Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Will Throw a Yee Haww Good Time 2nd Birthday!

If you have known me long, you will know that I LOVE to plan parties.  It's in my blood.  My mom used to plan and host a lot of parties and now it's something I enjoy doing.  I hope the love for parties gets passed on to at least one of my girls!  I started planning Morgan's 1st birthday before she was even born and I think the Michael Jackson theme worked out really well.  I was torn on a theme for Morgan's 2nd birthday, but eventually decided on a farm theme since she really enjoys pointing out all of the farm animals on the way to daycare (we live near a lot of farms & cornfields). 

Once the theme was finalized, my first order of business was to pin all sorts of decoration, food, and favor ideas.  Then I pulled out my contacts from last year and asked around for contacts in the area.  After putting together a giant to do list, I started working on the decorations.  We ordered some checkered tablecloths from Oriental Trading, picked up some flowers from Meijer, and used red lanterns we bought at IKEA for last year's Christmas.  I think the final tablescape turned out pretty well!

While the cupcakes for Morgan's 1st birthday were tasty, they didn't exactly have the look I wanted for the Michael Jackson party.  We were fortunate enough to attend the birthday parties of the Chadwick girls and scope out some pretty great cakes and cupcakes.  After begging Kristin for the contact information and scouring Pinterest for the perfect design, I was able to work with the Cake Lady to put together the best cake and cupcake display I have ever seen in person!  This was probably my favorite part of the entire party and I will continue to use the Cake Lady at every opportunity possible!

Summer at Initially Yours Monogramming made the onesie for Morgan's 1st birthday and she did a fantastic job again for the 2nd birthday.  If you have need a custom shirt or onesie, I would highly recommend Initially Yours Monogramming, not only do they put out a great product but the price is unbeatable!  Below is a picture of the birthday girl in her special shirt!

I also dragged my sewing machine out of the closet the night before and put together a bandana shirt/tunic for Amelia.  I tried creating a bandana skirt for Morgan as well, but didn't have enough bandanas to put both together (I ended up finding 2 more bandanas after everything had been put away).  Since I did not have a pattern to follow for this tunic, I am pretty darn proud of the end result!

Thanks to Pinterest, great family and amazing friends, I think the party was a HUGE success.  We want to extend a BIG thank you to everyone who came out to help celebrate!  Morgan is one very lucky birthday girl!

Monday, October 15, 2012

She Will (Get Her Husband to) Makeover the Kitchen!

I know I said I would be posting more frequently in my last post but time got away from me.  Posting today was important because I couldn't wait to show off our kitchen!  Several months ago, Matt and I talked about changing our kitchen cabinets.  It's not that they were bad, but they were your standard oak cabinets and didn't really match our tastes.  You can see a picture of our initial cabinets in the pictures below (ignore the mess).

We went back and forth on what color cabinets we wanted: black, really dark brown/espresso, or white.  We eventually decided on white and due to budget, we decided to try painting the cabinets ourselves.  I did a little bit of research before we started and decided Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation was the best fit for us.  It doesn't require any sanding and came with everything we needed, except the paintbrushes.  I tried out the half bath cabinets first to see  how it would look.  Even though it took us awhile to complete, we though the end result was worth the effort and went full steam ahead on the kitchen cabinets. 

Matt and I both agreed that if we started on this project, we wanted to have it complete in time for Morgan's 2nd birthday on Saturday, October 13th.  We don't remember the exact date, but we stated at the beginning of August and put up the completed upper cabinet doors on Friday, October 12th.  Whew, only 1 day to spare!  We could have gone a LOT faster, but we got a little lazy and we were only painting after the kids went to bed or when Matt was off of work.  The last week, we kicked into high gear and were painting two coats a day. 

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation has 4 major steps: Deglosser, Bond Coat, Sealer/Top Coat, and Glaze.  We chose not to use the glaze because we didn't like the color/effect, but we did put on 4 coats of the Bond Coat instead of the 2 recommended coats.  It's a long process, but overall, we are super happy with how it turned out and would definitely recommend it to anyone else who is looking to make an affrodable change!

Below are some step by step pictures of the process.

Another large part of the transformation are the cup pulls and knobs.  The original cabinets didn't have any hardware, so we really got to start fresh.  I searched a lot of websites for ideas and fell in love with cup pulls.  In the end, the combination of cup pulls and knobs came together really well.
Now comes the fun part...the budget breakdown!  I don't remember the exact cost of everything and can't find all the receipts, but below is a pretty conservative assessment:

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation (200 sq ft kit) - $150
Cup Pulls = $4.97/each x 8 = $39.76
Knobs = $2.97/each x 20 = $59.40 (I think this estimate may be high)
Husbands Labor = Priceless
TOTAL = $249.16

For under $300 this is a pretty amazing transformation and we haven't even touched the countertops or backsplash.  We will be making a change there as well, but right now we are pretty burnt out on big makeover projects and probably won't be ready to spend any more money on the house until after Christmas. 

I'm really proud of our kitchen, so I'll leave you with one final shot!