Sunday, June 22, 2014

Playroom Reveal!

I happen to be one of those people who thinks that everything in my home should have a “place”.  The remote belongs on the coffee table, coats belong in the closet, shoes belong in the basket, etc.  You can call it OCD, obsessive, or “annoying” (Ryan's term for it, ha), but I call it organized, and it makes my life 10x easier!  

Before having a child, keeping things organized was simple, but that changed two years ago when Rowen was born.

When searching for a new house, a bigger garage was one of the top, must-have items on Ryan’s list, but for me it was an extra bedroom or flex room.

In this room I envisioned a space where Rowen could do crafts, store her toys, read, and just hang out.  I wanted to create a space that she could play in now, but would also grow with her as she gets older.

Before the playroom, toy storage in our house looked like this. 

Now, I know there is nothing wrong with this, but it drove me absolutely crazy!  So last December I set out to do “project playroom”.

The room we chose for the project was the front room on the main floor of our house.  It’s a great size and has a big window, which lets in a lot of natural light. 

The room is currently divided up into what I call, “stations”.  She has her “imagination station", where she can play pretend with her dolls, grocery cart, kitchen set, etc.

Then there’s the "craft station" in the center of the room, where she can color, do play-doh, paint, etc.

There is also the (for lack of a better term) “sensory station”, where she has a magnetic/felt board (a DIY project) with a variety of magnets and felt pieces to play and learn with.

Aside from a dedicated place for Rowen to play. One of the biggest goals I had for this room was a good organization system.  Using some inspirational ideas from Pinterest, I created a reading nook and storage bench all in one! 

The bottom of the bench holds the cubes, which house a lot of Rowen’s smaller, miscellaneous toys that are otherwise hard to store.  Things like blocks, kitchen food, stuffed animals, and Little People accessories.   My favorite thing about this is that it is ground level – making it so easy for Rowen to access!

The top of the bench serves as a reading nook!  I added a few pillows to help brighten the area and give it a cozy, playful feeling. 

The reading nook sits in-between two shelving units.  These shelves, one big and one small, store the bigger toys that don’t fit inside the cubes, as well as her books, movies, games, puzzles, coloring books and craft items. 

As for the d├ęcor in the room, I hung bright green curtains, and used some white picture frames to display some of the recent artwork Rowen created at daycare - easy and inexpensive!

It’s been a slow process and I keep finding ways to tweak it, but for now, I’m calling the playroom finished!  I finally feel like there is organized chaos going on in there, and I am so happy with the way it turned out!   

Area Rug - Walmart
Table & Chairs - Ikea
Storage Benches - Target
Storage Cubes - Target
Large Book Shelf - Walmart
Small Book Shelf - Target
Pillow Fabric -
Curtains - Target

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Baked Chile Relleno

Today, I wanted to share with you one of my family's favorite meals.  It’s always a struggle trying to get Rowen to eat – lately she’s become miss picky.  This meal is kid-friendly, easy to make, and works great as a "make ahead" meal for those busy weeknights!   Check it out…

Serves 6, prep time (5 minutes)

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 small cans of whole green chiles
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

With a fork, mix eggs and half and half together in a small bowl

Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray, and then pour a thin layer of the egg mixture into the dish.

Peel a part the chiles from one can and place on top of egg mixture

Top with a handful of cheddar cheese and then a handful of Colby Jack Cheese

Repeat the layers two more times starting again with a thin layer of the egg mixture.

Lastly, pour the can of tomato sauce on top

Bake uncovered for 75 minutes or until cheese begins to brown

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Serve with a side salad or your favorite veggie!  Delicious!

Shared with:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up - Father's Day

To all the dads out there, hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day! 

We started our weekend with a trip to Barnes and Noble for story time.  This didn’t really go over quite as well as I had hoped.  Rowen had a lot of energy that morning and didn’t exactly want to sit still – she was more much interested in the nearby shelves full of toys and books!

Later that afternoon we headed to a birthday party for Rowen’s friend, Aubrey.  The theme was Little Mermaid and the backyard was full of fun water activities: pools, a slip n slide and water table for all the kids.  Rowen had a blast!  She couldn’t get enough of the awesome splash pad Aubrey’s dad made, as well as the slip ‘n slide!  

Sunday (Father’s Day) was jam packed.  We started the morning with a little Father’s Day egg breakfast celebration and then Rowen gave Ryan the gift we picked out .

Ryan is such a great dad.  He’s patient, kind, loving, silly and fun all rolled into one.  I know everyone says this on Father’s Day, but besides my own dad, he really is the world’s best! 

After breakfast we headed over to my parent’s house for lunch, ice-cream, and a movie (while Rowen napped). 

We then ended the evening with a trip to the pool!  So much fun! 

Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday: 4th of July Edition

Good morning! Linking up as usual with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci for Five on Friday.  Since the Fourth of July is just around the corner, I thought a little Independence Day eye-candy might be fun...

1.  Drink - The Fourth of July, is a great excuse to put down your to-do list, put up your feet, and have a few cocktails.  These look so refreshing!

2.  Decor - So it's no secret I have a slight obsession with wreaths and other pretty things on my front door. Loving everything about this red, white and blue wreath!

3.  Dessert - Anyone hosting a July Fourth party?  Check out this easy, kid-friendly treat!

4.  Kid Craft -  One of my goals this summer is to do a number of crafts with Rowen and this looks like a fun one to do right before the holiday!

5.  Style - Loving everything about this adorably festive ensemble!

There you have it!  Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Good morning - Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  Mine was a blast!

Saturday morning, I headed out for a quick three mile run and did a little shopping.

That afternoon I met up with three of my good friends from college for lunch at Z'mariks where I gobbled up my favorite dish, the Spicy Peanut bowl, yum!

Side note confession:  Ryan, Rowen and I have eaten here every Saturday for the past month.  The fact that kids eat free here every Saturday mixed with the fact that we have a plethora of BOGO coupons means we all eat for only $9 - so awesome!

Later that evening I met up with friends for Des Moines WineFest where we happened to score free VIP tickets to the event through a friend!

We pulled up to valet park our cars, walked the red carpet on the way in, and then ate and drank our way through the entire event!  The tasting featured food from some of the finest chefs in Iowa and incredible wines from all over!

Never in my life have I had or seen so much wine!

Once the event was over we headed to Splash for an after party and then ended our night.

Cheers! It was the perfect way to end a fabulous day with great friends!

A big thank you to Dom, executive chef at Splash and Jethros for inviting us to the event and showing us an awesome time!

Sunday was a little more low key.  We ran our usual errands in the morning and then met up with family for a picnic at the park!

It was our first time at this particular park, and the playground was unlike any other I'd seen before!  Rowen loved every minute of it!

After the park we headed down the street to Dairy Queen for a little ice cream and then headed home for a nap!

We ended the evening at church, dinner and then a walk!

Hope you had a good weekend, too!