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I was never really a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I’ve always thought it was kind of corny and never really cared about celebrating it. (You should tell someone you love them every day, right? Plus, crowded restaurants are the worst.) But then I married Greg, whose birthday is Valentine’s Day. And then I had kids, and kids make every holiday more fun and special. So this year I busted my butt a little bit trying to make things sweet and lovey-dovey for everyone.

Vada got to hand out some cute little valentine pouches in preschool. Remember when we were little and just handed out paper valentines? At least that’s how I remember it… Vada’s only 3 and there are 12 kids in her class – I think she got more candy on Valentine’s Day than she did on Halloween! I got the little valentines (which doubled as stickers) from Target a while ago and wanted to do something a little more special. Good thing I did because I would have looked like a complete slacker otherwise. The little baggies turned out exactly how I imagined them, which doesn’t usually happen for me. I don’t really consider myself a very creative or “crafty” person. (At least Pinterest makes me feel that way! AmIright?)

Then I made Greg’s special BDay/VDay heart-shaped brownies. Brownies are his favorite and he loves the edges the most. So when I make him brownies I usually just bake them in a muffin tin. (All edges! No fancy as-seen-on-TV pan needed.) Then I found a cute hearts tin a few years ago and I’ve been making these for his birthday ever since. I didn’t get as fancy this year as I have in years past, but they were still delicious.

I made a special Valentine’s Day Dunkin’ Donuts delivery for everyone at Press Press, made a Mill Mountain vanilla espresso cooler run for Greg, got chicken parmesan takeout for Greg’s birthday dinner (he loves chicken parm, I hate making it) and THEN surprised him the following night with a trip to Kabuki with a few friends, per his request. I also knit him a scarf and framed a family photo for his shop, gave him a case of his favorite Girl Scout cookies, Caramel deLites, and a cute little wooden robot for his desk. PHEW.

My birthday is the 9th, so I get spoiled then, and Greg gets most of the VDay glory. (A post about my extreme birthday spoils coming soon!) But he did surprise me with some pink roses and a card. Then the FedEx guy dropped off a special surprise – this cute little heart ring that was supposed to be backordered until the end of the month, but just so happened to show up on Valentine’s Day. How sweet, Anthro :) I’ve wanted that thing for SO long.

So, there are little bits of Valentine’s Day still lingering around the house, and I don’t really mind it. Maaaaayyyyyybe I’m slowly turning into a VDay-lover… ♥

I can’t get enough of pink lately. Pink, pink, pink! It’s sneaking its way into everything, and has now found its way to the front  of the house.

Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers and I’ve always wanted two huge hydrangea plants on either side of the steps up to the front porch. I’ve tried planting these before and they didn’t do very well, most likely due to my neglect. I’m a much better plant owner these days, so I’m trying again. They are supposed to do best with morning sun and afternoon shade, which they won’t get where I’ve planted them, but they definitely won’t be getting full sun, so I think they’ll make it. There are also a million houses down our street that get the same sun/shade as we do, and they have huge ones. Keeping my fingers crossed & lots of water and love!

And just a little pink splash under our boxwood for fun.

When we first moved into our house 4-5 years ago, it was a total dump. Completely disgusting… like, the bath tubs were black and there was hair inside the refrigerator. I spent days scrubbing the place before we even started moving in. But, we were young and poor with a tiny budget and somehow I managed to see through the filth and saw potential. We would fix-it-up! Years later, this place is starting to come together and feel like a pretty home.

We recently finished renovating our bathrooms. We still have a few little touchups and details to add here and there, but we are about 99% finished. I’ll show you guys the downstairs bathroom today. The before vs. after photos of this space are so drastic that it makes me laugh!

Now, this before picture is from when we FIRST moved into the house, before I even cleaned it. You can get a general idea of how the whole house looked based on these lovely pictures! Also, just a little note: we did a mini renovation (new toilet, sink, mirror, lighting and paint) very shortly after we moved in. So… here’s our bathroom BEFORE!

Nice, right? So, we did our mini renovation, which didn’t include the tub. We wanted to tile the walls, get new fixtures in there and reglaze the old metal bathtub. Greg was going to do it all himself (with what time, I’m not sure) but when we pulled those gross plasticky shower panels off the walls, we found THIS:

43/365 - Bathroom DemoThat’s when we decided to hire some professionals. After renovating the kitchen ourselves (which took MONTHS. Actually, it’s still not 100% finished…) we were both pretty over the DIY thing. Plus, Greg is so busy at work, it’s nearly impossible anyway. So we hired some wonderful contractors and they went to work! Here’s what it looks like now: (PS The bathroom is super small so it was really hard to take pictures.)

BIG difference, right? :) They boxed in the unsightly plumbing pipe and matched it on the other side of the sink for symmetry, which really brought everything together.

I’ve always wanted a really dark room, and was a little nervous when I picked the paint color, but I’m so happy I went for it because I absolutely love the way it turned out. It feels really clean and calm. And the way all the lighting and colors come together, the mirror becomes one of those magical ones that make you look prettier than real life ;)

Here are some specs, if you’re interested:
Wall Color: Soot by Benjamin Moore in Eggshell
Mirror : Custom
Light Fixture: Mercer Double Horizontal Sconce, Chrome Finish – Pottery Barn
Shower Curtain: Chevron Shower Curtain – West Elm (apparently it’s no longer available)
Rug: a wedding gift, from Anthropologie
Art: Charmaine Olivia
Frames: cheap-o Target frames, spray painted with Rust-oleum “Berry”

I’ll show you the new upstairs bathroom soon, which I also totally love. ♥

I’m still (very slowly) working on the baby’s nursery. All the necessities are there, it’s just the decorating part that needs work. I’d probably have more finished by now but I just haven’t been feeling very well lately. I’ve been all first-trimester queasy and exhausted. I asked the nurse about it at my last checkup and she said it’s most likely hormonal. Hormones are building back up in preparation for labor, which sometimes causes those first trimester symptoms again (although usually not as bad.) Fun… It’s ok though, it forces me to take it easy and rest. Mother nature is smart!

It’s also taken me a while to get going because for a long time I had no idea what direction to go in. I didn’t even know what colors I wanted. So I just keep adding, taking away, rearranging, finding new stuff, switching it around… It’s starting to come together a little bit better now.

Since we won’t really be using the crib for a little while anyway, I’m kind of using it as a big mood board. It’s a safe spot for all the extra decorations and art, and keeps the stupid cat from sleeping in there!

I need to get more frames so I can hang the rest of this art. (WHY can’t we have an IKEA closer than three hours away?) I’m also planning on constructing a mobile to hang over the crib. I have everything pulled out, just need to build it. If things go as planned, it should be really pretty. And I want to spice up the plain white curtains a little bit. Maybe add a rug, get a new ceiling fan or lamp, paint a small accent wall… and then I think I’ll be done.

Then maybe I’ll get the inspiration to finish Vada’s room! I can’t seem to figure out what I want to do in there. Decorating is hard. ♥

I started decorating the nursery a little bit today. I don’t have a theme or anything, or even a color scheme really. I just kind of rearranged some things over and over until it started to look the way I wanted it to. I am using all of the same furniture that was in there when it was Vada’s room, but I’ve moved things around a little bit to make it feel new. I got different curtains and I’m changing almost all of the previous nursery decor. Most of it has been moved into Vada’s new room anyway, since it is her stuff after all. I’m starting to feel happy with this new little happy place :) ♥

Things have been very nice lately.

We had a lot of visitors last week – Greg’s dad came for two days, my sister visited for a few, and my parents came for Easter weekend. I love having company and having people around all the time. Sometimes I wish we could have roommates again.

Easter was fun and a little bit lazy. I hid eggs all over the house for Vada to find throughout the day. Each one had some Hello Kitty stickers and one jelly bean inside. She loved it! Next year I think the Easter Bunny will be bringing Vada some granola and dried fruit, or maybe a DIY “Edible Arrangement” as her basket because apparently candy makes her psychotic. My mom made everyone these huge Easter baskets full of everything Easter-y. Vada ate some jelly beans and some chocolate eggs and stuff.. I’ve never seen her act SO CRAZY before, running around everywhere like a spaz. At one point she was just shaking her head around making weird noises. Then about 30 minutes later she completely crashed and then laid down on the couch. I donated most of the leftover Easter candy to the guys at Press Press, hopefully they like Peeps.

I’ve started getting things ready for baby a little bit more. (Only 9 more weeks until her due date!) I sorted through all of Vada’s old baby clothes and pulled out everything from 0-12 months. I put them in the wash and now I just need to fold them all up into her dresser drawers. I also ordered her a few new little onesies and summer outfits… Getting excited!

We planted a few veggies into our raised beds. It’s still a little bit too early here for the summer stuff like tomatoes and peppers (we had to cover the gardens last night for a freeze warning) so right now we’ve got cooler weather veggies: brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and three different types of lettuce. They are still little baby plants, but seem really happy in their new home. I can’t wait to make a salad from lettuce we grew in our backyard! We also got a few herbs – chives, parsley, basil, dill and lavender. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with lavender, but it just smells so good! I still want to get some mint and rosemary out there, too.

Greg’s still been working a lot lately (like until midnight every weekday and working weekends, too) but my nights haven’t been too lonely since I’ve been teaching myself to knit (again.) I’ve been practicing and practicing – it sure does pass the time. And it really relaxes me, too. I can see now why so many people knit. My ultimate goal is to get really good and learn to knit lacy stuff, like this pretty baby blanket. Lacy legwarmers would be super nice for wintertime, too. Are you on Ravelry? Will you be my friend?

My previous pregnancy rage seems to have turned into a sort of happy laziness. Not that I’ve been lazy at all, but I’ve just been… not trying to do too much. I guess a better word would be “leisurely.” And it’s really working out. Imagine that. ♥

We did everything this weekend. We spent a ton of time together as a family, which was just what we needed after a very, very long week of working too hard. (Especially Greg, who worked 8am-midnight Monday through Thursday!)

Friday night after work, we went out to Mexican with our friends Josh and Lindsay. The weather was so nice that we got to sit outside on the patio. We spent the night relaxing with some SVU, and I got to try out my favorite new product.

The next morning, we all got up early to get ready for a busy day. My mother in law picked Vada and her cousin Mia up to volunteer for Clean Valley Day. Greg headed off to the Taubman Museum of Art, where he spent the day doing screen printing demonstrations for the grand opening of the Children’s Art Venture exhibit. And I went for my monthly mani/pedi! (OPI – Pink Flamenco for the fingers and toes this time.)

When Greg got home, we all went to Menchies for frozen yogurt, which just opened up in Roanoke! I went to a Menchies for the first time at the Sewing Summit in SLC last year, and it was so adorable, I knew Vada would just love it. (She did.)

This morning, we all got up early again and Vada helped me make a big breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon. Vada has been helping me in the kitchen a lot lately, and it’s really fun and cute. She loves helping and I love that she loves helping.

After breakfast, we headed to Home Depot and got everything we needed to build a couple raised bed gardens in our backyard. I’ve been begging Greg to build them forever, and I couldn’t be more excited to grow some veggies this year! We finished up the beds and just need to fill them with compost this week, then we’ll be ready to start planting a few things next weekend. My parents will be here for Easter, and my mom is an expert square-foot gardener, so she’s going to help us out. I’mso looking forward to heirloom tomatoes. Mmmm….

Oh! And mama bird laid another egg! ♥