Saturday, November 23, 2013

Madeline's Birth Announcement

I have to say that making Madeline's birth announcement was so much fun, and so was the newborn photo shoot to get the pictures.  I know I've said it 100 times, but I'll say it again - there is nothing greater than having a sister who is an AMAZING photographer!  She knows how to capture just how small and fragile they are, and how precious and sweet.  I love it.

So without further ado, here is the birth announcement for our sweet and precious Madeline Grace.

We are beyond blessed by our two sweet girls.  Its funny because I never imagined my heart could be so full.  I'm reminded everyday how lucky I am to have my girls.  I still can't believe Madeline is 2 months old already, and I promise to do that post soon. 

If you're a mom struggling with infertility, know that I am praying for you.  I've been down that road; I've traveled that journey; I understand that heartache.  But know that the Lord's plan is always greater than our own...this baby girl is proof of that! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kitchen Makeover!

Y'all know that I have been dying for a kitchen makeover, kind of like a kitchen facelift.  I love my little house, but I have always hated the kitchen.  There is great functionality, but I've always hated how it looked.  Well my dear husband PROMISED that I could have my kitchen makeover before Madeline was born, so this summer I knew we had to get to work.

My budget was $2000, but my secret is that through amazing friends and family who were able to get us some fantastic discounts, I had a FULL kitchen facelift for only $1300, including a new range vent, sink and faucet!  If you include the new stovetop we got about a year ago, then it was only $1800!  Now that is what I call staying on budget!

Here is the before! It was awful.  The countertop was a nice quality laminate but it also was the backsplash.  The color was nice neutral beige, but the red hues in the cabinets made it look pink.  Maybe you're different than me, but I wasn't so keen on pink countertops.  The sink was only 6" deep, which means I couldn't hardly wash dishes without water getting everywhere. 

So here was the plan.  Instead of replacing the countertops (because they were in great shape), we had a contractor come in and use epoxy paint to create a neutral stone look.  At only $300 for the full kitchen, it saved us a great deal of money!  At the same time, we had the laminate backsplash removed.

Next step was to paint the cabinets.  I still don't know how we did it, but we painted the entire kitchen in only a weekend!  We used Sherwin Williams ProClassic water based paint.  It was amazing!  It had the great quality of oil based, but drys quickly like a water based.  It was a huge time-saver and I loved the result.  Of course we sanded and primed them first.  Another huge time saver on this was a paint sprayer.  We removed all of the cabinets and drawers and while I was inside painting, Brant was spraying all of the doors & drawers. 
Primed and ready for the 1st coat of paint!
I chose the paint color based on the countertops.  I looked for a darker color because I didn't want it so light in color that I had to repaint the walls.  I chose a Sherwin Williams color Down Home.  I LOVED the way it turned out. It worked to well with the countertops.  Here is a closeup! 

 And the last step, the tile backsplash.  We wanted another light and neutral tile color, but I wanted a "pop" so I added some small 2x2" accent tiles.  We chose Daltile Brixton in the stone color.  Brant and I decided that a diamond pattern was great to add some elegance.

And then it was complete!  I have to tell yall that I LOVE my new kitchen.  It feels so much more open and bright.  The darker cabinets made it feel so small, but now anymore!  With all the finishing touches, here is my new kitchen!

 Want to see a side-by-side comparison??? What do you think?  Do you love my new kitchen, too?

Monday, November 4, 2013

She's A Big Girl Now

When we found out that Madeline was going to be a girl, I knew that I would keep the nursery the same and Emmalee would get a "big girl" room.  I wanted to make her big girl room a special place for her - a place that she liked and enjoyed playing in.  So I made the decision to let her make the room her own.

First, I had to pick out the bedspread.  I picked 3 different spreads that I liked, each having their own color scheme or theme.  Then I let her pick the one that she liked best.  She chose the American Sweetheart, which just happened to be my favorite!  I adore all the colors in it and its not too "girly," but still contains some pink so I was able to use several of her name and "E's" from her nursery.

Part of making this room her own was letting her help create things in this room.  She helped create pictures for the wall and she has a craft line that she can hang her artwork on.  Everyday she makes projects at Ms. Kim's house during their "school-time" and this has been a great way to reinforce the letters, colors & numbers she's learning.  

A lot of the decorative items in her room are ideas that I found off pinterest.  They were so great, and simple.  I posted on a "5 on Friday" about some of the projects I wanted to do and you can see it here.  Here are some close-ups of handmade items in her room...

Here's what we did.
1.  I found some beautiful scroll brackets at Canton before Emmalee was born.  I got some crystal knobs and wood and Brant made this shelf for her nursery.  It's perfect to hold the letters for her name.  I knew this would be something that I wanted in her big girl room.  This piece cost us a whopping $15 to create.

2.  I love that the girls' rooms have window seats and I enjoy making them a focal point.  To help make this simple red curtain pop, I used an idea from Pintrest to create this pennant banner to go across the window.  This was made with white cardboard, scrapbook paper, and ribbon - it was that simple.  I adhered the banner to the curtain rod with two bows and I honestly LOVE the touch it gives to the room.  Cost, MAYBE $3.00!!!

3.  If you look at the picture of the dresser area above, you can see that the mirror over the dresser was much smaller than the width of the dresser.  I loved the mirror and wanted to use it, but I needed something to help fill the space.  I found simple thin wood frames for only $2.99 each at Micheal's.  I spray painted the wood, then took the scrapbook paper used for the banner and simple adhered it to the back of the frame.  I absolutely adore the color this brings to the wall and fit perfectly over the dresser.

4.  This is one of my favorite parts of Emmalee's room, mainly because she helped create them - her button pictures.  I just happened to be at Micheal's when they had little containers of buttons for only $1.  I got a small set of craft paints and canvases, heated up my glue gun, then we got to work.  Again, this was another Pintrest idea and I spent maybe $15 on all of the materials.  Emmalee is so proud of her artwork and loves showing all of her friends what she created. This was a super fun project for us to do together.

I have to admit that I truly enjoy how this room turned out.  I feel like it took forever for it all to come together, but now it is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  Emmalee loves her room too, which was so important to me. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

5 on Friday

Emmalee was incredibly laid back and only cried when she was hungry.  She was one of the easiest babies I have ever known.  Madeline is different.  Madeline is a momma's girl and loves to be held by her momma.  She fusses quite a bit in the evenings and loves nursing, so it can make life and mothering a little more different than it was when Emmalee, not to mention the fact that I'm still trying to be a "hands-on" mom to Emmalee.  Having 2 is completely different than having 1, that is for sure! 

So today my 5 on Friday is all about the things that is making my life a little easier and manageable.

The Swing

I have the Sung-A-Bug Craddle and Swing and I LOVE it.  One of my favorite things about this swing is that it has a power cord that allows you to plug it into the wall so if you use it for hours at a time (as i do) then you're not constantly worried about having to buy stock in Energizer!  The swing also has several speed settings and can swing side to side, or you can switch it to a backward/forward motion setting.  Emmalee and Madeline both are "swing-babies" so this is one of my ultimate must-haves for baby.  I can sit Madeline in her swing just to "play" and look at the birds, or she'll nap here, so for me, this is one way that allows me some hands-free time.

SwaddleMe Blanet

  The swaddle blanket is my new BFF, y'all.  Emmalee was an incredible sleeper and I just swaddled, or tightly wrapped, her in a receiving blanket.  But Madeline is a wild-hands sleeper - she flails, like many babies do.  So I tried the swaddle blanket.  At first, she hated it and would scream.  Well, come to find out I was doing it wrong.  Once I watched a few videos and learned to tuck her hands down under her bottom, things improved - literally over night!  Now, Madeline loves being swaddled and sleeps GREAT!  She has consistantly (for almost 2 weeks now) slept for one 6 hour stretch, wakes and eats, then goes back to bed for another 4-5 hours.  So, I love the SwaddleMe blanket and it has greatly improved our quality of sleep! 

Moby Wrap
My personal choice for an infant carrier is the Moby Wrap. I was given a Boppy (sling style) carrier before Emmalee was born and she hated it, so I got the Moby.  Emmalee and I both loved it, so I've continued using it with Madeline. Since Madeline loves being held, especially in the evenings, I've been able to put her in the Moby and make dinner, fold clothes, play with Emmalee, etc.  It is definitely on my Favorites List! 


Although Madeline doesn't have colic, I love Gripe Water.  It seems like Madeline ALWAYS has the hiccups - she had them 3 or 4 times a day while I was pregnant with her and she still has then a few times a day.  So, I always have a small bottle with equal parts tap water & Gripe Water that help so much when she has the hiccups, and can be a life saver when she is gassy. 

My Crockpot!!
I LOVE my Crockpot, and if you have ever read any of my recipes, then you know I will cook just about anything in it.  This thing has been incredibly helpful in getting meals on the table.  I can put dinner on to cook in the morning (when Madeline naps the best), but can still have a reasonable dinner on my table with little effort by 6ish during her fussy period.  Its great, and I've been discovering so many great new recipes while I've been at home!  

So, what are some of the tricks or things you have up your sleeve to keep your life manageable with a new baby at home? 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Great Grabbie Designs Holiday Giveaway!

Don't you just LOVE the holidays?  I do.  I love everything about this time of year, especially Christmas cards.  As a digital designer, I absolutely LOVE designing Christmas cards.  So this year, I've decided that I'm having a giveaway!!!

This giveaway is for 3, yes 3, free Christmas card designs.  So I will be having 3 drawings, each for a free custom design.
These are examples ONLY. The giveaway designs will be made to fit the desires of each winner.

The winners will be announces on Friday, November 8th!!!  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fabulous First Month

My sweet Madeline Grace,
I can't believe that I am typing the words that you are already one month old.  It seems like only a week has passed by since the day you were born.  All of my friends said that time seems to go by even faster when its baby #2, and its sad to say that they were correct.  Time seems to be flying by. 

You certainly are a sweet little baby.  Your two favorite things are your pacifier and your momma.  You are very much a momma's girl, which makes your daddy a little sad sometimes, but I promise him you'll be a daddy's girl faster than he realizes.

We are working on getting on a schedule, but you routinely go to bed around 9:30, wake up at 2:30-3 to eat, then again around 6:30. Some days you sleep a lot, but other days you like to be awake and play.  You are definitely a snuggler and your best naps are snuggled up next to your momma.  You eat about 3 oz. every 3 hours, and are finally over your birth weight.  At 18 days old, you were 8lbs .05 oz, and 20" long.  

Your big sister is your biggest fan.  Emmalee loves and adores you more than you can imagine.  You are the first thing she asks about in the morning, and the last thing she kisses before she goes to sleep.  I love having two sweet girls.  My prayer is that you and Emmalee grow up to be as close as me and your Aunt Cookie are.  

You are definitely an amazing addition to our family and we couldn't imagine life without you, sweet baby.

I love you,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Madeline's Birth Story

Our sweet Madeline Grace was born on Monday, September 16th.  Its crazy to think she is already ten days old - I'm not quite sure where those 10 days went. The days seem to already be flying by and I can only pray that the next two years slow down a bit, but I know I'm only kidding myself if I think they will.
My birth story with Madeline is pretty simple.  My blood pressure started to rise on Friday, September 13th.  I called and talked with my doctor's office about it and we agreed the best option was for me to take it easy (or, as easy as possible with a 2 year old at home) for the weekend and monitor my blood pressure every few hours.  I would have spikes in my blood pressure where it would be really high, then it would drop back down to normal just as fast as it spiked.  On Sunday, we went to triage because my BP spiked and I started feeling pretty sick.  By the time we got to the hospital and they checked my BP, it was back down to normal.  After a few hours of monitoring, they sent us home.

Monday morning, I had my weekly appointment.  When I arrived, my blood pressure was 150/90.  They decided to check it again about 10 minutes later, and this time it had spiked to 160/100.  So the doctor came into the room and informed us that we would be having a baby that day.  We were instructed to home, get my bag, and head straight to the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital, we were directed to a Labor and Delivery room, and within an hour I had my Pitocin IV.  The drip started about 12:15 and contractions started occuring pretty regularly within 30 minutes.  Around 3:30 I was ready for my epidural, and my water was broken shortly after around 4:30.  Contractions really started to pick up after that!  I did feel quite a bit of pain on one side, but my wonderful nurse and anesthesiologist came in and helped get it under control.  Around 6:30, the nurse checked and I was complete, so she called the doctor and told him to head up to my room, and quickly! After 3 very small pushes, Madeline Grace was born at 6:48pm.  It was such a great feeling seeing my sweet daughter for the first time.

I have to give all the credit of an easy delivery to my L&D nurse, Monica.  She was amazing.  Because my delivery was pretty easy, so was my recovery.  We stayed in the hospital just over 24 hours then got to come home.  Madeline's billy ruben was slightly high, but we were just instructed to go see our pediatrician within 48 hours.

We are so thankful to be home and resting well.  Emmalee is adjusting alright.  She has shown a little more defiance toward mommy and daddy, but she absolutely LOVES her little sister.  I'm sure that things are going to be great as soon as this adjustment period passes.

 I am so thankful for my little family of 4! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome to the World

On Monday, September 16, 2013d at 6:48 pm, we welcomed Madeline Grace Williams into the world!  Our hearts could not be more full. She weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz and was 19 3/4" long. 

Birth story coming tomorrow...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Big Blog Sale

Well today I'm linking up with Lamberts Lately's Big Blog Sale.

All items listed below are girls, sizes 3 months - 2T.  Shipping is not included in the price, but I will combine and ship at the most reasonable rates possible.  If you have any questions, please comment here or "tweet" me (awilliams0720). 

Janie & Jack ADORABLE dress; size 3 mths. I was "saving" this dress to see if I had another girl who could wear it, but it will be too out of season for Maddie.  EUC $8.00
Another FAVORITE!  Old Navy 6-12 Mth sweater. EUC. $6.00

Custom Made "E" Halloween/Fall Pillow Case Dress - fits size 6-12 mths. EUC (Will also include a small stackable-bow)  $8.00

Soft & Adorable Old Navy one-piece romper (grey w/ ivory polka dots & pink trim) EUC. Size 6-12 mths. $4.00

GAP 18 mth Sweater Dress (Never Worn). $8.00  SOLD

18 mth Matilda Jane Top EEEUC - $20.00 SOLD

Crazy 8 18-24 mth Jeans NWOT. Super cute!!! $6.00

Rare Editions cotton & corduroy Lady Bug Set. EUC $12.00

Red/White Polka Dot leggings 12-24 mth - EUC. $2.00  SOLD

Little Lass silver sparkly sweater - NEVER WORN 18 mtns. $4.00

one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES!!!!  Rare Editions Pink/Brown ruffle set. Legs has small spots of piling but overall great condition. Size 18-24mths  $14.00
Circo 2T jeggings. Super soft - only worn once. $3.00
Gymboree Corduroy overall set - adorable on (especially w/ a pink shirt & bow!)  Size 24 mths EUC. $8.00
I LOVE this!!!!!!  "E" swirl romper. Custom Made, worn once. Size 2T EEEUC $16.00  SOLD
Size 2 Anavini smocked dress (2nd owner, but Emmalee never got to wear) Absolutely ADORABLE in person!  EUC $12.00

Gymboree sweater Size 18 mths. VGUC (a little pilling from wash, but still has tons of wear). $4.00

Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

So, I never did post about my kitchen facelift, nor have I posted anything in almost 3 weeks....but I'm still here!  Life has just been a little busy - preparing for baby, moving Emmalee into a big girl room, going on vacation...oh, and did I mention preparing for baby???

But today is Friday, and everybody say "Praise the Lord for a 3-day weekend!"  So for today's Five on Friday, I thought I would post a few things that I am working on preparation of baby, which includes some of the project I want to do in Emmalee's new big-girl room!

We decided to leave the nursery as is, and move Emmalee to a big girl room because it was just an easier "plan," in my opinion.  But creating a whole new room on a budget is not the easiest thing.  The biggest problem I am running into with Emmalee's room is simple, but cute decorations, and I could use a few to spruce up the nursery, too.   Each of the ideas below are different things that I have now stuffed in my "book or ideas" for cute, but simple, craft or decoration ideas for the girls' rooms. 

So, without further ado, here is my Five on Friday!!


I am IN LOVE with this idea!  Let's be honest - paint samples are FREE!  You can get them at any home improvement store, and just a few of them gives you a ton of color options!  

This is also a great idea for holiday decorations!  Get a circle cutter & use hues of yellows, oranges, and other fall colors. Use some twine or raffia as your string, and you have an adorable Halloween or fall banner for any room of your house!  Heck, do the same for Christmas!  

If you have other paint sample projects that you have done, tell me!!!  I love these type of crafts because they are cheap and simple, but absolutely perfect for any room or occasion!  


This is another idea that I just love - button projects!  I actually plan on doing this on Monday with Em.  I thought it would be a fun project for her and I to do together for her new room.  On the wall with the window, the window is in the middle, but I need something on either side.  Since these projects can incorporate MANY colors, I love the idea of doing these (probably in a bit larger scale) on either side of the window.  I'll take pics and tell you how they turn out!!!

 I love this idea for an arrangement over a dresser.  Em's walls are light blue, and all of her furniture is white.  The dresser is long, like this pictured here, and I have been struggling with what to put above it.  I do have a mirror that I considered painting and putting up, but I'm worried about the scale of the mirror vs. the dresser.  So, I love the idea of making a wall arrangement like this one here.  


You may have seen something similar to this before, because I know I have seen this style of door-hanger done many ways, but I was thinking this may be a great door-decoration for the girls' rooms.  My local Micheals has started carrying the thick cardboard frame in all these great boutique styles for just a few dollars.  I think I'll get some, paint them, then get a big "E" and "M" and put them on the front of the frames.  Then I can hang them on the doors to give a little added "somthin'" 


I have fallen in love with this idea, too!!!  Emmalee has red curtains in her room, but they are simple and somewhat boring.  Madeline's are a little more "fru-fru", but they are still a solid pink, so I could do this in her room too.  But I love the pennant idea to put over the curtains just to add some pizzazz!  

I don't know about you, but each of these projects are so fun and simple, and I cannot WAIT to try them!  I promise to do a post next week of all the new things in the girls rooms!!! 

So what are your plans this weekend?  Can you guess what mine are????