Saturday, July 29, 2017

Choosing Floors

We’re deep into the process of flooring and have been for several weeks. Choosing a floor is much more difficult than we had ever anticipated. There are so many choices, it can be overwhelming. I’m breaking down our process and sharing what questions we asked and what we learned through our experience. Bear with me, this may be long-winded.

Types of Flooring
Since our home is built on a concrete slab we’ll share the flooring options we researched and considered for our home. There are more options out there such as hardwood and tile, but for the sake of our budget and type of home we have, we chose to stay within the following products.

Engineered Wood: Instead of being made with solid planks of wood, engineered wood is made of three layers of wood (plywood and wood) while the top layer is a hardwood veneer. Engineered wood is very stable and can withstand high heat and moisture. It can scratch and dent, however because it is made of real wood, this product can be refinished, but the number of times it can be refinished is limited. This is also a great choice if wanting to sell your home since it can add value and may help a home sell quicker. There are a few things to consider, engineered wood is not the most environmentally friendly and has toxins in the stains and topcoats. Since it is also engineered, it does contain adhesives in the product. Lastly, if a portion of the flooring becomes damaged it can be difficult to repair.  $-$$$

Laminate: This  product is made of five layers of different materials such as plywood or MDF core. However the top layer is merely a print to resemble the look of a natural surface such as wood, but the texture can vary. Laminate has a bottom water proof layer making it a great choice for almost any home or room. It is resistant to mold + bacteria and is also very durable to scratches, scuffs and even light. Since this is a man-made material it can be created using compounds that derive from formaldehyde, which can cause health concerns especially when using a low quality material. It’s suggested to use a premium laminate and to look for products that have a minimum 20 year base warranty. $-$$$

Luxury Vinyl: This product is becoming more and more popular and people are choosing this product over wood and laminate because it’s water, stain, scuff and scratch resistant. Perfect for basements,  bathrooms or homes that can easily flood. This product has no wood elements whatsoever, but made from PVC. Although this product is extremely durable, there are characteristics to consider. Such as the VOC emissions. Several companies have reduced the amount of PVC used to make the vinyl planks, however low end products can contain high amounts and it is something to consider since long term exposure may cause health concerns over a long period of time. This product also may have a marginal effect on resale value for a home.  $-$$

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back to School Style

This is our first year going to school and we’re very excited about it! Yes, the whole experience is bittersweet especially for a parent, but it’s pretty awesome to watch our baby grow and get to experience new things. Kensi is so excited to make new friends and learn new concepts and her excitement makes us excited. We decided to hold her back a year, so she’s going to PreK which we think is the best fit for all of us, but we still have quite a bit of summer left before her first day.

We recently looked up her classroom supply list and we hit up Target shortly after all the school supplies were stocked to get the best picks. Kensi picked out her favorite backpack and asked for a fun princess lunch box with all the fixings just so she was totally ready for school. She’s been trying her stuff on for the last week or so and then very carefully puts it all away back in the coat closet where is hangs neatly on her hook. I’ve also been picking up some back to school clothing for her and I have to admit the styles are so adorable this year and I cannot wait to see her rocking her favorite pieces.

Kensi is all about rainbows this year so it was natural for her to fall in love with this backpack. It’s the perfect size for her and the clouds are super soft! We also love shopping at small online shops and we’ve picked out a few pieces from three different favorite go to shops. This is the first time we’re trying Ryan & Wren’s clips and I think they’re going to be perfect for both Kensi and Olivia this fall. I also love shopping at Remi Girl and Alice & Ames for the sweetest and most soft dresses. Kensi absolutely adores these dresses and can’t get enough! Lastly, Hen&Co recently released this adorable Make a Wish sweatshirt. I think it’s the perfect addition for every child going back to school. I love creating a fun and whimsical wardrobe for Kensi and I think she’s going to have an absolute blast at school this year!

Friday, July 21, 2017

DIY Anthro Inspired Ornaments

I know it’s not anywhere close to Christmas yet, I also know many people really don’t want to think about it, but we spend one day celebrating Christmas in July every year so it’s been on our minds. We had quite a bit of paint leftover from Kensi’s birthday party and although her and Finn have painted several times since, and while in the craft store last week we spotted the clear plastic bulbs already on display and thought it would be fun to make our own Christmas bulbs for our tree this year. I struggle trying to find the perfect color combination of ornaments. I love having bright and whimsical touches on our tree, but finding the right colors seem either expensive or non-existent. Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love the colored Anthropologie latte bowls. I adore everything about these bowls and used them as inspiration to make the perfect whimsical colored ornaments for our tree.

Clear Plastic Round Bulbs (Hobby Lobby)
Acrylic Paint (colors of your choice)
Painters Tape
Plastic Cups

The paints I had on hand were all purchased earlier this year from Target. I love the color choices offered as they all go well together. The kids and I (and Mike!) made our ornaments one afternoon before dinner. We removed the metal tops from each bulb, poured half the container of paint inside and taped the top opening shut. Then came the fun part! Shaking it up! Shake the ornaments until the paint covers the inside.

The kids LOVED shaking the bulbs and watching the paint roll and cover the entire inside of each bulb. When the paint was a little thicker I added just a few drops of water to thin it out. Also, when in doubt and it seemed some of us couldn’t get the paint to cover a spot or two, we handed it to Mike. His manly muscles did just the trick!

Once the inside is coated, remove the tape and place the bulb upside down in the plastic cup. Let it sit over night as it will allow any excess paint to run out. The next day, flip the bulbs over, keeping them in the cups to finish drying. We let ours dry for a few days. Once dry, replace the metal tops and string with a hook or a pretty satin ribbon.

No more hunting all season for the perfect set of colored bulbs or breaking the bank! It’s a fun project for the kids, even if it’s still summer. This project can also be done closer to Christmas season. It’s a great way to keep the kids busy while wrapping the presents hiding in the closet!

Merry Making!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pantry Inspiration

We’re in the middle of a waiting game to start new projects at home. Over the weekend we went shopping for wood floors as we’re finally going to rip all the carpet out! We can hardly wait, although trying to pick a flooring is so DIFFICULT and taking longer than we ever expected! There are so many choices it makes me overwhelmed, but the process is fun and we are so excited to begin this BIG project. But as we wait to start that process, we’ve decided to overhaul our panty. We haven’t done anything to it since we moved in 3.5 years ago and it’s to the point where it’s always a mess, holds everything that doesn’t have a ‘home’ and a true annoyance. As I write, Finn just came out of the pantry wearing a piece from my canning kit because it was on floor after trying to rearrange the food for what seems like the millionth time.

We currently have the wire shelves that with too much weight in the middle begins to bow. Which ultimately means nothing heavy can be in the center. I also dislike the wire shelves for the simple fact that nothing sits flat. Everything wobbles or slides which can be dangerous when my little ones are trying to get snacks for themselves. We have already been to the doctor’s office once when Finn dropped a can on his toe last year. His nail in finally back to normal. SMH.

So as we measured the space and now plan exactly what we want to do build in order to make it as functional as possible for our family, I’m sharing a few of my favorite pantry inspiration pictures. I’m really hoping to install pull out drawers and have multitudes of shelf space for all my bakeware.

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