21 Weeks

Today marks 21 weeks, only 19 more to go!

21 weeks pregnant

I’d have to say this week was pretty un-eventful baby-wise. I did however start cleaning out the nursery a bit more and finished painting the window frame white (that I started over a year ago). What’s left to do? Paint the ceiling, purchase the crib (when it finally comes back in stock), hang some decor up on the walls and then organize all her things.

This nursery business is a piece of cake compared to the rest of our “to-do list before baby” that would include…

  • Paint kitchen ceiling
  • Seal tile/grout backsplash in kitchen
  • Replace 4 doors upstairs
  • Bathroom remodel (tear out and re-tile shower, tile the floor, paint the vanity, replace countertop, paint the walls, yikes!)
  • Clean garage & basement

Fingers crossed we can finish in time!

A Light 1.5 Years In the Making

When we first moved into our home almost a year and a half ago I knew the living room needed a huge statement light since the ceilings were so tall. So we picked out the Ikea Maskros light in the larger size. It’s basically a giant light that looks like an Allium. I loved it in the store, on blogs and I knew I’d love it in our home… so we bought it 1 and a half years ago.

Since then it’s been sitting in the living room behind a couch waiting for someone brave enough to hang it up. The delay in hanging it was because we thought we’d need scaffolding to swap out the existing ceiling fan and replace it with the light. Except, the last time my dad was over, he thought they may have a tall enough ladder at work and was willing to give it a shot!

Yesterday he brought it over and luckily enough it worked. He started the process of taking down the fan and switching out the wiring, and I started assembling all 160 paper flowers onto the giant fans that make up the ball. Then one by one I’d hand them to my dad and he’d snap them into place. I’m so thankful he did that part, I probably would have fainted from the height. So here it is…. (ps it looks way bigger in real life than in photos; it’s diameter is 32″!)

I love how it fills the void that is the huge walls and fireplace since you just can’t fill every little space with a photo or piece of artwork. What is also cool is when you turn on the light at night. Picture giant flowers projected all around the room. We could totally have a dance party, just put the light on a motor!

Backsplash Sneak Peek

We got a chance to start the backsplash while we had off work for Christmas and New Years! I totally forgot to whip out my nice camera during the process (since I was helping and all) but here are some few shots I took with my iPhone.

So here is the process of putting up the tile with pre-mixed thin set… grouting is next!

We love it so far. It seriously makes our kitchen look so rich and I’m sure this project will increase the value of our home a lot! And to think, this tile cost under $100! Also, one of my favorite parts so far is how little waste we had, since you can pop off penny rounds if you noticed an imperfection and replace with a perfect one, or when you cut them in half, you could use the other half elsewhere. Here is our pile of “waste”… which were ones that broke while trying to cut them in half. Not bad!

Kitchen Countertops

This post is very belated, but finally, here are photos of our kitchen countertops, sink and new faucet! (Nevermind some of the clutter like cereal boxes, I don’t live in a magazine house)

We went with WilsonArt Laminate in the Pearl Soapstone finish. We chose the “self edge” so that it would look more like concrete. Our sink is a Karran under-mounted quartz sink which we love the under-mount feature and the color. It’s so nice to just be able to wipe stuff in the sink from the counter. It’s also a lot bigger and deeper than our last sink, so it’ll be perfect for baby’s bath-time! Our faucet is called Kohler Simplice and we love the pull down spray feature + stainless steel finish. It’s super fancy compared to our old sink/faucet set up. We feel like a million bucks.

We also replaced the garbage disposal because it was so corroded when we had to take it apart for the new sink. Unfortunately a few days after we installed it there was an issue with the motor and then had to replace it again! Fun stuff – now we’re still double checking for leaks, but so far, it seems like everything is good and set. Overall we are super happy with how it all turned out!

Next up, the backsplash!

Kitchen Countertops Sneak Peek

So our new countertops are in, along with a new sink, faucet and garbage disposal! It’s soo nice to have a real countertop vs the plywood top we were using for over a month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the chance to take good photos of it in daylight (since all week days it’s dark when I get home from work), but I’m hoping this weekend I can snap a few in better lighting. So check out these pics and then check back later to see updated photos!

And yes that is an under-mounted sink with laminate. So many people told me it wasn’t possible, but there is a line of sinks that are made for laminate under-mounts. We went with the Karran Quartz sink in Midnight and we’re so happy with it. More details to come…

Baby’s Room Inspiration

Surprise Surprise, I’ve already got the babies room figured out what I want to do design-wise. Here is what the room looks like currently. It’s kind of been a catch all room while we work on all of our other projects.

We’ll be keeping the same wall color, however we’ll need to repaint the ceiling since there is a couple spots on it and we didn’t do that when we first moved in. We’ll also keep the yellow dresser and desk, as well as the gray rug and striped curtains.

Here is the overall look we’re going for…
My parents already said they’d buy us a crib, and we’re going to get the same one my sister has. We love the modern look and it fits in with the rest of our home, style-wise. The rest of the stuff in the photo are just an example of the look we’re going for. We also aren’t theme people, so there is no nursery theme, just a mix of patterns and colors – keeping it gender neutral so we can re-use the room say we have a few kids down the line.

I’ve also started a pinterest board for the baby. Actually I’ve had it for awhile, but I just now made it “non-secret”. Ha soooo sneaky are we.

Kitchen Island & Lights

When you last saw our kitchen, we had just finished putting in the wood floors. What an amazing difference that made! Now I’m back with an update on how it’s looking today… ta da!

We’ve since added the big eat-in island, yellow stools and swapped out the lighting! First up was the island. We bought stair posts that we cut to size to use as the legs (and when I refer to we, I mean my dad). Then my dad made a frame to support the countertop. And while we’re waiting for our countertops, he added a plywood top so we could still utilize the island. And man is it sturdy! Plus, check out the stools I spray painted yellow during the summer. They started off as those school lab stools.

The next weekend, my dad took down the one (way ugly) ceiling light and then the fan with a light. Instead we replaced them with pendants over the island and two pot/can lights. It’s amazing how different lighting really changes a space. It’s a million times brighter and just all around better atmosphere thanks to the pendants.

And yes to a few questions I’m sure some of you have… yes we have patch the ceiling still and repaint it (boo) and yes there are christmas lights still drawn on our chalkboard. I need to grow taller to reach that to erase it.

So next up is painting the legs and island (which I’ve currently primed and painted one coat so far, hopefully I’ll finish that this week). Then we need to order our countertops this week, along with a new sink and faucet. Then the exciting backsplash and eventually painting the ceiling. So close! And to remind you where we started, here is the before…

Life Indoors

Well… it’s officially freezing out. As pretty as fall is with the changing leaves and all, the cold temps really bring me down. I live for summer! I love the warmth, the growth, the sunshine, the long days and the beach. I especially am a fan of the fact that things outside are growing and full of life: the trees, flowers, grass, bushes and wildlife. In fall and winter, I can’t help but feel a little depressed looking out my window and seeing everything dying and/or dead.

To keep my spirits up, I’ve been trying to introduce some greenery inside: plants, trees, grass whatever. For awhile, I actually had live plants in our house. A couple succulents from Ikea, an indoor fern and an elephant ear from work. However, as much as I love the live plants, my lack of remembering to take care of them (ahem, watering them) took it’s toll and I now have a couple of brown dead plants in my house right now. It’s basically fall inside too, lovely.

Since it seems that our lives only tend to get busier and busier, I’m committing to sticking to the faux route from now on. Seriously… how easy is it to buy a fake plant, put it in a pot or vase and call it done. Easier than making yourself a bowl of cereal, and that is easy my friends.

I recently did a photoshoot for some fake terrariums for work and styled them in our home. After seeing the photos, I thought, wow I better get some of my own. I already have a few fake plants from ikea that I love, but I’m thinking I should get some more (just none of that fake ivy stuff you see in your grandma’s house). For the photoshoot, I loved adding them to my bookshelves or using as centerpieces.

PS don’t these look really real too?!

The Making of our Gallery Wall

Back in February we took a trip to Ikea when visiting my sister and brother in law who had just moved to IL. We purchased a bunch of frames to create a gallery wall in our living room that would hopefully fill a GIANT wall and not make it look so bare.

We hung the frames just in time for our life group, but lived with the fake ikea filler photos for about 6 months until we finally hung some art. Now I’m finally here to share the inspiration and the behind the scenes of making this gallery wall.

Let’s start with the largest piece. We took one of our engagement photos (shot by Valo Photography) and I added the text “Where there is Love, there is Life” on top of it.” I had Walmart print it in one of their poster sizes.
 Let’s move to the left – the piece of the yellow water style feather. During my search for ideas for art prints, I found a few freebies on the web. This was one I found but I edited it a bit to fit the color scheme I had going. You can download it here from the Oh So Lovely blog.

Below that is a three-photo frame. I wanted something that we could change out periodically – so the first photo will remain our wedding day (kind of like the start of our lives together) and then the last photo will change as we grow our family. Right now it’s a photo of us with our house, since that’s the stage where we are at right now. In the center is a print I made. I used the 53 paper app and drew the leafy thing and then added the “W” and “The Wylers est. 2010” in photoshop and had it printed at Walmart.
Now onto the right side of the wall, starting at the top is a piece I made out of paint color swatches. I have about a million of them from when we were selecting paint colors, so I just hand cut them out on a 12×12 sheet of paper and mounted them with some mounting strips. Here is where I got the inspiration to do that.

Then lastly, right below that piece is another piece I made. I love the look of forsythias. I had submitted something similar for minted.com but wasn’t selected (unfortunately), however when I was dreaming up this gallery wall I knew that piece would look great, but I knew I needed a bit more color to balance things out. I reversed the colors a bit and got this art print. Again I printed it as a large print at Walmart. Because I’m so nice, I actually have that art print for sale on Society6 currently, along with a forsythia pillow design. So if you’d also like a print like that for your home, please check it out!

I also took a few more of my “minted rejects” and added them for sale on Society6. Please check them out and feel free to “like them” 🙂


Our Home: One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today, we were signing a million papers at our house closing and were handed a set of keys – we were officially homeowners! After our closing, Drew had to head back to work, but I took off to our brand new home and tested out the 101 paint samples on each and every wall. After finalizing colors, we painted almost every room and moved in that weekend.

365 days later and we’re still in love with our house, though it is looking much different from the day we moved in, and in a very good way! I’d say just about ever weekend has been an episode of weekend warriors, where we’ve tackled some little projects such as painting a wall, swapping out the yellowed outlet plates, along with larger projects such as demoing the floor, cutting down a tree, and painting all the kitchen cabinets. Words don’t really do justice, so here are a few shots of our house before (the realtors photos) and how our house currently looks, one year later. I’ll also share what we’ve done, and what we are hoping to do in the future.

Disclaimer: Our house doesn’t look this clean all the time, if only you could see what was shoved behind me for each shot so that it appeared all styled and clean.

Foyer & Living Room / aka Vanessa’s Chill Spot

We painted the walls gray, added subtle stripes, got a large couch, made curtains, got a huge rug, hung a small gallery wall, added privacy to our front door, and accessorized! What we still need to do is: figure out something to do with the fireplace, paint trim and doors white, and swap out the fan for a light I purchased. For the foyer, we will need to tear out the existing tile and re-tile with our faux wood tile I won.


We painted (twice) a blue/green/gray color, painted the cabinets, added hardware, painted a chalkboard wall, tore up the tile and replaced with hardwood, painted the trim and swapped out the light above the sink. What we still need to do: install a larger island, new countertops, new sink and faucet, new lighting above new island, ditch the fan, add a comfy chair in the corner by the patio door and maybe a rug.

Master Bedroom

We painted the walls a green color, hung curtains, added shelves, replaced the fan with a new light. What we still need to do: paint the trim and doors white and keep up on laundry so it isn’t such a disaster 24/7.

Upstairs Bathroom

We painted the walls gray, hung a new shower curtain, and re-grouted the shower. What we still have to do: tile floor with penny tile, re-tile shower with white subway tile, swap out countertop to ditch shelf over toilet, paint walls same color as the kitchen, hang shelves above toilet, paint trim and door white, swap out large mirror for smaller and framed one and paint the vanity – oh boy.

Spare Bedroom 2

We re-mudded walls to remove the striped texture, painted the walls a dark gray/navy, painted trim white, hung curtains, hung cork board circles, and painted desk and dresser yellow. What’s left to do: this will eventually become a nursery when the time comes, but for now it’s our office/dump everything room that is being used for our overflow while we work on projects in the kitchen and bathroom.

Family Room / aka Drew’s chill spot

We painted the walls a teal color, my dad added the board + batten, swapped out the media center for a mid century modern dresser, hung curtains, and hung a few things on the wall. What we still want to do: lots… ditch those two tall bookshelves by the media center, get two new couches similar size to the “before” photo, hang more things on the wall, get a colorful rug to ground the room, and finish painting the trim and doors white.

Downstairs Bathroom

We re-texturized the walls, painted them green, painted the trim white, sealed the granite countertops, cleaned and re-sealed grout, and added shelves above the toilet. What’s left to do: swap out the outlet covers to white, paint the door white, and add hardware to vanity drawers because they are impossible to open.

Spare Bedroom 3

We painted the walls gray and some of the trim white – and turned this into our guest room – we purchased a mattress, bedding and all the fun colorful accessories! What we still need to do: swap out the electrical outlets and finish painting the trim and doors white.

Laundry Room / aka Eddy’s room

Ha, this is the least important room to me, so it’s been pretty neglected. The only thing we’ve done is added the new washer + dryer and painted the door frame white. What’s left to do: paint the rest of the trim and door white, paint the cabinets white or figure out a better solution for them and install a countertop over the washer and dryer.


What we did: Planted a bunch of bulbs (here and here) and a few perennials, added mulch, removed weeds, trimmed trees, racked leaves, re-seeded some spots, power washed and re-sealed/stained the deck and added some fun backyard curtains and furniture.

This past year you can visually see the changes within our house, but a quote I was reminded of yesterday from Young House Love’s Oprah special, spells out what our home really means to us. This past year, our home is where we have made plans and dreamed big dreams of the future, made new memories and filled it with love.

“A house is made of walls and beams, but a home is built with love and dreams”.