favorite part of the day!
  • Sleeping for ~6 hour stretches at night. We've had a few 8 hour stretches mixed in there (glorious). Now I just need to be better about falling asleep at the same time that SHE does so that I can get more sleep! (easier said then done though - there is always something around the house that I need to get done before heading up to bed!)
  • Sleeping a LOT during the day still - but that's OK. I love the cuddle time and she seems to need it. It helps her sleep better at night when she naps more during the day. I am embracing this time as I know it won't last forever. LOL
  • Weighs 11lbs/ and is 23.25 inches long!
  • Brooke has already been to visit her Nana & Grandpa overnight twice with Mommy & Daddy. She's a travelin' baby and handles it so well. When I am home with her during the week, we go anywhere & everywhere. Mama likes to get out & do things so Brooke is getting used to being on the go. I am hoping she continues to like it as she gets older!

I also had this pink skirt that I bought a few years ago on super clearance with the idea of Baby Photoshoots in mind. I wasn't even pregnant at the time, and little did I know that someday I would have a baby girl of my own to stick in this skirt :) So I couldn't resist putting her in it & getting a few shots.

My favorite part is the way her chubbo little belly squeezes into that skirt. LOVE! hehe.

Love this face. SO much.

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Owl Pillow Boxes

April 30, 2011

in Altered Stuff,Baby

Hi everyone! I finally had a moment to photograph a fun project that I worked on when I was super pregnant & super bored :)

I saw these on Pinterest (LOVE that site!!) and I just knew I had to make them. How freaking cute are they? I followed the instructions from Gen exactly. You will need the Sizzix pillow box die, a 3/4"  and 1 1/4" circle punch, large oval punch, and trio of hearts SU! punches. (see my post about my favorite punches)

note: please disregard the dusty table...I haven't been up to much cleaning with a newborn in the house, and go figure that my camera would pick that up, right??

You could put candy or money in these little boxes - a perfect favor for a party, birthday, get together, etc. I made all sorts of silly faces & positions with these little guys. I like that they are all different:

The base of the owls are all cardstock - I went through my stash of designer paper to find matching monotone paper to use for the little feathers. The colors don't need to be exact, just similar enough. Once all the elements were punched, these went together really quickly!

All cardstock used was either Stampin Up or Papertrey Ink.

Also, I wanted to send a huge THANK YOU to all of you sweet blog readers who have left so many kind & thoughtful comments for our family & little Miss Brooke. Please know that I do take the time to read each & every one of your comments & they mean so much to me!!

We have been doing great as a family of 3 - just enjoying every moment with our little peanut, and sharing her with lots of awesome family & friends who have come to visit! It's really nice to have such supportive friends & family - it has certainly made the last 2 weeks much easier. I will leave you with a few more pics :)

This first one is of Brooke last week sleeping on her Daddy. Makes my heart melt into a million pieces...

And here we are as a family on Easter Sunday - it was about 75 degrees out that day - and I was going a little stir crazy being couped up all week long. So we went out for our first walk together. Brooke is in there somewhere, underneath the canopy and blankets, haha!

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Introducing: Brooke Grace

April 21, 2011

in Baby

hi everyone - I've been a bit absent lately - and I wanted to jump on here and share my little reason for my lack of posts. Her name is Brooke Grace, and she comes in a package 21.25 inches long, and weighs 7 lbs., 6 oz :)

Brooke was born on Saturday, April 16th after roughly 40 hours of labor. It was a long process, but totally worth the end result! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Anything for my sweet little girl.

She already has Daddy wrapped around her little finger, and he is just as in love with her I am...

Our family pic right before leaving the hospital. I have no makeup on, my hair is not done - but you know what? I love this pic. We are so happy.

and here is one last shot of my little burrito...! We went from being "Team Green" to "Team Pink" - and the moment that Pete looked down to see what our little baby was, and then said to me "It's a Girl" = best moment of my life. Truly special & amazing.

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The Nursery

March 14, 2011

in Baby,Decorating

Well I think I am finally to a point where the nursery is mostly complete. Still a few shelves here & there I think we will hang, but for the most part it's set! I thought I'd share the photos here - and be warned - there are a LOT! You know me, I just can't stop when I get going with the camera. (Lord help us all when the child is actually here.) Before I begin, I wanted to say that I pulled SO much inspiration from Susan Weinroth's nursery. OK, so I mostly copied her design. It was just so perfect & adorable, I had to. The minute I saw her nursery, I knew it was the one I wanted. We are "Team Green" - so I wanted something gender neutral, bright, cheery & fun. So a huge thanks to Susan for sharing such wonderful pics of her nursery for us all to use as inspiration. I did add some elements of my own, but the colors and even certain Etsy vendors were all thanks to the very talented Susan. Here is the view when you first walk in:

Dresser/Bookcase & Changing area:

Another dresser & closet area:

Closeup of the crib. LOVE the bedding. I had it custom made from this Etsy Vendor. She is AMAZINGLY talented! She was highly recommended by Susan - so I had to go with her. I did lots of research on the colors I wanted. Once I figured out the ones I liked, I picked out some fabric & had it sent to her. She whipped together the sheets, bumper, and crib skirt. LOVE!! Also, the tree that you see on the wall is a vinyl wall art piece from this Etsy vendor.

closeup of the bedding...(Fabrics are: Michael Miller Ta Dot Ocean, Riley Blake Colorful Cheery Circles Green, Robert Kaufman Primatex Basic Tiny Dots Yellow)

the Mobile. Got this from LandofNod - just love those little birdies.

Another steal from Susan's nursery. Just loved this print when I saw it. You can find it from this Etsy Shop.

Sitting area. That chair rocks/reclines/swivels. It's great! I am sure I will be spending LOTS of time there so I really wanted something comfy. Also - the lampshade is just a white shade from Walmart that I covered in the same yellow fabric that I used for the curtains & bedding.

Curtains that I made, with fun aqua poms hanging on them. (totally used Susan's idea for these too!)

Preview of the baby quilt I am working on for this room. It's almost done...I'm getting there...!

Dresser with cute stuffed animals & even more fun Etsy artwork. You can find these adorable prints in THIS Etsy shop. I thought they went perfectly with the bright colors & feel of the room. They came just as prints & I bought frames & framed them myself.

Handmade booties. SOO CUTE. Had to buy them. Off Etsy, of course :)

closer view of the changing area & bookcase. The shelf adjust to allow for more room for changing.

Another print that I fell in love with on Etsy. I grabbed this one long before I was even pregnant. I always knew it would someday be in my baby's room - and that the colors of the room would be similar to the ones in this print. At some point I will hang a shelf in the room & rest it on there.

Piggy Bank! How much does this little guy look like those green pigs in ANGRY BIRDS?? LOL!!

Books! Lots & LOTS of books! We were so overwhelmed with the generosity of family & friends. My Baby Shower was a "book shower" - and every guest was asked to bring a book. It is SUCH a great way to start off a baby's library. I cannot wait to read to this little one.

Another view, standing on the other side of the room. Carpet is from LandofNod. I have to say, I love hanging out in here now. It's my favorite room in the house!

FYI: all furniture (with exception of night stand, which is from IKEA) - is from Buy Buy Baby.

This weekend we spent more time putting together all sorts of baby gear. Luckily we are using my old craft room as a "Playroom" - which means for now it's where we are keeping all the big items. It's great to have that extra space. And I can't tell you how fun it was to wash all those little baby clothes & go through things!

Also, here is a picture from last weekend of my Mother & I after my Baby Shower. I wanted something small, just family & very close friends. Her & my MIL put on such a lovely shower at our home. It was PERFECT! I just love this pic of me & "Nana"...!

I will leave you with one last pic, a 35 week Belly shot. You aren't getting to see my head because I was a hot mess when this was taken. Trust me, we are all better off this way :)

Thanks for looking! Kudos to you if you made it to the end of this VERY long post!

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a sneak peak…

February 15, 2011

in Baby,Sewing

at some yummy fabrics I am using to make this baby quilt.

As you can see by the colors in this pic, I am going with turquoise/greens/yellows for the nursery. Some of you thought the blue walls meant BOY - hehehe. But no - we are not finding out the gender of this little one. We want to be surprised and are very much looking forward to that moment! I am super picky and could not find any bedding sets that I liked online or in the stores - so I decided to go with my own design. I'm making the quilt (duh) and I found a lovely Etsy seller to make the rest of the bedding for me. (It should be arriving any day now - so I'm pretty stoked about that).

I've just about finished piecing together all the squares & measured out the backing. I need to start putting the actual quilt together now with batting. I am hoping I can finish it up within the next week or so. I will be sure to share with you all when it's complete!

FYI: I mostly chose Michael Miller, Moda, and other fun fabrics for this quilt. There are SO many different ones. I am afraid I will probably not know what the exact name or brand of any of the above fabrics are. I need to get better at writing them down when I buy them I suppose?

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31 Weeks

February 10, 2011

in Baby

I haven't posted a Belly Pic in a while - so I thought I'd update with one now that we're closing in on the last few months!

I cannot believe there is only 9 weeks left. Wow! This pregnancy has really gone by quickly. We've made great progress on things though (yes, this pic was taken today in the nursery - so you're getting a sneak peak of what it looks like...!) We've started taking childbirth classes and are getting ready for the whole process of labor - getting a tour of the L&D unit at the hospital next week so that's exciting! Overall I have just been trying to really enjoy being pregnant. And you know what? I think I have. I really do. Sure - it's more & more uncomfortable each week. There are aches & pains. And I definitely feel like a weeble at times...but I mean, I am pregnant - no one said this would be all roses & cherries ;) I think overall I am just trying to stay as positive as I can and focus on the things that keep me relaxed & happy. So many people are SO negative about life in general, being pregnant, and having babies. I simply smile at those people and just tune them out when they start talking to me ;) (I am really not sure what people think they are accomplishing by being so negative all the time - but that's another topic all together, right?? Life is TOO short to be a "Debbie Downer".) Anyway - I'm babbling. All I know is that I am 31 weeks pregnant, the baby is healthy thus far, I am healthy, and I feel good. We are excited. We are enjoying it. That's all that really matters :)

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Belly Pic! 23 Weeks :)

December 16, 2010

in Baby

Just felt like sharing this fun pic I took today, I am 23 weeks exactly. I can't wait to put together a whole scrapbook with all of these belly pics I've been taking. I think it will be pretty fun to look back on.


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