Thursday, April 5, 2018

Easter weekend with the little one - 2018

Easter weekend with the little one - 2018

Last Saturday, Emmajean had her BFF over to play while the dads and Grandpa went to pick up our "new" used playground. It was fairly yucky out so we decided to skip the town Easter egg hunt-- sad, I know! I had really been looking forward to taking Emmajean to her first Easter egg hunt, but we decided to dye our own eggs at home instead. 

Gima Dawn and I helped the girls dye eggs for the first time, and they turned out beautiful! It had been a while since I've dyed eggs, so this might help you, too!

For future reference, all it took to dye our eggs (per color): 
  • 1/2 cup warm water 
  • mug and spoon for each color
  • splash of vinegar
  • few drops of food coloring
  • several cold hard-boiled eggs 

I boiled and cooled the eggs while the girls napped. When they woke up (hence the crazy hair), Dawn and I prepped the mugs with water, vinegar, and food coloring to dye the eggs. The girls LOVED it!

The girls loaded up the mugs with eggs, which actually created a really cool multi-color dyed effect! 

I was impressed at how well the little ones did, and how they were able to handle most of the process themselves. They only needed a little bit of help from us. 

Didn't they turn out beautiful?

After they were done with dyeing their eggs, we cozied up for a movie and waited for the eggs to dry. They deserved a little break after all of that hard work. ;) Shortly after, the guys arrived back at the farm with a load of "new to us" toddler gear and a giant playground.  These two are sure to have a blast as soon as the weather warms up! Images of that coming soon! In the meantime, I'll skip ahead to Easter morning. 

This Easter Sunday, we managed to wake up in time for the sunrise service at Norway Lutheran Church. It was a beautiful service led by the youth. They did a great job! After the service, the youth served a breakfast to a packed church. We didn't get to stay for breakfast, but it smelled delicious! 

Instead, we headed home to clean up Emmajean's new play area (previously known as our dining room). I wanted to tidy up the house before Grandpa and Gima came over for Easter lunch. I never imagined our house would look like a daycare after having a kiddo... never say never! 

It's totally worth it. We'll get back to dinner parties and fancy things when the kiddo is bigger. For now, I'll cherish these moments racing around to clean up toys, crumbs, and markers, while the Easter Bunny stuffs the basket full of surprises. The Easter Bunny left E a chocolate bunny, Peppa Pig stamps, Peppa Pig bubbles, and a giant lollipop!

Note: The Easter Bunny has been known to leave a book or toy E already owns. For example, her favorite stuffed bunny hopped in to help fill out her basket this year. She'll never know the difference... LOL! 

I loved starting the day with the Easter sunrise service, then having time to clean up and prepare for grandparents while E napped. When she woke up from her nap, she didn't even notice that the bunny had been to visit her until after she ran to Gima and Grandpa for an excited hello hug! 

It warms my heart to see this little one run to her grandparents and to have them now living close by! After saying hello to them, we told her to take a peek at what the bunny left her....

She had a blast on her second Easter and we couldn't be more grateful to share these experiences with her and our family.

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday celebrating with your own family traditions!
He is Risen! - Something we are grateful for not only on Easter Sunday, but everyday. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018


It's been quite the SPRING in Saint Olaf! :) 

It looks just like this today, even though I took these photos a week or two ago. It seems as though spring and winter can't make up their minds. Fortunately, this snow was finally warm enough to play in! Let me explain for my friends back in NC: it may snow multiple times throughout an Iowa winter, but when temps are in the negative degrees, we stay inside. BRRRRR, as E would say! For those of you who saw E pulling her sled around the yard with her garden decor fox a few days ago, you can bet she was excited for this snowy spring adventure. She got to ride in the sled while we pulled her around the yard. She had fun playing on her sliding board, and Dad even taught her how to make snowballs....

She didn't quite master catching the snowballs. It was a fun spring day in the snow!

Not only is it spring and already APRIL, but it's this guy's birth month! So you know, it's going to be a fun month. I'm just hopeful for some sunny warm days in the upcoming forecast! 


Monday, March 26, 2018

Hi, Just Checking In!

Just Checking In!

Hi friends! :)

I've been swamped lately... which is a GREAT thing, but it's kept me from writing. So, I thought it's probably time to check in with y'all! Hope you are doing wonderful and enjoying the warm-ish days mixed in with the colder ones. Last week was the first day of Spring, even though it didn't quite feel like it here in Saint Olaf. I know the sunny days and warm breezes are right around the corner, though. I can feel it! 

We were fairly lucky over the winter at our house. We only caught some of the crud that's gone around. For those who know me and my germaphobia, you can guess that I'll be so relieved when we're through the winter germy months and we're all lathering up with sunscreen, heading out to play in the pool, roasting marshmallows by the bonfire, counting lightning bugs, watching the flowers bloom, and complaining about allergy season. LOL!

.... ahhhhh, daydreaming....

Until then, I'll just continue to enjoy bundling up for quick trips outside to the swings and slides at the park, staying cozy in the library, and warming up at the coffee shop. :)

Anyway, enough daydreaming for now. Are you curious what's kept me so busy lately? Let's see... I've been working on my art website/store (, taking care of baby girl, working on projects around the house, chasing after Buddy (and Casey--the grandparents' miniature poodle), helping organize Art in the Park (our 4th annual fine art festival), and a plethora of other odds and ends. I've even managed to make it to the gym a couple of times a week, which hasn't happened since I was in HIGH SCHOOL! EEK! 

In other big news, we finally have an entire set of grandparents living in Iowa! We have been so fortunate to have Gima Dawn with us the past few months, and just over a couple of weeks ago, Grandpa Dave retired and moved to Iowa to join us! He hadn't been in Iowa two hours and we had already put him to "work." Well, Emmajean would call it playing! Let's just say, we can already tell having grandparents in Iowa is AWESOME! (I just wish I could convince my parents to join us, too --wink,wink!!)

Photo cred goes to Gima Dawn for this one! ♥

So it's been busy around here. Life is good, it's filled with love, and I hope yours is, too! 

What have you been up to?

Cheers ♥

Monday, March 5, 2018

Our Farmhouse Bathroom Reno

Our Farmhouse Bathroom Reno

2-4 years in the making ...

In March of 2014 we began the first phase of our upstairs bathroom renovation. In the beginning, our main goal was to remove the wallpaper, the carpet, and old shower doors.  We were just trying to get by with what we could do ourselves, which was by no means how I planned to leave it for the long haul. Sometimes you just have to do things in stages.

Fast forward to March 2016: Baby girl was due in May, and we decided to try to renovate the second floor bathroom before she arrived. In theory, it was a great idea. In reality, it was a bit silly. Renovating our bathroom at the end of pregnancy meant spending the last two and a half months of pregnancy using the only functioning bathroom on the first floor. Know what that meant? I got my exercise from climbing the stairs multiple times every night to go potty! LOL! Good thing I can laugh about that now. :)

Fortunately, I survived the renovations (and pregnancy) and ended up with a dreamy farmhouse bathroom. Our contractor thought I was being a little plain by going all white, but I LOVE IT! We did use Daylily Yellow on the walls, giving the bathroom a warm, happy feeling. The white trim, wainscoting, vanity, tile, and pops of gray and chrome give a very FRESH vibe in our farmhouse bath. 

We added custom end cabinets with lighting and electrical outlets from floor to ceiling. I also thought wainscoting added a nice farmhouse touch and helped cover up some of the rough patches in the old plaster walls. Of everything that we did, having our contractor level the floor was by far my favorite decision. There's hardly ever a straight edge in a 100 year old farmhouse, and ours is no different. I can live with it in many circumstances, but the bathroom floor was not one of them. Our contractor did an awesome job cutting out an old beam and adding a new level beam support before laying this gorgeous tile (Marazzi Bianco).  Note* I saw an image where they had staggered 6x12 and 12x24 inch tiles throughout the shower and bathroom floors. I loved that look and wanted the least amount of grout in the shower. Our contractor highly encouraged us to use small floor tiles in the shower but agreed to make our large tile dreams come true in the shower. It wasn't easy, and it had to be cut on an angle, but I really do love how it turned out. Thanks, Keith!

New light fixtures, a new wall heater, our frameless shower door, new vanity, and brand new window all made our new farmhouse bathroom complete. We even splurged on in-floor heating...this bathroom renovation is for the long haul after all!   
We chose all of these features before little one was even born, but they're coming in handy now that she's using the bathroom, too. We especially appreciate our soft-close vanity drawers. Did I mention we purchased our vanity from Costco? It has great counter space, looks chic, and the drawers and under sink storage are wonderful. We also purchased our sink faucets from Costco and have been really pleased with them, too. We found our frameless shower door online with Menards, and our local plumber installed our Delta shower heads. 

We do love having a frameless shower door and in our space we decided for the sliding door. If we had to do it again, I would consider using a hinged frameless shower doorinstead. Knowing we were going to have a toddler soon, we thought a sliding door would be less likely to be slammed. Now I'm thinking it might have been easier to mount a child lock on a hinged shower door. At least this is only a short phase of life -- hoping we can teach her quickly to not open and slam our glass door!

Here we used an iron wine bottle rack as our towel rack. I liked the contrast of the dark iron against the creamy white bathroom. I also like that the wine rack keeps the towels fairly far off the wall, enabling them to dry faster and more thoroughly between uses. 

Baby girl loves bath time! Z and I were not huge fans of baths, so we wanted to maximize our shower space with a large walk in shower. Since we don't have a bathtub, we actually use a Rubbermaid tub for the little one's baths and she could stay in her "bath tub" all night if we'd let her! 

Next, I'm sharing some of my favorite details about this room, which include artwork. YES! I have artwork in every room of our house, including the bathroom. After all, this is probably the nicest room in our home and I enjoy it daily. I'm a firm believer that you can have art in any room, including the bathroom. Just be sure you have good ventilation and use your fan when showering to minimize steam from the shower. 
Painting by Molly Marie

Photography by Judith Eastburn

One day our open cabinets may look more organized, but for now they are packed full of the things I don't want Emmajean to reach! :)

Free standing towel racks keep our hand towels tidy, off of the counter, and dress up the space.  We picked these up at TJ Maxx. The only thing that I found odd was that they seemed short for regular sized hand towels and I didn't want to hang washcloths to dry our hands. My mom (in law) is super clever and found these cute gray and white bar towels that are the perfect size! 
I use little baskets and containers to store miscellaneous items in our open shelving, and I love having my hair dryer, brush, and straightener all easily accessible. 

Of all of the rooms in our house, this room and Emmajean's nursery are my favorites! 

It took more like two years than two months to have this completed, but we finally have our dream bathroom! 

... and it was worth the wait!

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of our new farmhouse bathroom! 

Do you have an ongoing project?
 What's the ideal number of bathrooms in your home?
 Do you have bathroom art?

PS. You probably notice the adorable training potty in several of our photos. We love the Summer Infant Potty. She hasn't quite mastered it yet, but at least it's ADORABLE and fits the decor our farmhouse bath perfectly. She likes to sit and pretend to potty, it even makes a flushing sound! I think she will grasp the idea of really using it to be continued. :) 


Amazon links on this post are affiliate links. So, I could earn something small if you purchase through my amazon links. All other links are simply of products that we used and I thought you might like to find yourself. ALL items that I link are items we use in our home and I'm comfortable sharing with you! Thanks for helping support my blog and for reading my reviews. ♥