Monthly Archives: March 2014

Liam is 3!!

Last week, our son had his 3rd birthday.

Can you say, WHAA?!

It’s hard to believe time can fly so fast. We’re three years into this journey, and he has made such a mark. Life has forever changed because of our sweet kid. He is such a happy, observant, creative Goose. He is a kind and caring big brother. He is so affectionate to each person in his family, loves snuggles (and wrestling, of course), and gives fantastic compliments out of nowhere (he told me this morning that I am his best favorite mom in the world). Liam is super imaginative and can have fun with anything. His language skills have grown in leaps and bounds this year, and it is so fun to listen to his ever-expanding vocabulary. My mother-in-law has commented on how well he conjugates 😉

He is one cool kid, and we are SO proud.

This year, we had a  “3” party. He’s been looking forward to turning three for quite a while (there were a few months when he thought he was 3 instead of  2), so it seemed appropriate and simple.

We had a family get together at our house with food, balloons and streamers, and cake (having friends at the birthdays may enter the equation next year).

Displayed pictures from the previous year

Pictures from his 3rd year of life

Cantaloupe and honey dew cut into 3's with a cookie cutter

Cantaloupe and honey dew cut into 3’s with a cookie cutter

Liam and cousin Sierra playing with his new work bench

Liam and cousin Sierra playing with his new work bench

Exploring with binoculars

Exploring with binoculars

The birthday cake masterpiece! Chocolate bundt cakes with cool whip and chopped peanut butter cups

The birthday cake masterpiece! Chocolate bundt cakes with cool whip and chopped peanut butter cups

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles

His less-than-interested photo op

His less-than-interested photo op expression

The annual kissing cheeks  picture :)

The annual kissing cheeks picture 🙂

Previous birthday kissing pictures can be found here and here.

I let myself get so stressed about not making an awesome, go-all-out party with homemade everything, but at the party he announced it was “the best birthday I ever had”. It was a reminder to me check who I am really throwing these parties for. Cut yourself some slack, Mamas 🙂

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Filed under holidays, Liam Knox

Making Room for More (and Other Secrets for Living in Small Spaces)

Our den has morphed yet again!

I know it seems like we’re changing things in there every other week–and trust me, that is not my personality–but we had an amazing offer come our way, and we just couldn’t pass it up!

A few weeks ago, some friends of ours mentioned that they were getting rid of their couch and matching love seat since they were getting an upgrade. They are really nice and neutral and in great shape, even after years of use.  The best part? They were offering to give them for FREE!

We knew we wanted them (partially as a longer-term investment in seating space) but had to figure out a way to make it work.

Adding furniture to our house means something’s gotta go. So, the desk moved to the dining room and the bookshelf/console in front of the dining room window went to the attic, ready to sell.

DSCN0592Now, the dining room window looks like this:

photo 4

photo 5The desk feels a little casual for the space (good thing we have a casual house!), but I really think it was the best option.

Then, we just played furniture Tetris, and here is where everything landed:

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

Our house is SMALL (1,200 sq feet), and with two children, it is feeling increasingly so. Just as I described our space challenge in the kids’ room, the same goes for every room in our house.

And that got me thinking that I would share a few tips that I’ve picked up from living in a home with limited space:

1. EVERYTHING must have a place

I think this is one of the most important things for organizing any space. That folding chair, the mug on the counter, the craft supplies…where do they live? The kids get a new toy at Christmas? Make it fit into the room’s plan. Having a place–on purpose–for each thing in your home makes clean up a ton easier (and quicker!), especially if everyone in your house knows where that place is.

2. Purge

Keep the mentality of “spring cleaning” year round. If you live in a small house, this is a necessity. We have small (and few) closets in this old ranch, so we have to make them count. It’s not helpful to have those full of things that I don’t really need.

3. Rethink the current set up often, especially when something new is introduced

Rearrange. Keep things fluid in your set up. This is a newer concept for me. We got a new couch and love seat. So, what was gonna go? Technically, we may have been able to cram an extra sofa in without losing anything in the room, but we like that we still feel like it breathes a little bit.

4. Scale furniture to the size of the room

The longer we live in this house, the harder this is. But, it’s helpful to not have too much or too big of furniture pieces in a small room. A huge armoire overwhelms the space and dwarfs the room. Keep things to scale.

A few examples of space-saving techniques in our house:

store wrapping paper above the door frame in a       closet

store wrapping paper above the door frame in a closet

use a kitchen magnetic knife strip to store bobby pins, safety pins, etc.

use a kitchen magnetic knife strip to store bobby pins, safety pins, etc.

hang command hooks inside closets for bag storage

hang command hooks inside closets for bag storage

add shelves to small bathroom closets to maximize storage

add shelves to small bathroom closets to maximize storage

add dresser to children's bedroom closet when there's no space in the room

add dresser to children’s bedroom closet when there’s no space in the room

Does anyone have contributing ideas? Please share! And happy spring cleaning! 🙂

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Filed under home improvements, personal thoughts