New Blog Design and Some Projects

I have sat here and typed three different first lines to this blog post but I really just don't even know how to start it off so maybe I'll stop trying to be creative and just say what I really want to say: LOOK AT THIS INCREDIBLE NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!!!!
Is it okay if I say that about my own blog, especially since I didn't design it myself?
This beautiful and wonderful and just downright talented friend of mine, Amy, who I have known since clear back in the 5th grade (when we would make pets out of little dried white beans that we would color eyes on and build furniture for) is an amazing designer and she designed this whole look.
I am pretty much in love with it.
I would definitely recommend checking out her blog.
One of my favorite things is her moodboards.

In addition to the new design, a while ago Adam and I decided that we wanted to get a new camera to take pictures of our kiddos, so we started setting money aside and doing research and asking around and finally decided to get a basic "fancy" camera, a Canon Rebel T3.
If that doesn't mean anything to you, that's okay, it didn't mean anything to me until recently.
Anyway, after much waiting and price checking we found an awesome deal for the camera we wanted and we took the plunge and bought it!
And now we have to figure out how to use it.
We don't have a clue.
I've been watching videos on YouTube on how to use this gorgeous new picture-taking device and I have to pause the video to go look up words like, "aperture" and "ISO" and "shutter speed" because apparently those words are so basic they don't explain them in the video.
 They just assume you know because after all you own a "fancy" camera, surely you wouldn't have bought it if you didn't know at least the basics of photography, right?
But I am determined to learn and eventually we will have gorgeous pictures of our children to show for it and so far it's been really fun trying to figure it all out.
As I tried to get a basic idea of how to use the camera I went around my little apartment and took pictures of things I love in it, I'm sure one day I will look back and laugh at how horrible some of these pictures are (I'm already flinching at how the lighting looks in some of these) but hey, that's okay!
So I have pictures of a lot of my latest projects that I've done around the house that I've posted on Instagram but am just now getting around to posting on here.
You guys, I am obsessed with home decorating blogs and projects these days.
Project #1:

This changing table for Baby Boy.
I hadn't been planning on getting a changing table, I never had one for Ella, I just used a changing pad on the floor and that worked perfectly but I saw this one at a garage sale for $10 so I decided to grab it.
It looked and smelled pretty awful.
But after lots of cleaning and scrubbing and Lysol and then some yellow paint it looks (and smells) a million times better.
I made this retro flannel cover for the changing pad.
And as a bonus I can use it as a visual to one day explain to my children what a cassette tape is.
(Ella calls that monkey "Elmo")

Project #2:
I saw this on Pinterest and fell so in love with it I had to make one.
It was a surprisingly fast project, just one Sunday afternoon and I made it completely out of scraps of fabric I already had.

There are several projects going on in here:
That is our table and chairs that we got from Craigslist for $50.
We painted the table white and the chairs green. teal, and blue.
We are in the process of collecting mismatched shaped chairs (that you can see against the left wall) that we'll also paint (yellow, grey, and coral) to add to the table.
That adorable garland was made out of paint swatches (this lovely friend taught me how to make it)/
And that chandelier makes me want to dance for joy every time I turn it on.
(Oh dear, looks like I need to straighten that candle)
That chandelier was my very first spray painting project.
I found it at a garage sale for $10 and it was just a brassy color before.
This is my go-to place for furniture refinishing and spray painting advice.
I asked Adam to hang it up for me, and even though he had never wired a light fixture before he said "yes, my love" and now it looks so beautiful!

And then these are just beautiful things that I love in my dining room:

And some more beautiful things:
Yeah, I found those Tillamook beauties for $2.50/each at Albertson's this week.
That new white chocolate raspberry flavor is pretty lovely.
These jars line the top of my kitchen cupboards and I just really love them.
Please take note of how effectively I used my camera to focus on that one jar in the middle but left the rest blurry, I'm feeling pretty impressed with my learning curve right now.

Now onto Miss Lala's room:
One day there will be something hung right about the bunting, like a picture or Ella's name or something else but right now it's just blank.
Tissue paper pom poms are so easy and add so much to a room.
Bunting isn't as quick to make as I wish it would be but it sure is cute.
That's a crib that I found on Craigslist (mattress included) for $50!
I bought a can of stain to cover up some chips and scratches.
I keep mentioning the prices of things because I love hearing where people got deals on things and how much it was because it motivates me to look in those places for deals.
Thrift shopping is definitely a game of patience and I think it helps to hear that other people are having success to give you the motivation to be patient and wait for the deal you really want.

Mmmk, now lets just zoom in on those curtains that I love:

I found this fabric on Hawthorne Threads, it's covered in teepees and wigwams and I just like it a lot.

Another beautiful thing in my little apartment that I love:


  1. Not only is your new blog design so hip/cute, but you drew it YOURSELF, so you are doubly cool. SCORE! Love it :)

  2. Oh my gosh, it is so cute! I LOVE your new design, and adore that picture you drew of your little family.

  3. LOVE the new design! So cute! Is Fenton baby's name then? I love your new place too. That crib was definitely a steal! Definitely shoot in manual with that new camera! I love my Canon. If it didn't come with one, I highly recommend the basic "Nifty 50"'s all I use and it's pretty cheap around $ gets that really great blur (bokeh) in the backgrounds. =)

    1. Thanks so much, Nicole! Yes, Fenton is Baby Boy's name. The lense that came with it is a 18-55mm I think, is that the same as the Nifty 50? That's good to know which one you use, you take such beautiful pictures!

  4. Oh, Annie!!! I just adore your new blog design. But more than your new blog design, I ADORE the illustration you drew. It is down-right fabulous! So ... one time, I was trying to be like you (because you are kinda my role model) and I attempted to illustrate my family like you do. But it really didn't turn out that amazing. BA HA HA HA!!! Here it is if you would like to see ...


  6. Annie! I LOVE the new blog design. It 's perfect for you guys :) Also, I love the name Fenton, so excited for you! I can sympathize with you about getting used to the camera. I bought my first canon slr a few years ago and it was kind of crazy getting used to it... but you can take beautiful pictures. You will have so much fun!!