Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Kitchen: Reno Series Vol. 2

I'm excited to finally get this post up!

We bought our house last July, literally negotiating the contract while in the hospital after we had Ben. How's that for multi-tasking? We bought it knowing we wanted to renovate, and our first step was the kitchen.

Looking back at the before pictures, I wonder if our friends walked in the house and then nervously wondered what the hell we were thinking. Because it was bad y'all. Truth be told we fell in love with the back wall of windows and the beautiful view, and just figured the rest of it could slowly be updated to the house we love. And, it has!

Here are before pictures from the family room, with a view of that gorgeous yellow wall and the kitchen is just on the other side of it:
This wall blocked tons of natural light and broke up the space. We decided to knock it down to create the open floor plan we wanted. This is a load bearing wall however, so we did have to incorporate column structures in the design.

In addition to the kitchen (and fireplace) demo and reno, you can see all trim was painted white, floors were stained and window coverings installed. It doesn't even look like the same space! (Thankfully).
There was another wall running vertical to the one we knocked down and it separated a small dining room. On the other side of the old dining room was a sitting room; which would equal 4 total sitting rooms in the house, way too many. I decided right away I wanted to extend the kitchen into the "old" dining room, and make that sitting room our "new" dining room. So, we knocked down that wall as well. Why not, right?

Our awesome designer came up with the idea to create a little desk space and a comfy reading nook, I LOVE this space. Behind this wall is a walk in pantry.
Oh my gosh the kitchen looks so bad in this picture. You can see how unnecessary that wall to the right was! We didn't change much logistic-wise on the window side of the kitchen, just everything on it. 
This window is such a special place in the kitchen. And a lifetime dream came true with that farmhouse sink. Best decision I made. 
I hope you liked the tour! 

We are so happy with the room now, the kitchen is the central, most used space in a house - and seeing it come together has been wonderful. Though I'd rather forget the days we used the laundry room to wash dishes and a hot plate to cook meals. Short term pain, long term gain was my motto!

Oh, and if you are in Denver and looking to renovate and need help designing the space, I highly, highly recommend Elizabeth Lord. She rocked, was easy, and did amazing! 

You can check out my Kitchen Inspiration Board here. I'll be linking the kitchen specifics very soon! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five: Rompers, fritters, and kitchens.

Well, another week come and gone my friend! I hope it was good to you. We have a jam-packed weekend full of family, friends and baby showers! After a weekend away last weekend I am happy to spend some QT with my favorite men. Let's talk about what I'm loving this week:

one. this romper
It's pretty obvious I'm on a romper kick and y'all, look at this one I found on EDIT BY LAUREN'S Instagram (she's a stylist so if you are looking for awesome fashion finds, I highly recommend following her). She pulls it off better than the model and I want her entire wardrobe.

two. garlicky & cheese zucchini fritters. 
Recipe and image c/o Diet Hood.

I'm a vegetarian, so I'm always making veggie fritters (quinoa, black bean, etc). But these I could eat all day every day. Delicious with a greek yogurt sauce on the side.

three. missing my friends. 
Fortunately (or unfortunately) I've lived a lot of places, and have friends all over the country. After spending three straight days with ladies I've known for 15+ years last weekend, I'm missing my girls; all over! I wish life allowed more time to see one another, but man am I grateful for each and every one of my amazing friends. Denver included.

four. baby obsession. Listen, I love my three-nager as much as the next guy, but I really am loving this baby. He is so snuggly, cuddly and happy it just makes this mama's heart melt.
five. kitchen reno. The labor of love that is our kitchen is done! Ish. Sharing before and after pictures Monday here on the blog. You will be shocked, of that I am sure. Here's a sneak peak:
Wishing everyone a great weekend, I myself am hoping to squeeze in some R&R! Happy Friday!

and Friday Favorites: Momfessionals

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Vegas Style.

I'm having a Vegas hangover y'all; and not the alcohol kind either. 

Oh how times have changed. 

Now in our early-to-mid-thirties, my friends and I are just not as crazy as we used to be. We enjoyed lovely meals, time by the pool, and we took a nap every day. You'll be proud to know that we did get approached each night to go to the crazy pools and clubs where all the youngsters go, which leads me to the obvious end of that story, which is that we didn't go to any of those places.

Seeing Britney Spears before she left Vegas was on my bucket list and I'm so glad we did. It was a blast! Today I thought it'd be fun to share some of my Sin City outfits here on the blog.
Disclaimer: you should know that I don't like to spend too much on "going-out-wear" or "heels" because I don't go out much and heels make my feet want to fall off (every piece of those items is under $100). Also I am still not comfortable with my mid-region so I wanted a sexy alternative to the bikini (splurge). Finally, I really wanted some bright colors to celebrate the season!

And last but certainly not least:
Over-priced tank seen above that I doubt I will EVER wear in public, is unfortunately not sold online; however this is your opportunity to check her out in Vegas with your best girls! Women who take time to nourish friendships equal happier moms, wives and people, I'm sure of it.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Ben's 9-Month Update

Ben turned 9-months Sunday!

What is it about the 9-month mark that seems like a turning point? He was super-excited when mom busted in after nap time for an impromptu photo shoot to celebrate the occasion.
Ben, child, you know what you want. You have such a relaxed personality and are go-with-the-flow. You are sweet. When you see a grandparent  or someone new you lean your head shyly to the side and look up at them under your eyelashes. You still love being cheek-to-cheek.

You're busy! You started crawling at 8 1/2 months and you haven't looked back. You are now trying so hard to pull up on things, but so far you can only get to your knees. You are SO busy and curious. You slam your head into everything all the time. Even in places I think you cannot possibly find a way to hurt yourself, you always do. I call you bruiser, because well, the obvious. It's actually concerning.

You have dark hair! And eyebrows, which people comment on all the time: "what great eye brows he has!" Random, I know. You are very, very handsome.
You love your brother something fierce. You love food. And you love being physically active, exploring, on the move, all the time.

When I look at you, I can't imagine not having more of you. I thought the same thing about your brother. You are so easy to love.

Here's the schedule that's working for us right now:

7:30- bottle
8- breakfast: scrambled eggs and banana/raspberries
9-11:30- nap (you LOVE this nap)
11:30- bottle
12:30- lunch: oven roasted chicken deli meat, jar of carrots/sweet potatoes, mashed avocado
2- small bottle, and down for a nap with your brother 
3:30-4- up, small bottle, we wait for Coop to wake up
5:30- dinner (*you dropped your cat-nap soon after 8-months, sadly)
6:00- bath-time with Coop
6:30/7- bottle and bed

Ben, I thank God for you. I pray over you all the time, and I hope we are doing right by you. Watching you grow will be our greatest privilege!

Your mommy can't believe you will be one-year-old in three short months. Holy that-went-by-fast!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Week's Round-Up: Babies and outdoor decor.

Why was this week fast? In the work-world, every week after a holiday was S  L  O  W. This week I blink and it's Friday. Here's what's been up:

ONE. WATCHING: or actually MOURNING, the end of Vanderpump Rules and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. WELL? What are you thinking about the craziness this season? Tune out here if you're not Bravo-obsessed:
* what's up with Stassi. Is she that big of a B? 
* how crazy-town is Kristen? That is all.
* does anyone else feel bad for Kim Richards? 
* how HILARIOUS is Lisa Rinna? #whatdidharrydo

TWO. HE'S 9-MONTHS ON THE 12TH: which means he's almost one-year old, which means omg. And, oh-KAY. I'll say it. Have you ever seen a cuter baby?

THREE. WEDNESDAY DATE NIGHTS: The hubs and I recently started a weekly date night. Growing up my parents went out one night a week for as long as I can remember, and left us four kids home with a sitter. Mom has always told us to set one night aside and spend it alone if we can. What is it about adult conversation with your husband that makes the world right? I don't know, but if it's one night a week I get to sit at the restaurant bar and eat dinner, I'm in.
FOUR. PATIO READY: Y'all since last summer I couldn't stop thinking about how I want to beautify the outdoors around the casa, and lo and behold West Elm decided to put some fabulous planters on sale this week. I'm thinking the gray or the black planter would look great next to my bold front door. If you're in the market, check 'em out:
FIVE. VERSE: Disclaimer: I do not watch 19 Kids and Counting but I do read daily and they shared the story of one of the kids, Jill, who was pregnant and also a midwife, and had planned a home-birth. She ended up delivering in the hospital and obviously things didn't go as planned. BEEN THERE. She shared this verse and it really stuck with me this week. Maybe you need to hear it too.
Once again reminding me that I have NO control. Why can't I get used to this?

I hope everyone has fun plans this weekend! Wishing you a great one.

Linking up today with these lovely ladies:
Oh, Hey Friday September F A R M
Friday Favorites at Momfessionals

Let's stay friends! Follow along Facebook

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Front Door Make-Over: Reno-Series Vol 1

We bought a house last summer that we adore and have been slowly renovating ever since. Let me tell you, this whole "home-renovation-thing" is for the birds. It's a good thing I love this home, this location, and this 'hood because we may have been splitzville by now!  

I'm going to be sharing some of our renovation here on Happy Haven and I thought it only appropriate to start with how all our guests come into the home, the front door. 

You. Guys. There was a pair of screen doors in front of the wood ones, that screeched and slammed every time someone walked through. I was always praying that darn door didn't wake up my babies! Why I didn't think of just taking them off sooner, I have no idea. But I finally did and we actually thought the wood doors behind them were nice, decided to leave them on, and throw some paint on them.

We recently painted the exterior of the house a neutral gray, so I decided I wanted a color that would just POP (buuuuttt just in case I also sampled some tried and true black paint colors that would obviously look classic). 

Here's our before pictures:
And our afters:
Yes I did!
I chose a bright cherry red color, which I think looks so charming from the street. Who forgets the house with a red door? 
(Bonus points for anyone who spies the white dog creeping in the pic. All, meet Bella. Bella, meet my cyber-friends. And in other news, our aspen tree's have finally started blooming!)

A door color can add so much character to the home, and I think it's definitely the place to go bold.  I kinda compare it to an all black outfit with bright turquoise earrings. And, as my mama always says, the cheapest thing to change is paint. Thanks mama!

Paint colors in case you are interested:
Front door - Caliente (how appropriate), Benjamin Moore
Home - Pewter Tankard (darkened 50%), Sherwin Williams
(Runner up was Brick Red, Benjamin Moore)

Isn't it fun? How long until I change it to a matte black? And I'm so curious if anyone else has made a bold color choice: where? and what color? 

Happy Wednesday friends!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Weeks wrap up (vol 3)

Happy day sweet friends!

I'm 33 plus one day today, y'all. I'm going to go ahead and take a sec to wrap my head around that fact, but I will tell you this, every year I'm given I am grateful. It's true what they say, 30s really rock.

I'm going to keep it short today as we are spending the holiday weekend "up the hill", as local Denver-folks say, at my in-laws house near Aspen.


TWO: SPRING HAS SPRUNG, IN MY KITCHEN: What is it about fresh flowers?

THREE. DAILY DOSE OF DARLING: We lived outside this week and I snapped this picture of my two favorite people! It was lunch time people. 

FOUR. CELEBRATING CHRIST'S RESURRECTION: Happy Easter to those who celebrate, sweet friends! This truth is one of the biggest decisions that I believe you can make. 
"Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day. -1 Corinthians 15:3-5

"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth." -Job 19:25

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." -Romans, 10:9

FIVE: THANK YOU! Thank you to all who liked, commented and shared this blog as I celebrated the name change this week. You rock.

Next week is going to be exciting!  I'll be sharing some of our home renovations here on Happy Haven AND Denver Metro Moms Blog is going to be LIVE!! Can't wait.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Linking up today with these lovely ladies:
Oh, Hey Friday September F A R M
Friday Favorites at Momfessionals
Let's stay friends! 
Connect at Happy Haven Blog's Facebook and Instagram pages! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Keeping it real: the day my son put it all in perspective.

As a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, as a MOM, it's all about the little victories. The little wins throughout the day. The moments you think to yourself, "Man, I really have this mom thing down!"

Some days I feel extra ambitious and make big plans. For example, I'm all "I'm gonna bathe both boys before the husband gets home." And when that happens, boom! That's a win. Or I tell myself, "Today I will take a shower, wash my hair, AND put on make-up." Boom! Winning again.

Last night was one of those days I was really going for it. But as I so often do my friends, I quickly succumbed to the fact that the day had other plans for me. As I was trying to get dinner prepped and the house clean before my husband got home, it got eerily quiet outside where my son was playing. Weird. I should probably look into that, I thought. Meanwhile back in the kitchen, the risotto was burning and the baby was in a mood. You know the kind; the 'can't be set down or I will scream my head off' kind-of mood. 
Again, weird. And sort-of inconvenient because I do every now and then try to trick my husband into thinking I have it all together. So I scoop up The Baby and head outside. Oh no. I see my son has his pants down in the backyard. "Honey, why are your pants down? Do you need to go potty?" I ask, nervously looking around to my neighbors yards. THANK YOU ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, no one is outside. "No mom! See, look there, I already went!" 

I can't help but laugh. I laugh because this is my normal; this is my every day and all day. And it is hilarious, friends! And as I'm laughing (and pouring a generous glass of wine, I mean, it is close enough to 5, okay?!), I realize my son has once again put my grand plans in perspective.

THIS is what it's all about. 
Less planning, less perfection, more laughter, more presence. 
Make-up and hair done, and kiddos bathed by five? That's all okay. But the laughs and not taking the day's hiccups too seriously, so I can actually ENJOY these little pant-less people? That's what it's all about. The days, they are long, oh can they be long. But the years, are most definitely short.
Don't let this picture fool you, I only have makeup and hair done because I had help from a very large family with lots of arms.
And one day I will miss that little boy who used to pull his pants down out back and in public parks. Or so I'm told.
*Blog name will be changing TOMORROW to:*

Let's stay friends! 
Connect at Happy Haven Blog's Facebook and Instagram pages!