For The Easter Basket

It’s time to start thinking about some of our Easter festivities, I can’t believe it’s almost April! Easter is the weekend before my & Eloise’s birthday, so we will have lots of fun planned in those two weeks! I started looking for some Easter basket goodies, and am certain most of them have been found in the Target dollar spot, have you seen all of the cute stuff?! I picked up some fun bunny bubbles, stickers & sidewalk chalk and I know the girls will love them. I am rounding up a few of my other favorite things that I think would be perfect basket fillers & hope it gives you some festive inspiration!

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight

I always like to include a book (or three) in our baskets because my kids LOVE new books & you can never have too many in your library. I just picked up the new BabyLit Primer A Little Princess (and loving the new Aladdin one as well!) and am always on the hunt for a seasonal bunny book. Bunny accessories, polka dots & something functional (like pretty kitchen utensils or sippy cups) also always make their way into our baskets. And last, swapping the traditional bunny plush for something more fun, like this cute Tractor Pillow for boys or Cotton Candy Pillow for girls!

For those of you who have asked, we have been using wire baskets from Terrain for the girls Easter baskets for the last few years, I love this option because they are so durable & never go out of style.

We would love to hear what fun stuff you will be including in your baskets this year! Happy Weekend, friends!!

Our Kitchen Renovation Details

It’s taken me forever to put this post together because there are so many components, but I am super excited to share it all for those of you considering an kitchen renovation using Ikea cabinets.

When we first had an accepted offer on the house, we had a local designer & her contractor come in and give us some pricing on custom cabinetry. We knew we wanted to stay around $15K for the entire kitchen, and our first quote for new cabinets, just cabinets,was $16,500. We looked at options for getting the existing ones refinished, getting new shelves built inside of them, etc. but ultimately the cost of starting from scratch with Ikea cabinets was the best option. And I was SO excited about it. I have always read amazing things about them, minus the part about putting them together, and couldn’t wait to get started.

We were limited on changing the layout of the kitchen to stay within our budget, our surrounding walls were all load bearing and we also wanted to keep the existing hardwoods so we tried to keep everything on the same floor plan as it already was. The kitchen is actually pretty small, which did help keep costs down when it came to pricing per cabinet & per square foot of countertop. We knew we wanted to remove the cook top and replace it with an actual range, and also wanted to remove the upper cabinetry in favor of open shelves. Once we got our layout down, the kitchen planner helped us figure out what Ikea boxes fit in the space, and then we finalized our order with them – without the door fronts.

We then worked with the AMAZING Semi-Handmade team, to order our doors. We chose this option for a few reasons. They were higher quality than the Ikea doors, solid wood & the style was more of the shaker look that we wanted. Semi-Handmade also offers door sizes that are custom fit for your space, where as Ikea only offers a few sizes, requiring you to use “filler panels” for the extra spaces. So for example, our doors above our wall oven would have been about 6 inches shorter, and we would have had to put in a flat panel as a filler between the doors and the oven, since we did not use Ikea appliances. (I hope that makes sense, I know it is a little confusing!) I also really wanted a custom color that Ikea didn’t offer, so we loved that we were able to order the doors unfinishsed and have them painted in the color that we chose. I really can’t say enough good stuff about this part of the process, they actually helped us so much when it came to install and assembly, I am certain I called ten times over the course of the month asking different questions along the way. Overall, they gave the kitchen a much more custom look & we were so happy to have worked with them.

So to break it down a bit, here is a simplified version of how the process went (for those of you who have emailed me, this is where I was confused when we started, so hopefully this is helpful!)

1. Decide on a basic layout, then use the Ikea kitchen planner tool to pick & choose the components of your cabinet boxes (lowers, uppers, drawers, sink base, wall pantry, etc.), taking into account all of your space & appliance dimensions (so make sure you have these all picked out ahead of time).

2. Send finalized kitchen design to Semi-Handmade, so that they can give you the door sizes & panels. Panels are basically the wood that goes around your cabinet boxes & fills in the spaces between cabinets & appliances.

3. Finalize order for cabinets & doors (we did them at the same time to make sure there were no changes to be made to the original Ikea order order, which there were, so do these together), and patiently wait for 8,092,384,759 flat packed boxes to arrive on your doorstep (we paid an additional $75 to have someone pick up all of the pieces from the store & deliver them, because #threekids #aintnobodygottimeforthat)

4. Install cabinet boxes, then appliances, and then panels (in that order) for the best fit (if you are starting from scratch).

5. Countertop installation happened right in here somewhere, followed by having the sink/faucet plumbed.

6. Paint. Hands down one of the best decisions we made during our renovation, the painting company was SO professional and did a way better job than we ever could have. They came in, tented the kitchen, taped off EVERYTHING, filled all of the seams & nail holes, sprayed all of the boxes, and then took our cabinet doors to their studio to paint & return a few days later.

7. Install doors (everything is pre-drilled, and fit for Ikea hinges).

8. Backsplash, cabinet hardware & floating shelves (using these brackets that we used in our last house) come last, the best feeling ever.

We highly recommend hiring a carpenter during the process to come help out with any installation issues, someone who can make sure everything is cut perfectly to size, add trim, quarter-round, etc. to give you a really finished look. Brandon is super handy and was able to do most of this, but we were lucky to have a great carpenter to come in and assist with a few pieces of the puzzle & some amazing trim work at the end.

Here is our cost breakdown:

Ikea cabinets: $1850
Semi-Handmade door fronts: $2100
Custom Painting: $700
Appliances (purchased during 4th of July Sale!): $6200
Sink, Faucet & Cabinet Knobs: $1100
Countertops: $3800
Tile & Backsplash Installation: $1100
Floating Shelves DIY: $40
Electrical, Plumbing, Trim & Carpentry Work: $550
Total Cost: $17,440

We already had factored the price of buying a fridge into our closing costs, so less the cost of that, we weren’t too far off from our original budget. If you are looking to do a kitchen reno, and already have your appliances, there is definitely a good chance that you can complete it for under $10k. We love that we were able to give the kitchen the overhaul that it needed while making it totally our style, I am so so so happy with the way it turned out. If you have any questions regarding the process, definitely leave them in the comments and I will be sure to answer!

Sources: Cabinet Doors in DIY Shaker by SemiHandmade // Cabinet Paint Color SeaGull by Creative Cabinets // Quartz Countertops by Premier Surfaces // Floating Shelf Brackets c/o Shelfology // Sink // Faucet // Gas Range // Range Hood // Fridge // Microwave Oven // Drawer Pulls // Cabinet Knobs // Subway Tile Backsplash

Sundays are for Snuggling.

Life tends to get busy, and with kids, sometimes it feels like we are always just trying to sty afloat. We go into every weekend with a list of things we want to do with the girls, stuff we need to do around the house and of course, so much laundry. Before we know it, Sunday is here, and the stress of the upcoming week starts to settle in. We call it the empties, some of our friends call it the Sunday scaries, do you know this feeling?

So we have made it a tradition for the last few months, to always be home on Sunday nights. To always do an early, extra long dinner together, make sure things are picked up and in their place for the week, and then spend the last few hours of the weekend together in our happy place. We have dance parties, rent movies & turn on the fire when it’s cold. The big girls love to read together (and fight over who gets to pick said movie) while Claire climbs around like our living room is her own personal jungle gym. One of her favorite things to do each night is milk delivery for everyone, she helps me put the lids on everyones cups, and she runs into the room to bring Harper (Happie!) & Eloise (Eyee!) their milks, before running back in for her own. Sunday nights are one of our favorite times of the week, the perfect time to unwind and to count our blessings.

I love the saying, a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. Hope you all had a great weekend & wishing you a happy week ahead!! XO