a seahawks birthday party

seahawks-birthday-party

Our second son turned 9 last month and we celebrated with a Seahawk party. We started with his invitations (seen here – which turned out super cute and not too seahawky/footbally/cartoony) and carried the theme into the actual day. We watched the game, ate football party food, played a few games and celebrated the birthday boy. It turned out to be a perfect party for Brady and his friends.

seahawks-party-table

The food setup was great for the kids and simple for me: crackers/cheese/salami, cut up veggies, chips and ranch dip, grapes and pigs in a blanket (my fave). Mini sodas and gatorade in a big jug for drinks, and a bowl of candy (with skittles, of course) that was picked through within minutes.

seahawks-party---food-table

I used a roll of kraft paper as a runner and drew yard lines with a chalk pen.

seahawks-party-food-table

seahawks-party-food

When the kids first came, I had out Seahawk colored rubber bands to make bracelets and a Seahawks word search. I wasn’t really sure if they would be interested in either, but all of the kids got into both activities and it gave them something else to do while the game was on.

seahawks-party-activities

seahawks-party-bracelets-and-word-search

I’m not sure if jerseys are a big deal in your football city, but everyone in the Seattle area wears theirs on gameday. It was cute to see all of the kids with their Seahawks gear on.

opening-gifts

During halftime, we went out front to play a couple of yard games.

seahawks-party-games

Knock the cups down by shooting rubber bands, throw mini footballs through a hula hoop, run around cones, and toss a ping pong ball in a cup (filled with skittles). Good times.

Once the game was back on, this is what the living room looked like …

seahawks-party-watching-the-game

The older boys watching the game, the younger boys playing upstairs and the girls outside loving on Atlas.

For dessert, my non-cake loving boy chose these chocolate covered nutella + peanut butter s’mores.

seahawks-party-smores

seahawks-party-eating-treats

They were a hit.

This turned out to be a really fun party for everyone, easy to host and most importantly, our Brady-boy had a great time.

#gohawks

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newly organized pinterest boards (and how I did it)

reorganizing-pinterest

It was time for a deliberate reorganization. I started pinning a few years ago and created only a handful of boards. Most were titled generally – like decorate and things I like – which was fine until they started filling up and the categories no longer felt specific enough. As I have saved more favorite images/ideas/inspiration, it seemed fitting to make them more easily find-able for both me and those who follow my boards. So one day a few weeks ago, I finally made the time to begin my pinterest makeover.

The first step was writing down all of my existing boards and separating them into more specific categories that made sense. So what was once Home Sweet Home turned into Exterior, Entry/Mudroom, Living Spaces, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms//grown-ups, Bedrooms//Kids + Bunks, etc. It helped to break the larger categories up into smaller, yet specific groups but still broad enough to not have too many boards. So while I could have broken kitchens out into white kitchens or industrial kitchens, I just went with kitchens. At some point if that board gets crazy-full, I can always make changes later.

Next, I had to manually move pins from one board to another. I searched and searched for a way to bulk move (ie click on several pins at a time and move the group to a new board), but the option does not yet exist. So one-by-one it was.

moving-pins-to-other-boards

It took hours. Like a lot of hours. But it was mindless work and I got to look through hundreds of pretty pins which was not a terrible way to spend my evenings these past couple of weeks. Plus, it feels really good to start fresh with clearly labeled boards and pins all in the right place.

Once the new boards were created and pins were moved around, I gave each board a cover photo and then organized them by category by dragging and dropping into place. You could also organize your boards alphabetically (which is also not a default option, but it should be).

And here is my new and improved collection of pins.

pinterest-boards-1 pinterest-boards-2 pinterest-boards-3 pinterest-boards-4

Ahhh. It feels good to have this one checked off my list. And now I can’t stop pinning to my pretty new boards.

// FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST HERE //

¬†Are you needing a pinterest makeover? Need any other helpful tips or tricks? Or do you have any to share? Leave a comment and let’s chat!

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choosing new floors

We’ve lived in our house for just over 8 years. It was new when we bought it, but too far along in the building process for us to make changes to fixtures, colors, finishes. One of the upgrades we would have made if given the choice would be to switch out the carpet on the main floor with hardwoods.

(photo from summer house tour seen here)

There are benefits to carpet – namely it’s softness – and it was great for when the babies were babies. But 8 years, four kids, a lot of walking back and forth on the same pathway and a puppy who was not the fastest potty-trainer later and the carpet is looking pretty dingy. We’ve wanted to replace it for forever and now we are finally ready to make the jump.

I ordered a handful of samples last week just to try out a couple of different looks.

floor-samples

I posted this picture to instagram asking for your favorite and the votes were totally split. Ryan and I agree (it’s a miracle!) on which one is our top choice, but before I tell you, let’s talk about each one and why it might be the right choice.

Actually, before we get into each specific option, a few things that might be helpful to know:

1. we’ll be pulling up all the existing floors throughout downstairs. The blonde maple has served us well and does a great job of hiding dirt, but it is nearly impossible to match if we were to continue it where the carpet is and honestly, if we’re going to spend the money on new floors, we’d rather choose what we like and blonde maple is not on that list.

2. this is not our forever house so we’re going for the best, most durable floor for the least amount of investment.

3. we’ve gone back and forth trying to decide what to do with the floors. Replace the carpet with new? Put in tile? Buy the cheapest floor and paint it? While each of those are fine options, we’ve landed on wood as the best option.

Okay, so here are our top choices:

white-floors

I love the look of white floors. Always have and always will. Crisp glossy floors with white walls is fresh and such a clean canvas for doing life.

white-floor-options

The white floor sample is nice, but not glossy and more of a creamy white than a white-white. I think if we were to really go for it with white floors, we would go the painted route (which is super impractical since you have to move out for weeks to let it cure). So this option is out.

graybrown
This one is the darkest of the samples and we know how much of a pain dark can be for showing every speck of dirt and dust. In real life it actually looks more taupy-brown than dark dark brown.

dark-gray-brown-floors

The contrast of warm-dark floors and white walls is so appealing to my eye. If we go this route, we’ll repaint our walls white (which is next on the house to-do list anyway).

light-gray-brown

This choice has a great almost Scandinavian feel. It’s probably more brown than gray and a nice light/mid-tone that will hide dirt nicely.

light-gray-brown-floors

There is still that warmth, but it’s toned down and less contrasty with white.

gray

This gray floor sample received a ton of votes on IG and it really could look cool installed. It would give off a similar look to poured concrete (which would be a top contender if we were willing to invest more in redoing the floors).

gray-floors

This particular floor is engineered hardwood and doesn’t look as nice in person as it photographs. We’ve ruled this one out based on that.

brown

My current house-crush is Dana’s from House Tweaking (that’s her kitchen below on the left). I like everything she does and her style is heavily influencing my desire to go a little more simple and modern in our home.

brown-floor-samples

This traditional brown floor is what she has in her home. It’s a great medium brown – very classic and warm. It is also engineered, which we’re on the fence about.

double-line-tiny

So now we have to decide.

Just looking at the samples, both Ryan and I chose the dark gray/brown floor. It has a pretty warmth that looks great with our fireplace stone, the granite in the kitchen and will contrast nicely with all of our existing furniture. A close second (and it’s still in the running) is the light gray/brown. If we choosing only based on how easy it will be to keep clean, we would go with this one. I’m just not sure it offers enough contrast. And while the brown is a perfect medium brown, it goes just a little bit more traditional than we’d like. I think we need a more grayed tone to the wood.

I’d love to hear your thoughts … any pros or cons or warnings or encouragement? What’s your favorite?

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