Posted in Everyday Life, Friday Favorites, Home Updates

Friday Favorites {#77}

Hello! Long time, no talk! How’s it going? My blogging break has been much needed, but I sure have missed posting!

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites.

Here’s what we’ve been up to the past couple of weeks along with some of our favorites.

These bracelets are one of my favorite things to wear lately.

My friend, Amy, sent these to me. She hand makes these custom bracelets. She has so many cute and fun options. Check her out on Instagram (@soulshine.kc)! I know you’ll love anything she makes!

Hadley went to sleep away camp and had the best time! She was so sad last summer when camp was canceled, so she was so excited to go back this year! We were one of the first in line for drop off, and she had a great time with friends, old and new. Camp was definitely a favorite for Hadley this summer.

I loved seeing the photos on Facebook. I missed her, so it was nice to get daily updates and see her smiling face!

Hadley at camp was one of Hayden’s favorite parts of summer (haha!). He also went to golf camp for the first time, and he loved it!

One things that wasn’t a favorite…poison oak! It’s never good when your kid wakes you up at 3 am to tell you he’s itching all over! We aren’t sure where he picked it up, but it sure did spread quickly. Thankfully, we got into the doctor the next day and the steroid meds helped immensely.

We’ve also continued to have lots of baseball this summer. It’s always a favorite watching Hayden and his team play. They have lots of fun together.

Another favorite…we FINALLY got our new basement floors. I shared that our master bath shower leaked down to the basement bathroom and living space in early May, so the floors had to be ripped up. What we had put down when we updated the basement a few years ago was no longer being made, so we found something pretty similar and are really pleased.

The original floors after Travis ripped up the damaged flooring vs the new finished product:

Then, I found this pretty rug at Home Goods to replace our previous area rug. It’s super soft and I love the gray tones.

Another favorite is my new messenger bag. I’ve been wanting one for quite some time. I stopped in a favorite boutique that I hadn’t been to since before the pandemic, and saw this gold toned bag. It was my summer gift to myself for teaching summer school 😉 They had some fun straps and I liked the one it came with, but I got this one (in pic below) from Amazon!

Another favorite is dinner al fresco! The kids were having too much fun playing with friends, so Travis and I ended up having dinner on our back patio by ourselves on Sunday night. Steak and asparagus by Travis…and microwave Bob Evans mashed potatoes by me!

Once July hits, I start thinking about school. I always feel better after I get my room unpacked (which will maybe happen next week?…they are still cleaning my area of the school), buy my desk calendar and lesson plan book.

I decided to try the Happy Planner teacher planner. If you know any teacher, you know we are picky about our planners. I’ve used a variety through the years, and I just thought I’d give this one a try. I was close to ordering one online and then realized Michael’s has some and they were 30 (or 40?)% off…+ my teacher’s discount at Michael’s! I love a good deal.

We are soaking up these last days of summer. We’ve had a couple pool days this week after a three week hiatus. June is our big pool month, then we had vacay, camps, and lots of rainy days that took the pool off our fun list for a bit. The kids have had lots of fun with their friends this summer at the pool. It’s definitely a favorite part of our summer.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Me…all summer long trying to keep up with my kids…vs. my parents in the 80’s (Although, the Major was pretty strict about knowing our whereabouts!)

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

One of my favorite vacation photos popped up in my Facebook memories recently. Siesta Key in 2017…sunset and the kids playing in the ocean.

I still hope to post intermittently over the next few weeks while continuing a little break.

I will share my Sentence a Day for July and what I’ve been reading this month as well once we get to the end of July.

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer! See you back here soon.

Posted in Home Updates

Transformation Tuesday: The Basement

Hello and Happy Tuesday! For this Transformation Tuesday, I thought I’d share about how we updated our basement. I’ve also shared posts about the basement bathroom, our living room/office area, and our kitchen space as well.

So, even with the updates, to me, the basement is still the basement. I just mean it’s still the space where clothes stay until they are folded, school work goes until I have time to sort it, Christmas decorations still pile up until we have time to deal with them, etc. That being said, by painting the paneling, changing out the flooring, and adding some recessed lighting, the space is certainly brighter.

After living in our house for a few months, Travis and I (mostly Travis) painted the paneling one of our shades of gray.

The original beige carpet on the stairs had seen better days. So, we had it ripped up and we hired someone to sand and stain the stairs. They were beautiful, and we left them as is for awhile. The problem was that we come and go from the basement as we have a raised ranch home. So, the stairs were pretty noisy. So, Travis painted the backs of the steps (and the walls leading down to the basement), and then we chose carpet for a runner. It’s definitely quieter as we go up and and down the stairs daily, and I love the pattern of the carpet that we chose from a local carpet store.

Then, a few months later, we had the flooring changed out. Our neighbors (who are our friends!) had the same flooring. It’s difficult for me to make decisions sometimes, so I love when I just see something I like that will work. The flooring is from Lowes, and it is Allen+Roth Weathered Oak. We went with the laminate flooring in case the basement ever floods, and it’s a high traffic area; we come and go through the basement multiple times a day.

The basement bathroom that we had remodeled is to the left off the basement stairs landing

About two years ago, Travis decided to paint the bookshelves, and we rearranged the furniture (and got rid of our tv stand) to make the space work even better for us. Travis loves (or at least really doesn’t mind) painting. This was quite a project while sanding the shelves, painting multiple coats of white, mounting the tv, hiding the wires, etc. He did have a “vision” though and even chose the Weathered Hardwood Planks for the backdrop of the tv.

sanding, painting, wooden planks

Here are some before and afters of the actual space. I only had two basement pics from the listing.

Before:

After:

FYI: the pole from the picture above is still there; it’s to the left of the couch and just not pictured. Also, real talk: I tidied up for y’all. 😉

Before:

I’m not sure what, if anything, the previous owners used in the space where we put the tv. I always felt like a pull down map would have gone there. haha

After:

We really do hang out down here often whether it’s watching a movie, Hayden playing Xbox or Hadley perfecting a dance routine. In our old house, we barely used the finished basement. We may have used it more as the kids got older, but in this house, we are kind of “forced” to use the basement as it’s where our secondary tv is and we’ve made it as cozy as possible. One aspect of our house I continue to like is that we don’t have any unwasted space. (Of course, at times, I wish we had a few extra square inches though!)

view from behind the couch

This is the area behind the couch. After we had our farmhouse table built for the kitchen, we put our previous kitchen table down here. We actually do use it a bit. If we have friends and family over, the kids come eat down here, I use the table space to wrap gifts, and the kids even do projects and crafts at the table.

We keep games and art supplies in this area. Also, Kristy Wicks shared this very affordable indoor/outdoor rug in her Insta Stories about a year ago. I wanted to break up the floor space, and I ordered it. I love it; it’s been perfect for this area.

The rug is the 8×11 in the ivory color

On the other side of the basement, we have a bedroom area set up. Since my family lives out of town, we usually have visitors at least six times a year.

We (I) kind of struggle with this space. I feel like it is warm and inviting…it’s just that we’ve toyed with a few ideas and are unsure of what to do. To the left of the bed is the door to the garage. So we’ve thought about putting a wall up where you enter from the garage as there’s another door that can lead to the stairs to go upstairs. Also, we’ve thought about putting up two walls (on either side of the bed) as there’s a vent, a ceiling light, a closet, and electrical outlets, so it could be a small bedroom. I just always worry it would make the basement feel too small if we put walls up.

I honestly think the best option is to purchase a Murphy bed, so we can just pull it down when needed. Anyway, we haven’t made that kind of investment a priority. And, the space does work…that part is just a bit awkward, in my opinion.

This is the view from the garage as you enter the basement.

So, that’s the basement space. We’ve chipped away at updates down there along the way. I am glad we’ve made it a homey and cozy space as we do have guests somewhat often, and we do spend time down there more than I ever thought we would!

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,