March 15, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas

I love gift baskets!  I love the creativity it takes to put one together.  Picking a theme, a fun container and then all the unique, pretty little things to fill it.  I think that is why I love Easter baskets so much.  I love filling a basket with a lot of little gifts and sweets for my loved ones to explore.

I've already started my shopping for this year too.  Here are some of the items that may or may not end up in our Easter baskets.

Last year, Ella's basket was very sparse and practical.  She was about 7 months old and I didn't really know what to put in it.  Of course, who really cares when you have a giant, glitter bow on it.

My Easter basket was the best though….

This year Ella will have fun digging through her basket.  It is the perfect combo of practical and fun but even the practical things I think she will love.  She loves playing dress-up and she loves coloring and crafts so when I saw the create your own bunny mask kit from PaperSource, I knew it was perfect for her.  She will also be getting new crayon pens and a homemade coloring book for rainy spring days.  (I'll be sharing more soon about the super easy and cheap way I create custom coloring books and pages for her.)  Ella has also discovered that she can drink like a big girl and she thinks my water bottles are for her.  So I thought this spring/summer would be the perfect time to get her one of her own.  And since she really isn't eating candy yet I thought some cute bunny graham crackers and fruit snacks would be the perfect snack to hide in some traditional eggs.  Throw in some new pajamas, book and stuffed animal and she is all set for her move to the big girl bed.

Of course you can't go wrong with adding some bubbles, chalk or cute hair accessories/jewelry.

And since I had so much fun shopping for ideas for all the moms out there, I decided to make myself an easter basket this year.  It won't be as good as the adorable baby in last year's but it is the perfect excuse for those little extra indulgences.
Can't wait for summer drinks in my new mason jar tumbler!

Happy Easter basket stuffing!

March 9, 2014

Basement Remodel: Furniture

We've been hard at work making the basement livable these past few weeks and while there is still plenty to do before I'll call it finished, we have definitely been enjoying it.  I wasn't even able to get a photo without Ella playing with her toys - she always wants to be down there.  I'm so thankful we did this before our little guy arrives in May.  Hopefully we can finish this list before then too.

    To Do List:

    -  install post and stair railing
    -  new stairwell light fixture
    -  finish electrical (all outlets and the last can light)
    -  finish the trim around the window
    -  cut, paint and install shelves in nook
    -  paint and assemble entertainment center
    -  install kitchen cabinets, shelves and countertop on back wall for office/craft station
    -  move in furniture
    -  paint post and stair railing
    -  inject lots of color with artwork, pillows and accessories
    -  paint office stool

Even with a few things left on the list, this basement has come a long way and has added a lot of livable space for us.  It has allowed us to clean-up and de-clutter so many other rooms in our house, as well as forced us to organize our storage.  It feels so good to sort through all the stuff that accumulates and throw away the junk, give away the unnecessary and pack away the rest in organized boxes. 

I'm also thankful that we are done paying for this basement.  From the beginning we wanted to/needed to do this project on a budget and I'm proud that we stuck to our guns and kept the cost down.  It meant making tough decisions like not drywalling the ceiling, waiting to complete the bathroom and taking free furniture instead of buying new.  We had originally planned to move our living room couch down to the basement and purchase new furniture for that room but then my parents offered up an old leather couch and chair and we couldn't say no.  Well, admittedly I kind of wanted to because I don't love leather and I was looking forward to new living room furniture but now that it is in the basement I am so glad we took it.  It doesn't make the space look as dark and masculine as I thought it would and once I add some colorful pillows, blankets and artwork I think it will really help brighten everything up and give the space a pop.  

Another budget decision we made was to wait on doing built-ins for the TV.  Brandon's brother was giving up his entertainment center and let us take a small part of it to use as console table below the TV.  It still needs to be painted and it doesn't fit the space as well as I would like but it is sturdy and safe for children and will hold all the necessary components.  And maybe someday we'll tackle a full wall of built-ins.  That nook is just calling for it.

The last major budget decision we made was to not install a full wall of cabinets and countertop along the back wall.  Doing a full wall of cabinets and countertop actually doubled this part of the budget.  So instead I brought down the armoire from Ella's bedroom for added craft storage and made a smaller desk for working.  I'm so glad I didn't push the budget, mostly because it has given us so much more space in the shared nursery for a big girl bed!  

Oh and I also bought a cheap $10 stool from Target that I will paint a fun, bright color to help add a  pop to this part of the space and it beats the $70 I almost spent on another option.

Hopefully another update with the "details" won't be too far behind.  I've ordered some fabric and look forward to a few sewing projects.  Stay tuned!

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