Baby Beagle’s Nursery Complete!

Well the baby is here. My due date was this weekend, and Parker is already over a week old.

I will be writing his birth story soon, but I wanted to share his little nursery with you all.

I spent very little on this room. Almost everything I pulled from other rooms in the house.

Most of the framed wall art was painted by my husband and stepsons in grade school.

The crib was purchased second hand for $60. Curtains are from Target.

And the details on the wall treatment that my mom painted is in this post.

But the star of the show is the yard sale rocker I purchased for $40 about a year ago.

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My sweet husband took it apart, refinished it and then we sent it off to the upholsterer.

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We love how it turned out. And it is so comfortable because they retied the springs and added lots of new padding!


Here is the rest of the nursery.

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My Baby Party and Giveaway Winners

My sweet family and friends threw me a great baby shower a few weeks ago.

We had a blast! It is always fun to get together with so many people I have known all my life.

All the ladies in the first photo made the shower possible.

And it is always fun to spend time with friends from high school.

The food was scrumptious, the flowers were gorgeous, and the cookies were as cute as they could be.

I am so blessed with a wonderful support group.

This pregnancy has felt so long and yet so short with all the life changes going on, but I am 36 weeks pregnant so the end is near (hopefully)!

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A Book Review and Summer Reading GIVEAWAY

I am halfway through Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other, and before I even finished it I felt like I NEED to tell women about this book.

It has been food for my soul. I didn’t even make it through the intro without crying and laughing out loud. Although the crying could be from pregnancy hormones. #fourweekstogo

I have followed the author, Sophie Hudson, online for years and have heard her speak in person.

She is a high school counselor, humorous/inspirational writer who also records a hilarious podcast

And what I love about her is she is so good at making me laugh and challenging me in the same paragraph.

Anyone who can speak on reality TV binges and what we can learn from the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth on the same book page is my kind of person. :)

If you are a woman: married, single, divorced or widowed; you need to read this book because women do need each other. 

And Sophie shares this truth in her endearing Mississippi writing voice like no other can. 

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And because I also think all women need big earrings:

Shelly Dolen created a new line of big metallic earrings that look like metal, but are actually are made of leather (and weigh basically nothing)! I love BIG earrings, but the heavy ones give me headaches. There are tons of styles, and I want them ALL. :)

And to top it off for every pair of earrings that Shelly sells she donates a pair to the charity Dress for Success working wardrobe. It’s basically a win win earring situation.


So two readers will receive a copy of Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other and a pair of earrings from Shelly Dolen’s website (style of your choice).

Comment below with your favorite thing about summer.

Mine is all the fresh summer produce! #givemeallthesalads

Share on facebook or twitter for an additional entry. And then leave a comment below that you did.

Two winners will be randomly selected by random.org and will be announced on Friday, June 17th.

Eunice earrings

*I received a free copy of this book to review. All giveaways are paid for by me.

Baby Beagle’s Nursery Walls

So I am still not quite done with the nursery. Blame it on 3rd trimester exhaustion. But in case you were worried I did have enough energy to make it to the nail salon yesterday to get a spa pedicure after my 8am OB appointment. But we Mom did manage to get the nursery walls painted on Monday.

Anyway about the walls, I had been throwing around the idea of doing something geometric above the crib. But I was having a hard time nailing down exactly what I wanted. #pregnancybrain

So while we were at the beach last week with my parents my mom showed me a pinterest post on mountains in a boy nursery, and it got the wheels turning.

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We actually ended up combining a few ideas we saw online and then put our own twist on them.

Full credit for this project goes to my mom. After I picked the colors, I just sat on a stool and watched her do the whole thing.

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Photo creds to my sister Nancee Lee b/c apparently I have reached an all new kind of lazy and can’t take my own pics. :)

Living Room Lamp Project

Well we are slowly getting settled into our new home.
I am trying not to spend much on new things we may “need” since we did just buy a house and we are having a baby and all:)
But I did need a couple lamps for the living room b/c there is no ceiling fixture in that room.
Enter these two yard sale lamps from a few years ago.

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Add a little spray paint and some simple white shades.

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And tada! Huge pop of color for super cheap!

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Now I am just on the hunt for two matching end tables!

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta

This recipe may not win any culinary awards, but it sure is simple and tasty.

Perfect for a weeknight meal.

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta

Serves 4

  • 3 chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (neufchatel cheese is fine, too)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (do not dilute)
  • 1/2 cup ready-made Italian dressing
  • 1/2 package dry Italian dressing seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz corkscrew, bow tie or penne pasta
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)
  • shaved Parmesan
  • *salt

Toss the first 8 ingredients in the slow cooker and combine. Cook on low for 4-5 hours (frozen chicken breasts make a little longer). Using cooking scissors, cut up/shred the chicken breasts while still in the slow cooker. *Check the seasoning to see if salt needs to be added.

Prepare pasta according to the packaging. Drain and add to the slow cooker. Toss well.

Serve with fresh basil, Parmesan, garlic bread and salad. img_20160412_185330.jpg

 

 

Blessed Beyond Measure

God’s timing is not necessarily our timing.

We did not plan to have a baby the same spring/summer we sold our house and moved across the city.

We did not plan for me to quit my day job the same week as our house closing.

We did not plan to buy a fixer upper since we had a baby on the way.

But we are so thankful that He knows better for us. I know there will be hard transition days. And going from working outside the home all the time to a slightly slower pace will be an adjustment for me and my go-getter personality, but I know we will be fine. I went into this whole moving process with a lot of fear (some can be blamed on pregnancy hormones), but as someone who is not a super fearful person it really threw me for a loop. And yet there was really no need for fear. All our needs have been (more than) met. Here are just a few of the blessings in our lives recently.

  • Our house sold the first day it was on the market, at over asking price.
  • We found our new house and 4 acres 48 hours later, and even though it already had two offers on it we got the contract!
  • Inspection on both houses went incredibly well.
  • We should be able to split off 2 acres to sell to pay for the remodels we want to do on the new(old) house.
  • Our closings ended up being two weeks apart giving us a lot of time to move. It has been so much less stressful than I imagined.
  • Before we even moved in, we were able to afford to have two rooms of paneling and cabinets painted as a “band-aid” until we start the major renovations in a few months making the kitchen much less of an eyesore.
  • My transition from working full-time and a part-time jobs to just part-time has been stressful, but I am happy to say that my replacement at my day job is great. And I know she will keep my husband’s office running fine. And my design business is still going strong. I am so thankful for all the new clients I have gotten this spring alone.
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    We are so thankful for all the DIY (and life) lessons we have learned in this house. And we are looking forward to making memories in the new one. :)

How much $$$ did we really make from hosting through Airbnb?

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I have gotten this question over and over again. “Was hosting worth it?”

As of last month, we completed our hosting with Airbnb because we are moving and our new home won’t have a place for paying guests, but here are the facts:


How much money?

We had 21 people in our home over the course of about 4 months, but of those 4 months we blocked out lots of dates that would be inconvenient for us to host.

Arranging the calendar to match our schedule turned out to be VERY important.

We blocked out dates for several different weeks, including New Years b/c we didn’t want to deal with drunk partiers :)

After  we paid the fees for our listing, we took home about $2500.

Our longest stay was 30 days, but we had several 1 nighters as well.


The expenses we incurred:

We averaged about $20-40 increase per month in our utility bills during that time.

I purchased instant oatmeal, granola bars, bottled water, coffee with fixins and popcorn to stock the little kitchenette, probably $50 over the course of 4 months.

Because we don’t have cable I purchased a separate Hulu account for our guests to use, $7 a month.

Because of all the tax deductions that were incurred from running a part-time rental out of our home, the tax burden was very low.


“Would we do it again?”

We had high maintenance guests, and guests we never even saw.

We were very picky about the guests that stayed with us. And we did not accept reservations without a 48 hours notice, even though we received quite a few requests with less notice.

Groups with more than two people seemed to be problematic. More mess, more noise, more cars to deal with.

If we did it again I would require either a 2 night minimum or a much higher nightly rate. Cleaning the apartment multiple times a week got old quickly.

While I know that hosts do have people into their homes without having a separate living space, I would not feel comfortable having people in my home that way, especially if I had young children. Having a separate space that locked kept us feeling safe in our own home. :)

Overall it was a great experience, and we would do it again.

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And if you are interested in how I dealt with guests arrival/departure here is the document each received before their arrival.


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