Saturday, June 30, 2012

our dirty laundry

One of the biggest adjustments our family has had to make so far is the laundry routine. In our last home the laundry room was right at the front door, basically in the center of the house. The kids would change anywhere and throw their drawers in the laundry room hamper. This worked out nicely for the most part; sometimes it meant a pile of dirty clothes piled up in front of the front door. Lovely.

In our new home, the laundry room is in the basement. That's two floors below the boys' rooms. This is where the adjusting comes in. It didn't take long to realize we needed a new system, but did take longer to come up with a solution. 

I had full intentions of making the system completely kid friendly.... no excuses. And am in love with the idea of stackable laundry baskets to help them, and save space. I had had in my mind, and still do, a laundry basket dresser, like this one from

Then I took my first trip down the steps with a full laundry basket. No way were they going to be able to pull that off. Way too heavy, way too many steps, way too hard to carry for little arms.

So the search for small, with great handles, laundry baskets began. After way too much searching, I found some self stacking baskets from Wal-Mart. They were about $7 each and I bought 6. So we will self stack while we wait for the Man and me to have a moment to actually build something.

The baskets handles flip over and hold another basket on top. They also have an opening on one side. (You can see is the pictures below) I debated if this would be an issue. So far the clothes don't fall out and it's actually easier for me to put clothes in once they are stacked. So I'm glad I stumbled upon these at my last resort.

When the time comes to build the basket dresser we may still end up using these if they aren't too big. But for now, our system will be the same.... Each kid has two baskets, one in their closet for dirty clothes and one in the laundry room for clean clothes. They are in charge, although I have been doing some reminding, to switch out the baskets as needed. The plan is that they will then hang the clean clothes up and once again have an empty hamper for their dirty stuff. How likely it that their clean clothes won’t just end up is dumped on the floor? I remain hopeful.

I walked them through the trial run....

Each kid, including Love, was fully able to carry the baskets down the stairs using the handles.

They then quickly made the swap. They won't usually be in there all at the same time with a photographer.

Even, little Ada was able to get her basket on the top.

And back up they went. I did help her carry the basket up, although it's probably more likely that I will be the full time carrier.

At least she's good at hanging up her clothes. (Yep, she dresses herself too.)

Alan and I are still carring baskets up and down. This has yet to be an issue. The laundry room is at the top of the list for a makeover. As much as I hate to do laundry (it's my least favorite of all) I will need a room colorful and inviting to lure me down to the basement just to fold clothes.  

 So there you have it. Our dirty laundry for now.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

home inspirations ~ Elizabeth Newman

Don't you just love when you stumble upon something or someone who already has your sense of style laid out for you to see? That happened for me when I came across some images of Elizabeth Newman Interior Designs. I fell in love with every single one. 

Elizabeth says she creates "interiors that are traditional in style while also infusing each project with fresh and modern eclecticism."

Most of her work is done in the coastal Carolinas. That bit of tropical eclecticism is what I'm loving right now.
In fact, I'm feeling a bit coastal in this new home of ours. No, we are no where near sandy beaches or ocean waves. In fact we're more country than ever before. But the openness of living out here just makes me want to raise the windows and let the breeze blow.

I think Elizabeth's designs are classic enough they could be carried out anywhere.

Do you feel extra tropical when summer rolls around?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hall Bathroom

The hall bathroom on the main floor will be Ada's primary bathroom as well as the one guests will use. My intentions for this space are for it to be fresh, fun and cheery.

Here are some before shots...

We love, love the cafe shutter in this room. So glad the previous owners had it installed. The window still lets in plenty of natural light in this small bathroom.

I had stuck the bookcase we used in the last hall bath in here to hold towels and such. But, due to the deep molding surrounding the room and the tall height of the bookcase, it didn't work. The bookcase would have had to have been several inches from the wall. So, on one of our many trips to Wal-Mart in the first days of moving in, we purchased this small industrial shelving for the space. Under $20...not bad.  The three shelves currently hold towels and some randoms. I think a tray would work best on the top shelf to contain all the pretty jars and toiletries. I'm keeping my eyes open.

And here's the shower...Exciting right? But this is where I will bathe my babes, so this is where memories will be made.

There you have it...the hall bath. I'll post some pictures soon of some inspiration images I'm loving.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the living room

Things are definitely changing around here. I have been breaking my back, well, actually my neck, to try and get this living room painted by the end of the weekend. Fingers crossed I'll get it finished, and without the need of heavy meds.

In the meantime, here's a look at the living room evolution to date.

What I'm calling the before... The previous owners left the TV rack above the fireplace. We won't be needing that since we don't plan to have a TV in the living room.

And after a couple of coats of paint...

This angle is the front door and foyer, so the dresser will be perfect to hold all kinds of "out the door" items.

It's amazing what a difference some paint can make...

The paint color is Grey Ghost by Olympic. I actually went for the darker shade I had sampled. It is surprisingly lighter than I had imagined. I'm glad. After I bought the two gallons, I had a bout of fear that the color would be too dark for what I was trying to achieve.

Still on the living room list... painting the bookcases, artwork for over fireplace, rug, coffee table, hang frames, and some chair swap outs.

It's a good thing I have until forever to get this home done, I'm going to need it. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sibling Love

This house is kickin my butt. I am exhausted. But its worth every second.

When Alan and I talked about moving...yes, we wanted a larger house...but we were also looking for changes in our family. The home we were in was situated in a great neighborhood. LOTS of kids to play with. No pool but plenty of outdoor play time. We lived in a corner cul-de-sac so it was the perfect meeting point for kids on both connecting streets. Often times, our yard was the perfect meeting point. And I was happy to let it be! But...when it was time for the kids to come do home work, hang with their parents, have any sort of family was a battle. Every. Single. Time.

This got old. I loved the fact that my kids had plenty of incentive to go outside and have fun. I even enjoyed the friends (there are always exceptions). But the struggle to get my kids to do anything else was taking its toll on me.

When we looked at houses, we considered some in other neighborhoods and justified them somehow. With a pool or location. Somehow things would be different for us by moving to that neighborhood. And I'm sure it would have been. But when the chips were falling in place for this home, the idea of "no one but us" was completely enticing. This wasn't a new thought. We had considered living out of a neighborhood many times. It's not uncommon in this town. There are, in fact, few neighborhoods. Small town living often means, big acreage living. The concept was new to both of us but one we were definitely willing to consider.

After living here for only a week. My kids are falling into the pattern I had wished for them. The boys have separate rooms, but have yet to sleep apart. They are getting creative and playing with each other more than every before. There is one girl across the street we hope to play with soon. She is Alex's age and I think she will be a lot of fun. But other than her...we are it! Of course we will be inviting friends over to play. But for kids, boys especially, are forced to play with each other. And I must say...the fighting has been minimal. 

Now this might just be a transitional moment. The sibling rivalry might escalate as the newness of the home wears off. But I'm choosing to accept this moment, right now.

Last night after I had told the kids to take a shower, this is what I walked upstairs to find....

Monday, June 18, 2012

basement improvement & our father's day fun

As I mentioned before...our basement intends to be the real center of the home. We plan to use it for movie nights, doing homework, playing games and craft time. This is the space I am most looking forward to playing with. But first...let's unpack....

I thought I knew what I would use the space by the back door I unpacked and moved items around I realized I don't necessarily have the need I thought I would.

The dresser was in Ada's nursery and is one of my favorite pieces in our home. It will house all the boys' electronic toys, remote control type stuff.

The space behind the sofa (yep it's new, I'll share later) is calling for a book shelf to hold Ada's toys that won't fit on the other book shelf.

A low bookcase could also hold a pair of lamps and offer another area to accessorize.

In the back of the room is where we plan to keep the kid craft/homework/toy zone. I think it looks awesome already with the bookcase I snagged off Craigslist for $50.

Yes, I'm calling this picture's unpacked and how I imagine the basement will usually look anyway. 

Back of the basement on the other side...

Nothing fancy, just picked up. 

Before I could do any sort of rearranging in the basement I needed to tackle the storage room. While we were in the process of moving our stuff out of the last house, but not moving into the new house...we were able to use this room to store our boxes. can imagine, nothing was organized. That was a major hurdle all on it's own....

I tried to make zones.... holiday boxes, tools and "I don't know where it goes yet". 

All of this moving stuff is exhausting! But Alan and I are trying our best to not forget what summer is all about....FUN! So we are making sure we still take time out for the kids just to kick back. After all, we have the rest of our lives to get this house complete. What's the rush?

On that note, here's a glimpse of what our Father's Day looked like....

Unfortunately in the restaurant industry you are pretty much tasked with working every holiday. That includes the ones centered around your parenthood. But that didn't stop us from celebrating when he got home!

Oh, it was so fun to watch Alan come out, crouch down, plan his attack and then bomb our kids. Too bad he left his back wide open for his wife.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

horizontal shopping

Most of the afternoon yesterday was spent laying on our backs...mattress shopping. The new house, and the 10 year old mattress we were using, called for a sleep update.

Our current mattresses were given a little switcheroo...Alan and I got a new queen (a king has never enticed me), Andy got our old queen (we'll update that in a few years), Alex now has two twins (the bunk beds taken apart), and Ada got a new full. That left one thin Ikea mattress homeless...not to worry....I have plans!

After busting our butts all day to turn this house into our home, it's nice to have a plush pillow top to fall out on. I only wish Ada would break in hers instead of crashing ours. Oh won't be like this for long.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Little bit by little bit we are making some progress. While hubby has been busy working on technical stuff...yep, we do need Internet, satellite and the like... I've been trying to organize the situation a little bit.

Yesterday I was able to get some clothes hung up and put away in the closets. This is a big improvement from the luggage we've been living in. The boys have major storage in their need for dressers...yea!

This is just one closet, both sides. The other boy's closet looks the same....different clothes. I figure winter on one side, summer on the other. Easy.

AdaLove's closet is smaller but will accommodate her clothes nicely. I'm hoping to be able to store out of season attire on the top shelf.

As for the master closets..... we have two. A large walk-in and a small, but hard working one on the other side of the room. Before we moved in we thought we would have separate closets. Alan would get teh smaller closet, after all, he doesn't care.  And I would get the larger walk-in and do whatever fancy decor treatment that I wanted. Exciting! But after unloading all the clothes, realizing we don't have a linen closet or a coat closet on the main floor...and the fact that Alan has way more clothes than I do....sad, I know....I moved all of hubby's clothes to the larger closet with mine and am going to try and use the smaller one for coats and possibly linens. I'll keep you updated on how this might work.

 We're taking baby steps here. Next step, mattresses....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The kitchen

The kitchen is where I have been spending most of my time the last couple days. I've been working hard on getting everything ready for daily life. I still have a long way to go. But at least now we can pour some cereal without a search party for the bowls.

It's been interesting trying to find the right drawers and cabinets to store everything. The cabinets are not the typical "drawer over door" style base cabinet I have been accustomed to. Instead I am finding it's like some U-shape brain teaser. What should I store in a drawer vs. cabinet? Good thing I like brain teasers. At least one as pretty as these cabinets!

So far I'm loving the pantry with pull out shelves; it's the tall cabinet left of the sink. And the opening on the right side of the kitchen opens to the dining room. A perfect serving bar. The kids have already dubbed that pass though their "restaurant". We call it Chez Ludlow. Now say it real fast and pretend you're French.... Chez LuLo.

We're IN!!!

It's been two days since we officially moved in. After a fun break at my Mom's house in Florida, the kids and I are finally home.

And we are living in chaos! Alan did a fantastic job getting everything into the house by himself. He has been working diligently on getting things set up. I don't know if I can say how much I am truly grateful for that man.

Now the fun begins...

I thought I would share a whole house walk through with you once I was in the house, but it's craziness in here! Pictures of boxes anyone? Um, no thanks. I think it's best I took it room by room for the most part.

Stay tuned....

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The waiting game...

As I mentioned before, we are traveling around as we wait for our home to be available to move in. We found out that the previous owners of the home would be moving out about 2 weeks earlier than scheduled. Since we already had plans made, we went along with our original itinerary. Everything except wonderful hubby staying at a motel for a week. Instead, he was able to go ahead and spend some time in the new house. Once the previous owners were officially all out, he started to move in. Very exciting stuff.

I only wish I could be there for it! The kids and I are still following the plans made and staying in Florida with my Mom. Alan will fly in today and we will all drive back together next week.

But all of this misplaced, craziness is leaving me just that....CRAZY! Can you imagine moving in to your new home and not being there for it? My heart and mind are racing with ideas and frustrated with the inability to put my hands on anything.

Luckily, my dear husband has been a wonderful sport. Can you imagine moving into your new home and not having three kids to worry about? Yep, it's working out for the best. Of course, we have been talking daily about the house happenings. He's even been sweet enough to send me pictures along the way. I have been updated on the original, the post-cleaning lady, the boxes everywhere, and the beds are finally put together stages. He's snapped me some horrible blackberry shots through every step. He knows I'm losing my mind this week.

So for now I am trying my best to keep my mind focused on my babies and not the home waiting for me a state away.

It will help that after I pick up Alan from the airport we are heading straight to IKEA. New home shopping! Well, more like new home window shopping. Still exciting!

Here's a sneak peak of our new digs.....

I can't wait to share a house tour with you next week.....