Monday, June 27, 2016

Our Kids' New Playfort {Using the hidden space under the stairs}

When we finished our basement, I had told the drywallers not to bother with this area, as it would only be storage. They didn't listen to me and finished it out anyways. Then I told the carpet installers not to bother with putting carpet in there, but Tony overruled me when they came to measure. He knew the kids would love playing in here, more than I would love the storage. I don't need to keep that much stuff anyways. 

I did a little project on Saturday night that has been on my mind a while. The twin mattress in back of the nook kind of kicked it up to the top of my ever-evolving list of items to do around the house. 

We ordered a daybed with trundle for the lower level guest room to provide sleeping options for our family and friends when they stay over. The mattress we ordered for the trundle was defective. It had a very lumpy portion to it. I contacted Amazon to return it and as usual, their customer service was outstanding. Since it was next to impossible to re-package the mattress as it came, they told us to either donate or dispose of it and they issued a complete refund. So I went ahead and ordered another mattress for the trundle. 

So we were left with a defective twin sized mattress. So we decided to put it under the stairs for a kids reading/play area. 

This is what the area has looked like for months. When I was cleaning it out, I found an alarming amount of forgotton cheetos. #MomFail

Still messy. The area goes around that corner and has a small table and chairs hidden back there. 

I had a credit on my Amazon account, so after buying Chrissy Teigen's cookbook, I decided to buy some puck lights for this space. I wanted the kids to be able to use it at all times, and Gavin is currently obsessed with closing doors. All doors. 

I placed the larger light on the wall to shine toward the back of the space, and used 2 of the smaller disc lights on the ceiling of the shorter flat area. 

 Gavin and I also had a short adventure to Target on Saturday night {my goodness, that was the best time to go! No crowds, wait, and lots of time to peruse the Dollar Spot with no one else jostling their cart at you.}

 We found some of these Dr. Seuss posters. I had had a few of them from my cousin last summer and I bought 2 more to hang in the play fort. 

Here you can see the twin mattress tucked back in the corner. It just fit and I covered it with an inexpensive fitted sheet from Wal Mart. I wanted a pattern to help hide those cheetos fingerprints I am sure will be happening again. 

 I cleaned out the wicker basket and sorted through the toys. We have a tent and tunnel packed up in there along with the larger pieces of Gavin's matchbox car race tracks. We also picked up a few stacking boxes to keep the toys organized. I am loving Target's new Pillowfort line for kids. It is so on trend and not too pricey. 

The dry erase board was also a Target Dollar Spot find. I love that I never caved and bought the $30 Pottery Barn version...this was $3, and I like the light blue border better. 

The kids both loved it when we showed them on Sunday. Avery even took her nap in here on Sunday. The defective mattress didn't bother a 40 pound 5 year old, so I think we will keep it. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday -

Hello Friends,
How has everyone been? We had a great Father's Day weekend, complete with a trip to the pool with the kids to play.

Last night our neighbor was having a pop up shop for her Agnes and Dora business. 

I had never heard of it, but that doesn't mean much. I don't get out much these days past home, daycare, Hy-Vee, and work. So, another neighbor and I headed over after dinner and browsed the clothing, and IT WAS SO CUTE! There were a ton of legging options, along with dresses, tops, and kimonos. I ended up coming home with a floral kimono and a red and white striped top. 

I am finally wearing my red shoes I wore in a wedding about 2 years ago. I am also excited to use the kimono as a swimsuit coverup over my black suit. 

What is everyone up to this week?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Contemporary Ranch Home

This is a custom home that I recently completed. It turned out so gorgeous, that I just had to share it with you all. This is a modified version of a floor plan that I love and could see the Bower family living in {No, we are not moving. I just pretend to move my family into each house I work's a sickness}

We used Cambria Quartz on the countertops and waterfalls the edge on the open peninsula. Wood looking tile from The Tile Shop was also used throughout a large portion of the main floor. 

 We used a linear 42" fireplace on the main level to continue the contemporary look. Floating shelves continue with that as well. 

The stair spindles are not your traditional black iron vertical piece, but rather sleek stainless tubes in a horizontal pattern. 

Also, the ever popular barn style sliding doors. We upped the design element using 5 panel clear glass so the homeowner can maintain a working privacy without totally cutting off this room from the rest of the home. 

 The owner's suite bath features dual sinks, and a tiled walk in shower with no door. 

On the the lower level, and entertainers dream!

Another 36" fireplace with floating shelves, and look at those gorgeous windows!

We used stone on the bar to protect the wall from scuff marks as stools and guests will sit there. As we were planning this out, we designed it so the cabinets would accept the stone wrapping all the way around the bar, for a complete look.

The bar has everything you could need. Full sized fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and wine and beverage center. There is also media hookups for a future TV on the wall. 

See, stone wrapping completely around the partial wall. 

 The covered deck is like a cherry on top, and the view is not bad either!

That green space behind the tree line is there to stay, so this was a premium homesite. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the home, design advice, or finishes used. 

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Easy French Dip Recipe

I made a really great French Dip sandwich for dinner last night, and the recipe could not have been easier. 

We started with 1 pound of deli Di Lusso medium roast beef

I put 1 can of French Onion Soup {I added about 1/2 can of water to this}

and 1 can of Beef Consomme 

to a soft, rolling boil with the roast beef. It took about 15 minutes. 

I had also bought provolone cheese from the deli counter and used that to top the sandwiches. 
{Tony is not a huge cheese fan (Horror, I know!), so I used the provolone on his sparingly}

I scooped up the roast beef using a slotted spoon to drain the liquid from the meat. I took care to make sure some of the onions stayed on the roast beef. Then topped with the provolone cheese. I set them under the oven broiler set to 425 for about 8-10 min.

I saved the liquid for the dipping sauce and it was very tasty.

They were very good, and the kids even ate some of it. We kept it simple on a weeknight and served with corn and some waffle fries. 

I got the recipe from a southern blogger I read, and I am so glad I did. 

*Recipe from April at A.Liz Adventures

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Weekending {as a verb}

Our weekend was such a nice time. We were busy, tried to beat the heat, and we were well. 

I took the kids out for dinner alone on Saturday night. Tony had a golf tournament most of the day, and I thought I would brave it myself with our favorite Mexican place, El Azteca. The kids did great, and we were in and out of there in less than an hour, so I am sure that helped. 

The sprinkler got a lot of use this weekend. I was not up to taking the kids to the pool by myself. Maybe in a few years when Avery can swim better on her own, and maybe go down the slide without help at the bottom. I was not ready for that yet. 

This photo just screams SUMMERTIME!

The kids decided to color and Gavin was so excited to show me his crayon scratches. He would run over to me every few minutes to show me. He was so proud. 


That face! Isn't he the cutest?

Grocery shopping on Sunday nights is a weekly event, and Gavin took his cart pushing very seriously. 

We made a new summer snack mix to keep on hand. Frosted animal crackers, popcorn, and pretzels. We added in cheese-its and Reeses Pieces later. It needed it. 

In basement news, we got the daybed and trundle all set up. We are ready for guests officially, even if there is no decor and the room is only partially 'done' for my standards. 

If only money and time were always so readily available, am I right?! {all in due time, I keep reminding myself...the countdown to 1 less kid in full time daycare is on!}

Monday, June 13, 2016


This is a series I like to call 'Gavin with books and his feet crossed'

The way he crosses his feet when he is reading and looking at books just kills me. He studies books, and now has some of his favorites memorized. Yesterday he recited Dr. Suess 'Are you my Mother' and he told me he was not my mother, he was a cow. 

He is flipping through my book from the library on Tudor history in England {Nerd Alert!}

A client we built a custom home for a few years ago dropped off 2 large shopping bags full of 'Summer Reads' as she calls them. Light, fluffy romances. I texted my mom this photo and told her we hit the mother load. She replied that there appears to be a few in there she hasn't read yet. Gavin's bookworm tendencies come to him naturally. 

What are some other good books to read this summer?