Posts Tagged ‘2014

35 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 19-22 inches, 5.5 pounds (my midwife guessed this was her size as well at our last appointment on Tuesday), the size of a canary melon!  In other words, huge!

Weight gain/loss: Not paying attention anymore.  I don’t want to cry!

Sleep: I’ve now started to get what a google search told me is “pregnancy carpal tunnel.”  I wake up and my hands are super tingly, numb, and hurt.  It now wakes me up often and I can’t fall back asleep.  I learned that the only way I can fix it in the moment is to sleep sitting up while sleeping.  Now the most comfortable, but it works!

Stretch Marks: No new ones.

Cravings: Nothing new.

Aversions: None!

Movement: Lots of large, visible movements of her rolling and trying to get comfortable.  I’ve been trying to get her movements on camera, but she seems to be camera shy.  Many times I’ll be doing my own thing and I’ll see my belly move in my peripheral!  It’s so cool how strong she is now.

What I’m loving: I did my first happy dance in a long time yesterday!  We received a 15% off Target baby registry completion discount and I did some research of other ways to save even more money (like a 10% discount for signing up for a baby text subscription and saving 5% with a Target debit card).  I spent a whole day creating a list of the last items we needed/wanted (it was a LONG list) and then made a s preadsheet of the prices, where I could buy it at (sometimes Target didn’t carry something so we had to look to Amazon or other online stores).  Then, I looked up what items could be purchased physically in a nearby Target store (because the registry completion discount can be used once in-store and once online, so I had to be detailed to get the best deal without missing anything) and what could only be purchased online.  I made a detailed printout so we knew exactly what items to get in which aisles to save time.  When we got there, we also asked for the registry scanner in case we saw extra things that weren’t on our list or we saw a different version of something we head on our list that we liked better.  Checking out was SO much fun!  With the in-store savings and online savings, we saved around $300 total when stacking other coupons and things we found.  We also had gift cards and cash from baby shower gifts, so the savings to us was even more!  It was exhilarating to save so much money!  I can see why extreme couponers get hooked!

Symptoms: Nohe thing new this week besides the really bad carpal tunnel at night.

What I’m excited about: I’m so excited to have our last prenatal appointments scheduled!  That means she is getting close.  In just two weeks, she can come and likely be completely healthy.  So crazy!  I’m also excited for our maternity and newborn photos that are going to be taken by my great friend, Anna, who also took our gender reveal photos.  They will be extra special because we plan on taking them in our house which still hasn’t sold yet.  It’s the one bright side of it still being on the market – we can take photos to remember this time since Celia will never actually live there.

What I’m nervous about: Not much anymore!  I’m just a little nervous she may come earlier than I expect her to and we will be caught off guard, but I’m pretty prepared for her to come anytime after 37 weeks.

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34 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 19-22 inches, just under 5 pounds, the size of a pineapple!  Is it just me, or are these fruit finally the really big fruit?!  I can’t believe how quickly babies grow!  Months ago she was the size of a raisin!

Weight gain/loss: No idea – I don’t plan on checking unless I have to!  It’s very hard to be this pregnant over the holidays!

Sleep: Some nights I sleep 9-10 hours and some nights I can’t sleep at all and get five hours.  Sometimes I’ll take a three hour nap, which is something I never did pre-pregnancy!  I’m just trying to sleep when I can!

Stretch Marks: No new ones.

Cravings: Nothing new.

Aversions: Non!

Movement: I can tell that she is really squished in there now because her movements aren’t as big and I feel a lot more of her moving her whole body rather than kicks and punches.  She has started to kick me very hard in the ribs as well which hurts!  I swear she’s trying to push her way out of my uterus sometimes!

What I’m loving: I’m loving that she is almost here!  I keep thinking about how many days/weeks we have left until 37 when I’m full-term (I know 39 weeks is now considered full-term, but that’s only because people were scheduling c-sections for after 37 weeks, but if she came at 37 weeks, chances are good that she would be fully developed enough to go home!  It blows my mind that she could come very soon!

Symptoms: My hands have been falling asleep and getting tingly while I sleep which is very annoying and wakes me up.  I’ve gotten to the point where all the exercise, changing positions, and stretching in the world wouldn’t keep my lower half from feeling stiff and sore.  Other than just being uncomfortable and unable to do as much as I could before, I am feeling really good!  The nesting has definitely kicked in!

What I’m excited about: I’m so excited to buy our last baby supplies and to feel secure now in our situation and everything.  It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but I’m at a place of peace about not having our own place when the baby comes and not having everything all figured out.  That’s a lot of coping considering how much I like to be in control of things in my life!  I have channeled that into being meticulous about our hospital bag and have made spreadsheets and spent a lot of time trying to save a ton of money on the last big-ticket items we need/want for our baby girl.

What I’m nervous about: I’m mostly just nervous about not knowing when she will come.  I would say I’m more anxious now, and  not scared, about the birth and what it’s going to be like.

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32 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 19 inches, just under four pounds, the size of a head of lettuce! So big!

Weight gain/loss: I didn’t weigh myself this week.  I’ll be going to the doctor (or should I say midwife) every two weeks now, so I will be weighed next week.

Sleep: I did end up getting nine and a half straight hours of sleep (well minus waking up a few times and falling back asleep) one night this week, but that has definitely not been a trend!  I’ve been tired more often now and just have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and falling back asleep when I wake up.

Stretch Marks: No new ones.

Cravings: Nothing new.

Aversions: I don’t think I have any now!  I ate chicken this past week and really enjoyed it!  I was afraid I would forever hate chicken, so this makes me really happy!

Movement: Super strong!  They are much more visible on the outside now and she makes very big movements that move from one side of my belly to another.  She seems more active than she used to be, but maybe it’s just so strong now that I notice it more.

What I’m loving: I’m loving having some time left in this pregnancy to figure things out.

Symptoms: Nothing new.

What I’m excited about: I’m excited to go to my next appointment with San and tour the hospital where Celia will make her debut.  San hasn’t been to an appointment at the new place now that we have moved, so I’m happy he gets to see it and we get to ask questions about Celia’s birth-day!

What I’m nervous about: Not much has changed in this area.  I’m not going to turn these weekly bump posts into a sad reminder of this time because I don’t think I will really want to remember some of the details of this time in our life because it’s been so hard.  I guess I will just say that this has by far been the hardest year of my life with the infertility and now this opportunity of moving becoming something that feels more like a burden than a blessing.  I’m clinging to God as much as I can and doing my best to stay strong, but it is honestly a minute-to-minute struggle for me right now.  I’m not going to go into it, but basically a lot is riding on the sale of our house which just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen in the time we really need it to.  I keep getting my hopes up only to be consistently let down, for months, and I’m starting to wonder if I should just expect setbacks, things to go wrong, things to break, broken friendships, etc. or if it is better to wish for the best only to fall hard every time things go wrong.  I’m not sure if I’m becoming a pessimist or a realist.  Overall, I am very blessed and deep down I am happy, but just this constant stream of bad news is really wearing on me, and it would be hard enough to handle it normally, but the pregnancy hormones, lack of sleep, and my new schedule where I’m waking up by 4:30 most days make it really hard.

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31 Weeks | Baby Raisin




And a look back from when I first started showing!  Wow, a lot has changed!



How big is baby: 18 inches, about 3 and a third pounds, the size of a coconut! I just can’t believe she is so close to how long she will be when she is born. She will be full-term in just 6 weeks! That blows my mind.

Weight gain/loss: I should just take the “loss” part out of this section. I don’t intend to (nor do I want to) lose any weight at this point. Celia is growing like a weed (about ½ a pound a week now until the end), so losing weight would probably not be a good thing. At my latest appointment yesterday, I had gained 25 pounds, which is perfectly normal and healthy for my size and my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m feeling really good about it. They recommend up to 35 pounds, and I have anywhere from 6-11ish weeks to go since I really want to respect my body and my baby in terms of when she is ready to be delivered, so I think I can make it that long only gaining 10 more pounds. However, if I gain more than that, I’m okay with that, too.

Sleep: Oh man, sleep is pretty laughable at this point. It has gotten pretty bad. If I am able to “sleep in,” until about 6-8am, I normally am up for two hours in the night unable to fall back asleep. Most days, when I work, I start at 6am and the drive is 35+ minutes (depending on weather), so I’m usually up by 4:20. Those nights, I often have a hard time falling asleep, so I’ll get about 5 hours of sleep. I guess I’m just getting ready for life with a newborn. I’m going to try hard to make myself nap, but life is so insanely busy right now that I don’t always have that option.

Stretch Marks: No new ones.

Cravings: As I mentioned last week, I’ve been having some very weird smell-cravings, which I brought up to the midwife I met with yesterday. It’s likely that it’s due to anemia, so I’m going to start taking some iron supplements and trying to add iron into my diet. It’s really, really bad some days. I’ve learned that really bland cereal (like Kix or Rice Chex) help to fulfill the craving temporarily. Very strange!

Aversions: Not really much of anything at this point. I’m not even sure if chicken is an aversion anymore since I’ve stayed away from it for so many months that I don’t really think about it anymore.

Movement: Still very strong! Yesterday, on the way to my appointment, I was pretty sure she had finally flipped (at least for the day) and was head down. I felt very strong kicks up by my ribs and one of her feet stayed nestled against the right side of my rib cage pretty much all day. Sure enough, during my appointment, her head was down and her feet were right where I thought they were. I also had a Braxton Hick contraction while the midwife was feeling my belly, so I now know that I was right about what I was experiencing!

What I’m loving: I’m just loving feeling little Celia move and imagining her. Life is pretty hard and stressful right now, so I’m doing everything I can to focus on the miracle growing inside of me to keep things in perspective.

Symptoms: Nothing new.

What I’m excited about: I’m excited to celebrate San’s birthday this weekend! Money is very tight for us right now, but I’m just so happy to get to indulge a little and celebrate my best friend! He works so hard to provide for us (often working 12-15 hour days, running on just a few hours of sleep). It makes me so worried about him, but also so grateful to have a husband who provides for us and is so giving. I’m super lucky to have him as my husband and Celia is truly beyond blessed to have an amazing dad like San.

What I’m nervous about: I’m going to be honest here, life is very hard for me right now. Personally, a lot has happened that during any time of my life would affect me greatly, but being pregnant with all these huge changes on top of it becomes overwhelming quite often. We are waiting on our house to sell and need the money now for a lot of things (maternity leave, a new home, etc.) since we had a lot of random things come up that were extremely expensive after we moved (many car repairs, house setbacks, etc.). I’m working toward a goal of a way to provide more for our family without working more, which I will share more about eventually, but it’s taken up a ton of my time because I’m trying to get things in order for it before Celia arrives. I love my parents very much and am so grateful to be living with them, but that change has been difficult as well for all of us. It’s not easy living on my own for the greater part of the last seven years and now moving back in with two extra dogs of our own in addition to their dog, different schedules, stuff in storage, different routines, splitting expenses, etc. I feel so grateful for what all these changes will hopefully mean for us and for the goals we have, but it has been overwhelming quite often lately. There are just so many unknowns surrounding our house. I really don’t know what we will do if we don’t get a buyer soon, but I trust God that we will get through somehow. I think the hardest part is that I wanted to do everything “right” during this pregnancy, but all of these changes have led to me pretty much having to give up control in most areas of my life, so I’m just trying to stay sane and stay alive and do the best I can when I can. My diet has not been nearly what I would like it to be, my stress level is far from where I had hoped it would be, I wanted to be so prepared and now we are left with still so much to buy for our baby and being temporarily unable to do so. I have felt like a bad mom quite often, but I have to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can. It’s hard, but I know we will get through.

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30 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: She is currently a little over 17 inches long and weighs a little over three pounds. She is the size of a butternut squash!!  Holy smokes!  She’s getting so big!

Weight gain/loss: I was so happy checking the scale today that even after our deliciously huge Thanksgiving meal yesterday, I’m only up 23 pounds!  I know I’ve said that I just want a healthy baby and that I’ll get as big as I get, but no woman wants to see the scale go up to huge numbers especially when the end is when I will probably gain the most.  If I gain a pound a week like everything I have read suggests a pregnant woman should/will toward the end, I will still be in what the doctors have considered a healthy range for my size.  We’ll see what happens after Christmas rolls around now that I’m living with my parents and my mom makes some amazing Christmas cookies!

Sleep: It’s gotten pretty bad lately.  I wake up for about 2 hours in the night and can’t sleep.  If we have time to sleep in, I will normally fall back asleep, but often that is not an option, so I go without.  I guess this will be what sleep is like when Celia arrives.

Stretch Marks: No new ones.

Cravings: Pretty much nothing food-wise.  I haven’t admitted this to many people, but I’ve had some really strange smell-cravings as I like to call them.  The things I am “craving” I don’t want to actually eat, but I LOVE the smell and I crave the smell of them.  These things include: gas, sheetrock (like the smell of Menards – I LOVE that smell), and paper.  It’s very weird, but it’s gotten pretty intense some days!  I definitely won’t be sniffing any gas, but I must say that I kind of like filling up my gas tank in the frigid cold, even though I do everything I can to not breathe in too many vapors.  I have read that this is pretty common, but it makes me feel very weird!

Aversions: Still chicken, but it’s not overwhelming.

Movement: She’s a dancing machine!  Lately, she’s been sticking limbs out so that we can feel her little arm or leg trying to poke through my uterus.  It’s so cool to feel how big she is!

What I’m loving: I’m loving that we are now in the 30’s week-wise, so we are getting close!  I’m also loving that our house is finally on the market.

Symptoms: My feet have been getting pretty tingly when I sit too long, probably from a lack of adequate blood flow to my extremities. It’s very, very uncomfortable, but it normally goes away from walking around a little bit.  Acid reflux is not my friend and it has gotten really bad a couple times this week.  I love this little girl so much and am just SO ready to have her on the outside (although mentally I don’t think I’m ready for the birth yet).

What I’m excited about: Less stress of finishing the house now that it is on the market, cozying up more during this holiday season, trying to just focus on going slow and resting.  It’s not easy since there still is so much to do, but I’m trying!

What I’m nervous about: There are many worries on my mind, but I’ve been doing my best to give them to God and to just have a breakdown if I need one.  Crying really does help sometimes.  The house not selling or not selling for about what we want it to would mean some not so happy things for us, but I’m trying to just not worry about it because it is out of our control.  I’m worried that we don’t have all the stuff we want/need for when Celia arrives and money is tight right now, so we will just have to see what happens.  This whole process definitely hasn’t gone like I thought it would, but I’ve learned so much throughout all this and am just hoping and praying we make it through with a beautiful healthy baby girl at the end of it all.

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Our Little Cottage in the City: The Final Home Tour

The day has come, my friends, to show you our final home tour on our little cottage in the city.  It is definitely bittersweet to share this post and video with you, since so much love and hard work has been poured into this home.  We were definitely never intending to sell it only a year and a half after we purchased it (if we had known, we never would have bought it in the first place), but opportunities much too grand to let pass by came up that we just had to jump on for the future of our growing family.

I explain in the video a lot of what we did as well as why we finished the basement right before selling, so watch that if you would like more detail.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the video with before photos, an emotional update, and a full home tour of the house at the time of selling.

Upstairs Floor Plan Before and After

houseatclosing_floorplan (2) houseafterreno_floorplan (2)

Entryway/Living Room















Dining Room
















2014-11-26_0009Bedroom/Bathroom Hallway


2014-11-26_0030Upstairs Full Bathroom




Back Bedroom Upstairs




Front “Master” Bedroom Upstairs





Stairway Down to Basement Family Room




Basement Floor Plan Before and After

beforereno afterreno

Basement Family Room




Basement Full Bathroom






Utilities/Storage Room





Back Basement Bedroom




Front Basement Bedroom






I hope you enjoyed the final home tour!  We are very sad to leave this home, especially now that it is almost exactly how I envisioned it would be for us over time as our family grew, but it is just a house and now someone else can enjoy it.  We would greatly appreciate prayers for a quick sale close to asking price so we can move on to a new home hopefully before little Celia arrives.

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22 Weeks | Baby Raisin


I’ve been getting SO annoyed with how off these weekly updates have been.  I typically take the photos on Sunday and then I write the post on Monday-ish.  Well, on Tuesday marks the next week.  So, today is Wednesday (it’s been a little hectic, so I wasn’t able to post on Monday), I took the photos on Monday and then on Tuesday I turned 22 weeks.  It just doesn’t make sense for me to do the 21 week post when I’m less than 24 hours away from 22 weeks, so I’m just going to skip a week so these are back on track.  Sorry if that’s confusing! I just want the belly photos and the descriptions from here on out to match the start of the week I am posting about, not the end.

How big is baby: 8.5 inches long; the size of a spaghetti squash!  She’s getting so big!

Weight gain/loss: No clue!  Trying not to care!  With working on the house, eating healthy hasn’t been something easily achieved.  I ate SUPER well last week when I had all my meals planned, but this weekend wasn’t the best.  I need to just remind myself that I am doing the best I can given our current circumstances.  I am not a miracle worker, but I am hanging on to faith that I will remain healthy for our daughter and will eat the best I can as I am able.

Sleep: Overall, good!  I think I may be having some braxton hicks contractions at night, but I have no way of knowing what those feel like!  I have woken up a couple nights now with some belly spasms that almost feel like Celia is kicking, but they are more consistent and a little stronger.  No pain, just enough to wake me up temporarily.

Stretch Marks: None yet, thankfully!  I am prone to them, so I’m just waiting for them to make an appearance.

Cravings: The only noticeable craving I’ve had a few times is an apple craving.  Apple juice or just plain apples.  I haven’t been a huge apple fan most of my life because I don’t really like anything tart, but sweet apples have been satisfying me lately!

Aversions: Still chicken.

Movement: Celia is a kicking machine!  I love feeling her move around!  I had an ultrasound today and she moved from her head being on my right side to her feet in just a matter of minutes.  It’s so awesome to feel her being active and to feel it on the outside fairly easily now.  It is a little nerve-wracking when I don’t feel her for an extended period of time, but I know movement is not typically consistently felt at this stage of the pregnancy.

What I’m loving: Okay, I’ll try to make this a short story.  Basically, during our 20-week anatomy ultrasound two weeks ago, the ultrasound technician found a small cyst in Celia’s brain.  It’s called a choroid plexus cyst.  These are found in about 1-4% of “normal” healthy babies, but that number may be higher because they may not be there when the ultrasound is performed because they typically resolve spontaneously.  They are not harmful, but they are one of the many markers for a genetic disease called Trisomy 18, which typically results in a stillborn baby or a child with severe issues that typically make it a terminal disease.  My doctor and the ultrasound had assured me they wre nearly positive the cyst would go away and that Celia is perfectly healthy, seeing as everything else on the ultrasound looked great and there were no other correlated markers.

Fast forward a week and a half when I’m trying to transfer my care to a new hospital in the city we are moving to.  When trying to make my initial appointment at that hospital, the receptionist keeps telling me I am high-risk.  I assure her I am not, but as we go back and forth, she finally gets a little irritated as she is looking through my records and says, “Well, does the baby have a cyst on her brain!?!”  I confirmed that she does.  Then the receptionist told me, in a not very nice manner, “Well, a cyst is abnormal.  That means your ultrasound was abnormal, which means you and your baby are high risk.”  There were other things said, but that was enough to send me into a full-blown panic attack with hyperventilating, tingling in my extremities, and lots of crying as I thought maybe something really was seriously wrong with our baby and I was not informed.  My mom and a friend helped to calm me down, and then I called my original doctor who once again assured me that all is probably fine.  Just to be sure, we scheduled a level 2 ultrasound to see if the cyst was still there and to look with more detail to see if there are any other markers.

Today, I had that ultrasound and thankfully all is well!  The cyst is gone, just like my doctor was sure it would be, and her heart, brain, kidneys, stomach, feet hands, and head shape are all perfectly normal and she is measuring exactly 22 weeks.  The new doctor I talked to said there is no reason to label me/Celia as high-risk and that I need not worry.  She is perfectly healthy as can be!  It was such a relief to know our baby is okay.  I was trusting God 100%, but it is still very scary to be pretty much shouted at by a receptionist and told I am high-risk for the first time, when I obviously was not aware/had not been told that by my doctor during a time when I was prepared to hear news like that.  I’m not the most excited to start care at the new hospital, but many people have assured me that they do a great job.  So, to make a now long story short, I am loving that our baby girl is healthy!

Symptoms: Nothing other than those listed.

What I’m excited about: I’m just excited to be a mom!  I’m excited to continue working on our house, to be done registering, to have so much to look forward to, and to be doing this all with the most amazing husband I could ever ask for.  I would definitely never go through all of this for anyone else or with anyone else.  He is my rock, and knowing this is all happening for our baby makes it all worth it.

What I’m nervous about: Well, considering I don’t even have a planned income come next Wednesday, that is a little nerve-wracking.  I am trusting God 100% however because I know he brought us to this and will get us through somehow!

Here are some photos from our most recent ultrasound!  She looks so much like San it just makes me smile!


Her little fingers got to me!  I teared up!


We barely could get a usable profile shot because she was doing gymnastics in there!


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18 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 5.5 inches long, or the size of a sweet potato!   Wow, that’s something I can really picture since I ate so many of them trying to get pregnant!

Weight gain/loss: No idea, truthfully.  I’ll find out next week at our 20 week ultrasound!  I’ve realized that I’m posting the updates pretty much a week late, but oh well.  I turn 19 weeks tomorrow, but it’s a good recap of the week I just had, I suppose!

Sleep: Um…we have some major changes going on in our life (we haven’t shared it openly on the blog or our Youtube channel yet, but we plan on it, so sleep has been really hard because I’ve honestly been incredibly stressed out.  I’ve gotten better at calming myself during the day, but at night, the worries wake me up quite often.

Stretch Marks: None yet

Cravings: I think I’ve had my first consistent craving: apple juice!

Aversions: Still chicken and just random things at night.

Movement: I’m not sure if I’ve felt anything that was real movement, but on Friday, I had a lot of pressure, almost like the baby was using the bottom of uterus as a trampoline.  Definitely not butterflies or flutters!

What I’m loving: I’m loving all the support we have from family and friends!  I’m loving that I feel good overall and that I can use more energy now since I definitely need it with all the stuff we have going on.

Symptoms: Really nothing this week.  I seriously don’t even feel pregnant really anymore except for the obvious belly and other growing parts.

What I’m excited about: I’m excited that in a week and two days we will (fingers crossed) know what the sex of our baby is!  We can finally start shopping!

What I’m nervous about: Um…where do I begin?  I’m leaning on God right now 100% to get me through the next couple months because our life is completely turned upside down right now.  It’s all in very good ways, but it leaves this hormonal woman feeling very stressed and out of her element!

Let’s do a fun comparison of my belly pretty much before I started showing at 6 weeks compared to now, three months later.  Um…a lot has changed!  I may need to buy a different tank top and bra because certain parts don’t really fit into what I started this photo journey wearing!


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Spring/Summer 2014 House Tour

It has been just about a week past the one year mark of moving into our house.  What a year it has been!  It has been about six months since we finished renovating with the amazing help of my parents over weekends and holidays.  We posted a tour back around Christmas when it was all decorated for the holidays, but now that we have tackled a few more projects and it is FINALLY not winter here in Minnesota anymore, we thought it was time for an update home tour!


And, here are the updated photos!

Entry Way

Here is the “entry way.”  We don’t have a formal entry way that is a separate room, but we do have a little landing just upon opening the front door with a closet, stairs to the basement, and then it steps out into a little walkway with a storage unit before opening up into the living room.  We haven’t really done anything new to this part of the house since we last showed it except add a rug to the landing.  We plan on painting the light fixtures so that they are no longer brass but instead, oil rubbed bronze.  We also would like to take the shade off the window over the stairs and frost the glass for privacy while still letting light in (because it is too high for us to reach the shade to open it).  We also still have to paint the trim and doors.  Some trim is primed white already because we had to add new trim or replace it when doing the renovation, but all of it still needs to be painted Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore to match the rest of the white paint in the house.  The walls in the entry, living room, dining room, and bedroom hallway are all Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore.





Here is a view of the wall opposite the front door.  We still need to do something on the space to the left of the half wall (we are thinking a giant, retro, coastal, wooden clock or something with a lot of impact.  On the space to the right of the half wall, we used to have a bookcase (that is now in the second bedroom), but I want to add a couple shelves to decorate for the seasons/holidays as well as a little piece of furniture painted a cool color (maybe coral?).

Here is the view from the front door.  You can see how the entry way is part of the living room and it all flows into the dining room.  We have an Ikea Expedit 2×4 storage unit/console table behind the couch to drop our keys.  We plan on adding an accent chair to the right of the table for sitting to put shoes on and to make it more welcoming.



Living Room

 The living room is one of our favorite rooms in the whole house!  It has a ten-foot-wide picture window that overlooks a lake (no neighbors across the street), so you can find the dogs or us just laying around looking out the window more often than not.  We have an Ikea Hemnes entertainment center that we LOVE!  It just brightens up the room and is so cute.  The shelves are not decorated or styled the way I want them to be, but they are fine for now.  We recently added the yellow striped curtains and the gray curtains.  They are both from Ikea, but the striped ones were just plain white.  I painted the yellow stripes on them.  The couch is an Ikea Ektorp couch that has a white slip cover.  I plan on doing a review of that couch soon, seeing as we have two dogs, are messy people ourselves, and many look at us like we are crazy when they find out we have a white couch.  The gray side table is from World Market (LOVE LOVE LOVE it!).   The ottoman is not staying.  It will be replaced eventually by a nice rustic, wooden coffee table.   I made the lamp shade a few years ago by gluing some fabric to an existing shade.





We love this little side table from World Market so much!  I found the vintage fruit crate a few years back and use it to hold our blankets.


Here is a great view of how everything is open to each other.





Dining Room

Ahhh…the dining room!  Our newest big project!  We absolutely love the coastal cottage decorating style, and when I think of that style, I think of board and batten.  I knew this room needed something big and kind of flashy because it can be seen from the front door and the living room, and it just felt so bare without room for more furniture on the right side of the table.  I envisioned board and batten in here the second we opened up the wall between the living room and dining room.  After one weekend, some hard work by my parents and me and San, we had this beauty!  The chandelier now looks even more outdated.  It will go one day.  It makes me a little sad to get rid of it because it is one of the few remnants of the old house and its history, but it just doesn’t go with our decor (it is brown and orange and very autumn looking).  The table is from JcPenney originally, but we scored it on Craigslist for $80!  The chairs are Ikea, but they are far from permanent.  We would like to add some white x-back chairs to the sides of the tables and maybe some upholstered chairs on the ends.


I scored that mirror above the buffet from a thrift shop for something like $5.  The mirror itself is warped, so I will eventually be replacing the glass, and I plan on painting the frame a different color.


The floors make it very obvious right now that the stairs to the basement used to be where the buffet is.  When we hire someone to refinish them, it will be much less obvious!



I’m in love with the way the board and batten curves around the corner here.  So pretty!  So classic!



Here’s a view of the dining room from the kitchen.  You can see the back door and the little “cleaning” closet where we keep a lot of our cleaning products.  Like I said, all trim and doors will be painted, and all the old handles will be updated.






 The kitchen has had an incredible overhaul since we bought the house, but we haven’t changed much since the last home tour.  We did add this little coffee station between the window and the back door.  There is a large walkway here, so we figured we could get away with adding a piece of furniture.  The shelving unit and bins are from Target.  We will be adding art and probably a shelf with a place to set or hang mugs above the coffee pot. The garbage and recycling will eventually be going in the cabinet next to the dishwasher, but for now they are still hanging out by the coffee station.



We still need to replace the lights in here.


And, we will be adding a built-in microwave most likely above the stove one day, as well as replacing the white appliances with stainless steel to match the dishwasher.


I’m rethinking the chalkboard here.  I’m just no good at decorating chalkboards.  I thought about hiring a professional to decorate it permanently, but that is very expensive.  Instead, I’m thinking of hanging a little shelf with hooks for some vintage aprons and decorating the shelf.  Thoughts?

We did add this coral rug from Target. I love it!  This room was made for the color coral!






Bedroom Hallway

The only thing we have done to the bedroom hallway (that is accessed from the living room) is rip out the carpet (as well as in the bedrooms, too).


We plan on adding a full-length mirror to this wall to make it brighter and to allow guests (and us) to see how we look after leaving the bathroom.




Nothing has changed at all in the bathroom since the last home tour.  We still need to paint the walls a pale aqua blue.



Second Bedroom

 Ahhhhh….a room!  In the past, I haven’t shown this room because it was basically just a futon with a bunch of random stuff that didn’t go anywhere else.  I couldn’t take it anymore, so last week, I cleared everything out and brought up any office stuff we had in the basement or other parts of the house.  We don’t plan on decking this room out anytime soon because we are holding on to hope that we will need to convert it into a nursery soon, but for now, we like that it has a purpose, even if it isn’t the office of our dreams.



I am in love with this navy lateral file cabinet!  I bought it in its once dingier form as a laminated Goodwill find for $10.  Some primer, paint, brass corners from the hardware store, and some Rub-N-Buff on the handles and it looks like a campaign chest.  I will probably do a more in-depth look at this file cabinet because the inside has been organized beautifully as well.





Master Bedroom

From this view, it is hard to see the major change that has rocked our world: a new closet system!   The rug is from Rugs USA



Here she is!  We bought two Pax closet systems from Ikea in chunks when things were on sale or in the “as is” section and save probably about $200!  This opens up both the bedroom closets that were being used by us for our clothes, so now we can use them for other things becasuse 95% of our clothes fits in these closet systems.  My dad added the crown molding and helped us add filler strips to the wall and between the closets so that the doors could open fully.


And, here is the swatch graveyard we have stared at for close to a year.  We have the paint already for all the unpainted rooms, but we just haven’t found the time to dedicate to painting them.  This room will be a gray-beige (greige?) because the rug in here is taupe and doesn’t look good with a true gray wall (we tried it in the living room) but we want something nice, calm, and neutral so we can add more color throughout the room.





We hope you enjoyed the home tour!  Let me know if I missed any important information!  Also, I’d love to know what your favorite part is or what you might have done differently (or would still do with the unfinished parts)!

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Planning My Way to a Saner Sarah

Have you ever stopped to think about how much your life has changed since you were a child?  Now that I’ve been in the “real world” for a couple of years, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when I compare my life to how it was back in high school or even in college.  I’ve always been motivated to do things and often over-fill my plate, but working fifty hours a week with a business on the side is a lot different than working 25 hours a week and taking a full college course load.  As easy as it is to feel overwhelmed when thinking about how much more I have to do these days, it is also just as easy to feel optimistic when I think of all that I have learned about time management over the years.

A5 Aqua Malden Filofax 2014
I could never have handled the way my life is right now if I went straight from high school to my life right now.  I didn’t know enough about organizing, structuring my time, and keeping track of things to be able to take on the lifestyle I’m currently living.  I am so happy that I have tried a lot of systems and procedures along this journey to adulthood that has allowed me to be very efficient and productive.

One way I have always stayed organized is through the use of a planner.  In high school, my school gave out planners to each student to stay organized.  I diligently wrote down my extracurricular activities, assignments, and social engagements (because I was super fancy and called them ‘engagements’ back then – not) so that I wouldn’t forget.  In college, I scoured stores for the perfect planner that would give me enough space to write everything I needed to do while not being too large to lug around everywhere.  However, as more was piled on to my “to do” list, more time became devoted to finding the perfect planner.

During my final years of college, I transitioned to the Erin Condren Life Planner.  I loved that it was colorful, inspirational, and more structured than a lot of other planners I had used.  But, once I started my business and began teaching full-time (which I am now no longer doing but am nannying full-time), I needed something more.  I wanted a place to do long-term planning, daily planning, keep track of our meal plan, budget for the month, remember important dates in the future, and track progress in my health.  I wanted something that no store had prepackaged and ready to go for me.  I needed something customizable.

Enter the Filofax brand back about a year ago.  I purchased a Dakota personal size Filofax that I used for a few months.  I loved the customization capabilities but ended up hating the size.  As nice as the personal size was for carrying around, it was horrible for me when it came to writing things down because I tend to make very long, detailed (sometimes sloppy) lists that I constantly had to rewrite because the personal size didn’t have enough room for me.

A5 Aqua Malden Filofax 2014
I’ve now been in the A5 Aqua Malden Filofax for about four months and I could not be happier!  I don’t know what I would do with myself without my trusty planner.  Nothing would get done.  I just don’t trust myself with remembering details when I have so many things going on all the time.  I am able to delegate tasks throughout the week so I no longer am carrying around one giant “to do” list in my head, which would cause any person to get stresed out.  By just taking a half hour on Sundays to plan out my week, I can get so much done!

I know not everyone carries a planner, especially in adulthood if you don’t have a job that would require you to keep track of meetings and things like that, but they have been a lifesaver and timesaver for me!  I love to share things with others in the hopes that it can encourage, inspire, and inform them.  I created a video tour of my planner so you can see how I have it set up, what I used, and exactly how I use it.  I hope it helps you in some way!


I would love to know how you keep track of things to do! I’d also love to know of any products that you love for staying organized and accountable! Happy planning!


This post is linked up to A Bowl Full of Lemons’ One Project at a Time.

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