DIY Shiplap Walls

Friday, January 18, 2019

I guess you could say I am a fan of shiplap. We have now done three walls in our home with faux shiplap, and I am asked often how we do it. So, I thought it was time that I share the deets with you. The process is actually pretty simple.

Step 1: Measure your wall and figure out how much "ship lap" you are going to need. The last thing you want is to start the project and run out of supplies, so measuring should always be the first step. 

Step 2: Go to your local home improvement store and purchase some 1/4" smooth plywood in 4' x 8' sheets. Bonus points if they will cut it for you! We got ours at Home Depot, and they will cut it for a small fee. You want them to cut to 8' x 7 3/4"...this will account for the blade width, and you won't have a off size piece left over. 

Step 3: Start in a corner of the wall that you are wanting covered, and use a nail gun to hang the plywood. We started with a full piece and then continued until we had to cut a strip to size. Once we moved to the second row, we made cuts to ensure that ends didn't line up with one on top of the other. We used a nickle at the end of each board to ensure that we had the spacing even. (It helps if you have an extra pair of hands for this part!)

Step 4: Paint! We have painted all of our shiplap walls white, but I also think that a really dark gray wall would be pretty! 


1. Paint the wall before you hang the shiplap. We didn't do this the first time, and it isn't as easy as we thought it would be to get paint in those cracks. I was sure that the wall wouldn't be visible enough for it to even matter, but it was. 

2. Get the Lauan that is primed if you have the choice. This was another thing that we learned from our first go. It soaks up paint like crazy and the first time we did this we ended up needing several extra coats.

3. Don't worry if it isn't perfect! The way the boards are cut doesn't always leave perfectly straight edges.While it may not be completely flawless, I still think it looks great! 

I love the texture that the shiplap adds. It breaks up this big wall in our addition so beautifully. It doesn't even really need any art...but it may also be the perfect wall for some family photos!

Snow Much Fun

Monday, January 14, 2019

Is there anything cuter than a baby in snow gear? I don't really think so. SO FLUFFY! We got the boys bundled up in lots of layers and mismatched gloves for some fun in the snow. Years ago we cleared a path down a big hill out at the farm, and every snowfall we hope to make it out there.  

There was a big group of sledders, and everyone had a blast (and there were no injuries...thank goodness!) The doggies even got in on the fun. We all stayed nice and toasty sipping on hot chocolate. My mom brought a big jug of it complete with marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Crew wasn't so sure about the cold weather, but he toughed it out and even made a trip or two down the hill. After a couple hours, he took a nap with his auntie in the warm car. Thank goodness for Auntie Brooke.

This was the first time Rowan has been sledding at the farm, and he LOVED it! As soon as he got to the top of the hill, he was speeding down at "blazing speed," which he made me shout as I gave him a little push. It was so fun watching him...he was fearless.

Rowan's 4th Birthday

Monday, January 07, 2019

Phew...we had an eventful weekend that ended with a gallon of confetti scattered around my floor. Yesterday we celebrated Rowan's fourth birthday! Rowan loves space and planets and rocket ships, so we wanted to have a party that was out of this world. (But also try to keep it simple-ish.) My mom made a solar system cake and star treats, we had rock candy, and we ordered some pizza...and it wouldn't be a party without a balloon garland! ;)

It was a fun day celebrating our boy!

Also, we really put our little home to the test! I have been anticipating the day that we would be able to host a gathering at our house. It was at max capacity, and it was so much fun! Our home and our hearts were overflowing.

Family Pictures + Family Photo Tips

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

We had our family pictures taken recently and I cannot stop looking at them! They capture our season so well, and that makes my heart so happy. I cherish family pictures so much! It amazes me how much the boys have grown since the last time we had pictures taken. Bittersweet! We always say that we would love to freeze time...well friends, pictures do just that!

Family pictures shouldn't be stressful! I thought I would share some tips to help you have the most successful session.

1. Embrace your season: Our family is busy and wiggly. There will be a day when a portrait is appropriate for us, but right now that is not us. I love the movement that these pictures captured.

2. Don't be too matchy: I picked out our clothes weeks before our session. The outfits should coordinate, but everyone doesn't have to wear the same thing. Pick a couple colors that look great together and then add neutrals. I loved this green maxi dress, and we added a pop of red with Rowan's shoes. 

3. Keep patterns to a minimum: Pictures get really busy if everyone is wearing plaid. I knew that Dane was going to be wearing this buffalo check shirt, so I made sure the rest of our outfits were pretty simple. However, I love adding interest with texture and layers. Rowan's sweater had the texture that I was looking for, and Crew's little suspenders couldn't be cuter.

4. Have a snack handy: Our kids get antsy and impatient, but it seems like snacks help them keep their cool a little longer. I am not against bribing them to get good family pictures, and this year mini marshmallows did the trick.

5. Communicate with your photographer: If you need or want something specific, make sure to tell your photographer. Maybe you want a large landscape canvas to hang above your fireplace...make sure you tell your photographer to shoot some landscape shots. Most of the time there is a good variety, but it doesn't hurt to mention it.

6. Time it right: My kids are no fun if they are tired or hungry...even if there are snacks. You may have to adjust nap time and dinner to get the happiest smiles. 

I hope you found these tips helpful! Happy snapping!

Thank you so much Jenna Holtschulte for capturing these pictures. You are endlessly talented!

Brave Hazel

Friday, November 30, 2018

I love finding fun local shops, and this one could not be more adorable. I have raved about Brave Hazel before, and shared Laura's plan to turn a little horse trailer into a traveling boutique. Well, her dream is now a reality, and I love it!

If you are looking for a cute outfit to wear to your holiday gatherings or wanting to check some gifts off of your Christmas list, make sure you check out Brave Hazel Boutique!

Laura and her little boutique will be at the Christmas Market in Carlinville next weekend. The Brave Hazel trailer will be by Pixie Salon on Friday and Saturday. Check out the Brave Hazel Facebook page for more details.

Warm Wishes

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

One of my favorite holiday traditions is sending out Christmas cards. We don't get to see everyone on Christmas, and I love sending them a little love from our family. There is something so magical about writing out an address, adding a stamp, and sending some holiday cheer. And I love when my mailbox starts to overflow with the smiling faces of those we love so much. 

Looking through all of the card designs is one of my favorite Christmas activities. This year I picked a design from Paper Culture. They had a lot of cute cards to choose from, and bonus...they plant a tree for every order. I love a company that has a strong passion for making a difference. 

This year I am loving simple cards with beautiful font and lots of white space. I also really enjoy the foil pressed cards...ya know, for a little extra sparkle. And you can't go wrong with some pictures of your family; photo cards are my absolute favorite. 
Every year I order an extra card to save for years to come. It is a fun reminder of the joy and happiness that each Christmas was filled with. Do you have special card traditions...matching pajamas, a picture at the same Christmas tree farm? I would love to hear about them!

Hello Winter

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It isn't officially winter yet, but you wouldn't know it with all of the snow and frigid temperatures. We are still checking stuff off of our Fall Fun making chili waffles! Anyway, Rowan (and me too) has been dreaming of all the winter fun that we are going to have this year. I jotted down some of the things that he is most excited about, some of my favorite traditions, and some new wintery fun to try. Here is our Winter Wonderlist!

Rowan thinks it would be really fun to "nect" all of our sleds together and go super fast! That is so much like something his dad would come up with!

What are your favorite winter activities?