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This has got to be one my favorite indoor before & after fixer upper projects yet! Just before Thomas was born, Ryan and I did a complete overhaul of our master bedroom complete with fresh new paint, new furniture, and a new layout… it truly is a brand new room and we couldn’t be more pleased with how everything turned out!

This coming Summer, it will be 6 years since Ryan and I moved into our house. Over the years, thankfully we haven’t had to do any major projects around the house. Shortly after we moved in, we scored an amazing deal on Craigslist for a 6-piece victorian style master bedroom suite. This lady was basically giving it away and as almost newlyweds we couldn’t pass up on the mondo savings! This furniture was huge and extremely heavy (a whopping total of 1,500 lbs.!)… but our room is large enough to accommodate it well. At the time, I liked having all of the furniture pieces match and it worked for us. As the years went by the dark taupe colored walls paired with all of the dark, heavy, and matchy-matchy furniture started to feel stiff and drabby. With the slanted cathedral ceilings, I never found the right artwork for the walls to fill up the space… aside from a few frames on our dresser and nightstands I didn’t have any family photos hanging on the walls… so our master bedroom, that we sleep in every single night, was feeling very boring and hodgepodgey (that’s a word, right?).

At the time I started this project I was 21-weeks pregnant with Thomas… I was in full nesting mode and eager for a project! Plus, when I make my mind up on something… it’s almost impossible to stop me! Ryan has learned to just go with the flow (but he puts his foot down sometimes!) once I start brainstorming — my room design inspirational ideas haven’t failed us yet! 

I started an inspiration board on Pinterest to gather my design ideas on this fixer upper project! I’m certainly no interior design guru — I learned most of my home decorating skills from my Mom over the years! I knew that I wanted my new and improved master bedroom to feel more like a dreamy retreat, an escape, and a relaxed environment that felt bright, cheerful, and cozy. The look I was going for was light and airy, cottage antique chic, charming, with a french country farmhouse flair. We’ve revamped the furniture downstairs in our home over the last few years so it was time to start blending our acquired style into the upstairs.

I did some research on what our bedroom furniture suite was actually worth since I knew it was worth more than the great deal we got on it several years back… it turns out that it most certainly was! I cleaned up our room to take photos of our furniture and posted our bedroom suite back onto Craigslist (see “before” pictures of our room below). It took several weeks to sell since we weren’t technically in a rush to get rid of it — we waited it out so we could turn a rather awesome profit (which then funded our new furniture, and then some!). We were sad to part with it because it was such a beautiful and sophisticated collection… but it was time for a change! I scoured online, browsed and shopped local antique chic stores to narrow down our new furniture choices. I didn’t want to have any pieces perfectly match (aside from the nightstands) because I wanted the room to have more character and style.

The fresh paint in the master bedroom (SW Tradewind) and master bathroom (SW Rain) is so much more cheerful and inviting! The walls are now filled with special family photographic prints that mean the world to me! We now have a cozy sitting area where Michael can play, I can nurse Thomas, I can snuggle up to focus, read, pray, relax… or let’s get real… to sort laundry! Our entertainment center and dresser are lovely new additions to complete the overall look and feel of the room. I can already picture it… early Saturday mornings, my boys playing together on the floor while Ry and I are snuggle up on fluffy pillows, sipping coffee, and laughing with our little goofballs. I’m in LOVE with how everything came together — my new favorite room! Scroll down to see the transformation!

Bedroom furniture & décor:

  • Welcome Home Collection King bed — We went shopping for a bed the day after we sold our bedroom furniture. After spending one night in our room with a mattress and boxspring on the floor… we were ready to have our bedroom back in order! Ryan and I spotted this sleigh bed at Havertys and instantly fell in love! It’s weathered white which is what I was looking for (it really POPS against the wall). It’s gently distressed with an upholstered chic nailhead trim headboard. It’s lower to the ground than our previous bed which is a nice change — I had to use a stool during most of my pregnancy to climb onto our last bed, LOL. The bedspread and shams we got at Bed Bath and Beyond — it’s so soft and cozy! In the past, I would never get away with a white comforter with dogs in the picture… I’m still a bit nervous to have white with two BOY kiddos but it’s nice that if when it does get stained I can just bleach it.

 

  • Nightstands — I was searching for nightstands that had a shabby elegance to them to match the overall look in our room — a classic look but casual feel. After lots of searching online and in stores… I stumbled across these Bayside cottage style nightstands on Joss & Main and my jaw dropped! Love, love, love them! I especially like that there is just 1 drawer… our bedside tables can easily turn into cluttered junk drawers so only having 1 drawer to work with will help avoid that problem. The lamps I already had — purchased from HomeGoods. 

 

  • Entertainment Center — My Mom takes the credit here! She found this beauty on Facebook Marketplace and the lady was basically giving it away… it was originally a pine wood throughout so I coordinated with MyFleurDeLis to come to my house and do a custom paint job on it. It was my first time outsourcing a furniture paint job and I highly recommend them! They knocked out the project in 2-days and the before/after is stunning! I’m obsessed with the bookshelf storage on the sides to hold photos, knick knacks, books, etc. The large double doors in the center hold our TV and we use the remaining drawer space for clothes. It has built-in overhead lights too! Before our room remodel we had an armoire on this wall — it was nice that it held our TV but there was a lot of wasted space on either side of the furniture piece. This entertainment center fits much better!

 

  • Dresser — I found this little gem at Gracie’s Cottage. It was featured on their Facebook page and I called to buy it sight unseen! It was perfect! It’s solid wood (so heavy!) and goes along with the grey/white distressed look in our bedroom. Lots of drawer storage space too for Ryan and I to share.

 

  • Crawford sofa — We actually bought this sofa several years ago on Joss & Main and it’s been in our downstairs living room. That room is rarely used and ends up being a place to put purses/coats when we entertain. So! I knew this sofa would get more love being in our bedroom. The oatmeal color is great as it goes with anything! I added a warm blanket to give it some additional texture along with some squishy, colorful pillows (found at HomeGoods).

 

  • Storage bench — This wooden bench under the double window is part of a kid table set I got for the boys. I love that bench  seat lifts up to hold toys. Michael comes in our room every morning to play with his toys before breakfast while Ryan and I are still waking up. It’s great that I can easily throw all the toys back in the storage bench to hide everything when we aren’t playing with them.

 

  • Coffee table — I fell in love with this Stephanie Coffee Table when I found it on Joss & Main. It’s curved legs, scalloped edges, milk paint finish, and unique reclaimed wood features are beautiful.

 

  • Wood Framed Signboard — I was scrolling through Instagram and came across the Smallwoods website. I just love this quote hanging over our bed — it warms my heart and is a beautiful everyday reminder.

 

  • Gallery wall — I couldn’t love this gallery wall more! As a photographer, it’s no surprise that preserving memories is important to me. We have a lot of wall space in our bedroom and since we moved into our home I’ve wanted to fill the space with special family moments. I chose to do all black and white photographs so it gives off a more timeless, classic, cohesive look. I found these antique silver frames on Joss & Main and we hung them around our sitting area by our sofa. I wanted prints versus canvases so I can easily swap them out as my family grows and new family memories are made.

 

  • Wall clock — I’m so glad that we swapped out our boring digital clock (that we constantly turned sideways before bed because the light was so bright!) with this oversized distressed clock from Hobby Lobby. Thankfully it doesn’t make a loud ticking noise — I’m a light sleeper so that would’ve driven me crazy! We got a great deal on it too! It fills the space on our wall nicely and adds a touch of rustic character.

 

  • Oversized mirror — Still on the hunt for a mirror to go above our dresser. It will make our room look and feel even larger!

So! Without further ado… here you go! Before and after photos of our master bedroom retreat fixer upper project!!! Hope this inspires you to do a fun project in your home this Spring!

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Since becoming a mother, each special occasion is so much more special to experience… because I get to watch it through the eyes of my children. The joy, the wonder, the excitement… it all is so very heartwarming! This year, Easter was extra special because Thomas has now joined our family. Also! My brother, his wife, and their 3 kiddos recently moved from New York to be back in Richmond so watching all 5 cousins together is such a blessing. » OPEN POST »

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One of my love languages is gifts! Giving gifts that is (…although who doesn’t like to receive gifts every now and then?!). I love the process of finding the perfect gift to give someone special and the joy that comes from watching them open it!

How many of us have had a family member, friend, or someone special in our lives that has gone through a difficult time and you want to help brighten their day? I think we all can relate here. In those times you want to do something generous for your friend in need to show them that you care. Sure a delicious home-cooked meal, flowers, or simply mailing them a card are all thoughtful ideas…

I recently discovered a fun and unique way to bring a smile to someone’s day and it only takes roughly 20-minutes of your time and is budget friendly! Insert… The Sunshine Basket!

The key here is to find goodies, snacks, and thoughtful little gifts that are yellow to go with your sunshine theme. The ideas on what you can put in your basket are endless! Pinterest has some great tips too!

Supplies you’ll need…

  • 15-20 yellow goodies, a card, and a white basket (all easily found at your local Dollar Tree)
  • Printable sunshines found on Google (this one makes me smile)
  • Printable sunshine quote (this one and this one are cute ideas)
  • White tissue paper, scissors, and tape

Tune in below to this quick pre-recorded On Air with Allie episode and watch me put a Sunshine Basket together! Hope this inspires you to create one for someone special. It will surely brighten their day (and yours!). Cheers friends!

 

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OH this boy mama heart is so very full! We welcomed Thomas Daniel into our family on 3.9.18 💙 7lbs. 4oz. and 19.75” of pure perfection! It’s been a whirlwind at home getting settled into a new routine with raising two boys under two. Michael is so proud of his big brother role and gives Thomas sweet little kisses all throughout the day. Soaking up every minute of our family “firsts” with Thomas.

Stay tuned for a full blog post coming soon on his birth story…

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Dear Thomas,

OH! My sappy boy-mama heart just can’t take it! I’ve been crying tears of JOY all throughout the day today in anticipation for tomorrow! I still cannot believe that in less than 24-hours I will be holding you in my arms. Your Daddy and I cannot wait to welcome you into our family, introduce you to your proud big brother, and savor those sweet first moments in the hospital as a family of four.

While this pregnancy feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye… I’ve still cherished every kick, every hiccup, every rumble in my tummy that is the miracle of you. It honestly still doesn’t feel real that this is all happening until I hear your sweet cries tomorrow morning and feel your warm newborn skin snuggled on my chest. Your Daddy and I are so anxious to meet you! Will you look just like your brother?! Our last ultrasound was over 19-weeks ago… at the time you had a head full of hair and a little button nose (just like Michael!). We are so excited to watch in awe as you grow and develop your own unique personality while celebrating every milestone along the way! 

This time-lapse video below is so very special to me! The first part of this video was captured last July (when Michael was 9-months old) before I even knew that at the time I was 7-weeks pregnant with you… you were the size of a blueberry growing inside my belly! The second part of the video was captured today at 39-weeks pregnant! You’re now the size of a mini-watermelon… my how much you’ve grown!

We are counting down the hours until tomorrow. You are so, so loved little one! See you soon! XOXOXO!!!

Love,
Mommy

Image credit above: Andrea Pesce Photography

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If you follow along on this blog or my Instagram page then you know that I love fun house projects! I’m a sucker for a good “before and after” makeover! Too many Fixer Upper episodes maybe?? Well, it doesn’t help that I’m now 38-weeks pregnant and in full-on nesting mode… poor Ryan is doing well in keeping up with my crazy ideas! We’re a good team!

This Summer it will be 6-years since we moved into our home. Over the years, we haven’t had to do too much to renovate. There are many reasons why we settled on the house we’re in… one being that we are in a cul-de-sac and our backyard backs up to wooded wetlands which offers lots of privacy. In the spring/summer months, the woods are filled with luscious green leaves and when you’re on our back porch it feels like you’re in a tranquil tree fort. » OPEN POST »

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OH my goodness! I still cannot stop smiling… my dear girlfriends Kendall, Emily, and Missy hosted a baby shower in honor of me and my little Thomas. I woke up bright and early yesterday morning to a beautiful day! After having snow and chilly weather in the single digits… I was pleasantly surprised to have a sunny 68° day to enjoy! I scooted over to Avenue 42 Style Studio. The lovely and talented Arianna did my makeup and made me feel absolutely flawless! In addition to my baby shower yesterday morning… my family got together with Andrea, Thomas’s maternity and newborn photographer, yesterday afternoon to have our maternity portraits taken. It was simply an unforgettable day!

I arrived at Kendall’s house for the baby shower and was in awe of what all the lovely hostesses had done… it brought me to tears… I was truly speechless! These ladies planned this children’s book inspired baby shower to absolute perfection! They put Pinterest to shame — not a single detail was overlooked! The decorations, flowers, delicious brunch (and desserts!!), yummy mom-osas, the clever emoji game, thoughtful gifts, and “book worm” party favor candies… it was all so surreal! As I walked from room to room soaking in every detail I couldn’t help but get a little teary-eyed… this was my baby shower! It was all starting to feel real that this was actually happening… in less than 7-weeks we’ll be welcoming another sweet boy into our family! My sweet Thomas, you are already oh so loved!!! Spending the morning surrounded by such loving, inspirational women whom I respect and look up to was such a blessing! » OPEN POST »

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One of the major changes I’ve noticed with both Michael and now Thomas’s pregnancy journey is the need to be freakishly organized and prepared for anything. In preparation for Michael’s arrival (Fall 2016), I put together a baby car kit so I’m prepared while on-the-go! The last thing I wanted was a blow-out situation and we don’t have an extra set of wipes/diapers (or change of clothes) laying around – that would be one yucky (and smelly!) car ride home! Well, I’ve recently revamped my car kit to now include items for a 15-month old and a soon-to-be newborn. Today I’m going to share with you what’s inside my ultimate DIY car essentials kit!

I featured this topic on a recent On Air with Allie — episode 19! In case you missed it, you can scroll down to watch the replay where I dig into my car kit and show you what’s inside!

» OPEN POST »

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“Our lives are made up of a series of moments.” As a motherhood photographer, I’m grateful to experience and be trusted to capture many treasured, heartfelt moments. Those fleeting moments that truly take your breath away. Today Mr. Behl turns ONE! Oh, what a journey it has been so far! I’ve had the honor of photographing every milestone throughout this sweet boy’s life.

I got to be there when his Mommy and Daddy told their pregnancy announcement news to Behl’s big brother and sister… and when Finley and Tripp took a bite into a cupcake and squealed “BLUE!” at Behl’s gender reveal… and when Emily’s belly grew and we captured their maternity photos while strolling the University of Richmond campus… and even witnessed being in the room when Behl was born… his newborn photos… 6-month photos… and most recently his Smash Cake photos! I’m blessed to have this family as dear friends in my life. I’m thankful that I can share the gift of photography with such loving families. It’s a privilege that I do not take for granted.

Happy 1st Birthday Behl!

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