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Noodle’s nursery is not yet finished, but we’ve made enough progress on it (and we’re close enough to having a baby) that I thought it was time to show you how it’s coming together.

This room used to be our bedroom until we moved upstairs. The previous paint color was a dark gray-blue, which I really liked for our room, but seemed far too dark for a nursery that I really wanted to have a fun, happy, light vibe.

I knew I still wanted a gray for the walls, just much lighter. After much discussion and some third-party opinions, we went with Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, color matched at Home Depot.

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This was the image that gave me an idea of the general feeling I wanted for the room, but until Sarah told me I needed red buffalo check, I had no real idea where I was going to go for this space.

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The red buffalo check lead me to the gray and white star sheeting and a white and navy crib bumper, both via Pottery Barn kids. I really wasn’t excited about Pottery Barn Kid’s pricing, but once I had the image of all three together in my mind, I had to have it. I stalked eBay for months, but never found what I was looking for that was in good shape, the precise color I wanted, a reasonable price, or didn’t come with a bunch of other things I didn’t want. I was lucky enough to catch the bumper on sale and get free shipping on it and the crib sheets (I ordered two so I would have a back-up).

DSC02421They work together fabulously, and I’m so glad we had saved for this baby and were able to purchase them. The chevron blanket has a minky back and is from this etsy shop. She’s on vacation now, and was when I purchased this, but I just convo-ed her and she sent it out to me quickly.

DSC02413I also made this mobile for the room. Well, I made the felt balls and Sarah and Caroline assembled and hung everything. I love the color it adds, and its totally baby approved!

IMG_1250I would, however, like to add a large letter (I’m thinking a paper mache one from Joann’s) over the crib, once Noodle arrives and we settle on his name.

DSC02410I think a large, red letter between the top of the crib and the mobile would give this wall the pop it needs. Plus, if its cardboard, it will be totally safe for above the crib.

DSC02412Sarah and Caroline also sewed these fabulous curtains with red star fabric Sarah hunted down for me. They need to be hemmed, but I’m in love. The rug is from overstock, and we happily already had three red children’s chairs, so one just made its way to this room and fits perfectly under the window (not sure if it will stay here or not).

DSC02417We found a great dresser at a local consignment shop to hold all of Noodle’s hand-me-downs. It is a little smaller than Colton’s, but has the same drawer set-up, which I really like. I also like the more classic styling of this dresser; I can see it working in lots of other rooms if the boys end up bunking together in the future.

DSC02416I convinced my somewhat unwilling husband to hang photos above the dresser (he objected on the grounds that C stands and bangs on his dresser now, but he’s two, so I figure we’ll worry about this when we get there). He did hang them, but a little higher than I requested; ah well, compromise is a great thing!. DSC02419We hung our brother art work, which I adore, first. The top left frame has a fun animal alphabet print I found via Pinterest. The bottom left frame is scripture from Jeremiah. I really liked the verse and found it already written out in colors that worked perfectly in the room. The two bottom middle frames are empty, but I plan on putting Noodle’s footprints or handprint in the top frame and one of the maternity photos Caroline took for me in the bottom frame (it is white, but has a yellow border, which I think will look fab with her photos). The top right frame will have a Dr. Seuss quote, and the bottom right frame has a picture of a sweet, sleeping fox that I found for free back when I was looking for things for Colton’s room.

DSC02420The changing pad cover came from IvieBaby. It popped up during a flash sale they had recently, and I love it. I love all of the bedding in her store, but it was out of our price range. If its in your budget, I highly recommend her shop – the sewing on this is impeccable and it is perfectly contoured for our changing pad.

DSC02423This area, to the right of the crib, needs the most work (seriously, how sad is this photo!?). The rocking chair was my great-aunts and was also in C’s room. The quilt was mine as a baby, and as much as I love it, it doesn’t work as well over here as I wanted. I’m planning on making pillow covers in both the star and buffalo check fabrics, so that might help tie it in better. The table is the perfect height, but a little unsteady for two boys running around, I think. I’m hunting for something better (I’d love a piano stool, but then I’d need some way to fix it at one height, so that might not work either), but in the meantime, this will work.

Barnum lampThe lamp is also a placeholder; my parents have a lamp made from a Barnum’s Animal Cracker tin. The shade may need to be replaced, but I’m really excited to get this in the space.

My husband is building three forward facing bookshelves for me, but they probably won’t be finished until after the baby is born. They’ll look like these, but beefier and longer and white (seriously, the one he finished is so heavy I question how on earth it can be hung; once it is, I could probably do chin-ups on it). My dad is also going to paint a picture for the room, which I think will look nice on this wall as well. The one he did for Colton is about two feet framed, so I think it will work scale-wise on this wall.

While it isn’t quite finished yet, I love this room. Frankly, I think that’s a miracle, since when Sarah and Caroline were here a few weeks ago, I kept saying I had no idea what I wanted in the room. Hopefully it won’t take forever for us to get everything in order after our boy is here!

It’s finished!


This was the first room in our house I’ve gotten to decorate as a blank slate and I love everything about it!

When we found out we were having a boy, we started looking for bedding,and the spaceship bedding was the only thing we could find that Hubby and I agreed on. After that, I made a plan with that as our starting point.

Much of that original plan stayed, with a few adjustments. We ended up using a full-sized dresser as a changing table, and that necessitated a switch in room placement with the crib. We also originally planed to purchase a bookshelf from IKEA for the room, but when we found both the dresser, mirror and a matching bookcase on sale as floor samples at a local furniture store, we couldn’t pass it up. As an added bonus, the bookcase we ended up with is solid wood and cost just about what it would have to purchase and  have the IKEA bookshelf shipped to us.

The curtains were tough to figure out though, and despite my best efforts, ended up being a bit of a splurge. I had originally looked for an inexpensive, solid navy black-out curtain, but the best I could find were ones from Pottery Barn kids, at $60 per panel, and I didn’t want to spend over $200 for curtains. I ended up purchasing the fabric and black-out lining and paying someone to sew them custom for me. So, even though they were a bit of a splurge, they were worth it to me because I have exactly what I wanted!

I thought we would luck out with a rug from Target, but the none of the rugs that worked in our room (and there were many that would have fit the color scheme) were the right size. I was afraid we were going to have to shell out over 300 bucks for a rug for the room (NOT GOOD), but thanks to overstock.com, we ended up with lots of choices in a Target-comparable price range. I took a leap of faith and went with a themed rug. Initially I didn’t want anything to overly theme-tastic, but I am so glad I went with this rug!

My goals for the room were to create something that would grow with our little guy, to be a place that’s fun, inspiring, doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is also practical. I think the rug really helps set the tone for fun, inspiring and not being too serious. It does, after all, still include Pluto. But, for me, the details make the room. I love the above photo of my dad as a little boy, and several other of the small touches around the room that make it cute and functional.

We are so fortunate that many of the items in the room, including the crib, were gifts. This really helped up keep costs down, and allowed us to splurge on a few items.

Crib: Graco Lauren Covertable Crib in Espresso, from Target

Dresser, Mirror and Bookcase: Floor Samples from local furniture store

Rocker: Belonged to Grandmother

Rug: Overstock.com

Curtains: Fabric from Joann’s, custom sewn

Lamp: Target

Bedding: Dwell Studio for Target

Orange Bins (one for toys and one for blankets): Target

Monster Nightlight: Target

Jungle Taggie Blanket: Made by friend

All Art: either made by myself, my father or family friend or printed from an online resource

Wooden Blocks: mine as a child

Pillow on Rocker: Target

Quilt on Rocker: Made for me prior to my birth

Pound-a-Peg: Melissa and Doug, purchased new at consignment sale

Mobile: Target

One of the things I knew I wanted in our son’s room was art. But what kind? I knew I wanted a few things that related to his rocket bedding, but everything I found on etsy that I really loved was out of my price range.

And what does a girl do when she wants something but can’t afford it?

Call her dad!

As the owner of an architecture and interior design company, my dad does his fair share of drawing, sketching, etc. Even though it had been a little while since he had done a painting, he was willing to take on the task. Even though I didn’t send him Rocket Dog as a point of inspiration, he found the painting I adored, loved it too, and decided to use it as his inspiration. After a couple of revisions, practice and a final take, he presented me with this:

Do you not love it? I do!

But, even though I loved this, I also knew I wanted more framed pieces, so I turned to etsy for more inspiration. Somewhere, in the many different listings I looked at, I found someone who created a three-panel “A, B, C” spelled out in buttons. I thought, “I have a lot of different papers, and a circle maker, I bet I could make something like that!” We had two three-panel frames we weren’t using, so I decided I would use them for my project. I took three sheets of paper in colors that would coordinate with the room, and attached them to the back of the mat. Then I took a bunch of different colors of paper and punched out lots and lots of circles. Then, I just practiced laying out my letters and glued on the circles once I was happy with the layout. Piece of cake, and not bad looking at all, if I do say so myself!

Was I satsified yet? Not a chance.

I knew I wanted to make a silhouette of our dog, a lab-border collie mix, but I didn’t have the tools to create one myself. So, with a little help from Google Images, I found one that seemed like it captured our looked most like our dog. I printed it out, and Hubby made it the right the scale for me. I was lucky enough to find a piece of scrapbook paper that had diagonal lines in the same colors as the ones in our room, used that as the back and did the silhouette in lime green.

(You can kind of see this in the bottom right)

And the rest of the art?

The large print above came from my mom, who was given it when she was pregnant with my younger brother by an art teacher she worked with. The smallest frame is part of a card I was given and loved, and the other two prints came from Vintage Printable (I love the “Pet Show” print!).

I also stumbled on Feed Your Soul, which has free printable art as well. I found lots of things I loved there, but in the end, I just couldn’t stop staring at this:

Isn’t it fantastic? And I love that it goes with the room and relates to the rocket bedding without being super themey.

Whew! I think that’s enough art for one room, don’t you? What do you do for art in your home? Do you have one of a kind art you purchased? Art you made? Hand me down art? Art made for you by someone special?

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I finally picked a color and painted Junie’s room, our nursery. This decision was a long, long time in the making!

Long before I was pregnant, I saw a picture of an adorable boy’s room with transportation bedding and apple green walls with a plane, train, and boat on the wall in navy. I thought it was too cute — a boy room without blue walls, and tucked the idea away in case I ever had a son.

Fast-forward to me at 21 weeks pregnant. I find out we’re having a boy, and of course, the walls of his room will be apple green. But how to pick the right shade?

First, I consulted my Benjamin Moore paint deck, but only found one green, Wales Green, I thought would be a good option. Then, I went to Lowe’s and pulled every single paint chip they had in an appley green.

Hubby helped me do an initial cutting of the paint chips and we eliminated about half of the options. We then spent a few days consulting and comparing our options, before narrowing down the choices to two — Wales Green and Apple 3, a Lowe’s pick.

I always, always, ALWAYS get paint samples to test before I commit to a whole gallon of paint, and this time was no exception. We immediately ruled out Apple 3, thinking it was too yellow. However, I still wasn’t sold on Wales Green, which I thought would have been a shoe-in.

So, back to the drawing board. One thing I wasn’t sure about with Wales Green was the lightness — I thought it might be too bright, so I picked up a sample of the next shade on the paint chip. I also picked up a sample of Stem Green, a color recommended by Pottery Barn Kids. But was I happy with my choices? No.

Blame it on hormones if you want, but every time I looked at the paint samples in the room, I liked a different one and detested the one I had liked at last look. Fed up with the whole process, I called my dad, who owns an architecture and interior design firm. He told me that if I had a color I thought was good, even if it wasn’t perfect, to go with it. Sometimes, he told me, good enough is the best you can do and really is good enough. He also reminded me that the other colors you put in a room can change the wall color. So, I went with the color I liked best, Wales Green.

Yes, I went with the very first color I had picked MONTHS ago. Whatever, I’m crazy.

Fortunately, furniture selection was not as hard.

We were able to pick our crib without too much trouble, knowing we didn’t want white and that we preferred a darker wood and a solid feeling back, the Graco Lauren crib was a no-brainer for us.

We decided we wanted to use a dresser as a changing table, so we get more longevity out of our furniture choices. Sadly, the only matching piece available in the Graco Lauren collection was a changing table. So, we set out to look for furniture locally.

Note: Please do not spend one of the hottest days of the year driving all over town (and into another) with a pregnant woman in a car with no air-conditioning. Not a good plan.

Despite the unbearable heat (seriously, it was hotter in our car than it was outside), we had a successful trip! In the very last store we planned to visit, we found a winner in an espresso-colored older kid’s dresser. Even luckier for us was the fact that the store was getting rid of their floor samples in this collection, and we could get the piece for over 50% off! After a few minutes of talking it over, Hubby and I decided to go for it!

Just when we thought we were ready to go, I spotted a bookcase with two shelves, two drawers and a pull out child-height desktop that matched the dresser. Since it was part of the set, it was also 50% off! Again, after just a minute or two of discussion, Hubby and I decided to go for both of them!

I was a little worried the color of the dresser and bookcase wouldn’t match the crib, since we hadn’t seen the espresso color in person yet, but when we got everything together in the room the next week, it was a perfect match!

Sadly, I have yet to take a picture of the crib and the dresser next to each other! You can see the rocking chair we got from my grandma, which doesn’t quite match in color, but still has a similar feel of the dark wood in the rest of the room.

Are paint and furniture choices as much a production for you as they are for me?

I was totally going to post about how everything has been going with my gestational diabetes, but since I’m going to see my doctor this afternoon, I thought I’d wait until later this week to do that, so I can include his opinion on how everything is going.

So, in the meantime, enjoy this little teaser of what we’ve been up to in the Junester’s room:

More details will come as we start to pull the room together. But I am really, really excited about how things are moving along!

Also, we had our first Childbirth class last night! Ours are through a local women’s center, which works with many women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, so there is an interesting mix of people in the class. To start, the women had to say their name, due date, if this was their first child, and if they knew the gender. The men had to say their name and what they liked best about their partner being pregnant. One boy, he couldn’t have been more than 16, said he loved picking things out and planning and preparing for his baby. It was super cute! Okay, 16 year olds having babies is not cool, but I was glad to see that in this case at least, the girl had the full support of her boyfriend and he was excited and very interested in being involved in her pregnancy and in his child’s life.

We, well mostly Hubby, got a lot of work done over the weekend! We now have four walls, completely dry-walled, and ready to be painted! We cleaned the floors a bit once we finished the sanding, not perfectly, but enough to see a huge improvement in them (we’ll scrub them a couple of times and will also use a floor conditioner). Then we were finally ready to start priming the walls!

One of the problems we had that caused this project to be so long-running was that once we hung up the new drywall on the two outer facing walls, we had two smooth walls and two walls with the original 1950’s plaster texture. I spent an afternoon after work one day experimenting with sanding the texture. I tried scraping with a drywall knife, sanding by hand with a drywall sponge, and finally sanding with our power hand sander.

Gotta wear your safety glasses!!

The hand sander worked best out of all three options, but would have taken a lot of time, not to mention all the sanding pads we would have needed! What we ended up doing was taking a thin coat of the drywall compound over the entire wall to fill in the gaps between the bumps. One coat and some sanding later, we were ready to clean up and prime! (Although I told Hubby I thought sanding would have been better, I think this was the best option in the long run — I stand corrected)

Is it 100% as smooth as the newer walls? No. Is it 90% better than it was? Absolutely! In fact, it might even be better than 90%, as the walls feel pretty darn smooth, with the exception of a very few spots.

For primer, we used Olympic’s no-VOC primer. I was really impressed with how low-oder it was (especially having never used a no-VOC paint or primer before), but I do think the coverage could have been a bit better. One coat covered the new walls perfectly, but I think we will end up doing two coats on our “psychedelic” walls to get the same kind of coverage.

The plan tonight is to get paint samples after work, finish the priming, and then finally decide on a paint color. Hopefully our longest running project is getting ready to come to a close!

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.