Welcome! House Tour – The Before

We love our house like WHOA. But after dropping a few pretty pennies on it we weren’t left with much for any renovations right away. The kitchen counters/sink/hardware have already been upgraded, which is a total bonus, but there are lots of things we want to do down the line.

Instead of whining through this whole post about how “this needs updated wah wah wah” I’ll just go ahead and give you a quick run down:

  1. Paint all the woodwork white. YES. All of it. Cabinets, trim, built-ins. (Except for the stairwell – I love the wood balusters and handrail)
  2. Remove all of the wallpaper.
  3. Replace ALL of the flooring. White carpet under tables? What? Mauve carpet – huh?
  4. Paint the walls – doy
  5. Eventually we’d like to knock out a wall and add a sliding glass door where Rose’s tent is, that steps out to a glorious patio.
  6. Fence in a portion of the yard for Olive, complete with doggy door.
  7. New office furniture, paint or replace the dining room furniture, and random furniture updates around the house.
  8. Finish the basement.

Without further ado, here’s our most favorite house ever!

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Rose’s “house” was a fixture in this room for awhile. It’s since moved into the dining room, allowing this space to function as her own personal dining area, complete with mini table. It’s pretty cute, you guys. 

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I love the view down the hallway. Basically the entire first floor makes me insanely happy. When I’m in the kitchen I can see Rose wherever she is, which is a total bonus. If you have a one year old you will understand.

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I’ve already started stripping wallpaper! Updates to come.

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This space is going to really open up once we blow that wall out. I have the mirror there just to let some more light in – this space can definitely feel a bit dark at times.

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I obviously can’t wait for it to warm up so we can enjoy our screened-in porch like it was meant to be enjoyed. I can already taste the beer and feel the warm breeze.

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Our fourth bedroom is downstairs, and will eventually be our guest room. Right now it’s multi-functional. And by “multi-functional” I mean “dumping ground.”

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Most of my plants are hanging out in the hallway because of the ample light (skylights!), until I can find more permanent homes. Everything is sort of in a holding pattern until we have a better idea where everything will go. 

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My mom gave us her old furniture from when she was a little girl. Both pieces will eventually end up in Rose’s room (one is currently living in the master), and I can’t wait to refinish them. How neat is it that Rose will have her Gigi’s old furniture from when SHE was the same age?? 

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This was certainly not planned. Barf.

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Whenever another baby comes along this room will be the nursery. Until then it’s just a very scary place, full of random odds and ends that haven’t found their final home yet. 

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The master bathroom is straight-up weird. We’d like to eventually rearrange in here, but that’s waaaay down the line. We gotta pay for college first. 0_o

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Because who doesn’t have a Little People dollhouse right outside of their bathroom? 

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Olive followed me around the house, helping me take pictures. She pooped out along the way I found her basking in the sun at the bottom of the stairs. 

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We’ve already made a few improvements that I can’t wait to share! Namely a very much needed fireplace door update, and one very cute paper mache animal addition. I’m unhealthily obsessed with him. 

I’m so excited for it to warm up so we can start painting (and leaving the windows open to air out the rooms). There is so much to be done and we can’t wait to get started! It’ll be a slow and steady timeline, but I am already looking forward to the results!

A Free Upgrade – BOOYAH

I’m going to start this post with some math.

WAIT. DON’T GO YET.

The goal was to swap out our teeny tiny master bathroom mirrors for something more substantial. After Craigslisting the old ones for $70 and buying a new one for $60, I’m pretty sure we came out ahead. Let me crunch the numbers… carry the two… yes! According to my calculations we finished this upgrade with $10 in our wallet. (Hence the “BOOYAH.”)

The previous owners were either Leprechauns or I don’t know. Maybe we’re giants. We had to tip the mirrors all the way up to see our reflection and it made me dizzy.

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I know they’re all fancy and I did really like them but the one tricky thing with mirrors is you should actually be able to, I don’t know, see yourself in them.

I know you’ll say “Why didn’t you just raise them?” because you’re a smarty-pants. And the answer I would give you is that wall is HUGE. And those teeny mirrors were not only too small for us, but they were too small for that humongo wall.

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And now ask me why the previous homeowners put lights on the ceiling, BEHIND WHERE YOU STAND TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR. That, my friend, I do not have an answer for. That will be our next upgrade for this room: actual vanity lights instead of overhead track-lighting.

Here’s a better view of the mirrors before we took them down. They’re nice, though, right? Just too small. Womp womp.

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If you’re ever looking for a way to instantly make a room look like a shoebox, remove the mirror.

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I was downstairs wrangling The Kid while The Lumberjack was working his installation magic. I imagine he was like a cloud of tasmanian devil smoke, buzzing around measuring, screwing, and hammering.

He gave me the “ALL DONE COME LOOK” yell and I ran up to see my brand new bathroom. I’m not sure you guys realize how annoying it is to not be able to see yourself while trying to get ready in the morning.

I turned the corner and the bathroom already seemed lighter and brighter and 10x bigger.

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I know some of you are going to be offended that we took down designer mirrors and replaced them with a builder-grade polished-edge mirror. Feel free to contact my publicist with all of your complaints. He handles all of that stuff. Also, my publicist is Kit Harrington and he may be too busy being sexy to deal with you.

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The best thing about the large mirror is it reflects more light from the skylight above. It’s really incredible what a difference this has made.

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Dopey picture, but it illustrates how I can look in the mirror and see the skylight, which I couldn’t do with the smaller mirrors and provides TONS more light.

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But most importantly, the plants seem pretty happy about the change.

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I didn’t know I could talk so much about a mirror switch-out. It has made me pretty happy, though. Life really is about the small things.

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This is how I feel now:

My next obstacle is trying to cover up those lovely mauve and beige tiles. Have any of you had luck with those stick-n-peal vinyl tiles?

Happy Friday, party people! Do something fun. Maybe surprise your best friend with a glass bottle of wine and some chit chat. Whatever you do, have a great weekend!

 

An Anyone-Can-Do-It Hanging Planter

There are lots of things I love about Rose. For example, her snot bubbles are pretty cool. The fact that she can’t be trusted around my plants is not so great. I have a lot of plants, you guys. I know you know this. I think my count is somewhere around 16. I’m fully aware that’s questionable behavior. Just wait until pot is legal in Ohio. I’ll have so many more! JUST KIDDING. Or am I? I am. Maybe.

All that to say I have a pretty serious need to get as many plants as I can off the ground and hanging from the ceiling. HA HA ROSE. You big sucker.

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There are tutorials all over the internet for these but I figured why not add my own and include terrible photos? This happened at 9pm on Saturday night after I had woken up from a nap. As I was gathering my supplies I grumbled to Steve that I hadn’t even fallen asleep, but he said the snoring begged to differ.

STEP 1: Cut 8 strips of yarn (or if you have a heavier plant, don’t be an idiot, and use something stronger) and tie them into a knot, a few inches from the end.

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STEP 2: Separate your yarn into four two-piece sections. Laying it out like this (below) helps to keep everything simple while you’re tying knots. 

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This whole project is really just kinda like origami. Just take things one step at a time and it’s easy. Except you’re using yarn instead of paper and tying knots instead of folding anything. If you followed along with that stupid comparison then you’ll have no problem following the rest of this tutorial. 

STEP 3: Tie a knot into one of your two-piece sections, a few inches from the main knot.

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STEP 4: Repeat that process for the remaining three sections.

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STEP 5: Ok, you know how we have four two-piece sections? Pretend like you’re trying to introduce them to each other. Hook them up. Broaden their horizons, if you will. Hey Mr. String, meet your hot neighbor Miss String. BOOM. And tie those two together.

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STEP 6: Continue your match-making all the way around.

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STEP 7: Now we’re going to get really crazy and mix these strings up again. Use the same method you used in Step 5, tying two of the neighboring strings together.

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STEP 8: Keep it going. One more trip around the block.

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STEP 10: You’re done! Stand back and ponder the creepy way I related strings to being a matchmaker.

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My planter is super lightweight (it’s thin plastic) and my plant is small, so this yarn should hold up just fine. Here’s a fancy shot from below.

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Rose wanted to get in on the photography action by laying on the floor with me. (She was sick all weekend which is why she has her pal, Carl.)

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I really love how the mustard yarn pulls out the warm tones in the wallpaper.

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PSYCHE. I know it’s hard to sense sarcasm via the typed word, but come on. You know me better than that. That stuff is coming off, pronto. (Pronto = whenever I muster up the courage.)

In fact, imagine that photo above with no wallpaper, new wood floors, and white kitchen cabinets. I know it’s early, but try.

After I tied a secure knot for the plant to hang, all I did was wrap the excess around the knot a few times. I didn’t want to trim it in the off chance I ever want to lower the hanging height.

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Not too hard, right?

I told you this project was do-able. Just do yourself a favor and stick to yarn hanging-planter projects and stay away from those mother effing yarn-wrapped letters. I hope you enjoyed my first Ohio-based craft. It’s good to be back!

A Day in the Life of Mush Mush

I have an anyone-can-do-it DIY Plant Hanger project coming to you this week. But, until then, enjoy this peak into a day in the life of Rose, Professional Eater.

Rose’s favorite food is spaghetti. I never pack it for daycare because I actually like the teachers at her school. Every time I load up her tray I think to myself “Maybe she won’t get that messy this time.” And 30 minutes later I think, “Self: You are a Grade A idiot.”

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Her favorite styling product is any type of goopy food that’s impossible to get out.

After a delicious lunch and either a complete wipe down and/or bath, Rose settles in for a long winter’s nap. She holds up all of her stuffed animals for me to kiss, and then she gets the last one. Somehow she manages to end up under this enormous pile. 

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The day is usually rounded out by one of her favorite activities: bird watching. Watching the bird feeder from the family room window captures her attention longer than any toy, surprisingly.

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Whenever I tell her the Big Red Bird is back she comes running from whatever room she’s in and climbs onto the couch. I love that kid. Even more than she loves birds.

Stay tuned for the plant DIY I mentioned earlier! Also, I have begun the process of taking pictures for the house tour, so maybe that’ll come this week, too. If you’re getting hit with snow like we are, stay safe and warm! I really hope this is the last of it…

Party Central

Rose’s first birthday party went by in the blink of an eye. Remember when I said not to plan a party two weeks after moving into a new house? I meant it. Everything was perfect and we had so much fun and it was awesome for our friends to see the “before” of our home. But, yeah. Two weeks. In that time span we got all of our boxes unpacked (except for the basement, of course – we’re not that good), furniture arranged and rooms fully functioning (especially the kitchen), and decorations hung and food prepared.

But most importantly: I found my pants.

My mom was SO SO SO OMG SO helpful and made these beautiful and delicious cupcakes:

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And she didn’t stop there. Chef Gigi also made a pasta salad, caprese skewers, and cowboy caviar! I managed to make a crockpot of pulled beef for sandwiches which completed the party spread. I thought everything turned out delicious – we certainly didn’t have much leftover to indicate otherwise! 

I didn’t get great detail shots of the food and decorations. That was a total fail on my part. I was so busy just trying to snap pics of all the people and ROSE – obviz – and I failed you, my trusted blog readers. My apologizes. If you come over I’ll give you a cookie.

Can you see the polka dot “confetti” tablecloth in behind the cupcakes? That thing took me FIVE HOURS to hand paint and I didn’t even get a damn picture of it. (I did that pre-move.)

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I am in love with that tablecloth. Everything I made for the party is all stuff that I can reuse for future birthdays – which was totally done on purpose. I wasn’t about to spend hours making stuff to just throw it all away.

You can see a cloth-scrap banner below, hanging on the fireplace. It was SUPER easy to make. It took about 2 hours total and I promise you that no matter what craft-skill level you think you’re on, you can pull this one off.

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All you have to do is cut thin strips of fabric (or use ribbons – I wish I would’ve done that) and tie them on a piece of yarn or string. Once they’re all tied on, trim them with scissors to give it that cascading look. It really is as simple as that.

Here’s a ridiculously easy decorating idea: (this is from my Instagram feed so the quality is terrible – sorry.) I printed out all of Rose’s monthly photos as 5x7s, and hung them on the wall in a grid with just some bubbles of masking tape.

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I didn’t even measure it out. EYEBALL ALL THE WAY. Steve is shuttering.

Sorry Aunt Marci. This picture is too good not to share with the world.

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I told you the food was good. Could she be enjoying it any more?

In the picture below you can see that I reused some of the lace doilies from our wedding. That was a really convenient extra touch that made the space much more festive.

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Gigi and her little baby. I managed to capture this sweet moment among the chaos:

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party_1(Photo Credit: My awesome cousin who I can always count on to take photos and email them to me frantically after I realize I didn’t take many :)

After our guests mingled and ate and chatted and drank it was time for CAKE SMASHING!

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Except there wasn’t any cake smashing.

She gingerly poked at her cupcake with a candle. And then Steve fed her a few eager bites. And then it was over. I told her the lack of enthusiasm for cupcakes makes me wonder if we really are related.

The “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” banner was something else I wasn’t planning on doing – but when we were waiting for our moving date to approach and living with my parents, I had to keep my busy hands occupied. They’re pretty straight forward, but definitely time consuming. I cut the flag shape out of felt squares, folded over the top and sewed a pocket for the string, and glued on some hand-cut felt letters. That’s pretty much all there was to it! But, like I said, it definitely took me a good solid few hours to finish.

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My favorite part of that entire day was the chocolate kisses that Rose was liberally handing out. We couldn’t get enough! She kisses with her mouth open. Big, wet, sloppy chocolate kisses.

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We were VERY happy to have Cousin Caroline there to help out with unwrapping presents. It would’ve taken Rose until her second birthday to do it on her own. Watching the two of them shred into the presents was another one of my favorite moments from the party.

Rose is totally thinking, “Huh. So, that’s how you do it!”

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Rose got a swim outfit – complete with swim cap, sunglasses, swim robe, and flip flops. We were all but rolling around the floor laughing. I mean. COME ON. Could this get any cuter??

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Although Rose LOVED her new dollhouse from Grandma and Grandpa, her tent and big-girl chair from Gigi and Saba, her ball popper, and lawnmower, and piano, crayons, books, and all of the various adorable outfits and accessories….

The big hit was definitely this singing card from Aunt Molly. Go figure.

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The birthday party was definitely a success. We LOVED having our family and friends there – and are especially grateful to the ones who drove 2 hours each way!

We were all pretty worn out the next day. Rose and Steve spent a good portion of the afternoon watching Sesame Street with their bellies hanging out.

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Or at least, Rose’s belly was hanging out. Sesame Street was bookended with hours of playtime with all of her new toys!

If you have any questions about the DIYs feel free to leave them in the comments. I didn’t take pictures as I was creating them like I usually do. (This moving transition has totally thrown things outta whack.) But I hope to be back to my DIYing ways SOON.

I owe you guys a house tour and plans of what’s to come!

Officially a Kid

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I’ve typed ten different intro sentences to this post. And with the end of each one I hear the “click click click” of the delete key – I don’t even know I’m doing it. I’m speechless. Dumbfounded. How has this little girl been in our lives for an entire year? I don’t even know how to write about what I’m feeling. I’m not sad. I’m not surprised. Maybe it’s a little bit of relief? Excitement for what’s to come, is definitely at the top of the Emotions List.

All I can say is Rose, you are a huge pain in our ass, but we love you more than that word can even define. It’s not even love anymore – it’s beyond that. Thank you for making us laugh every single day. You can be exhausting and frustrating, but one look at that 5-tooth grin makes the world okay again. You are our Mush Mush, our Rosie Poesy, and our Munch Face. Mom and Dad love you from here | to here | , around the world and back.

To my readers, I’ll be back this week with a post about Rose’s first birthday party. I didn’t take as many pictures as I had hoped – which I should’ve planned for. Hosting is a busy job! But I did snap a few good ones. Until then, have a happy Tuesday! Do something nice for someone today. :)

Four.

Four. You guys, I can only give you four pictures right now. I was going to be all “I’m keeping it real” which is fine, but we have a few party decorations already hanging (for Rose’s birthday!) and I wanted to do a different post about all of those.

Side Rant:
WTF Pinterest?! Have people always been going balls to the walls for first birthdays? They’re basically mini weddings. And my middle finger has something to say about that. If you blog about your enormously detailed and fabulous first birthday party and say things like “It was really laid back and simple.” and “I just whipped this together.” we’re probably not going to be friends. Just tell me you were up late for weeks and relying heavily on Xanax and Chardonnay cocktails. And if you weren’t, then, well. You’re better than me. Congratulations.

And while i’m ranting, can I just go ahead and advise you to probably not throw a party two weeks after moving? Prooooobably not the best idea. Probably something that will throw your OCD all outta whack. Where’s that Xanax and wine? Probably.

One of my favorite new house-related happy spaces is our hallway. With the door open (and storm door sealed tight… Brrrr) the sunlight pours in like a. I don’t know. I can’t do clever similes right now.

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Below is the view from my office (the living room) into the family room. Zebra keeps a good watch. Those glass doors are AWESOME built-in baby gates. It’s so nice to maintain all of the front-of-the-house light when those doors are shut.

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Here’s Olive hard at work in the office…

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She has a really rough life, you guys. And Mom, don’t despair, I’ve added a few pillows to her bed so now you won’t think I’m abusing my dog by only providing her ONE super soft comforter. She must also have PILLOWS. (PS don’t think I didn’t notice that when you were here babysitting you re-fluffed her bedding.)

The family room is a lot smaller than it was in our old house, but I am totally smitten. It feels way more comfy and it’s a million times less awkward.

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I realize this picture in no way illustrates my point. Use that vivid imagination of yours.

At what stage in child rearing do all of the couch cushions remain on the couch at all times?

I know these pictures are such a tease, but after the party I promise I’ll go around and do a “before” house tour. Until then, ONLY 45 DAYS UNTIL SPRING!

Seriously though, I hope you all are staying safe. This has been one doozy of a winter!

And away we go!

So, here’s our big news:

Ohio

In September Steve and I decided it was time. We were both ready to move home. After an interview and some house shopping and lots of waiting to hear news of an offer, we were back in good ol’ OH (IO!) by December. Once we made the decision that our time was up in Indiana, it felt like we blinked and our Hoosier days were behind us.

I am leaving behind a tremendously wonderful group of coworkers who I have the privilege of calling my friends (and one special bff in particular – a shout out to my pal and new business partner — not-so-subtle FORESHADOWING, I know — more on that later). I’m lucky enough to stay on remotely at my job, for the time being, so the goodbyes weren’t too terribly sad.

I haven’t had time to take decent photos of the house yet — I didn’t even take empty-roomed “before” pictures! Everything changes once you have kid, man. Here are just a few from my Instagram feed…

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I should mention we moved in four days ago.

There is a TON of wood. WOOD TRIM WOOD PANELING WOOD BUILT-INS WOOD CABINETS. It’s everywhere. It’s a beautiful home, but it needs some updating. There is bright mauve carpet in Rose’s room. How you even find bright mauve carpet is beyond my comprehension, but it’s there. I promise.

It’s so fun to be in House Love again, and to be able to see each room’s full potential, instead of just seeing the ugly carpet and wallpaper. Oh yeah. I forgot to mention there’s wallpaper. Lots of it.

We have our work cut out for us — this is going to be a HUGE year! I won’t be blogging daily but I hope to keep up with you guys in some normal fashion.

But for now?! UNPACKING. We have Rose’s birthday party in two weeks and I currently can’t even locate my pants.