Friday, March 27, 2015

1 Family x 12 (March)

We hit up the Dells this past weekend and of COURSE I forgot my camera!!  Luckily Jamie came to the rescue and we got our family picture taken care of for this month.  Complete with a real smile from both Ryan and Abby!!

I'll be doing another post with more water park pictures once I snag Jamie's SD card....for now, happy March!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Abby's Big Girl Room

Well - like I said, we've been busy in the McGrath household.  Not only have we been working on the kitchen and finishing up a list of never ending projects in the basement, we also finally tackled Abby's big girl bedroom.  

When we built out the basement we knew we'd eventually be needing both bedrooms upstairs for kiddos so we included a guest bedroom in the plans for the basement.  This room, off the main hallway on the first floor used to be the guest bedroom, but a few months ago we moved out all of the furniture and started fresh on Abby's big girl room.  Ryan always teases me that I can't get away from grey's but you'll notice the walls are clearly browns (with a grey rug of course).

I love how this room came out.  It's clearly a girls bedroom without being all Pepto Bismol pink threw up in there.  I think it's a room that can grow with her as she transitions from a toddler into a little girl.  I'm not naive enough to think that it will stay this way forever, I'm sure she'll have an opinion about how it's decorated at some point, but for now, I got to make the decisions :)

You can tell that she's not quite living in here yet, but we wanted to get it set up so we could start working towards that.  I've got those ugly toddler rails (they make the bed look like a hospital bed) already bought and I know once we move her in this room will be cluttered with toys and the things that Abby loves most...but I couldn't resist these perfectly staged photos!!

We chose to go with a twin bed after MUCH deliberation.  I really wanted to use a double so that her quilt I made would fit on the bed but the room just wasn't big enough and I wanted there to be room for her to spread out and play in there.  Her quilt will fit on the bed, it just hangs down to the ground so we'll likely swap out this cute Princess and the Pea bedding for her quilt through the seasons.

Note:  I think that Pea pillow is her favorite part of the whole room!

Between that huge dresser and the closet I think she's got plenty of space to grow into.  I considered adding a book case or toy box to the room but I think we can make some of the shelves in her closet work for that at least until she gets bigger and her clothes start to take over.  Right now I think I can fit all of her tiny clothes into two of those drawers.  It's not that she doesn't have a ton, the grandmas's make sure she has's just that kids clothes is so tiny!!  HA!!

We've been trying to spend more time in here and I've been reading lots of stories on that bed with her before bedtime.  She's even asked to sleep in there once or twice but without the rails up I've been cautious and we've kept to the nursery so far.  Soon enough though Peanut, soon enough!!

One funny story - this past weekend we went to the Dells with two other families.  We stayed in a condo so we were all together and Abby called the hotel room "everybody's house".  Pretty accurate I'd say.  One of the families has two kids - a toddler Abby's age and a newish baby.  I was trying to explain to Abby that we'd be having a baby at our house soon too.  She told me "Mommy - the baby stay at everybody's house??".  HA!  Wishful thinking kid.  Sorry to say that kiddos coming home with us!!

She's certainly skeptical of the whole process.  She'll show you this room if you ask to see her big girl room but she will quickly tell you "my beds in here" and take you to the nursery.  I think she thinks ALL of the rooms are "Abby's room".

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kitchen Remodel

Get ready for a long one people....there're about 8 million pictures headed your way.  Back nearly 3 years ago when we moved into this house I quickly added the kitchen counters to our to-do list.  They were made out of tile....yep, tile.  Like grouted tile.  I hated them from the day we moved in and have been looking forward to this day every since.

Just to remind you, here are some pictures from the day we closed on the house.  See that car seat on the counter there...I think there might just be a tiny 5 week old baby in there!!

About a month ago now things finally started to get real.  We'd finally ordered out counters and it was delivery day!! See those open cabinets along the wall....yep, we are finally doing something with the awkward eat in kitchen space and extending our counters...adding more cabinet space.  Nothing is ever easy though and we couldn't find matching cabinets at the store anymore.  Luckily for me, I'm married to a carpenter and he was able to build ones to match our existing cabinets.

We were lucky in that respect.  The cabinets that came with the house were in really good condition and not dated looking at all so we were able to keep them helping to greatly reduce the cost of this project!

See ya later crappy tile counter tops!!  Out with the old and in with the new!!!

What do you think?  Aren't they great?!?!!  We added about 10 inches to the end of the island making enough room to add a third stool there.

Plus all that extra space along the windows.  The picture is's too dark but that's what you're getting for today folks.  I'm too tired to take another one :)

The cabinet right next to the dishwasher is actually a pull out garbage/recycling area.  Then next to that is three pull out drawers (we need a filler for the door space still).  And then a bank of drawers along the wall.  You can see from this picture that the walls are still torn open.  We've got electric work to do including under cabinet lighting and pendant lights for above the island but we're getting there.  Once the electric is done we can move onto the back splash and I simply can not WAIT to show you what we have picked out.  It's amazing!

Oh and this often forgotten but highly used space got a face lift too.  When we moved in, this area right off the garage (right) and kitchen (walking towards the camera) was the laundry room.  We moved that to the basement and added these awesome cabinets a long time ago but I don't think I ever blogged about it.  We originally added a simple laminate counter top but got lucky and there was just enough granite left over to do this space as well.  So it's all tied together now and looks great!!!  Do you love it?  I sure do!

We've been working hard on some projects around the house lately including Abby's big girl room.  I'm waiting for a few prints for the walls and then I'll be back to share that new room with you as stay tuned for more house updates headed your way!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birds of a Feather - Quilt

This past weekend I went to a baby shower for a sweet friend of mine, Christine.  We'll technically, I'm not sure I can call her "mine".  Christine and Ryan rowed together in college and were quick friends.  Now, however many years later Christine is one of my few quilty friends.  Yes, as my husband is always quick to point out, I have gravitated towards "old lady" hobbies and I have few old lady friends so outside of the many blogs I read, I have very few actual friends that enjoy the same hobbies as me.  Which makes being friends with Christine all that much more fun for me!

Back in October when I found out she was expecting I knew I'd be making a quilt for her little one.  Here's the thing.  Quilts take time, money and most of all love!  They aren't quick and they surely aren't cheap so not just "anybody" gets one.  I've only got so many hours in the day!  The thing I've learned about handmades is that when you're a "maker" people rarely gift you hand made things.  I'm not sure why?  Maybe they think you don't need them because you can make them yourself.  Or maybe they are afraid you'll judge their work since you know what to look for....or maybe it's just a time thing.  Whatever the reasons, I just don't subscribe to them.  You see, nobody appreciates the time and effort it takes to make handmades more than a fellow "maker".

Anyways, long story short, I counted down the days until Christine announced if they were having a boy or a girl.  Actually, if I'm being honest, I ordered this fabric even before officially finding out.  I fell in love with it and figured if I couldn't use it for Christine's quilt I'd find somewhere to use it along the way!

Back to the quilt at hand.  The pattern is nothing fancy.  Just half square triangles that I attempted to use fabric contrast to create a pinwheel affect.  My fabric choice may not have been perfect for the look I was going for but who cares!  I love how it turned out anyways.  The squares were 6x6 cut and 5.5 x 5.5 squared up with a finished block size of 5.25 x 5.25.  Phew that's a lotta math for a Monday morning!!  The final quilt measured 40 x 50 and though that's a bit big for the teeny tiny baby that's due to arrive at the end of May, if there's one things I know for absolutely certain, it's that tiny babies grow so I'm hoping this quilt will grow with her into toddler-hood.  I flip flop on the "perfect size" for a baby quilt.  I made Abby a little quilt at 36 x 40 and it's the perfect size for her right now.  She can drag it around with her and it covers her completely when she's sleeping.  But, they grow!  And boy do they grow I'm still debating the right size for a baby quilt.  The nice thing about this larger size is that it SHOULD tuck into the crib mattress when it's time to convert to a toddler bed...which is nice.

I used Petal and Plume by Bari J for the fabric and I think it's just perfect for Christine.  She is a animal lover by nature and occupation.  She worked at the Shedd Aquarium for many years before moving this winter to Boston where she's working for another aquarium (starting tomorrow!!).

I've officially decided that 2015 is the Year of the Baby.  I've already begun work on the next baby quilt on my to-do list and have just started dreaming up the pattern/fabric ideas of my own quilt for our little peanut due early July.  I'm still up in the air if I want to wait until this little one is here before committing to anything since we aren't finding out the sex...but not having a quilt for my own little one when he/she arrives seems sort of unfitting!!  We'll see how much time I've got!  Three-ish months and counting down the days!!