Bringing Up Baby

In case you thought my life was starting to get boring and that CLEARLY I didn’t have enough going on with the move and the holidays and a busy year for my day job, we thought we would add in another (not so little) extra.


Lexie is very excited to announce that she will have Baby Guard Dog Duty starting next June!  That’s right, the husband and I are going to have a baby! Like everything else, I’m sure I’ll overshare on the blog about this whole adventure, so if reading about that isn’t your thing… skip over those posts! And if you have ever met our dog, you understand that this picture is QUITE humorous because Lexie would not guard anything from anything.  She might however break your kneecaps with her tail of steel since she’ll be wagging it excitedly while she has a toy in her mouth.

If you are curious on some of the details: I am at a little over 12 weeks now, so I’m headed into my second trimester.  Tomorrow I’ll post some weekly updates that I’ve been trying to write, but let’s be honest, I’ve been moving and working so they aren’t SUPER consistent… but I am trying!

The short version of what you can read tomorrow is that I’ve had crazy intense nausea and massive amounts of sheer exhaustion; all of which people tell me is a good sign.  Although it took everything inside of me not to punch my doctor when she was so excited about my nausea.  Apparently round the clock morning sickness and exhaustion make MJ pretty grumpy!

And I do have to give a massive shoutout to my husband for being a Rockstar during the moving process: he (along with a little help from my parents) packed the ENTIRE house up while I mostly laid on the couch.  HUSBAND OF THE YEAR AWARD.   The morning sickness is starting to let up (and I’m hoping for one heck of a nesting phase) so I’ve been able to do quite a bit of the unpacking.

We are going to find out the sex of the baby, but I’m thinking that won’t really happen until February because of our doctor’s visit schedules. The husband is completely convinced it is a boy, but I’m pretty sure that is wishful thinking on his part.  And that leads me to my next story: how we found out.  You know how some people have cute stories about how they tell their husband’s they are pregnant? Well, first of all, I have no poker face, so I’m pretty sure he would know immediately anyway, but in our case? He found out first.

What’s that you say?  How on EARTH does something like that happen? Well, he was convinced we were pregnant and we decided to take a test, well at the time I was getting up to go to Camp Gladiator at 5:30 3 mornings a week, and this happened to be one of those days, but all the pregnancy tests tell you to take it in the morning, so I did.  I was in a hurry, so I looked at the test (one of the ones with two lines if you are pregnant, one if the test worked but you aren’t pregnant) and there was one line.  So I tossed the test on the counter, told my sleeping husband he was wrong and we weren’t and went to my workout class.

When I got home from CG, he said… are you sure we aren’t pregnant? There are two lines on there. So of course I run in there and look at the test, and sure enough: two lines.  One dark one (the control line) and one VERY VERY faint line.  Well turns out faint line or dark line… a line is a line (and yes we googled that).  So my husband told me we were pregnant.

But we are over the moon excited about this and its already been a crazy ride, but we are excited for the next chapter of our lives!


ps… Extra shout out to our awesome friend Claire for writing the sign… SO JEALOUS OF YOUR CALLIGRAPHY SKILLS!!


New House Tour!

Y’all!! After an exhausting weekend of moving… seriously I hate moving… we are in the new house!!! I’ll write a later post about the process… but let’s get to the things you really want to see: pictures of the new house!

I snapped these photos on Saturday morning while waiting for the security system guy to do his thing, but AFTER we had all the carpet in the house replaced. I’ll talk more about that later, but let me just say this: worth EVERY penny.  The carpets in the house had clearly been well used and getting this done while we had no furniture in the house was the way to go.  The guys (Signature Flooring for all you Dallas-ites looking for a good company) were great and got the whole house done in one day.

But without further ado:

Right as you walk in the front door there is a very long room that is the formal living/dining room


Right now it has a mirror covering half of the far wall (which until I buy a full length mirror was the only way I saw my whole outfit on Sunday, picture me standing on a chair surrounded by boxes and you’ll get the picture) This room is very long, and a bit awkward, but we will see what it looks like when I get all the moving boxes out.  Since I don’t really have any formal living furniture this will mostly just replace our formal dining room + the piano (much to the piano mover’s relief it wasn’t going back upstairs).  We really think this room needs a grand piano, but since we don’t have that kind of dough to throw around we will be satisfied with our upright piano for the time being.

From here you go through an archway just to the right of that mirror and go into our kitchen/breakfast area/living room.

Its kind of hard to tell from these pictures, but the dining room that is at the front of the house is through the archway on the left, I was standing in the living room taking this photo and the breakfast area (which is shown in the next picture) is to the right… along with the door to the backyard and our new pool!


You can kind of see in the picture above that the laundry room is just off the kitchen/breakfast area.  Which will be a change from having it upstairs, so we will see if I like it better or not!)


Ignore the random things that I brought over from the old house, they were mostly things left that I didn’t want to have to pack into boxes or cleaning things I thought we would need!


From there if you turn around, the living room is connected to the kitchen/breakfast area, making it one nice large room that feels very open. This room is slightly larger than our last living room, but laid out very similarly.


The previous owners clearly had a very nice speaker system installed all over the house, there are built in speakers in almost every part of the house, including outside. And a MASSIVE amount of wires that go with it.  Husband and I are definitely going to have to seek out some help from a friend to get that all set up and going, but I’m looking forward to having music all over! (and bonus… someone was nice enough to label what each cord goes to… YES!)

newhousetour1So in the picture above you can kind of see the stairs that lead to upstairs (you know… where stairs normally go), the hallway on the left which leads to a downstairs guest room and full bathroom, and the archway to the right which leads to the formal dining room, just to give you some bearings.

The last room downstairs is a guest room and full bath.  Since this will be the bathroom most of our guests use and used for pool guests and changing, we will be changing out most of the wood floors for tile in this part of the house. The wood (I think actually laminate) has definitely seen better days, and since we expect to have youth and kids running through the house wet, we think tile is a better decision for in here. I’ll keep you posted.  But have no fear, we will be leaving the wood floors in the front dining room.

The good news for you guys is… I get to learn how to strip wallpaper.  The bad news for me is… I have to learn how to strip wallpaper.  Be grateful that I spared your eyes the maroon curtain/valence that went over the shower. You’re welcome.



The guest room is still evolving but for now it will have the same white desk and bed that were in my previous guest room. Currently it looks like this:



Once you get upstairs, we have another ‘bonus room’ landing area:


That door on the left is magic… but i’ll tell you more about that later.  From here the bedroom on the right is the master (you can just barely see the door frame), straight ahead is our 4th bedroom, and to the left down the hall is another bath and the other bedroom.

The master bedroom is E-NORMOUS, when I get pictures of our furniture in, you’ll be able to see some scale, but it is a golden brown color that matches nothing I own, so this will be one of the first rooms painted.



Through the double doors on your right is our master bathroom, which I’m pretty sure is larger than the my bedroom was in my first apartment.  I don’t love that they painted the trim in the whole room a dark chocolate brown, but since stripping that off and repainting them white gives me hives I’m trying to think of a creative way of incorporating the brown into something I like. Any and all suggestions welcome.


Back out of the master bedroom and down the hallway are the other two bedrooms.  One is very very blue, don’t worry it won’t be staying this color… this picture doesn’t do it justice… it is ELECTRIFYING. Although not nearly as bad as the lime green highlighter color in our first house.



The bathroom looks eerily similar to the upstairs bath from our last house, and is your definition of builder basic (sorry for the grainy pic… it was really dark in there).


And the last bedroom will end up being Reese’s study.

newhousetour3But my favorite part of this room? I GET A CRAFT CLOSET! WITH A WINDOW!  I have no idea why this 3rd bedroom has a GINORMOUS closet (for a not so ginormous room) but I’ll take it! It is definitely big enough to put a desk for my sewing machine and build in some AWESOME shelving to house my fabric, paper and crafty things.  And best of all? I don’t have to clean up my project when I am done.  Score one for MJ! Of course it is virtually impossible to take good pictures of closets like this, but just trust me… its going to be fantastic.



And that concludes this tour.

I realize as I get to the end of this post that I didn’t include any outdoor pictures.  Oooops. And I’m travelling for work this week which makes it very hard to pop outside and snap a few photos… so you’ll have to come back later to see the pictures of the pool and the front of the house!


Play Kitchen

I’m so very excited to show you guys this project!! As you may recall from previous posts (like this one and this one) I have the cutest niece on the planet.  Well, sometime in October my mom was surfing through Pinterest (a very dangerous thing to do) and saw a post where someone had turned an old TV stand into a play kitchen for kids.  And lo and behold, my parents have been moving this beauty from house to house for 25+ years:


Once upon a time it had glass fronted doors on the left hand section, but they are long gone.  And since this guy was just being used for storage in the basement, it made a GREAT candidate for a play kitchen for Juliette.  And since she was coming to visit for Thanksgiving, we had a deadline.  Fair warning, there are going to be LOTS of pictures in this post, so for those of you who are impatient enough to want to see the final product, here is a teaser of how much Juliette loved her play kitchen!


It was a HUGE success, she loved playing with it, especially since it was in Mom’s kitchen, meaning she could play while everyone else gathered around and caught up on life.  Perfection.


Now for the nitty gritty, and as a reward for those of you who make it to the end of this post, there are a ton more pictures of my precious niece playing with her kitchen.

First off we went shopping for supplies, (the first of many trips to Home Depot during this project) but it is an important step! We wanted to make sure we had the bowl for the sink and the faucet so that we could drill the holes for those before we painted.  Using my jigsaw we cut a rough circle for the sink and using my drill and bits we cut the right holes for where we wanted the faucet to go.


Next up we painted.  We decided we wanted most of it to be a robin’s egg blue color, but we wanted the inside of the fridge to be white, and we wanted it to have a black baseboard that ran across the whole project.  We also decided we wanted the one cabinet door to be white.  It took a couple coats of paint everywhere (especially the white over the dark wood).  But we left the ‘countertop’ open because I had extra hex tile (from tiling my backsplash) and we thought it would be fun to have a tiled counter top.  But this project also reminded me how much I hate working with tiny little hex tiles.  Love the way it looks, hate nipping those little suckers.


For the next step we tiled the counter- if you want a tutorial on tiling see the link above about tiling the backsplash- This was not the smoothest tiling job I have ever done, but the good news is… its a play kitchen, and perfection was not our goal.



At this point we decided the project would be cuter with a piece of wood covering the back and a ‘window’ cut out of it.  Which means? Another trip to Home Depot.  We decided to just use 1/8th inch plywood stapled to the back of the unit, but used some white trim to create the ‘window’ look. And really, her kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a small backsplash of her own, so we used some more of my leftover tile, and created a small back splash on the back piece.


We used liquid nails to hold down the trim, the blue tape is just holding it in place until it dries.

While that was happening, we needed to create doors for the ‘refrigerator’ and make the one cabinet door look like an oven.

For the fridge doors we just used 1/2 furniture grade plywood cut into two longer strips (measured to fit) and spray painted with a metallic silver spray paint. Once they were dry we added handles and hinges to finish off our fridge.

For the oven, we used the existing cabinet door, painted it black, but added 1/8″ plywood on top (with liquid nails) painted in the same silver as the fridge doors to give the appearance of the stove door with window.


Once we had it painted, we used two cabinet hinges on the inside bottom to allow it to be pulled out like a real oven door.

Unfortunately I don’t seem to have any good pictures of the ‘stove top’, but we used more of the 1/8″ plywood, painted in the same metallic silver, and then used 4 square dowels to create the look of the burners.  You can see it a bit in the final pictures down below.

At this point, the kitchen was ready to go, it just needed some decor!


If the oven looks a little precarious in the picture above it is because it wasn’t actually secured at this point in the process, we hadn’t attached the hinges.

For the final product we added some knobs to the front to control the stove, curtains (hand sewn by mom), some hooks for utensils, a towel rack and towel, and LOTS and LOTS of fake food from Ikea.  Ikea has an awesome selection of felt food that is perfect for a one year old.

OH! I almost forgot, we also added some logos with vinyl from my Silhouette Machine, and those lights?? 10 LED battery operated lights from Home Depot.  They turn on with a push of the button and will auto shutoff if no one touches them for 30 minutes. GENIUS. They totally improve the look of the project!

And Viola! ready for Miss Juliette to play to her heart’s content.



And play she did… she loved it!!!  (and so did her Nanny!!!)  And yes… they have matching Aprons!


What shall I have for lunch today? Fish? Bread? Lettuce? They are all so felty!



Maybe she’ll learn to wash dishes early?


This one isn’t really related to the kitchen, but it was so cute I couldn’t help but to share… this is my 94 year old grandmother having a tea party with Juliette and my favorite bear from my childhood.  There are so many things I love about this photo!