Brinley’s Room

Brinley was about 8 months when we decided she should not be in our room anymore. As our first child I feel very attached to her and it feels weird when she isn’t near me.

So before we moved the crib into the other room, that room was a guest bedroom. Not anymore! We came to the conclusion that the space is more useful to us when it is just for her.

This was before we got rid of the bed, but had moved the crib to the room.
We have a growth chart at the entrance of her bedroom.

There are a couple of things I want to add. A wall bookshelf, just for her books. And I want to add a standing lamp by the chair so we can read to her with a lamp.

Makeover bathroom for my In-laws

I married into one of the greatest families. They are very bonded in their relationships and I just love that I can learn so much from them. They are all very knowledgeable and have great talents! My mother-in-law is very skilled at making documentaries happen. It’s amazing to watch those creations come to life. She is also very skilled in encouraging others to get better at what they love.

The Background to the story:

One day during the year of Covid-19 I was having a really hard time and I told my husband I wanted to be with family. It felt like we were alone, even though we did have some family close, it’s just different when you are in their house and have multiple interactions then just once in a while. So, we drove to Colorado for the weekend. It was also the weekend of General Conference for the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. It felt so great and I was almost dreaming about what I could do for this bathroom. So I asked my mom (that’s what I call her now) and she gave me permission. I was so excited! My first real project!

I took a picture of this, because there were times that in my peripheral vision I would think that the door was slightly open, but it wasn’t.

I love the simplicity of this bathroom. It has the necessities and decor. I know, as a beginner at interior design that you are supposed to create a design board. I tried to do that, but it’s difficult when given no budget and I had dreamed up a design board in my head. This way what I had imagined up could very easily be changed. So of course in my dreamed up version of the bathroom I had put up shiplap on one of the walls and I thought maybe it could be the wall that I hadn’t painted yet.

Well apparently shiplap is pricey, so it got changed to a stenciled pattern. Mainly because wall paper has had a past experience of being taken down and does not want to get put back up. But, also wall paper can get pricey, so this is a perfect in between. At this point my husband helped me paint the wall on the toilet side white and we changed the light fixture.

Progress picture.

Items For Camping With A Baby

It was constantly snowing cotton. Might have eaten a bit of cotton that flew into the food.

What do you bring when you go camping with a 5 month old? This is my first time camping with a baby, so I didn’t know. I knew what to bring for myself. They don’t really make sleeping bags for babies and how much can a baby stay warm by herself at night? There are lots of ways to camp with a baby. What I wish we would have done is a two person sleeping bag for me and baby and a one person sleeping bag for daddy.

This camping trip was a family reunion in Palisades, Idaho and we were lucky that family was willing to share what we didn’t have and they were all willing to watch baby when we wanted to do our own thing. Free babysitting, who wouldn’t love that?

The first and foremost thing I would bring is a pack and play. Not so much for the night out in Idaho, because it gets cold, but for nap time. I thought I could lay baby on my sleeping bag mid day, but that could get to distracting and a pack n play resembles what she is used to most of the time.

The next thing that is big on the list is to count the diapers you think you would need in a day and add an extra. It never hurts to have too many then not enough. I don’t think wipes are as important, because at this stage the most she poops is twice in one day, but mostly once a day.

I would add a hat, because it covers their whole head and not just skin which is what sunblock does. I would also bring sunblock for the areas that don’t get covered with the hat. And a jackets for night time along with long pants if she is wearing shorts. Having a baby carrier is also nice if you decide to go on a walk. One of the reasons we chose to bring a carrier instead of a stroller is because a carrier takes up less space when traveling.

Hand sanitizer is a big one on my list. Mainly because its useful after a poopy diaper change. It also comes in really handy if there isn’t any running water at the campground and you need to use the restroom.

Last but not least I will say that having a bottle there when I wanted to get away and do something was super nice! We had the chance of going tubing and I knew that when she woke from her sleep she would be hungry. So I had a bottle ready for her and I was able to go tubing without worrying that she was hungry. This way I could enjoy the boat ride. It was so nice!

Dresser Makeover

We found this dresser on the side of the road that said free on it, in our neighborhood. We didn’t even bring our car around to pick it up, just had a little dolly and brought it home.

This is what it first looked like. Anyone looking at the dresser knew something needed to change. It needed knew hardware as one of them was missing and it either needed a coat of paint or sanding.

I really liked this dresser that was on pintrest that a lady had sanded and the wood was very light and she said it was bleached. I tried to bleach this, but it would not change the color. I really didn’t want to paint it.

After it got sanded and I picked out new hardware. I like it, but the older hardware had made circles around the pulls and so I put wood filler around it and then I decided to do some kind of paint on it. I had pinterest be my inspiration.
Here is a progress shot of what I was planning on doing.
I didn’t want it to be crazy, so I only did two colors. I am not in love with it, but I am thinking the bedroom I want it to go in will end up being a little bit retro.

Renting in Provo

We moved to Utah and stayed at Matt’s grandma’s until the place we were going to live in opened up. We were so lucky that Matt’s parents wanted to help us out. They bought a house and we could rent out a part of the house. We payed rent and help keep the yard up.

The way the basement is put together is just put together, not very thought out. I created different plans to change the basement layout, but my husband would tell me that it’s not worth it. The best part about living in the basement is we were paying $200 a month. Super dirt cheap for being in Provo. However I advocated to live in the upstairs portion as that way we could have a guest room and a room for our baby girl and enough room for our kitchen gadgets. Plus our baby girl will soon enough be adding to the dishes. On top of that the bedroom closet downstairs was large enough for either me or my husband’s clothes, hardly both. My husband was very supportive and it seemed that there were also three times as many spiders in the basement and three times as large…

This is taken from the doorway. I love the fireplace and how open the area is. We do want a lot of seating, because sometimes we have have two to three other couples over and it’s nice when we don’t have to worry about seating, otherwise I would get rid of the purple paisley couch, to keep it open
In this picture you can see that the kitchen is open to the living room. It’s nice, because you get the light from both rooms and you can communicate openly moving from one area to the other.

When we moved from the downstairs to the upstairs I didn’t decorate as we went. We did it quickly as there were people moving to the downstairs 3 days later. So the 3 rooms that we were living in had to come upstairs. I did most of it by myself, but the heavy things Matt and his brother were able to move. I love living here, it’s been fun.

From North Carolina to Utah

After my husband and I got married we moved to Raleigh North Carolina. My sister and her family lived there and we lived with his brother and sister-in-law, until they moved out and went to Boston. Then we took over the house. We were living in a house that had two parts. The bottom is where we lived and the top part is where we were renting it out as an AirBnB. The AirBnB section had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a kitchen with a table and a living room. It was a nice space and my husbands brother and sister in law had it all decorated so nicely as well. And it was a bit of work for them to get it all ready, because before that it was my husband and roommates living in that space.

It was very open and I loved the feel of that, so even though it wasn’t big it was perfect for us. If Matt was gone I wasn’t afraid of going into any of the unknown space. It was very loved and there was a lot of light that came from those doors.
Where the stairs are we had a large armoire that was beautiful and held a lot of our kitchen appliances, like blender, kitchenaid, bowls.. etc. As you can see this kitchen only had one drawer, but we made it work for us.
My older sister that lived in Raleigh with us gave us the idea of a table that came from the wall that looks like art. Can you spy it? We built and loved it so much! It was our table. That sister is also the one who gave us the beautiful armoire. It was so wonderful having her there. (She also gave us a lot of decor to help the space look more elegant.)

After living in Raleigh for a full year, my husband decided it was time to test for the GMAT. His job in Raleigh was going to a kids park with a train, boat ride, carousel, and lots of fun activities they had going on for kids and sell his balloon animals that he would create. He did really well, but he didn’t want that to be his carrier for the rest of his life, for various reasons. He finished taking the actual GMAT test and did so well that we got a full tuition scholarship to BYU. He would have applied to other schools, except they weren’t accepting applications at that time and the networking at BYU is more how we network then the way it might be done at other schools. For example we don’t drink and some networking might be done at bars. Also a plus for me when going to BYU is they have an MBA-spouse association, where the spouses get together.

This is Matt’s car that we filled to move across the country. I took this picture as when we stopped at a museum in North Carolina before we left the state.
And this was my car, with no AC. We felt SO BLESSED having two cars!