Lindsay Gill: December 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Toddler boy bedroom: Luke's room

Luke's toddler boy bedroom is almost done.  I'm so happy with the simplicity of the room.  I want to keep it a place of rest and a place where he can feel calm.  He's got so much energy and curiosity that I think a simple room (and house!) is best.

I made the elephant collage with cards from Luke's baby shower.

His walls are Benjamin Moore Sleigh Bells matched in another company.  I love the paint color against the natural wood color of the Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib.  We did lose a few parts to the crib during the move and Stork Craft sent them to us for free!  I was relieved and impressed.

The animal artwork is from my sister-in-law found on Etsy.

The dresser was my mom's when she was a toddler!

We go through phases with the rocking chair, and I soak in all of my rocking I can get.  The pillow is from Courtney.Stitches, she does beautiful custom ordered pillows.
The rug is from Homegoods.

The shades were custom cut in store at Home Depot.  They are the honeycomb style and room darkening.  They really insulate and make it really dark for Luke for nap and bed time...I'm very happy with them!

Neigh, Nunny, Quock Quock, and Gahgoo (not pictured) are Luke's absolute favorites

Friday, December 26, 2014

6 budget friendly kitchen renovation ideas

Along with the appliances, walls, and floors, we did 5 budget friendly kitchen renovations to brighten things up.

1.  Paint the cabinets.  Our cabinets were in great condition, they were just dark and dated.  I may have underestimated the work involved with taking them off and on, but I do think this was worth it.  We sanded them, primed them, and painted them.  We will will have to do some touch-up painting now that they are re-installed.  I didn't want to spend another dime so we didn't change the door handles and knobs, but that would be another way to give new life to the cabinets.

2.  Lighting.  Once the wall paper was down, the main light didn't look too bad.  But it was too low for John Paul and limited his movement in the kitchen.  And the one above the sink certainly had to go.  The lights in the periphery of the kitchen also gave off a non-ideal yellow glow.  We got a kettle lamp shown below for above the sink.  Just be aware that it requires you to use one of the metal tubes so it does hang a few inches down, and it does get hot to the touch!  We got this one for the main light.  I made the mistake of buying 3-way bulbs which are the lights with 3 different levels...wrong ones.  If you have tall people in the house, be sure to measure the maximum height of the light. 


3.  Remove.  We removed that upper cabinet looking into the family room.  This really opened things up and made a big difference, especially for John Paul.

4.  Countertop.  I love the look of WilsonArt's Old Mill Oak Laminate.  The wood "panels" are a little closer together than I would have liked (I love the butcher block feel) but I am really pleased with it so far.

5.  Backsplash.  We used a wainscot-like bead-board back splash but ours supposedly does not swell if it gets wet.  Look into that, I don't know the exact name.

6.  Faucet.  I was not convinced that I needed this but I am so happy we changed out the faucet.  We kept the old sink.  Figure out if you need a 1,2,3 or 4 hole mount.  We had a 4 hole can get a 3 hole mount with a soap dispenser.  I didn't want the sprayer but was reminded that we have the two-bowl kitchen sink and would need the sprayer to reach all edges.    We got the faucet below and it looks great.

Moen 87017 Pullout Spray Kitchen Faucet

polished nickel light

Monday, December 22, 2014

Our unplanned kitchen renovation: Kitchen Appliances

Our big renovation was the walls and floors.  We were very content leaving the kitchen as a "later project".  There were old appliances that were working fine during the inspection.

Then it was pointed out that we can't guarantee that they work now that they have been jostled from the work on the floors.  It was also pointed out that if the dishwasher or refrigerator broke, they could leak all over our new floors. And what if you're hosting a holiday and then everything stops working.  And these appliances are really not energy efficient, your bill is going to be astronomical.  Just sayin'.

We went to Sears during the Black Friday sales and I was unprepared for the purchase.  We didn't have our measurements.  We didn't have any appliance knowledge.  Heck, I didn't even have my wallet. Whoops.

Luckily, I went to another Sears during their Cyber Monday sales week where a completely knowledgeable gentleman was able to help me.  I knew he was the salesman for me when I saw that he had exotropia.  I opened a Sears credit card with 30 months 0% APR and all kinds of discounts. I have to admit that I didn't really believe in Black Friday.  I worked at the LOFT and knew how sales worked...the sales all changed but the price generally stayed about the same.  Well I now believe in Black Friday.  I got a much better deal on these appliances than the current prices!  If you can wait until Black Friday of next year for your purchase, I would highly suggest that.

We ended up getting 4 appliances that I am really happy with so far!  Here's what we ended up with...

Both sets of our parents suggested a freezer on the bottom refrigerator.  We had two rounds of freezer on the bottom refrigerators that I was not thrilled with and wanted to give the side by side a shot.  We do freeze our leftovers and I hope to do more meal prepping so I wanted more freezer organization.  I have only seen one or two refrigerators where the water and ice dispenser still work so I wanted to stay away from that.  The salesman said that there is usually no warranty on the dispensers, too.  We did notice that the right door sat higher than the left.  The delivery man told us that it would lower over time since the heavier drinks would be on the right side.  I thought for sure that he was.... "pulling our leg" but it actually has become more level.  So far, I really like it!  No, we can't fit any pizza boxes or sheet cakes but that has not been an issue thus far.

That's my name tag on the top left, not part of the fridge!
Hello fingerprints!  Toddlers + stainless steel = fingerprints.  But I'm loving this dishwasher!  We got the one with the buttons on the inside almost by accident but that really worked out.  Luke resets my mom's dishwasher constantly!  The important point here is NOISE LEVEL.  Since we're in a ranch, I thought it was more important for a quiet one.  The salesman said that at a certain level, they are all very quiet and you don't necessarily need the "quiestest one."  The lower the dcb level, the quieter.  My mom suggested that I bring some dishes to Sears to make sure they fit.  I didn't follow her advice but I'm happy with how my dishes fit in here!

Pardon the continued renovation.  But here's the electric stove/oven.  Love it so far!  I applied the special top cleaner and intend to take the very best care of my new friend!  This heats up really quickly, has 5 burners on top, and 3 shelves inside.  

A simple countertop microwave that we are happy with.  JP really wanted an over-the-stove microwave but we would have had to tear down more cabinets etc.  This was the cheapest one, and fits decently on our side counter.  We were able to use our rewards from the Sears card to get it for free!

We're waiting on the backsplash and then I can reveal the whole accidental kitchen renovation!  Have you ever had an accidental renovation?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gill Renovation Update: Dining Room

Here is an update on our dining room renovation.  The wall color is inspired by Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige but matched in a different company.  The new rug can be found at RugsUSA in green.  The chandelier came with the house!  I can't wait to show you all my new table from Craigslist!

A new direction for Wedding Rings to Teething Rings

This change was inspired by this post on Baby Kerf but also something I've had in the back of my mind since I started Wedding Rings to Teething Rings.

Originally, I wanted to start a blog as we moved from Buffalo to CT as a way to keep our Buffalo family updated.  Soon, it became my creative outlet during nap time.  Now, my favorite part is using the blog to feature my friends who have opened Etsy shops or small businesses that they are trying to get off the ground.  I'm not exactly sure where this blog is going now.  I've honestly considered stopping completely, because it can consume you if you're not careful.  But I continue to find joy in writing and sharing.

In short, my main change of direction is limiting the pictures of Luke.  I already updated my Instagram to reflect this.  I can't get enough of him, and I'm convinced that we have grown closer now that I don't have to drop him at day care.  He is our whole world and I want the very best for him...and I don't think that sharing every detail of his life is best for him!

For now, I'll be sharing our home renovation!  Maybe I'll head in a DIY home and decorating direction.  Now that we have a huge unfinished basement, I feel like I have so much room for my projects!  Only time will tell.

What do you think about this new direction?  I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A sneak peek of our Gill Minted Christmas Cards 2014

This was our first time using Minted for our Christmas cards and it will not be the last!

Let's set the scene...we haven't moved into our house yet.  We didn't take a "Christmas card photo" this year.  My free time has been spent painting cabinet doors and window shutters.  I wasn't even sure my Christmas cards would be sent out this year!

I made my way over to and searched their Christmas card selection.  I uploaded some photos that we had from throughout the year.  Minted allows you to view each card design with the photos on it, all at once!  This really streamlines the process!  One card may crop the photo inappropriately, one design may clash with the colors in the photo.  By using the user friendly filters, I decided on the Family Album format to showcase a few special moments from they year.

Minted walks you through each specification, and I appreciate that they make you aware of any additional costs as you choose them, not just in your final cart review.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the addressing service.  I love to write, and I love the personal touch that writing adds.  But when the cards came, all addressed and beautiful in the "modern scrip" that I had chosen, I knew we had made the right choice!  You can choose from a variety of addressing styles that suits your style.  I could get used to this!

If you have the time, you can always get a proof of the card to ensure that you like it, along with a list of addresses to double and triple check (you do not want to miss anyone!)

I'd love for you to share what you create through Minted, too!

Disclaimer:  I was provided holiday cards by Minted in exchange for this review.  The opinions are entirely my own.  I also get commission if you purchase cards through the links I have provided... thank you, thank you, thank you!

Also, a big thank you to Ashley Largesse Photography for taking a few of the photos we showcased!

The cards are packaged with care.

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