A Place To Play!

It does not matter what season it is – even in the summer time every kid needs a space to play and throw their toys around on the inside.  We’ve been stuck inside a lot lately, this summer seems to be a magnet for rain.  And with fall right around the bend (sorry folks’ its a fact) we knew we wanted to establish a place downstairs where the boys could play and we could keep an eye on them at the same time.

At our old house, the basement was the hot spot for all playdates.  It was a perfectly plush carpeted area, that we carefully child proofed and felt at ease letting them play for hours on end.  Here, we are lacking a finished basement  – and it will probably be that way for years to come.  Upstairs, the boys have large enough bedrooms to play in, but having them on separate floors is not ideal 99% of the time.

So – we were left to find an empty space and work with what we had.  Our large white cabinets in the back of our family room had a decent chunk of space right in front of it that was longing for some type of definition.

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Oh, isn’t she lovely?

NOT.

Once we repainted, and added our furniture the space actually felt even bigger than it was.  Which seems impossible because this back addition is a big one.

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What’s hiding behind this giant couch was a perfect nook to toss a rug down and start defining the space!

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This rug is a 5×8 Home Goods find that I held onto for months during the purchasing process.  Never we would of thought to toss a rug back here – we feared that the traffic from the french doors to the outside would welcome dirty footprints 24/7.  Thankfully – not a print in sight! We’re getting way lucky over here!

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The kids love it – maybe because when they are behind the couch it feels a little hidden from mom and dad? The white cabinets are currently storing 30% of their toys so it makes for an easy peasy cleanup when the toys scatter.

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And yes – pants are optional in our house.  At least for stubborn potty training toddlers :)

Rug to Room with Wayfair!

This is a sponsored post by Wayfair, compensation in form of a gift card.  All opinions + ideas are my own.  

Once you’ve found the perfect rug, you can build the rest of your room from the floor up!

Stumbling across the perfect rug is made easy with Wayfair.  Not only are their rugs already at a discounted price, but the variety of rugs they have will keep your eyes scrolling for hours! If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the site yet, check. it. out. http://www.wayfair.com You can thank me later.

The icing on the cake here? Wayfair gave me an exclusive 15% off of ANY rug coupon for you to use! By the way – coupons for Wayfair are practically nonexistent since all of their merchandise is already at a discounted price – so jump on this opportunity people!

(COUPON @ BOTTOM OF POST)

Since Brody is 5, and Owen now 3, we no longer have a nursery in our house.  Call it withdrawal or baby fever, I just have a thing for nurseries.  This campaign was extra fun to be a part of with Wayfair – dreaming up a room based around a rug is right up my alley!

I found two rugs that I could not dwindle down to one – so lucky you I will show you how I would style these two rugs for a little one’s room.  You want your nursery pieces to be ones that can grow with your baby – of course the crib will one day go, but the rug, window treatments and decor can stay.  So do not pressure yourself to think baby, think long-term – pieces that will transition year after year.

Let’s go girly for a minute shall we? I am out numbered here in the Thome home.  The dirt of boys fills every ounce of my day, so I gravitate towards pink whenever possible! This Dash and Albert rug pulled on my heart-strings the moment I saw it.

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I know – right?! Absolutely darling.  I love that this rug has an ivory stripe in the middle, adding contrast and softens the pink on either side.  Once I saw this rug I wanted to challenge myself to find a few more pieces from Wayfair that would complete a little girls nursery -

I LOVE this Jenny Lind crib.  A gorgeous touch of aqua and the detailing is just the bees knees.

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Every momma needs a place to sit while trying to get their little one to sleep.  I wouldn’t limit yourself to thinking it has to be a rocking chair – a comfortable chair with a cozy pillow will feel like heaven in the wee feeding hours of the night.

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I adore this chair! Not only is it the perfect touch of traditional, it is transitional too.  Babies do grow up, so if you feel the need to move this piece around the house, this chair would be the perfect addition to any room!
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Let’s not forget the curtains + a darling pouf to rest your tootsies upon.

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Never be afraid to mix pattern.  If you’re looking at the curtain/pouf combo and thinking what in the world, don’t.  The last thing you want to do to a room is gravitate toward matchy-matchy.

My final touch to balancing out my idea of a perfect pink rug for a nursery would be to add a soft polka dot printed wallpaper as an accent wall behind the crib!

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Does this make you weak in the knees, or is it just me? This nursery would be adorable! Even better, all of these items are from Wayfair, a one stop shop!

Now let me show you the second Wayfair rug I could not get out of my head – this time for a boy themed nursery!

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This Colonial Mills rug is off the charts in the cuteness category.  The blue and white knit is just begging to be added to a nursery.  Super bonus – it’s an indoor/outdoor rug, so the wear and tear on this piece will be fantastic for a drooling, scooting bambino!

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The same Jenny Lind crib, this time in gray – keeping the crib a bit softer so that the bedding you chose can pop!

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Like this organic crib sheet – how darling are those tiny navy stars!?
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This pouf is so cute I don’t even know if I could put my feet on it!

Both the boy and the girl themed room can utilize the same concept of pieces, just using different accent pieces.  Which makes pulling together this look even easier!

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How stellar would this canvas flag print look above the crib?
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This pillow has a little bit more of an edge for a little man.

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Last but not least, a softer set of curtains for a simple sweet little man room.

Love these looks? Diggin’ these rugs? Well, fancy that thought because Wayfair has given me an exclusive coupon code for you to use to get an extra 15% on any rug of your choice from their site!! 

Seriously – their items are already discounted, so this is just bananas!

Coupon Code: RUGLUV01    

Coupon code is valid from 7/31 – 8/4 

Tool Time.

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Brody and Owen will jump at any opportunity to act like they are building or fixing something.  While playing inside they usually spend hours with their play kitchen – whipping up imaginary meals for Dan and I to enjoy.  If you stop by during those hours chances are they will drag your butt upstairs and make you sit down and eat along with them.  Outside – its tool mania.  Obviously they are not allowed to play with 99% of the tools in our garage, but a flashlight and some goggles never hurt.

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It was just before dinner time, these little bundles of energy left us out of ideas on this jacket-weather summer day. We played baseball, lacrosse, basketball, baking, puzzles, books, and art class.  Thank goodness these two can get creative because as their attitudes started to escalate, they gravitated towards “building their bikes” and their moods instantly switched.

That blissful moment as a parent where you instantly go from wanting to fast forward to bedtime, to smirking away at how darn cute your kids are.

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Dining Room Reveal.

It feels like just yesterday that our number 2 toned dining room was getting it first batch of cover up.  It still amazes me that this brown trim was an actual decision that someone made years ago.

unnamed-29 unnamed-6 Painting the trim in this house, as you all have heard me blab about, was so time-consuming.  With each layer, we were aching to put down our paint brushes.  Coat by coat, the crisp white trim and the transformation that was beginning pushed us to keep stroking along.
unnamed-60unnamed-61Once the painting portion of the project was complete, this room quickly turned into a storage room for us.  Biggest mistake! We cleared it out once, to put together our new farm-house table and host Owen’s birthday, and that was the last time we saw the floors of that room.

We kicked our butts into gear this past weekend and decided enough was enough!

The newest additions to this room made all of the difference -

We sold our old high top dining room table, and put it towards a farm-house table I was stalking for months to go on sale.  Adding the matching bench, Ikea white chairs to mix it up and tossing in a new rug + lighting and this dining room has gone from drab to fab in a weekend!

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This dining room is turning out exactly as I had envisioned.  Light, bright + enough seating for a crowd!
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Like how I still have the sticker on the mirror? Still feeling that one out – on my “Do I want to return this?” list.

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I love this rug ^^ we purchased the same one in blue for our living room (I’ll be sharing later this week).  The black and white in this rug was a perfect balance to ground the space.  Adding just enough pattern to add interest to what right now is still a fairly empty space.

Let’s give ya one more before and after, shall I?

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Cheers to getting off our butts this weekend and tackling this space! It sure is too pretty to let go to waste!

A Gust.

It was a windy day.

Mixed clouds, half bright sky blue, half dusty gray.

The sky could not make up its mind.

And neither could we.

Inside and out, in between each rain storm that passed.

Each time, the sun coming out stronger than ever.

Drying up each droplet of rain that filled the driveways cracks.

To have days such as these.

Where you go with the flow.

Let the wind take you.

A gust in the right direction.

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The Deck, Phase 2.

The deck on the back of our home was a huge highlight for us.  In our old home, we had nice french doors that led to nothing short of three stairs that took you straight to the grass.  While I’d trade our mud for that grass again any day, having a deck to walk out on and enjoy is a perk!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that a month ago Dan took me to Ikea for my birthday present.  Forget going out to dinner, or him stressing about what to get me.  All I wanted was a day with the hubs at Ikea to finally pick out deck furniture.  We had done our research prior to going (we look at their website all the time) and nearly ordered a table and had it delivered.  Delivery charge is $130 bucks – and without seeing the product with our own eyes and our bums to test it out, we figured we would save a lot of money and disappointment if we just drove there to look at the pieces and compare.

Kid-less thanks to the grandparents, we were off.

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The list started to grow as we were driving out, thinking of little things we could pick up while we were out that way.  Then the realization that we no longer had my tank of a minivan to bring the items home in settled in, brought us to the simple fact that we would still be getting our pieces delivered! Oh well!

This was our deck prior to building our new furniture.  We had to tear our the surrounding half-alive landscaping

IMG_0677_1We ripped out the existing ivy (our never-ending battle at this house) – the tilting tree (not sure if I regret that yet) and small bushes that were struggling.

IMG_0954I know, I know, it looks naked now doesn’t it? We have SO much to do to this backyard, so we are learning to love the process and try to get over the fact that it just looks torn up.  We have ground to level out, more trees to cut down and then we can actually talk about what ideas we have for landscaping.  So far, I am winning on wrapping the deck in hydrangea eventually :) Happy happy happy.

Putting together the new deck chairs were a bit tricky, requiring a bit more muscle than I had available.  The table and bench we chose to go with it were easy to put together, so the stress factor was all balanced out in the end!

We chose 5 white chairs, and a white bench, and mixed it up a bit with a wood table.  We were the only people at Ikea pulling chairs and tables across the aisle trying to find our perfect “match” So glad we did though, because they go together SO well.

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IMG_0927IMG_0920The set fills our out deck nicely, providing plenty of seating without feeling overwhelming.  Since our backyard is a jungle, we planted citronella plants thanks to advice from Dan’s parents.  Not only do they smell lovely but they fill out quite nicely over time! Seeing as Brody is currently covered in bug bites, these were a must!

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The planters are also from Ikea, the we had the same ones at our old house and left two of them there with the new homeowners.  So we made sure to snatch 4 more up this trip. For only $20 a pot, you just can’t beat it.  Dan drilled small holes in the bottom for draining to aid in our lack of green thumbs.

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IMG_0925The addition of a little basil and lavender on the deck helps bring a bit more green, since we took most of it out in the landscaping.

IMG_0929We are loving our new hang out spot!  We’ve already had family over for a cookout and squeezed a ton of people on the deck.  So, a big thank you to the hubs for taking me to Ikea – letting me talk your ear off about every piece we walked by.

By the way – we also fell head over heels for a kitchen they had set up there.  We found ourselves literally “hanging out” and chatting for a while in it.  We were smitten. Hopefully, within the next few years a kitchen like the one we saw will replace our current Brady Bunch kitchen!

IMG_0953Before the summer is up (let’s try not to think about it) we plan on leveling out the ground, creating actually garden beds, painting the lattice trim under the deck and planting grass seed.  I am sure the list will keep growing -

Don’t Take Away His Sparkle.

Every parent worries about their children.  Around the clock, for all different reasons, in all different situations.  Brody had his first day at safety town yesterday, in which we have talked about for weeks leading up to.  He has been excited, and we thought he understood the majority of what he was taking part in.  He woke up yesterday morning, saying he didn’t feel good (his tummy) which is always a red flag for us.  Owen is on day two of a flu bug, fighting off a high fever and icky stomach, so we were fearful that he was getting the bug as well.  It seemed to lean a lot more towards nerves though than a flu bug though – but who were we to guess?

We had him eat breakfast, and he refused to get off the couch.  He simply did not want to go to safety town.  Whimpering that his belly hurt I felt awful as a mom that I knew I had to get him there, to give it a try, and try to remind myself that deep down he would be just fine.  We somehow managed to convince him to get ready, as we drove we talked more about what the day would consist of and he seemed to get more and more excited.  I felt a huge sigh of relief!

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While sitting with his fellow safety-towners, I heard a little boy ask Brody was his name was.  You could tell Brody was SO nervous the entire morning, even while waiting for parents to leave he just seemed a bit over whelmed.  “Brody-” he replied, and when Brody says his name sometimes it sounds odd – like “birdie” So the boy laughed, pointed at him, and the other little boys next to him giggled away.  Brody smirked, not really understanding he was being teased a bit.  And then just went back to coloring quietly.

My stomach dropped.  We said our “See you Soon’s” and I called Dan the second I got into the car.  Of course a 15 minute conversation followed on what I witnessed at the table.  I wondered if Brody even noticed, if he felt okay in a room full of people that he did not know.  I felt SO bad for bringing him there.  Dan was flustered – he knows of all kids, Brody is a hoot to be around, and always livens up any room he is in.  So the thought of one day, even down the road him having a hard time fitting in just made us a bit sad.

I told Dan I was certain he did not understand that the kid was being, well a kid.  And that by the time I hung up the phone I was convinced he was having a ball.  2 1/2 hours later, a sick little Owen and I went to pick him up and sign him out of the class.  “He cried a lot this morning, he said he missed you” the girl in charge said.  Oh my sweet boy, his eyes were red, he just did not look himself.  My heart fell out of my chest.  I tried the whole car ride home to talk to him, he would not really let me know why exactly he was crying, and he seemed quite embarrassed to even have me bring it up.

I knew I had to turn the day around – he sat around for about 2 hours once we got home.  He would not leave the couch – he said it was his stomach.  Maybe it was, maybe that is why he was crying, maybe he felt too uncomfortable to say something so simply tears followed.

Once Owen fell asleep for a nap, I told him we should go outside and have our “special time”.  This phrase goes around frequently with our kids.  Their “special time” to them is one on one time with mom or dad.  When days are not going as planned and someone is not having the best of days, special time is needed!

I swooped him outside where we sat and had yogurt on our porch.  Chatted a bit more about the morning, he said the kids were nice (Oh I hope) and that he just missed me, and the belly hurt.  I knew the kid just needed some space, it was probably a lot to take in.  New neighborhood, new school, not a face to be recognized.  I felt bad for putting him in that situation!

Soccer games, hop scotch, and chalking filled up two sweet hours with Brody.  He was right back where he always is.  Funny, giggling, smiling away.  My heart started to lift – I needed this afternoon with him.

 The thought of what is to come in future school years is terrifying.  Kids these days are exposed to SO much more these days, unlike my generation growing up.  This first day of safety town I guess just brought up a lot of fears that every parent holds for their kids.  I pray that Brody always feels confident, being the happy-wild-golf loving kid that he is.  Even when peers may not be at their best, I hope he stays at his best.

unnamed-14Watch previous seasons of the Bachelor, with Tierra? She voiced that her parents told her when she was young to not let anyone take away her sparkle.  I laughed when she said that, but now I feel the exact same way!  I just don’t want Brody to lose his sparkle.  Seriously, this kid is amazing.  I hope that the following days at safety town, and his first year of kindergarten are an exciting and happy time for him.  He’s an amazing kid, and deserves the best.

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The Family Room.

We have been in our house for nearly 8 weeks (Ah.) and I have yet to share with you the progress of our rooms! I am SO excited to start showing you where we stand with our spaces over the next few weeks.  We are still unpacking boxes, have yet to hang a single picture, but we are making strides and are very happy with how things are coming along!

Our family room was the one room that swept us off of our feet.  Regardless of the state it was in, all we saw was size, huge window, and the amazing barn beams along the entire ceiling.

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Ya’ll this was as bright as it would get back here.  The infamous barn red trim that so lovingly covered the rest of the house was of course carried into the addition on the home as well.  Criss cross applesauce’s (as I called them) covered the window, breaking up any light that tried to get through our trees.  Red trim, red doors, why not red curtains too? As you can tell, this colored theme was clearly abused.

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We LOVE this fireplace.  We had two in our last home.  One upstairs for show (no longer worked) and one in the basement, that unfortunately we ended up covering with drywall because it was a money pit of a project to get it working again.  So to have a working fireplace just was icing on the cake for this room.  Right when you walk into our side door this fireplace greets you, seen straight through our kitchen.  The red had to go of course.

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I’m fairly certain I was doing a happy dance at this moment on top of the window sill – celebrating the fact that the home was officially ours.  A sweet moment where I was completely naive to how much painting we actually had ahead of ourselves.

Each room in our house will be a design journey that will take course I am sure over at least a few years, to get it to the point where we feel like each room is complete.  We chose a different color for our walls in the back downstairs of our house.  Simply because the trees make this house dark nearly all day, so the brighter the better.

Having two upstairs living spaces was a new thing for us, so utilizing the furniture we had was a must.  Our budget did not allow for new couches, so our basement sectional would have to do.  I was dreading putting it in this room.  But – after it all was set up, I’ll be the first to admit that Dan was right all along.  It works just fine, and in fact, it’s growing on my like meter day after day.

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We picked a white shag rug that we’ve been eyeing for months.  I know, I know, a white rug with kids?! Have we lost our mind?! Yes! The answer is yes.  But it is SO comfortable, and rugs can be cleaned.  Ask me in a few months if we regret it, for now were to busy rolling around on it.

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As you can see in the picture above, moving boxes are still a part of our everyday life.  The criss cross applesauces are gone, leaving the window clean and crisp which I adore.  The lighting on the right hand side of the picture are the old fixtures – we are currently replacing them with the fixture you see on the left side, which is missing it’s gorgeous glass pendant on the bottom.  One thing at a time folks, one thing at a time!

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The fireplace received a quick update by simply being painted white.  My mind tosses and turns each day contemplating whether or not I should paint it a color – or rip it apart and start new? I feel like it needs to pop a bit more, turn heads in the room – give me something to drool over.

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I love where this room is at so far.   This wall above would tickle me pink if we had some custom cabinetry so I can have a place to put all of our pieces.  It just feels very very empty at the time.

We still have multiple coats of white trim to paint on, art to hang, window treatments to get, and an entire wall where the tv sits to address.  For now though, this room has had enough lovin’ and we are moving onto our bedrooms.

unnamed-6     IMG_0769             Have a room in your house that is screaming for attention?

Tell me about it! Love me some comments :)

Hand the Boy a Hose.

We are very fortunate to live in a city where the seasons are forever changing.  With each new season, I find myself longing for the next.  At the end of a hot summer, the idea of cooler air, colorful leaves and apple cider sound like heaven.  Once our house is decorated with our annual christmas tree pick, the boys scream for snow.  Nothing better – inches of fresh snow just waiting to be rolled into.  But let’s get honest here, in Cleveland, the winter months stretch far beyond their welcome and the need for spring and non-hypothermic temperatures is becoming a need not a want.  Spring 2014 was a pretty one for sure, plenty of rain followed by higher temps pushing us straight into our bathing suits, leaving us craving lemonade and days at the pool.

Lack of pool at The Thome Home has left the boys to get into a bit of trouble lately…

Brody and Owen have pushed my buttons pre-summer weather with sneaking out the hose and making life-size mud puddles in our already mess of a backyard.  So when mom recommended they fill up buckets and get a little energy out they were cracking up so hard they could have fallen over.

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Their hose dreams came true over the weekend at a community ice cream social.  Our downtown area was decked out with kids, ice-cream, firetrucks and games.  The boys were glowing.  It was so sweet to see them loving on their new surroundings just as much as they mom and dad.  Once we walked over to take pictures at the fire truck, the boys were googly-eyed once they noticed a street blocked off for kids to test a REAL fire hose with a firefighter.  Does it get much better than that for a kid? I think not!

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The rainbow that appeared during Owen’s turn made his face light up.  It was such a nice evening! Once we got home, we ate dinner and played a hysterical game of simon says with the kids.  We had the boys rolling with laughter as they got their giggles out before bed time.

Lessons learned through this post? Give the kids a damn hose.  I would get so agitated when I would turn the corner to their sneaky little butts giggling away as they stood in what was grass, now turned swamp land.  The summer has just begun, and I want nothing short of an amazingly-fun-memorable summer for these boys in their new house. So I need to take down my keep it clean hat and let the boys be boys.  Say goodbye to dry land and embrace this fascination with mud.

Fathers Day 2014

  I could not have dreamed up a better father for our kids.

From our very first positive pregnancy test he has surpassed all of my hopes of what our life would be like as parents.

 We had a beautiful fathers day yesterday, packed with pool time and play time.  We are left feeling loved + sunburned.

 We couldn’t have asked for a better day to celebrate all of the men in our lives that we love so much.

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