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The nursery is going well and almost complete.  Over the last few days, we have finished up the closet.

For most people, the closet is no big deal.  But for this mommy, organization in the closet is EVERYTHING.  Having a new baby is tough, having a new baby and an 18 month old is tougher, and having all of that plus an unorganized space can make things down right crazy!

Here is a picture of what the closet looked like prior to our little nursery makeover.  It was pretty standard with one long hanging bar and a shelf above that.

We removed the mirror doors as they are difficult to slide back and forth and make it difficult to access the closet.  We ended up selling them on Craigslist for a nice little profit.

You would be surprised at how awesome a closet can look if you paint the inside of it.  Most people choose to keep it white, but I love to paint a color that coordinates with the room.  In this case, we used turquoise.  No matter what, if you are doing a room makeover, take the time to freshen up the closet with a new coat of paint.  It makes a huge difference!

The closet system was purchased from Home Depot and was incredibly cost effective at approximately $80.  It doubled our hanging space and the shelf space is wonderful!  It was pretty easy for my hubbie to put together . . . I directed from the glider chair.  I will say that having a level is key to making sure everything lines up correctly.

I added some snap baskets that I already owned to the shelves and they hold blankets and toys.  I think they are a little too big, but my little girl finds it easy to pull them out and they can take a beating, so we will stick with them.

Lastly, we installed a curtain rod to the inside of the closet.  We bought one for $5 . . . it is brass and quite unattractive, but who is going to see it?  I added some detail fabric to my IKEA curtains and VOILA!  Adorable closet and great organization for less than $150!

Enjoy!

I have also posted this blog entry at Serenity Now:  A Progress Party:

Be sure to check out Amanda’s Blog when you have a chance!

-Amanda- High Fire Mommy

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Etsy is one of my favorite handmade crafting websites!  I could spend hours going through all of the creative products that are sold on the website.  Since I get such a kick out of everything, I thought I would start a little series on Etsy.  I will pull up some great products that start with each letter of the alphabet, just for fun inspiration!

(Based on Sesame Street’s What’s On Murray that starts with A? . . . my little one loves that segment!)

What’s on ETSY that starts with “B”?

Backpacks and totes by Netta at Down The Road.  Netta has some great handmade backpacks and messenger style bags for kids and adults.  Her backpacks are built around two wooden rods with metal rings to adjust the straps.  They can function as a backpack or large diaper bag.  Make sure to check these out!

Bath and Body products from Crowley Manor.  From their Etsy shop:  Mountain fresh goat milk soaps, essential oil soaps and more, in a full-service skin care mountain spa. Healthy glowing skin and aromatherapy are at your fingertips! Additionally, you will find essential oil aromatherapy, botanicals,facial masks, hydrating and skin nurturing cremes, spritzers and more. Everything is carefully calibrated just for you. You only have one skin, treat it well.  These look and sound awesome!

Buttons!  Button bookmarks, button bobby pins, and button barettes at Blue Manatee.  These are super adorable!

Have fun shopping!

Check out one of my favorite blogs, Centsational Girl, and join in on the fun!  Link your favorite 4th of July project/inspiration or take a look at what everyone else is doing!

Here are few things that made my mouth water!

Bird Crafts– Yummy Cherries!

Pretty Handy Girl– Star Pillows

Tidy Brown Wren– Make your own covered wagon!

Enjoy!

-Amanda- High Fire Mommy

I can’t believe it, but I received my first blog award!  Yay!

Thanks to Monica from Organized Chaos for thinking of 2 by 2!  She left the award in response to my post about a Patriotic Wreath.

The rules:

The conditions of the award stipulate that I need to share 7 things about myself and then pass on this award to 15 other wonderful blogger’s!

1.  I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with my second child and I am melting in this Texas heat!

2.  My favorite song to rock out to is Paradise City.

3.  I love to watch Sarah’s House on HGTV!

4.  I live out in pseudo-country area on a few acres.

5.  During hot weather, I prefer to wear dresses more than anything else.

6.  I resisted blogging in the beginning, when Christine started our 2 by 2 blog, but have since become obsessed.

7.  Just painted my toenails for the first time in months . . . they are too hard to reach with the baby bump in the way.

Passing this award onto:

1.  Maillardville Manor

2.  All Things Fun Cute and Darling

3.  Cheap Chic Home

4.  Milk and Cuddles

5.  Mustard Seed Creations

6.  Posh Pieces

7.  Positively Splendid

8.  Restlessrisa

9.  Style Sisters

10.  The Activity Mom

11.  The Rubber Punkin

12.  Design Diva with Interior Motives

13.  Quirky Momma

14.  Mural Maker & More

Thanks again!   And Enjoy checking out these new blogs!

Amanda- High Fire Mommy

Etsy is one of my favorite handmade crafting websites!  I could spend hours going through all of the creative products that are sold on the website.  Since I get such a kick out of everything, I thought I would start a little series on Etsy.  I will pull up some great products that start with each letter of the alphabet, just for fun inspiration!

(Based on Sesame Street’s What’s On Murray that starts with A? . . . my little one loves that segment!)

What’s on Etsy that starts with A?

Aprons by Julie

I love aprons!  I have a few and wear them every time that I cook.  They are usually fun and flirty and I have found them incredibly useful when feeding my messy little one!

Tickled Pink Paper & Ink

Address Labels and stamps customized to your preferences!  We own a return address stamp and it is great when addressing the million christmas cards, birth announcements, and bills that seem to pile up every year.

Rocket And Bear

Gorgeous, hand crocheted Afghans!  Great for baby shower, wedding shower, and birthday gifts!

Enjoy!

We selected out paint colors and painted the top half of the wall a butter color and bottom half a turquoise.  It looks great!  Paint is such an inexpensive way to make a huge impact in your space.  The use of two colors gives even more definition.  You can divide the two colors with a simple line of paint or be more creative making the line undulate, resemble waves, flowers and grass, etc.  Whatever you think goes well with your theme.  We chose a chair rail as the divider between the two colors.  The entire project cost less than $60!

First thing to decide is the height of the chair rail.  Luckily we have a window that hits at about the level a chair rail would be, so we had a guideline.  A typical chair rail is 1/3 of the wall height.

Here are the supplies that you will need:

*  Moulding- Get a few more feet than what you think you might need.

*  Wood Glue

*  Finishing Nails

*  Hammer

*  Level

*  Tape Measure

*  Wood filler

*  Caulking

*  Miter box and saw

*  A little bit of sandpaper

*  A second person!  This is a two person job!

Start by making a mark at the designated height all around the room every few feet.  We used this as a guideline as we worked, but constantly checked to make sure we were correct.  If you have a laser level, it would work great for this step.

Use your miter box and saw to cut a 45 degree angle at the end of one of your pieces of molding.  Remember, you will need two 45 degree angles to complete one 90 degree corner.

Hold the moulding up to the wall and fit it into the corner to be sure everything lines up right.  Remove moulding and add wood glue to the backside.  We learned really quickly to smooth out our wood glue, so that it did not drip down after the moulding was installed.  Use your finger, but be sure to have a damp towel near by!  Hold the moulding up against the wall and put the level on top.

Once you feel that the moulding is level, hammer a finishing nail into one end to secure to the wall.  Add another finishing nail every few feet, but be sure to constantly use the level and make sure that everything is straight.  Wipe off any excess glue.  Continue around the room being sure to remain level!

When all of the moulding is in place, use a small tipped phillips head screw driver to gently hammer the finishing nail just below the surface of the moulding.  Just place the tip of the screw driver on the head of the nail and use a hammer to hammer it into place.  Do this for all of the nails.  Use a bit of wood filler to fill in the holes and lightly sand with sandpaper when it is dry.

Using caulk in a caulk gun or in a squeezable tube, carefully apply a small bead of caulk to the top of the railing where the moulding meets the wall.  Use your finger to gently smooth out the caulk.  Do the same for the bottom of the railing and the corners or joints as well.

Once everything is dry, go back and apply paint or finishing touches.

We found the project down right EASY!  We were quite pleased with ourselves and how well the railing turned out!  We felt that $60 was more than worth the impact that the railing has in the room.  In the future, we intent on painting the bottom out in chalkboard paint as a fun activity for our little ones.

Next installment of the Nursery On A Budget Series- Baby Furniture!

-Amanda- High Fire Designs

Just a quick thought . . . why am I the only person in this house who knows where anything is?

Take yesterday afternoon, I am finally getting around to brushing my teeth and putting on a little bit of makeup.  My little Ivy is sitting in my lap carefully applying powder to her little face with mommy’s powder brush.  She is a girlie girl.  She signs to me that she wants juice, so I call to my husband and ask him to bring us her juice cup.

He calls back in response, okay.  Not one second later, he asks, “Where is it?”  I say in the living room.  He ask, “Where in the living room?”  At this point, I am dragging Ivy out of my lap, getting my very pregnant body up off the floor, and waddling into the living room.  Of course, the juice cup is on the side table staring at my husband.  Grrr.

The phrase “Where is it?” is a constant in our house . . . it is probably use a dozen times a day.  Is my husband blind or am I the only one who knows where anything is in this house?

Love lots,

Amanda- High Fire Mommy

Well, Baby #2 is on the way and should be making his or her appearance in mid-August.  Hot Texas summer plus pregnancy does not equal relaxation!  But I do have something fun to work on in the mean time . . . the baby’s nursery!!!

Since we did not find out the sex of the baby, we will be creating a gender neutral nursery.  My husband and I are always interested in saving money and hope to come up with some great cost-effective ideas for this little one’s room.

Today, I got Ivy up for an unexpected morning nap and we dove into the guest room (aka: soon-to-be nursery).  Our current goal:  Remove all furniture and unwanted items from room.  After I had pulled a ton of stuff out of the closet and drawers, only then did I realize that I meant to take a picture.  Pictures below and please know that this room is never that messy!!!

What can you expect to read about over the next few weeks?

*  Selecting furniture on a budget.

*  Gender neutral themes.

*  Choosing a paint color to match your theme.

*  Installation of chair rail.

*  Installation of cost-effective closet organization.

*  How to create unique window treatments.

*  The little touches that make you feel at home!

Hope you enjoy the series and please leave any questions that you might have!!!

-Love lots,

Amanda – High Fire Mommy

Today like so many moms across the country, I woke up to my little Ivy talking and laughing in her crib.  I smiled . . .

We stayed at my in-laws house the night before in order to set up and take down a wedding in the area.  Ivy was a gem yesterday and the wedding went off without a hitch.  Great start to the weekend.  We spent the evening with good friends and watched them smile and giggle with our little girl.  We got to bed late after taking down the wedding . . . back to the smile.

I stretched in bed and turned to my hubbie to tell him that Ivy was awake.  He got out of bed and brought her back to say good morning.  She flopped herself across the pillows and prepared to have a grand old time, but Daddy swept her of into the kitchen for breakfast, while I snuggled back into bed for a little while longer.

My one request for Mother’s Day . . . donuts!  What can I say, I’m pregnant and I want donuts.  Geoff and my father-in-law picked up kolaches, glazed, and blueberry donuts, my favs!  I enjoyed the morning stuffing myself with yummy goodness and watching a little bit of Avatar.

Ivy gave me a wonderful card about how she had to look in the “awesome mom section” to find my card!  LOL!  Geoff surprised me with an Expectant Mom Package at a local, well known spa and salon.  It includes an hour prenatal massage, shampoo and style, as well as a makeup session with the makeup artist on staff.  I can’t wait!!!

We had lunch with our in-laws and then headed back home.  My mother and sister came over later that evening for dinner and to spend some time with Ivy.  I included a photo of the tablescape that I put together for the dinner . . . love the pink and green!

Pink and Green tablescape for Mother's Day!Detail of pink aqua beads

The day was relaxed and full of family . . . what more can a mom ask for!?!?!  Besides donuts.  Nothing eventful, but still so many memories.  So as I prepare for bed, I will complete the assignment for the last day of Mother’s Day Mania.  Writing a letter to my little Ivy.

Dear Ivy,

Today is my second Mother’s Day ever.  You are fast asleep in your crib tightly holding onto your pacifier and snuggled up to your Glow Worm.  Daddy and I smile at each other realizing we completed another day.

Today is a day that you laughed, cried, talked, walked, played, hugged, and smiled.

Today is a day that you taught us to love more, laugh more, relax more, and share more.

Today is another day that I got to hold you, soothe your cries, tickle you into fits of laughter, and tell you to be gentle with the puppies.

Tomorrow may be all of these things and more.

I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as I am going to love you tomorrow.

Sleep tight, Ivy.  And thank you for making Mother’s Day so special.

Love, Mommy

Ivy on Mother's Day 2010

Amanda- High Fire Mommy

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