Pre-Baby Projects

Pre-Baby Projects

I’m trying to enjoy this season of pregnancy (as much as I can with the incessant nausea still sticking around at 19 weeks…). But one way to view our wonderful January 22 due date is as a deadline of sorts.

There are the obvious pre-baby projects like setting up the nursery that need to happen, and there are those projects that I think will be helpful for our new rhythm and routine of life when it changes forever in 2016.

A few things on the list:

  • Pay off my truck
  • Purchase a second baby-friendly vehicle (this might not happen until after baby, but we can start looking once the truck is paid off)
  • Get a new roof (before hurricane season!)
  • Wood floors installed throughout the house
  • Remove sliding glass door in dining room, install french doors
  • Paint sun room, nursery closets, front porch, nursery closet doors
  • Paint shutters, front door, trim
  • Install shelves in the pantry, study and garage to enable us to organize
  • Organize study, books and sewing/craft stuff, purge anything unnecessary, cullĀ 1/4 (roughly 300) books!
  • Organize clothes and purge (both Husband and me)
  • Organize pantry/laundry items, store breakables on high shelves
  • Organize, purge, put away breakables in dining room
  • Start some new habits: one full load of laundry from hamper to drawers each day, 15 minute cleanup at the end of each day
  • Set up and decorate the nursery, organize baby items
  • Turn the study into a study/guest room
  • Make some freezer meals!
  • Clean up/organize the barn before baby and winter
  • Install dog door and fenced area for Ginger
  • Prepare for winter: buy firewood, purchase/set up electric buckets/stock tank heaters, enclose barn entry, install sliding stall door, fix fireplace damper
  • Go on a REAL vacation!! (Our 5th anniversary is coming up and we’re combining that celebration with a final pre-baby trip, heading up to Vermont to view the fall foliage.)

The goal is to get all of these things done before November. Then November, December and January can be spent keeping up with work (the busiest time of year), enjoying the holidays with family, and resting at home before Baby arrives. I have visions of spending the fall/winter curled up on the couch with a good book, a roaring fire and a warm blanket. (Maybe not the reality of the last few months of pregnancy, but a girl can dream!)

Belly and a book

Plenty of plant projects…

Plenty of plant projects…

A few weeks ago, I wrote an update on a few of the (mostly) indoor projects I’ve been working on as time allows. Today, I want to share some of the outdoor ones.

When Husband and I moved into this farm house, we fell in love with the screened-in front porch–especially the porch swing! It’s the perfect place for a morning cup of tea (or coffee as Husband prefers), or an evening conversation with friends. It has been the stage of numerous lovely days and nights in this house.

But we wanted it to be more than just a tile floor with two chairs and a swing. So we slowly but surely scoured the clearance racks and began collecting the things we needed…a cushion to start, then a few pillows, finally an outdoor rug for Ginger to lay on. I found a tea-light candle tower, and we bought a little green bistro set at an astronomical discount. We added a mosaic table we had in the garage.

But even with all those lovely touches, it just didn’t seem finished. So this year, we got an idea.

A friend gave us this 5-foot tall ponytail palm tree, and we found a nice big planter at a discount store (and thanks to a few small cracks in the finish, we got it half off!).

Replanting our palm tree.

We also trimmed up some of the brown palm fronds so it looks a little healthier. We put it in the corner behind the swing, which immediately added a little island/jungle feel to our little space.

We added the palm tree to our porch to add a little island feel.

To continue with our little outdoor escape, we took another (smaller) palm we’d been given and replanted it as well. This time we took the terracotta-looking planter the ponytail palm had been in and painted it dark blue (the accent color in the brown and green swing cushion). One of the great things about this planter is that it’s actually plastic, which means lightweight! The white-glazed planter is, well, not.

Smaller palm tree on our porch.

We also did a little improvement in the backyard. You can see in the photo below that we have a (very) small fenced in space for Ginger (which she can access on her own now thanks to our amazing doggy door).

When Husband built it with my father, they “accidentally” built a little arbor-looking entry way (the posts at the gate were super tall, and they used an extra post to help them keep it all level while they constructed everything). Husband and I decided to keep our little “pagoda” as we call it (no idea why we call it that, but we do).

This year, we decided it needed a little sprucing, so we got some large hanging pots at a local discount store (yay for discounts!) and then I purchased these beautiful lantana plants at a local nursery. I’ve always loved the look of their florets, and I especially love that they aren’t pink!

Lantana flowers added to our backyard.

As a bonus, the sales person informed me that lantana are native to Africa, do well in heat and full sun, and they don’t need too much water (which means if I forget about them for a few days they won’t die!).

Hanging baskets on our pagoda.

In the works

In the works

I know I’ve explained that we’re unable to do much “home improvement” because we’re still in a rental at this point, but I’m determined that doesn’t mean I have to sit idly by.

I’ve taken on a few small projects (small because that’s the size that fits in my schedule at the moment) while I dream about bigger ones that we can tackle in the future.

For now, take a look at some of the things I’ve been up to lately…

Birdcage in progress.

The original green color wasn’t bad, but I purchased this cage at a flea market ($4) for use on our porch, which is decorated in a completely different green color. So I bought a can of spray paint/primer in one and changed it up. At first, the spray paint looked pretty bright and yellowish, but after a few coats it began looking exactly the same color as our little bistro set.

On the porch.
*The greens in the photos above look a little off, but they are seriously really close in person.

Wall mounted rack in progress.

I picked up this rack at a flea market as well ($1!) and knew that with it’s leaf design it would look perfect in our bedroom, plus I needed something long and narrow to place above the dresser mirror so this was perfect. However, although I don’t mind the brushed nickel look, it really needed to be more of an oil-rubbed bronze or hammered bronze color to fit with the rest of our decor.

Now, it’s the perfect spot to hang some vintage necklaces (of course, I only have one right now, but I think it’s a good excuse to find some more =) ).

Necklace rack.

I found these dressers at an antique store ($150 for both) while I was living in Millersburg, OH. They are from the 1950s, well built with dovetail joints, and they have a nice blonde finish. Although they’re certainly not in mint condition, I think the wear and tear gives them character. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the gold hardware. So here I go again with that spray paint…

Tall dresser before and after

Doesn’t that completely change the look of the dressers? It brings out the darker tones in the blonde finish, and I’m falling in love with these pieces all over again…

Another dresser before and after

Well, that’s a wrap for last weekend’s projects. This weekend I’m planning a few more outdoor improvements, but I’m not leaving the spray paint behind!